Buying a Used Avalon

dreameraldreameral Member Posts: 4
edited August 2014 in Toyota
I'm looking at two 2000 avalons. One is the XL the other XLS. The XL has 145,000 Kilometers but has a very bad wobble in the front end. The dealer stated they would take care of it to my satifaction as part of the deal. It can be had for 9500 Canadian. The XLS has 103,000 kilometers and seems flawless. Both cars are in nice shape. the XLS rides nicer and feels tighter. It will go for 13,500 Canadian. Is one a better buy over the other. I'm concerned after reading the suspension problems with the Avalon that the XL might have suspension problems.
Any advice would be a great help


  • gwsgws Member Posts: 67
    The ratio of price to price and mileage to mileage are about the same. The XLS has more features. Check to ensure that the XL timing belt has been replaced; presumably the other was.
    I'd be inclined to go with the XLS. Is either price flexible?
  • dreameraldreameral Member Posts: 4
    THe price basically is what they would let it go for. I've offered 12,500 for the XLS but they said 13,500 was as low as it would call backs yet on their part. It was orginally listed for 13,900
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    2000 year model was the first model year. I would steer clear of both these models, unless you have to have it. Then the lower mileage car, would most likley be the better bet, regardless of trim package, the only difference between the XL and the XLS.

    I would look around for a 2001-2004 model though.

    See CR for reliability ratings. The 2000 year model go down a notch being the first year out.

  • bwiabwia Boston Member Posts: 2,629
    I would go for the XLS in a heart beat. I have a 2000 XLS with 54k miles and it has been flawless in almost 7 years. At $12,500 CDN or $10,788 USD and 64,000 miles I think it is a damn good price.

    Good luck with your purchase!
  • dreameraldreameral Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the good advice. I have always wondered a few thing about buying second hand. How old is a car? Is it better to buy a 2000 (100,000 km) with lower milage or a 2003 with higher milage(170,000), say highway milage
  • jaymagicjaymagic Member Posts: 309
    Recently sold my mother's 00 Avalon XLS silver for $15,200 US. It had 34,000 actual miles and everything worked perfectly. Excellent body -- one minor accident 3 years previous, so had front right fender replaced, but looked like new.

    24MPG in town, close to 30 on the road. My mom hit 90 and decided her driving days were over.
  • wig1wig1 Member Posts: 3

    I own a 2000 toyota avalon xls with 77,000 miles. I notice a whining in the engine when I take my foot off the accelator and the engine comes to a idle speed. I notice it with the A/C off.It probalbly does with the A/C on to. I take good care of the car and have regular maintenance done by dealer.
    Thought I would ask here before i put my the toyota dealer.
    Has anyone had a similar experince with their Avalon? Appreciate any comments.
  • mdjsaundersmdjsaunders Member Posts: 2
    I am in the market for a used Avalon and would like to pay around $10,000. Are there any significant differences between the 2000 model and the 2004 model?
  • hawiianavownerhawiianavowner Member Posts: 76
    Other than the cosmetic ones, search this forum or google for the "engine sludge/gelling" issues.
  • 2ndcoming2ndcoming Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2000 Toyota avalon XLS private sale for $7000 CAD. The couple that sold it to me were really cool people. I was a bit worried because you never know what your going to get from a private sale. But all I had to change was the starter and even though it does need some suspension work, the car looks and feels brand new and rides smoothly and is a major upgrade from my 1999 Mazda 626 DX.
  • mdjsaundersmdjsaunders Member Posts: 2
    That sounds like a good price for the 2000 Avalon XLS. Hom many miles on the car?
  • radioguy1radioguy1 Member Posts: 5
    We own a 2001 Avalon with 187k miles...we're thinking about trading it in and getting a 2007 from one of our many Houston area Toyota's what the sales guy sent over... * Internet Price $24,988.00
    * Mileage: 25,617
    * Exterior Color: SILVER
    * Interior Color:
    * Transmission: A/T
    * Stock #: P5926
    I asked him if this car had a 4, 5 or 6 speed. My 2001 has a 4 speed. Without actually looking at the car, and based only on the information presented here, does this look like a reasonable starting place on price?


    Houston, TX
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,008
    Can't tell you if its a good price without knowing which Avalon you are looking at. There is a 10K price difference in original MSRP from a base XL to a fully loaded Limited.

