I'm the guy who wrote about the Avalon at 206,000 miles. At 211,000 I traded it off. I miss the ol' girl, but love my 2005 Tundra. I really miss the 31 mpg on trips. Again, that was by far the best car I have ever owned and I have owned a lot of cars including Mercedes and BMW. While the handling and comfort are similar to those high-end cars, the maintenance (or lack of needed maintenance) makes the Toyota Avalon shine.
I was going to do a lot of preventive maintenance at 250,000 miles, like struts, hood cylinders (mine were still working, but getting a little tired), a second set of spark plugs, a second replacement timing belt, and a water pump.
Although I appreciate the prices at Auto Zone and others, I learned that the original parts are well worth the difference. More, they are affordable because the car asks for so little.
I hope that my 2005 Tundra is all that I believe that it is. I have modest income, so the reliability and value of Toyota is very much a consideration.
My wife bought her 1996 Avalon XLS new out of the showroom and it has been a fantastic car. We are now at 190,000 some odd miles and I do almost all the repairs and maintenance. So far only 1 timing belt, 1 replacement set of spark plug wires and 1 set of CV drive axlls. I had to recently change out all 4 main speakers as the cones had rotted out and I just changed out the original struts all the way around. I've only had a few other minor repairs like O2 sensors and some of the light bulbs. The rack did start to leak at about 180,000 and I read where that was a problem with them, I had that changed by a shop. I also had to replace the valve cover rubber gaskets as they got brittle and were leaking some oil on the exhaust system.
By and far a great solid well built car.
1996 Toyota Avalon - 156K miles
I agree with the posts about this being the best car I have ever owned. I purchased it in 1999 with about 38K miles and have done very little repair work. Frankly, I am not as meticulous about maintenance as I once was. I get around to changing the oil every 7-8K miles and it's always nice and clean. I am pretty particular about the oil, however. I always use Mobil 1 synthetic oil.
Timing belt was replaced at about 90K so its due for another pretty soon.
I'm going to keep it until something major breaks, but may consider the strut upgrade since the ride is getting pretty bad.
Another annoyance that I've put up with for the last 120K is the wind noise. Too bad Toyota did not take care of this for the original owner under warranty.
1996 Toyota Avalon.
I purchased my Avalon last year after totalling a Corolla, and I was worried about the 175,000 miles on it in the beginning. I'm now at a little over 197,000 miles, and I can't complain. It's the best car I've ever had. The only thing I had done on the car besides regular oil changes was to replace the radiator. I've traveled in it from Florida to South Carolina several times with no problems whatsoever. It rides just like a brand new car, and I plan to keep it until everything dies on it--whenever that is.
I have a '97 Avalon XLS with 135K miles. that I bought in '99 with 10k miles. on it. Replaced timing belt at 130k miles., only because the dealer keep reminding me it needed to be done at 60k miles. Could never find any mention of this item in my owner's manuals under scheduled replacements. When I took it out it still looked in great condition and wonder how much longer it would have lasted. While I had the covers off, I replaced engine oil seals, idler pulleys, water pump & thermostat, drive belts, and tensioner. Car currently needs a transmission upshift solenoid, valve cover gaskets, rear struts, and has a steering fluid leak somewhere at the pump. Front strut mounts replaced under warranty and had to press the dealer to do this. Should have had the wind noise corrected under warranty, but let it slide out of warranty. Steering rack developed leak at 50k miles and I replaced that. All in all, it's been a good car that's had regular oil changes in 3-5k miles intervals.
I bought The Toyota Avalon 96 when it was at 15k miles. So far I never have any major problem. Only oil change 3000 to 5000 miles periodically. My car now is at 150k miles and hasn't been replaced timing belt yet. I agree this is the best car as previous comments since I've been drive Lexus and Mercedes and those had all costly problem.
Bought my '96 Avalon with 97K miles 8 years ago. I just hit 290,000 miles! Other than minor issues, there have been no major repairs. It's been the best car. I am a believer in Toyota thru and thru. Here I come 300,000! Then who knows what my next target is...400K? 500K?
"I am a believer in Toyota thru and thru. Here I come 300,000!"
Glad to hear of your good fortune with your vehicle. But, Toyota's are not the only vehicles you can get that kind of mileage out of. I get that kind of mileage (300K+) with all my vehicles, import and domestic, but I have mostly owned domestic. In fact, I have never had any serious problems with any vehicles I have owned. With proper care, I do not think getting many hundreds of thousands of miles out of a vehicle is any great feat, or unique to Toyota.
MY 96 AVALON XLS is just hit 290.000. I've only had to change the CV axle and replace the starter.. the great 3000 V6 engine is remarkable. Best car I've ever owned. Won't let you down as long as you get the oil changed, air filter..
My next project will probably be to have the timing belt replaced.
I have a 96 Toyota Avalon XLS, and is been the best car I've ever had; it has 250,000 miles and it feels like new, the only things I have to do is put gas on it and change the oil every 3000 miles, it is a very nice, luxurious vehicle, all my friends love the car, great gas mileage, and I love the ect button, the vehicle's engine is very quiet, the only problems is that the moonroof does not work and the middle seat in the front is broken, but everything else works great.
I just inherited an Avalon XLS from a dear friend who has owned it since early 1997 when she purchased it from a dealer as a demonstrator. It only has 40,000 miles on it, and is in perfect condition. The owner meticulously had all required services performed by the dealer, and never experienced any serious problems. My only question at this point is whether or not to have the timing belt replaced because of age?