The buying public never really warmed to the Avalon sedan as Toyota hoped.
Any day now the Aurion V6, the replacement for the underachieving Avalon and the more popular Camry V6, will be released. But for used buyers looking only for functional and reliable family-sized motoring, Avalon could prove a gem. Provided that is, the deathly-dull looks and a total inability to evoke any real driver passion can be accepted.
Models and features
Aussie built at Toyota’s Altona plant, Avalon was already an old design in the US when released here in July 2000. With some redesign to suit local conditions, Toyota offered the Avalon sedan to buyers in four specifications: Conquest, CSX, VXi and the pinnacle model, Grande.
The GXi replaced the base model Conquest in 2003 and there have also been a number of limited edition models. Late 2001 and 2003 brought cosmetic and equipment upgrades.
All models feature standard dual airbags, power windows, remote central locking, auto transmission and CD as a minimum. ABS and air conditioning was standard on all models excluding Conquest. Both were added to base models from October 2002. As expected, Grande versions offer a lengthy list of standard appointments including leather trim.
On the road
Avalon’s sophisticated 3.0-litre quad-cam V6 is silky smooth and has proven itself in the Camry. It doesn’t have the low down grunt of rivals such as Commodore and Falcon; rather it gives its best at mid to higher revs and in a more refined manner. In most situations performance is certainly adequate for the task. Claimed power and torque outputs are 145kW @ 5200 rpm and 284Nm @ 4400 rpm, respectively.
Drive to the front wheels is via a smooth shifting four-speed adaptive auto that’s well suited to the engine’s character. Toyota didn’t make a manual option available.
Road manners are biased for smoothness and comfortable, soft ride, whilst handling is mostly surefooted.
Avalon’s body is slightly narrower than Ford and Holden rivals. But with the space efficiencies attainable with a front drive layout, it offers good cabin space including admirable leg and headroom in the rear and a large boot.
Overall build quality and finish is good and no major reliability problems have come to light. Like any modern alloy, multi-valve engine proper servicing, especially of engine oil and coolant, is imperative if expensive failures are to be avoided. This also applies to the timing belt, which is normally due for renewal at the earlier of six years or 150,000km. Check service records thoroughly.
Maximum towing capacity is 1200kg, rising to 1600kg with a heavy duty tow-pack including load levelling hitch and body braces.
From 9.0 to .0 litres/100 km depending on model and conditions.
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to CD's online car price guide or our Car review Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
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