    Also, the car is a 5 speed. In '08 the Avalon got the six speed.

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  • radioguy1radioguy1 Member Posts: 5
    You're right on the transmission...the sales dude did say it was a 5 speed. He also says this is an XLS model.

  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,008
    I have an '06 XLS that stickered right around 34K new. It has the JBL and VSC/ heated seat packages. It has been a wonderful car have around 24,000 miles on it and never back to the dealer except for oil changes. As for the pricing you are being given, give the used car values (right here on Edmunds or KBB) a look to get an idea of suggested retail on this car.

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  • finfin atlantaMember Posts: 594
    The car has a lot of miles on it to be only a model year old. This lowers the value as a resale for obvious reasons. But if the car has a clean title and vehicle service history, is spotless inside and out, has near new tires and at least the JBL sound system, it is probably worth, retail, about what you posted. Having skid control or other options would also help. The main thing is to be sure the car is near new clean and drives that way - perfect. (The warranty will take care of anything wrong but drive it a while anyway.) My .02....... great cars... :)
  • radioguy1radioguy1 Member Posts: 5
    Another dealer has, I think, a couple of 2008s on the lot with around the same mileage, some less that I'll get some prices on today. I drive a lot...around 34k a year, but my mileage is out of the ordinary. I wonder if this car was either a lease or a Toyota vehicle for one of their executives.

  • radioguy1radioguy1 Member Posts: 5
    The wife and I went down to another dealer since we had some time to kill last night. This dealer had 4 Avalons, all "Touring" editions, identical in that they had black leather seats and black interiors. The outside body colors were either silver or white, or off white. All were 2008 cars, sold as used cars (we'd be listed on the title as the second owner), and all had the remainder of the factory warranty on them. Their mileage was anywhere from 7k to 20k. All had the same price-$28,995.00. The sales guy said that the Touring was one step below the Limited (which I know isn't true). I think the basic price on a Touring model is around 31K, before options. None of these cars have a lot in the option department, and frankly, I'm not worried about that anyway. I wondered what the group's opinion would be of what I've learned.


  • neshdelneshdel Member Posts: 3
    I'm thinking of buying a used Avalon -- 2005 or 2006, XLS or Limited trim. I know that stability control & traction control were options in those years, and want to be sure that the car that I buy has those options.

    Does anyone know how I can tell by looking at the car whether the VSC is installed? In my current car, there is an off switch for the stability control, but I read somewhere that there is no such off switch in the Avalon.

