Alright down to brass tacks. Like almost all big sedans the depreciation on the Avalon is horrific. Truly nightmarish. But that also makes it a smart pre-owned buy. At about 20k the Avalon is an incredible value with some flaws that can be fixed. Here is a bullet point overview of the Avalon.
- The Avalon comes loaded. Even in standard XLE trim it comes with leather, real leather not Toyota faux leather that comes on the 42k TRD Pro 4Runner or the Lexus ES350. The only other toyota that comes with standard, real, leather on this side of the world to my knowledge is the $84k Range Rover class Land Cruiser. The other packages add to it, but for me I need leather in my car, if it doesn't have leather I'm not buying it. After all the hides of the steaks we eat should be used.
- The Avalon comes standard with a 7" screen and a color 3.5" dashboard screen. The radio comes standard with XM. I updated the speakers to infinity speakers, and with my experience with my last toyota with JBL sound, I found the standard stereo easier to upgrade partially because each of the 8 speakers gets full signal so you can just add nice speakers with crossovers. There is also an aftermarket android headunit available. The stock sources is not bad but is certainly compressed. The EQ is best on Bass +3, midbass+2, treble +0 but you may run into rattles. I will do a whole article on the sound system in the future, I think it applies to many common era Toyotas.
- The drive is ok. There is actually a somewhat built in front tower strut (I added another one and then realized there was somewhat a strut brace built in). You can actually take corners in the car without feeling like the car is about to roll over as you would in a Generation 2/3 Prius. The hard bumps do transmit in plastic rattles but overall it is a fairly good ride with a combination of sporty grand tourer.
- The car rattles like it was made to rattle. The two biggest offenders are the dash end caps and the rear c pillars which if you remove them there is an area where a clip could be used but isn't if you add high strength velcro here it eliminates much of the rear rattle. The dash end rattles can be mitigated with a combination of velcro on the inside and some foam on the far side near the rubber trim. There is a TSB for Avalons with memory seats.
- The style is akin to an Audi since the Audi designer designed it. The paint is quite an upgrade from Toyotas from a decade ago. The wheels too are upgraded with very intricate paint finish.
- The oil burns but not at a great rate. However a 10k OCI is insufficient, I would certainly check the oil level every 3k miles (and change at 7500 or so but that is a different post I would also argue for full synthetic 5w-20 or 0w-30 vs the 0w-20 CAFE driven recommended weight.)
I may write a small book on the Avalon. Comment if you think I should. If not I will add some about the stereo and oil changes for the 2gr-fe