Toyota Avalon: the third generation, 2008-2012

At its unveiling, the third generation Toyota Avalon had four trim levels: XL, Touring, XLS, and Limited. Designed mainly for the United States by Toyota’s facility in California, and assembled at Toyota’s Kentucky plant, these Avalons all have front grilles with horizontal chrome bars, large tail lamps, distinctive trunks, and dual exhaust outlets.

2008 avalon

The car was larger and more luxury-tuned than the Camry, but was based on the same platform and architecture; the Avalon used the Camry’s V6 engine option, with similar front and rear suspension systems (MacPherson struts up front, bi-link in back). The interior was heavily redesigned from the Camry, for a much more luxurious look and feel.

Front wheel drive helped the Avalon to have a flat rear floor; rear seats reclined up to 10°. The driver had a tilt and telescopic steering column and a sliding center console armrest. The large trunk provided room for a full-size spare.

toyota engine

There was no four-cylinder; every Avalon had the 3.5 liter, 24 valve V6 engine with 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. The “intelligent” variable valve timing (VVT-i) system increased high speed torque and fuel economy by optimizing both intake and exhaust valve timing, bringing a 6.6 second 0-to-60 mph acceleration time — with 21 mpg city /31 mpg highway fuel economy ratings, and certification as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle.

The Touring, XLS, and Limited have specially designed Michelin Energy MXV4 P215/55 R17 tires on 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The sport-oriented Touring’s wheels are graphite-finished; it has both a firmer suspension and higher coil spring rates.

toyota avalon dash

Redesigned A-pillars, an acoustic windshield, and lowered windshield wipers cut wind noise and vibration. The body was strengthened to meet new side-impact requirements, and Toyota also added front seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag is standard. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) minimizes body sway by optimizing the braking of each wheel during hard cornering. Stability and traction control were optional.

Kitting out the models

The base Avalon XL was well equipped, with a nine-speaker AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo system; dual zone, air-filtering automatic climate control; remote keyless entry and power door locks with anti-lockout feature; power windows, a power-adjustable driver’s seat; and a center console storage. The steering wheel had both audio and climate controls; and the gauge clluster showed audio, climate, temperature, and trip information. The car also had cruise control and engine immobilizers.

2008 Toyota Avalon cars

The Touring added the firmer suspension, leather trim, a power adjustable passenger front seat, aluminum door scuff plates, high intensity discharge lamps (HIDs), fog lamps, and a rear spoiler. Options included a 360-watt 12-speaker JBL Synthesis audio system.

The XLS added a power moonroof and in-dash CD changer, heated/auto-dimming outside mirrors, a compass, and an anti-theft system.

avalon navigation

The Limited added heated/cooled front seats, a power-adjustable front cushion for the driver, JBL Synthesis 12-speaker sound system and 6-disc CD changer; power rear sunshade, rain-sensing wipers, high intensity discharge headlamps, and Smart-Key system; LED directionals and puddle lamps for the mirrors; and mirror/seat memory. One key option was a laser-based adaptive cruise control.

All Avalons but the XL had an optional navigation system, with a seven-inch display.

2008-2010 Avalon Specifications

Engine 3.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i V6
Bore and Stroke 3.70 x 3.27 inches
Displacement 3,456 cc
Compression Ratio 10.8:1
Valve Train 4-valve DOHC roller rocker
Horsepower (SAE)* 268 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque* 248 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Ignition System Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI)
Fuel System EFI
Recommended Fuel 87-octane unleaded
Emission Control ULEV
Transmission 5-speed Transaxle/Front-wheel drive
Gear Ratios 1st 4.235
2nd 2.360
3rd 1.517
4th 1.047
5th 0.756
Reverse 3.378
Differential Ratio 3.080
Suspension and Brakes
Front Suspension MacPherson strut suspension with
stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension Dual link MacPherson strut suspension
with stabilizer bar
Front Brakes Ventilated disc
Front Diameter 11.7 inches
Front Swept Area 248.6 square inches
Rear Brakes Solid disc
Rear Diameter 10.9 inches
Rear Swept Area 160.0 square inches
Parking Brakes Foot applied pedal
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Standard
Steering Type Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Steering Ratio 16.1:1
Turns (lock to lock) 3.22 turns
Turning circle 36.9 feet
Engine Oil 6.5 quarts
Fuel Tank 18.5 gallons


Wheelbase 111.0
Overall Length 197.2
Overall Width 72.8
Overall Height 58.5
Tread (front/rear) 62.2/61.6
Minimum Ground Clearance 5.3
Coefficient of Drag 0.291


Headroom (front/rear) 38.8/37.5
Legroom (front/rear) 41.3/40.9
Shoulder Room (front/rear) 59.4/58.2
Hip Room (front/rear) 55.8/56.2
EPA Passenger Volume 106.9 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 14.4 cubic feet
EPA Class Large


22 City/31 Highway (2007 EPA)
Curb Weight XL: 3,495 lbs. Touring: 3,545 lbs.
XLS: 3,560 lbs. Limited: 3,595 lbs.
Maximum Trailer Weight 1,000 lbs.






Wheel size 6.5 x 16 inches

7.0 x 17 inches

7.0 x 17 inches

7.0 x 17 inches
Type and Material 7 spoke aluminum

8 spoke aluminum

8 spoke aluminum

9 spoke aluminum
Tire Size P215/60 R16

P215/55 R17

P215/55 R17

P215/55 R17
Tire Type All-season



Spare Full-size




Safety features

Airbags: driver, front passenger (normal and side), side curtain airbags (front and rear seats), driver knee.

Seat belts: Adjustable shoulder anchors up front; driver-side ELR; front and rear passenger ALR/ELR

Daytime running lights; ABS with EBD and available VSC with TRAC and BA; tire pressure monitoring

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