2004 Toyota Avalon GXi 3.0 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


An ugly but thoroughly excellent family car


All 3 brake light globes have blown (on separate occasions).

General Comments:

We bought this car second hand in 2006 for $17000. That seems like a lot now, but at the time it was several thousand dollars cheaper than an equivalent used VY Commodore.

Servicing costs are generally between $120 and $220 for regular services. The last major service (due every 45000 km) was around $480. Apart from occasional blown brake light globes, 1 set of new tyres and a new battery, there have been no mechanical issues during 67000 km of ownership. We haven't even replaced brake pads yet.

Comprehensive insurance costs us around $450 per year.

We use between 12 and 14 l/100 km in the city depending on where it's driven and who is driving. In the country with a full load of passengers and luggage we get 9 l/100 km.

The Avalon is a very quiet car. Engine noise and road noise are well suppressed. Also it has a very smooth ride and smooth gear changes.

Performance is good. Overtaking performance above 80 kph is excellent. The engine pulls strongly and smoothly right up to the 6250 red line.

While it's no sports car, handling is positive and predictable. I think the steering has a good amount of feel to it for a front wheel drive car. However the suspension in our car seems somewhat under-damped at times - particularly when traveling over an undulating country road.

Others have complained about the foot operated parking brake. We have no problem with it.

The interior is comfortable, airy and in general a nice place to be. There are no problems with seats or ergonomics. The leather bound steering wheel is a nice touch. The dashboard is bland, but works OK.

As others have commented, the Avalon has a big turning circle. We have got used to this. However, when we hired an Aurion on a recent trip I did appreciate its smaller turning circle compared to the car that it replaced in Toyota's lineup.

The stereo, which is the original one that came with the car, has surprisingly good sound. I note that a few other reviews I have read made similar comments about the stereo.

The boot is big - sufficiently large for interstate family road trips with children, pushers, portable cots and all the trimmings. Unfortunately our car only has a ski-port between the boot and the back seat rather than a fold down seat, which can be limiting at times.

Our car is a Mk 3 with the updated styling. I don't think this face lift did much for the Avalon - particularly at the front end. However, given the car's practicality and value for money, we have been prepared to put up with its lack of style.

This is the first Toyota I've owned. Based on our experience with the Avalon, I judge that Toyota's reputation for quality and reliability is well founded. It is better in every respect, apart from style, than any car I've owned previously.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2010

2004 Toyota Avalon xls 3.6 from North America


Pricey, but you get what you pay for, a great car.


Nothing wrong, everything works like it is supposed to.

General Comments:

This is second Avalon, the first was totaled in a wreck. The "other" one had 120,000 miles without any problems, and was the reason for the purchase of this as a replacement.

Conservative, but does all you need it to, and very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2004

2004 Toyota Avalon XLS 3.0 DOHC from North America


Lots of problems at new, but hopefully all fixed now


Passanger side power seat back broke and would not move up.

Back glass shattered for no reason as I was driving the car down the road.

Power slide moonroof button broke.

Car body pops and bends as we gove slow over uneven roads or over rail road tracks.

Anti-theft sensor went bad and would not allow me to start the car, had to be towed to Toyota from grocery store.

Trim under the back of the front driver's sear came off.

General Comments:

The car drives good, but feels like it sometimes can't keep up with the fast flow of traffic.

Lots of room, almost as much room as a huge full size car.

Odd dash shape, but easy to read.

Lots of neat little things built into the car.

Not really worth the money, we paid right over $30,000 for this car and it is holding up like a $8,800 GEO Metro.

The car is easy to get in and out of for a large person like myself. (300lbs)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th September, 2004

11th Jul 2005, 11:25

2005 AVALON XL gas and mileage meter short out and causes the compressor to go out. No air conditioner in 90 degree weather.

3rd Jan 2006, 16:16

I agree with writer about the power seats. My 2006 Avalon had the same problem.

6th Jan 2006, 15:52

I have just purchased a 2006 Toyota Avalon. I think others should be aware of three or four issues I have with it:

1. There are no side moldings. I find myself parking as far away from other cars as possible to avoid dings.

2. There is a hesitation when I apply pressure to the gas pedal. The maintenance foreman tells me that is because the gas peddle is controlled by the computer and therefore cannot be adjusted. He said last year's model had a.o55 seconds lapse which has been reduced to.035 seconds lapse in the '06. I find this reminiscent of cars decades ago which had a lag in the foot-feed, but those could be adjusted and I was told by this Toyota service manager that this can't be adjusted. I find it irritating.

3. The engine just doesn't sound as healthy and smooth as my '01 Avalon.

4. I have had problems with spots in the paint on the hood of the car. The dealership is blaming the spots on the coating of paper that the car is delivered with. The service manager had me take it to a body shop where they applied a heat gun to the spots. The spots didn't come out so now they want me to take it back to the body shop and have the car put into a baking chamber. Ouch!

I'm not sure what that will do to the paint on the car. I would appreciate any information anyone can give me about the wisdom of putting a brand new car in a baking oven!

5th Feb 2006, 11:01

I am finding that the Blizzard paint on my 2005 Avalon chips easily. I have had my car for 7 months and it has more that a few places where the paint has chipped off.