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The 2000 Toyota Avalon receives several improvements for the new model year. Entering its second generation, the Avalon is offered in two... Read More
The 2000 Toyota Avalon receives several improvements for the new model year. Entering its second generation, the Avalon is offered in two models: the XL and the XLS. New features include enhanced interior and exterior styling, improved safety and increased engine performance. The Avalons 3.0-liter V6 benefits from Toyotas variable valve timing (VVT-i). This improvement increases fuel economy, horsepower and torque and at the same time lowers emissions. A stronger body structure and added energy absorbing material in the roof rails and both front and center pillars enhance occupant safety. Optional equipment includes special Diamond White Pearl paint, a power moonroof, Vehicle Stability Control and upgraded tires and wheels. Minimize
52 Reviews from Epinions.com
Nov 13, 2005
2000 Avalon XL....and 2005 Is the Time to Buy One!
Pros: Comfortable, practical, well-engineered and durable. Even after all these years.
Cons: Floppy trunk, bland styling on the XL, "old-person" car
The Bottom Line:
A safe, fuel-efficient alternative to an SUV that gives you some pretty serious luxury.
I love writing reviews on old cars. So many people have already rang in with their opinion of this car that it seems like any additional information would be old news. Or would it be? Maybe not. For the frugal among us who still enjoy the finer things, now might be the time to find a nice, gingerly used Avalon for a bargain basement price. That is precisely what my wife and I did. Well, let's have a look at this car!
Description: The 2000 Avalon was the flagship Toyota for the turn-of-the-century Toyota buyer. The car was redesigned for 2000 with significant cosmetic and substantive upgrades. For 2000, the excellent 1MZ-FE 3.0L V-6 received a nice upgrade of VVT-i, or variable valve timing, intelligent plus improved intake properties that boosted the 3.0L's horsepower output to 210 @ 5,800 RPM with a punchy 220 ft. lbs. of torque @ 4200 RPM in the front-wheel drive sedan. The interior was widened by 1 inch of shoulder room from side to side, and the dashboard was pushed forward somewhat from previous models, was redesigned as a single, contiguous deck from driver's side A-pillar to passenger side A-pillar. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are now standard on all Avalons in 2000, as are side airbags. The car was still available with a front bench seat and column mounted transmission shift lever (which is no longer the case) for true, six-passenger seating, much like the large Buicks and Mercuries that made up the Avalon's competition. The 2000 Avalons featured thicker windshield and window glass plus redesigned moldings to prevent wind noise. Let's look at some of the features of the car, and the impressions they give five years after the car rolled off the factory floor in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Our 2000 Avalon: Our car is an XL trim level, which at first worried me somewhat, for we had owned a 1995 Avalon XLS, but this XL is loaded out nicely. This car was not a stripped down XL with cloth seats and hubcaps. The car caught my eye as I drove by the Cadillac dealership in our West Texas town, I had been trying to find a car to replace my wife's 2000 Jetta, which was becoming a little too small for us, and it was hard to find parts and service for the very good little Jetta. The instant I saw the Avalon sitting there, I knew it was a local trade. After a quick inspection, the used car salesman offered me the keys and I took her out for a quick spin around the block. She ran out very nicely, but needed tires. I told my wife about the car, but the next day I had to leave town for business. While I was gone, wife went down and secured the car with a check for 100 bucks. I guess she liked it. When I got home, we finished the deal, and we paid right at $14,000 for the car with the trade and a credit for some new rubber. I was happy with that. She had 60,000 miles on the clock, and except for one door ding in the driver's side passenger door, the car was tip-top.
How is an XL different from an XLS?: In 2000, the XLS had at least 16 inch alloy wheels, and maybe 17s. The XL came standard with 15 inch steel wheels with hubcaps and 15" and 16" alloy wheels optional. The XLS almost always has leather, a moonroof, and faux wood on the dash, plus a pretty wood steering wheel. The XLS could be had with the stabilization package, while the XL came with standard ABS only. The XLS was available with the automatic climate control, the XL has two-zone air-conditioning with no aft-stack registers for the rear seats like the XLS. The XLS had the seven-speaker premium JBL sound, while the XL has the six-speaker (no sub-woofer) Toyota sound system (which sounds just fine). The XLS could be had with a trip computer that features a monochromatic screen directly above the audio stack under the sweeping dashboard. The XL has its odometer, tripometer, and outside temperature display in that position. Both cars have the trouble-light array to the left of that. Our XL has the in-mirror compass with dimming option, a power moonroof, and leather seating areas. Our car is the five-passenger model, with console mounted shifter and six-way power lumbar passenger and driver seats.
Driving Impressions: Considering our car is five, almost six-years old, she drives like a new one. The 1MZ-FE 3.0L is matched very well to this 3417 lbs sedan. The car is extremely smooth and quiet in normal acceleration, but if you stick the pedal hard, she'll take off in an earnest manner. As a matter of fact, the car will scurry away very quickly, maybe not like an Altima with a 3.5, but she does very respectfully. Anything with a four-cylinder (except maybe a VW with a 1.8T) look out, because the granny in the Avalon finally has some smash. Shift points are almost silent and effortless, the transmission and engine work in perfect harmony. Torque steer? No, there is none, and the electronically controlled engine mount/dampening system makes sure of that. The car handles very well, but not like a sport sedan. The rack-and-pinion steering push the Avalon in the direction you point it, but the milquetoast tires and 15 inch alloys seal the deal right there, the Avalon XL is not a charger, but a smooth, comfortable transporter. Can it maneuver? Yes, the car can execute emergency maneuvers with poise and safety, thanks to the four struts that strike that balance between smoothness and harshness. The car is also capable of high speeds, but does not inspire the driver to attain them, like a nice BMW would. I'm happy tooling along at highway speeds at or maybe a couple miles above the limit. The car still exhibits excellent braking capabilities, for the two or three months we've owned her I've yet to invoke her ABS capability. The 2000 Avalon is a supreme family mover, smooth as silk, and an excellent highway cruiser, far and away the superior of most of its competition.