    Thanks very much for any help.
  • wynn711wynn711 Member Posts: 4
    Call your Toyota Dealer Parts Dept and give them the VIN off your car and they should tell you right away if the VSC option is installed on your Avalon.
  • bert25bert25 Member Posts: 2
    I just stumbled across these forums on Edmunds - my first post!
    My wife and I own an '02 Avalon XL, about 87,000 now and mechanically it's been great. I had given my daughter my hand-me-down '98 BMW 318i, and it died last week.
    Found a '97 Avalon XLS with 150K that had been in the same family since purchase (grandparent to grandaughter). Typical Avalon quiet interior with great engine power, but driving it on the test drive it sounded like a bucket of bolts. they were asking $4,850 and I picked it up for $4,250. By the way, I prefer private party purchases. I think you can read the owners as to honesty, and pricing is almost always much better than dealer. Taking it in for a suspension overhaul next week. I figure if we drop even a grand on it, it is still a great value, as long as it cleans up the ride!
    Little to no rust, which is great. The left fender had some dents (not bad creases, just pushed in) and the owners had the Haynes Manual, so today I took off the fender and pushed the dents out! I was quite pleased with how it all came out - not perfect, but for free it looks much better than it did. I did find out that the Haynes manual wasn't exactly on point though - there was more involved up front than they showed. Still, started at 9 and all buttoned up again by 2 PM.
    Question for the group - the ABS light is on, and the previous owner said that he had it worked on twice without success, but never had the wheel sensors looked at. Is that a likley culprit? Any idea on cost to replace those? The Haynes manual showed how you can pull the ABS code by using a jumper wire on the terminals and looking at the flashes of the ABS light. might try that.
    Anyway, I'm really happy with this purchase - I think it will be a great car for a college student and I'm hoping to get at least another 100K out of it.
  • guitarplayeronguitarplayeron Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I'm a poor college kid who's in the market for a first car. WIth insurance rates where they are my budget is <2k. So the neighbors are selling a '95 Avalon with lots of body damage on the doors, 180k, needs new tires, struts, brakes, radio. However, my father has evaluated the engine and transmission to be in good working order, and places the 180k as being of a more 'gentle' sort, since he is familiar with the seller. It will cost 1-1.5k to get the car 'running well' but it is running immediately now. We expect the selling price to be around $500. I live in NYC. Any advice would be well appreciated
  • xrulingxruling Member Posts: 4
    I would not recommend buying a Toyota Avalon, new or used. I have a 2008 Avalon Limited. Bought it new. After just over two years, the FM radio degraded to the point that it is mostly unusable because of heavy static. Toyota representatives tell me that this is normal for this car and that there is no solution. If Toyota cannot provide or repair ancient technology like an FM radio system, imagine how screwed-up the rest of the technology in the car may be.
  • nimiminimimi Member Posts: 249
    I have had a much different experience. I've owned an '06 LTD and an '08 LTD and BOTH of them were/are outstanding automobiles. No problems whatsoever in almost 5 years of ownership. As for your FM, you need to see another dealer or talk to the Toyota area rep. about your issue.
  • finfin atlantaMember Posts: 594
    Take the advice given in Post #26 above. My '07 Limited is going strong at 60k, the radio is fine. Sounds more like a dealer issue... what about the 3/36 btb warranty?
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Member Posts: 231
    It seems to me, after reading posts on this site for a couple of years, that Toyota is plagued by a lot of BAD dealers who care absolutely nothing about customer service after the sale. I sincerely hope that this "culture of indifference" for customer service is not promoted by Toyota. I have never seen this at my dealership.

    If you have problems like your FM radio that are under warranty, or extended warranty, they should be fixed, period! If the warranties have expired, it's just that stuff happens, and you probably have to pay to repair or replace the radio. The "normal for this car" response is pure and simple B.S.
  • enoculusenoculus Member Posts: 2

    I'm looking at purchasing a 2001 toyota avalon. It only has 42,000 miles on it, and the seller wants $12,500. I took it for a test drive today and really liked the handling and acceleration. However, I turned on the defroster and noticed that it didn't seem to push a lot of air. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. It gets very cold here (-20F to -40F for extended periods throughout the winter). Can anyone attest to the power of the heater in this car? Any other thoughts on the purchase?

  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Sounds as if you haven't driven ANY new car for awhile, especially one of asian origin.

    Toyota and Lexus use NipponDenso, or Denso US, for HVAC system design and sub-assembly production, HORRIBLY FLAWED DESIGN.

    The heater itself will be more than adequate in your wintertime climate.

    Go to the dealer and have them set the two c-best options that allow you to manually turn off the A/C for an indefinite period, throughout the winter period.

    When you encounter windshield fogging/misting turn up the temperature setpoint to MAXIMUM and only then switch to defrost/defog/demist mode.

    Also close monitor the system and do NOT allow it to autmatically switch into cooling mode during the wintertime, HEATING period.

    There is also a c-best option for that function but I don't know what year it came about.

    Google for:

    wwest nippondenso windshield -dfg

    For more info.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,008
    He didn't mention whether or not it was an XL or XLS, so we aren't sure if it has the Auto Temp (and all its faults). My 03 had manual controls and while the heat wasn't fantastic it was more than adequate for a typical NJ winter. My 06 Avalon was much better.

    To the OP. I think 12,500 is bit high for an 01 Avalon, regardless of miles. I just looked it up and it comes out to around 9200 dealer retail. That was for a top trim XLS in outstanding condition.

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  • enoculusenoculus Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the information. I'll check if it is Auto Temp or manual controls. I'm not sure if it is an XL or XLS. I agree that 12,500 is a little high. I'm also very apprehensive about purchasing a toyota V6 from that year due to the oil sludging problems that I've read about. Is the sludging problem exaggerated or something that I should be legitimately concerned about?
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyMember Posts: 12,008
    I am no expert on the sludging problem, however, my best advice would be to ask for service records to make sure the oil was changed regularly. Those engines were fine AFAIK if properly maintained.

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