Well......I don't think it will ever ride like an Avalon. Why?
1st.... our cars are light, short wheel based vehicles. 2nd..Shocks will help "dampen" the ride but the only way to get a softer ride is softer springs. Spring rate is what determines the "stiffness" of a suspension more than shocks. As of now I think most aftermarket spring manufactures are focusing on the "performance" market for our car not the "luxury" aspect. So, try some new shocks but don't expect a huge improvment. Tires is the other aspect. stay away from "performance" tires you local tire dealer can steer you in the right direction.
Absolutely right, Pitman, but the reason shocks help in this particular application is the OEM stock shocks are extremely stiff on compression whereas the Koni and Monroe logical replacements are less brutal on compression.
Since the replacements are roughly equivalant to the stock shocks in rebound, they still control wheel and body bounce just fine but without the stiff, juddery feel or the impacts when bumps are hit. Oddly enough, the handling does not deterioriate.
Even replacing JUST the rear shocks with the Monroe replacements for the Echo sedan (which are inexpensive and only take about half an hour to change out) will help the ride a lot. (It is also really easy to go BACK to the OEM shocks if you don't agree.)
IIRC, the Monroes are about $40 each... Cheap change to try.