Peripherals: The 2000 Avalon has excellent headlights, although our car does not have foglamps. The headlights are just superior, shining at least a quarter of a mile in the West Texas night. The high beams are just boomers, they come on in addition to the low beams, so they have some serious illumination power, which is very important to us with all the deer and livestock along the roads we travel. The windshield wipers are excellent, quiet, and do a great job of clearing the glass, although they are funny sizes (21" for the driver's side, 17" for the passenger side). The moonroof is sweet, if not a little small and too far back for the front seat passengers (if you're griping about the moonroof, your life is too cushy!).
Comfort: The exterior dimensions of the 2000 Avalon will fool you, because the interior is very capacious. The Avalon doesn't look much bigger than a Camry, but the extra inch or two of rear floor space will tell your rear-seat passengers something else: comfort. Driver comfort is enhanced by power lumbar adjustments, and the ergonomics of the controls are very good, with a couple of gripes. I don't like the cruise control placement (inside the right hand spoke of the wheel), but it is something I have learned to use with a fair amount of comfort. All seating areas are extremely comfortable, and the car is very quiet and serene, which is something I appreciate so much! The standard Toyota stereo with single disc in-dash player and cassette deck is very nice. One question, however, who was listening to cassettes in 2000? That cassette deck is kind of crazy, my seven-year-old daughter asked me what it was for one day. Funny. The controls are reasonable (but no on-wheel controls) and the functions are what you would expect from a factory system. The sound quality is very good to decent, depending on how much of an audoiophile you are.
Fuel Economy: The 2000 Avalon delivers what I consider excellent fuel economy for a car of its size and utility. Does 31 MPG sound OK for highway driving? It does to me. I have a pick-up truck for hauling stuff, for hauling people I'd rather use a sedan than an SUV, and the SUV delivers a truck-like ride and truck-like fuel economy. The large sedan is the answer to many people's problems, it is right there in front of them, a "best kept secret" that is no secret. On top of that, you can get one of these great sedans, or one very similar, for a great price! One way the Avalon gets its awesome fuel economy numbers is its drag co-efficient: .28 compared to the older model's .31. Still, even the old Avalon with the non-VVT-i earned excellent fuel economy numbers. My wife gets around 26 around town with her Avalon, compare that to my 2001 Tundra 4X4 with 4.7L V-8, which gets about 14.5. Ouch. Needless to say, I leave my Tundra in the driveway almost all weekend long.
Gripes: As you have probably ascertained, I really like the 2000 Avalon. I mean, I like the 2005 Avalon a lot, I looked at them, but they cost almost $40,000! I'll buy the 2005 Avalon in about 2010. Still, I must have some gripes or complaints, right? Well, I do. I wish the 2000 Avalon XL had rear seat convenience lighting for the passengers back there. Only the dome light is available to them in our XL. I also wish the rear seats folded down to expand the trunk (which is extremely large to begin with at 16 cubic ft.). Our car only has a small pass-through for skis or other long things. At least it has that. I find the hood to be very good, with easy-to-find latches and pressurized cylinders to hold the works open, but with no under-hood light. I find the trunklid chintzy. The trunklid is too light and sounds hollow when you close it. I wish the trunk had 12 volts in an accessory power outlet, but it doesn't. The netting in the trunk for grocery bags is very nice, as is the nice optional Toyota factory mat (thanks Mr. Original Buyer!). Sometimes the dashboard offers a small vibration on our chip-sealed roads out here, but I can usually push on it for a second and it stops until the next day. The final thing I'll mention is the automatic transmission and 3.0L vibrate when you are stopped with the car in gear. Our 1995 Avalon did the same thing, a very mild vibration in the steering wheel while you wait for the light to change. I now know it is the engine/transmission system that does this, and has for a while. I ignore it. Nonetheless, finding fault with this car is merely nit-picking. It is one very good package, even after five years of service.
Durability: When I took my Avalon to the dealer for an oil service and tire rotate/balance, he told me the previous owner used their service and kept all things maintained religiously. I told him we would do the same. He opined, "that car will be around for a long time.". As with other Toyota products I have owned, I expect this car will be in service for a long time to come. They are really well engineered, and even though they have their problems, they are usually up to the challenge.
So there you have it. We really like the new (used) car, and we were very tickled for getting the nice price on a car that was dealer maintained and tip-top. You may be able to find one even cheaper, but it might not have the bonafides that this one did, with the dealer records. Still, if you are interested in buying one, it might make sense to take your prospective Avalon or Camry to the Toyota dealer and give them fifty bucks to look it over. One thing about the 'yotas, if they break, it is sometimes expensive to repair them (the lug nut and lug stud for my pick-up cost 11 bucks!).
A final note, a large sedan is a great alternative to an SUV. You might even discover what you were missing!
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