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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
“standard equipment list is lengthy even on the XL”
Road & Track
“reclining rear seatbacks”
“360-watt, 12-speaker JBL stereo” (standard in Limited)
Car and Driver
“Steering wheel-mounted audio controls and dual-zone climate control are standard”
Well designed and well equipped, the 2008 Toyota Avalon’s roster of standard and optional features impresses.
Mechanically speaking, the Avalon changes only slightly for 2008, with the aforementioned improvements to its rear brakes and the substitution of a six-speed automatic in place of the previous five-speed.
The Avalon follows a four-tier trim structure: XL, Touring, XLS, and Limited. “The standard equipment list is lengthy even on the XL,” says Road & Track, and it features items such as an eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and a nine-speaker sound system. It starts a bit below $28,000. The main differences in the driver-oriented Touring model are larger wheels and tires, a stiffened suspension, leather-trimmed seats, steering wheel, and shift knob, and Xenon HID headlights. The luxury-oriented XLS includes items such as leather seating areas, a wood-trimmed dash, 17-inch wheels, a power tilting-and-sliding sunroof, heated power side mirrors, and an anti-theft system. To the XLS’ features, the top-of-the-line Limited, priced at $35,075, adds luxuries such as a 360-watt, 12-speaker JBL stereo, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, high-intensity-discharge headlamps, and memory side mirrors with puddle lamps and LED turn signals.
“Many of the upscale features on the XLS and Limited are also available as options on the lower trims,” notes Edmunds, who point out “other options, depending on trim level, include a navigation system, satellite radio and laser-based adaptive cruise control.” Steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a six-disc CD changer, and an auxiliary audio input jack are standard across the board. Bluetooth compatibility is included in the Limited model.
One of Kelley Blue Book’s favorite Avalon features, standard across the model line, is “the five-position rear-seat recliners” that “adjust from a 25 to 35-degree seatback angle.”
The 2008 Toyota Avalon impresses with well-designed and luxurious features, in some cases putting it head-to-head with pricier vehicles.