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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • It really depends on when you're talking about. With the moonroof open, yes, just like having a window open with a bit less turbulence. With it closed and with the sunshade open, maybe just a bit more outside sound can be heard. With the moonroof closed and the sunshade closed, I don't think that there is any more noise than one without a moonroof. The biggest difference I have found is the change in the headroom.
  • I have an Avalon with moonroof and one without moonroof. Post 1829 is right on!
  • I have a loud clicking noise coming from behind speedo to center of dash only during hard acceleration(3000rpm and up) and have read past posts with no luck. local dealer cant find it also. anyone with answer highly appreciated.
  • My transmission promptly packedup at 40000 miles!
    They replaced it at no cost( after much denial),
    I guess they did not put a brand new transmission.
    Also, the lights in the glove compartment and the visors never worked. Even the button on the seatbelt( that stops the buckle from sliding off)
    fell off. The door lock on one of the doors is also broken. All these happened within two years of buying a new car!
  • After reading this message board for the last year, I finally picked up my 2003 Avalon XLS yesterday. My wife and I fell in love with the Cassis Pearl color, so it took 5 weeks to find one that had all the goodies with our color. I bought it thru my credit unions' buying service and think I got a good deal. It has the Vehicle Skid Control, moonroof, GV luxury package and the carpet/cargo mat set for $30,293. My brother and many of my friends drive Toyota products and are very satisfied with them, so I hope this will be a good experience for me.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    Has anyone installed a remote starter on their Avalon? Any problems mucking up the remote door locks or trunk release or factory alarm system? Any grief from a Toyota dealer about voiding the warranty?

    I'm thinking about getting one for my wife for Christmas. Her's is a 2002 XLS. Thanks.
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    I've narrowed down the choices for my next company car to an Avalon XL or a Bonneville SE.

    I'll drive about 30K/yr for about three years before I turn it in. I'm mainly looking for comfort on long trips, and dependability because I have little time to spend hanging around delerships.

    Anybody on this board make a similiar choice? If so why?

    Inputs appreciated.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    While I don't have an Avalon or Bonnie, I do have a Lexus and my folks have an Avalon. Go with Avalon if reliability & quality are important to you without question! Dad's got about 30k on his and I've got 75k on my GS. Only maintenance either of us have done, besides the routine, is my two battery replacement because of using Auto headlight function all the time. His Avalon has had absolutely no problems.

    Brother-in-law has had Bonnie & Grand Prix, plus was a salesman for them, and was always commenting about this or that problem with them.

    Really its a personal decision on what you like best. Bonnie has lots of tricks and treats but Avalon just keeps on running all day long and is wonderful on the long trips per Dad.
  • Buy the Bonneville. My son bought a Bonnie sse at the same time I bought an Avalon XLS. Both are 2002's.
    Mine has has troubles with the alignment, dashboard rattles,and the road noise is terrible except on the very best of roads.

    He has about 8k and I have 6K miles. His car is quieter, no troubles, and I would trade him cars but he wouldn't have mine he said.
  • Something else to consider if you're looking at buying either vehicle. Look up the resale value of both for 2 or 3 yrs and 30,000 miles. Factor that into the total costs of ownership when you're making your decision.
  • I agree withpost 1837. See my post on the bonneville board. In my opion the avalon is over rated and if you are leasing I would not think depreciation is a factor.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Many people comment about my Bonneville is great or my Chevy is great or my Cadillac is great, no problems, never.

    That's fine for them.

    However the JDPower surveys and Consumer Reports long term tracking are much more indicative of your likely "likely" experience.

    Toyota's Avalon, like the Lexus, line is consistently ranked in the top three Initial Quality levels at JDP and in long term dependability.

    You bet's your money and you take's your chances. I don't like ot bet against the odds.

