Best Bet
  • (4.4) 57 reviews
  • MSRP: $4,181–$11,361
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 26
  • Engine: 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2006 Toyota Avalon

Our Take on the Latest Model 2006 Toyota Avalon

What We Don't Like

  • Brittle ride in Touring
  • Brake, steering feel
  • Side mirrors don't fold
  • Puzzling tilt/telescoping steering-wheel adjustment
  • Stereo ergonomics

Notable Features

  • 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
  • Reclining rear seatbacks
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Optional remote starter
  • Optional adaptive cruise control

2006 Toyota Avalon Reviews Expert Reviews

The Toyota Avalon full-size sedan is one of the few cars I've experienced whose backseat holds as much appeal as the driver's seat, if not more. Even though the Avalon's rear-seat accommodations are especially satisfying, some elements of the driving experience aren't.

The Avalon is, however, impressively quick, both from a standstill and at highway speeds. Toyota claims the Avalon can go from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, and that time seems entirely believable. Credit the free-revving 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and five-speed-automatic transmission. The transmission has a clutchless-manual mode for those who wish to change gears themselves, but because the engine and transmission work so well together, it's almost unnecessary. Toyota recommends 87-octane unleaded gasoline for the V-6, which earns respectable fuel-economy numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency: 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

Other areas of the driving experience aren't as praiseworthy. Being a Touring model, my tester had a firmer suspension than other Avalon trims. The suspension tuning yields minimal body roll through corners, but occupants are forced to endure ride quality levels that can only be described as brittle — you hear and feel every road imperfection, even the ones you'd rather not. Fortunately, those looking for a more forgiving ride can choose one of the other trims.

The Avalon responds with precision and drives like a much smaller car than it is, but drivers do have to contend with minimal feedback from the steering wheel. The brakes stop the sedan with ease and are easy to modulate, but the brake pedal has a spongy feel.

Now let's get back to that backseat. The Avalon indulges rear passengers in a few important ways. Legroom and knee space are generous, even with the front seats moved fully rearward, and the rear cushion is quite comfortable. The Avalon also lacks a center floor hump; this allows outboard passengers' feet to roam where they please and also enhances the comfort of center seat occupants. But what distinguishes the Avalon from much of the competition is its reclining rear seatbacks. Pull a lever in the cushion of either outboard seat, and its backrest will recline up to 10 degrees. All told, it's enough to make you want to share a few jars of Grey Poupon with fellow motorists.

With each outboard seatback reclined at a different angle, however, center seat comfort — which is only passable to begin with — is compromised. LATCH child-safety seat upper and lower anchors are installed in the outboard seating positions, while the center seat — the safest position for a child — makes due with a top-tether anchor only. Unlike the Chrysler 300 and Ford Five Hundred, the Avalon's rear seatback doesn't fold, but there is a lockable pass-thru to the 14.4-cubic-foot trunk. A full-size spare tire mounted on an alloy wheel is standard.

The driver and front passenger are treated to a refined environment and ample space. The comfortable seats have excellent fore and aft travel, and a power lumbar adjustment for the driver is standard. The substantial C-pillars impair rear visibility, but the large side and rear windows compensate somewhat.

Standard safety features include side curtain-type airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats and a knee airbag for the driver. The front head restraints can't be positioned close enough to the head for optimal safety in a rear-end collision, however. A tilt/telescoping steering column is standard, but instead of a single lever like some manufacturers' systems, it uses two: one for tilt and the other for telescope, which makes its operation more complicated than necessary.

Other curiosities exist. The stereo's display is positioned in the center of the dashboard, far above and separated from the unit's buttons and dials. The display — which is installed where an optional navigation system would go — also shows climate control settings and other vehicle information. It appears pretty lifeless when the climate control system and stereo are off; a dashboard storage bin and a slimmer LCD screen would be a better use of the space.

The Avalon's interior designers also appear to have a fascination with covers. The stereo, cupholders, cassette deck (when installed) and center storage area can all be concealed behind doors. While these covers give the cabin a clean appearance when all are shut, it looks cluttered when they're open.

Overall, interior materials have a high-quality feel, and it's clear Toyota fretted over the details when designing the passenger compartment. Case in point: The Avalon's lighted vanity mirrors in the front sun visors have a dimming feature not seen before in this price class. Nice. My Touring test car was fitted with silver-look trim pieces, but if that style is not to your liking, Avalons are also available with imitation wood trim. Storage provisions include a large glove box, a sizable center console bin and pull-out front door pockets.

Standard XL features include a power driver's seat; 16-inch wheels; dual-zone climate control; power windows, locks and mirrors; steering-wheel-mounted stereo and climate buttons; cruise control; and keyless entry. Touring models have 17-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, fog lamps and a rear spoiler. XLS buyers get a standard power moonroof, an in-dash six-CD changer, heated outside mirrors, HomeLink buttons and a security system. The top-level Limited has front heated and ventilated seats, power seat-cushion-length adjustment for the driver's seat, rain-sensing wipers and a power rear sunshade as standard equipment. Available options include a remote engine starter, a navigation system, Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control electronic stability system and adaptive cruise control.

In the Avalon's market segment, class-leading performance figures don't automatically result in driving enjoyment. Rather, driver satisfaction is oftentimes influenced by the mood of any passengers along for the ride. For drivers who need a car that can keep the passengers happy, the Avalon is worth considering.

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Consumer Reviews


Average based on 57 reviews

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Best car I ever owned

by Crazy brit from In on November 15, 2017

Great car very large rear seats comfort is great seats have held up better than my Accord engine is very powerful yet it get 28+mpg if I had one con it would be handling but it also not built to be a ... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2006 Toyota Avalon trim comparison will help you decide.

Toyota Avalon Articles

2006 Toyota Avalon Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 7 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

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