Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,400 – $4,100*

1995 Toyota Avalon XLS

1995 Toyota Avalon XL

1995 Toyota Avalon interior w/bucket seats

1995 Toyota Avalon interior w/bench seat

1997 Toyota Avalon XLS

  • Acceleration
  • Optional antilock brakes
  • Instruments/controls
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

Roomy and competent, but markedly more costly than a Camry when new, Avalon might offer little excitement, but the sedan also suffers few faults. We’ve been impressed with the solid feel, good workmanship, and low noise levels.


Built on an extended version of the compact, front-drive Camry platform, Avalon was the roomiest Japanese-brand sedan ever sold in the U.S. Interior volume of 120.9 cubic feet, however, ranked as full-size. Two versions were offered, Base XL and upscale XLS. Both use the dual-cam 3.0-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic from the Camry. However, horsepower was up by four, to 192. Dual airbags were standard and antilock brakes optional. Both models came standard with air conditioning, an AM/FM cassette stereo, tilt steering wheel, and power windows and door locks. Buyers had a choice of standard front bucket seats or a 3-place power front bench.

Yearly Updates

1996 Avalon
Virtually unchanged in its second season, the Avalon continued its assault on the American family-sedan market.
1997 Avalon
Engine output got a boost to 200 horsepower in ’97, and Avalons displayed a few minor appearance changes. An in-glass rear-window antenna replaced the power mast-type aerial, and heated outside mirrors became standard in the XLS sedan.
1998 Avalon
Front-seat-mounted side airbags were made standard in Avalon’s only change for ’98.
1999 Avalon
Toyota’s flagship got standard daytime running lights and heated exterior mirrors for ’99. An all-new model would arrive in 2000.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Just one powertrain has been available: a 3.0-liter, dual-overhead-cam V6 engine, driving a 4-speed automatic transmission. Engine output rose from 192 to 200 horsepower for 1997.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/180
Engine HP 192-200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Except for more body lean and understeer on twisting roads, an Avalon drives much like the Toyota Camry. Although the Avalon’s suspension is firmer, it still absorbs most bumps. Even on wavy roads, the sedan does not bounce or feel mushy. It also corners with good grip and moderate body lean.

Because there’s a negligible weight difference between Avalon and the V6 Camry, don’t expect a discernible difference in acceleration or passing sprints. A test Avalon accelerated to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds–just about exactly as swift as a Camry. Toyota’s V6 engine is just as silky smooth in the Avalon as in the Camry, and nearly silent. Better yet, it’s complemented by a smooth, responsive automatic transmission. As for gas mileage, an early model averaged 19.4 mpg, driving mostly in rush-hour commutes. The V6 engine requires premium fuel.

Space is ample for four adults, and six can tolerate shorter trips in models with the front bench seat. Leg space is generous in the backseat, and rear doors open wide for easy entry/exit. The trunk is wide and deep, with a long, flat floor. Low liftover height makes it easier to load and unload, too.

Avalon’s dashboard layout and materials are first rate. Large round gauges are legible. Both the stereo and climate controls are high enough to easily see and reach while driving.


Model Tested: 1996 Toyota Avalon XLS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 7

Total: 57


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
107.1 190.2 70.3 56.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.4 18.5 5n1
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 37.8 44.1 38.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Avalon 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 4


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 89
Injury 76
Theft 86

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: The front or rear disc brakes may make a moaning noise that can be corrected with revised brake pads. (1995-97)
Brake noise
Description: The front brakes make a groaning and grinding noise that is eliminated by replacing the brake rotors and installing special shims. (1997-99)
Climate control
Description: The ambient temperature occasionally gets stuck on 22 degrees (F), and the climate-control system may not work properly. (1995-96)
Description: The radio may have poor reception or noise because of a poor antenna ground. (1997)
Steering problems
Description: Power steering fluid leaks from seals requiring complete rebuild or
replacement of the rack-and-pinion steering gear. (1995-99)
Suspension noise
Description: The front suspension is noisy when driving over speed bumps or washboard roads due to a bad rubber bushing in the upper strut mount. Countermeasure bushings have been released. (1997-99)
Suspension noise
Description: Groaning noise from front end when going over speed bumps etc. corrected by installing revised spring bumpers on front struts. (1995-97)
Vehicle noise
Description: There is a kit to eliminate wind noise from the A-pillars. (1995-96)

Recall History

1997 in specified states
Description: In extreme cold, accumulated moisture can temporarily freeze in brake-vacuum hose.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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