    Good luck.
  • I just bought a used 98 Avalon XLS. 39K miles from the original owner for 15K. It is a creampuff. The only options it has is leather buckets, the gold kit and some very nice looking chrome alloy six spoke wheels made by Toyota. they have Michelin XGT 4 P215/55 R 16 tires with lots of tread left. My concern is the ride is much harsher than an Avalon i test drove with the stock rims and tires. Is this normal for this particular tire or is it because of the lower profile or both? When these Michelins are worn out, is there a recomandation for another brand or type that wont transmit so much road noise and vibration. I really want that smooth quiet ride that i know these cars are capable of. Thanks, Mike
  • This is a continuation of post 1841 above. The car has the standard stereo that comes in the XLS. Is it possible to change it out with the top of the line optional JBL unit. The standard unit does not do justice to this car. If so, are the speakers also different? Once pulled out, is this a plug and play thing or is the wiring harness different? Are these JBL head units available used? Can i just go to "You Pull It" and snag what i need from a totaled car? Got those questions dont i. Any help is appreciated. Mike
  • Just ordered a new '03 XLS white diamond with the GV pkg. and the carpeted floor mats for 29,200. How's that compared to the average price anyone else has paid or did I get hosed? I'm turning in a leased 2001 Lincoln LS(POS), probably will turn it in early just to get rid of it. Glad to be back in the Toyota family, previously owned a Camry.
  • Have a bit of research, I've found no solution to
    the poor sound of the JBL system in the XLS.
    This is biggest weakness in the XLS. The sound
    system is very poor.
    I'm absolutely amazed at the lack of audio quality.
    FM antenna is weak;
    sound is thin, very undetailed;
    balance and fade shift;
    Frankly, one gets ten times the audio quality wearing a walkman instead of listening to the XLS
    JBL system.
    Toyota should be ashamed of themselves for putting this crap in their flagship car.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    After the work I put into mine, I had to answer. ...YES! You can swap out the JBL. Most JBL's are NON amplified. If the system in the car you are looking at (a '98) is externally amplified, it should be "Plug and Play." ...right into the existing amp. Make sure you get one with the same harness on the back. *** THREE (3) *** things can happen with the plugs. 1) It is a match. Plug-and-Play. 2) It is an "amplified" head unit(NO external amp)-If this is the case, get a JBL from a Solara WITH the amp. This will plug into the Toyota Line Level jack in almost any Toyota. Of course you will have to Install the amp(Not that hard since it should have the bracket affixed to it.) 3) You have an EXTERNAL amp but, the plugs DON'T match-(Toyota has two distinct interfaces for their external amps) This is what I had! I tapped a NEWER style plug onto my existing amp wire harness. More complex but, definitely works. Finally, YES-The JBL systems have different AMPS and SPEAKERS. They are fully compatible with one another. Despite another posting, it is a very good sound system. Especially if you want to keep an OEM look to the car.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    My father is thinking about purchasing a 03 XLS. I have a few concerns about this car maybe someone here can help with. Is the engine sludge problem with this V-6 corrected for 03? If so, how did they fix it? My father does minimal maintenance on his current car, a 97 Cadillac Deville. The Cadillac has 100k miles and has never been back to the Cadillac dealer and never had any maintenance except oil changes. He only changes the oil when the car tells him too, which is about every 7k. Does the XLS tell you when to change the oil?

    I have read many reports that this car has lots of road noise. This car will be driven mostly on dirt roads and paved roads that have been sealed with gravel and tar. Will the Avalon be noisy under these conditions?

    What changes are in store for 04? Will they upgrade the engine? The horsepower seems low by today's standards and I am not a fan of engines with timing belts.
  • The 3.0L engine has been around for quite a while. They had issues with sludging (some would argue but we'll not get into that discussion here) in the late 90's. From what I have heard from Toyota, the problem stemmed from revised emmisions standards. The early models of this engine didn't have this problem, so I would tend to agree with that statement. They have revised the emmisions control devices to rectify that problem a couple of years ago and certainly an '03 would not have any concerns.

    No Toyota "tells" you to change the oil, the intervals are pretty easy though. 5,000 miles for the shorter interval and 7,500 miles for the longer.

    The road noise "issue" I tend to think may be partly due to the tires they choose to put on the vehicle. I have heard from many who have had problems with this that changing the tires makes a huge difference. I don't think that it is a problem compared to other vehicles I have driven, but like most things, this is a personal issue and you would need to drive one to decide.

    As far as I know, there are not any plans to change the engine for '04, but that's not set in stone. Drive one, I think that the HP figure is misleading and it is much more usable than it may seem.

    Lastly, as for the timing belt, there are two answers for you. Timing belts are TYPICALLY more quiet than chains, so that is why Toyota went with it. Secondly, Toyota only uses non-interference style engines with timing belts, so worse case scenerio if the belt breaks after 90K miles is that you tow it to the dealer, they replace it and you go on your way. The engine won't blow up when it breaks.

    Hope this helps.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    We shopped both but were unimpressed with Bonneville reliabilty and felt that Avalon styling was too staid and car was overpriced. Impala LS great family car value IMO.
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