now avalon, and even lexus, is a TRIM PACKAGE... on the same basic camry car.
i've driven later avalon cars but, of course, they were in dubious condition (as they were for sale) and far from new. the reason i like the 1st gen is because it has a minimum of visible doo-dads... nice, big and in your face clocks - a very functional, if leather-coated, interior. the leather is a coating... the velvet, covers steel!
the ride experience on my avalon is not exactly soft. she dances over the bumps, just like a car with a high-performance suspension... but maybe that will cease, as the new springs break in. i hope not!
i'm about to sell the car the avalon replaced - a '99 mazda 626. in my mind, that car really is a sports car... in drag, perhaps - lol - but born to run and take radical turns, which it does amazingly well.
the avalon can do almost as well as the 626... but it's funny - you don't think it can. somehow the mazda flaunts it, while the avalon doesn't. that seems to be the best way i can express it. walk softly, but carry a big six?
took a friend to the airport in indy last night. on the way home - 4am - i let it roll. cruising 100 in the hammer lane of i-70 it occurred to me that, upon rare occasions, life is good
the road really was empty. even the bugs, for the most part, seemed to be sleeping!
the trans kept leaving torque converter lockup on the hills. you had to listen and watch the tach, to know that. if you press that button you go down two "gears," but the trans can lose just one. the steering was like thinking. all i had to do was want to be over there, and i was. it was not real quiet (as i've yet to fix those damned wind leaks in the door gaskets) but other than that i could have easily been at this desk, watching it on the monitor. it flew over the bumps, seeming to lack the time, and motivation to announce them. bob welch was doing "outskirts" on the box... i had to use the cruise, in order to keep from getting silly!
oh, and don't open the moon roof at 100. painful, on the ears!
the avalon is whatever you want it to be. it's just a perception (choice) away.