Toyota Avalon (1998)
We loved the Toyota Avalon. This is the car that the Chevy Impala shouldhave been. A great basic, big, comfortable, reliable car. It's nothingfantastic, but it does everything well. It's a nice size. It rides verywell.
Everything works. Some thought was given to the interior design.And--best of all--the car just goes and goes and goes. It's as reliable asanything on the road today.
Out on the highway, we had just a little trouble with the automatictransmission. It was difficult trying to maintain a constant speed. Thecar seemed to jerk a bit every time we tried to speed up or slow down alittle. This is an annoying little feature that we hope Toyota will correct.
The Avalon uses the 3.0-liter Camry engine and the old Camry platform. Theengine compartment was actually designed with a bigger engine inmind--which gives your mechanic plenty of room to work on it...which, inturn, will help to keep the repair costs down.
There's plenty of room in this car. That's not to say it's as roomy as aFord Crown Vic--but it's close. If you want a car that's designed for sixpassengers, all with a wide tuchus, this is not your car. But for fivepeople, and occasionally a sixth, this car is great.