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2012 - 2013 Toyota Avalon

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Comments

  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160
    Nv,

    Not sure what year Camry Hybrid you owned and I've only looked at, driven and compared the '13 Prius, Prius V, Camry, and Avalon Hybrids. Your comment of "miserable from a noise, harshness, vibration & jerky standpoint" does not fit any of the cars we drove. The '13 Avalon Hybrid was the quietest of the bunch and, in fact, is one of the quietest cars I've ever been in. The transition from Electric to ICE is generally seamless in all of the above-mentioned cars and, in the case of the Avalon, you really have to pay attention to even notice any transition at all. It is there, if you want to notice it, but only if you really pay attention. Sounds like your model year was not as refined as they have become. You should at least go and drive an Avalon Hybrid to see if, to you, there is a huge improvement over what you experienced. I'd be interested in your comparison, if you do so.

    Thnx for your comments,

    Robert
  • No question the Bridgestones are a bad match for the suspension tuning of this car. Michelins are much better but it sounds like this is not the car for you. No question the ride will never be a cushy as the ride of your previous Lexus vehicles. Be sure to roadtest the current ES 350/300h thoroughly before buying as the suspension tuning, according to reviewers is firmer than previous models. The road noise with Bridgestones was universally panned. Before you dump the car at a loss you might give a set of Michelins in a '55 series a try. One owner did so and said it "transformed" the ride smoothness and overall road feel of the car. Sorry this car has been such a disappointment for you. Bummer. Thanks for your input.
  • nceencee Posts: 419
    Well CR has it right, IF you drive the car on varying types of roads É IMO

    I had the 2013 for 3700 miles and while I was hoping / and had my fingers crossed that the noise and comfort would be better with time, that never happened.

    I took the hit, and traded for a 2012, and have never looked back. Yes the 2012 has had a few issues, but none with the ride quality. And as for noise, while the 2013 may have been a bit quieter, if it was, it was just a bit, but comfort, and size in the back seat and truck make up for it.

    I had driven the 2013 on many long stretches of smooth highways, and yes under those conditions the car was smooth (But damn, shouldn't have been?). BUT as smooth as it was, it was VERY loud (tire noise), and then when I got on bumpy roads, well then it all came to be.

    It was much less comfortable then, and that included the seats, which my wife HATED.

    Look, on so many levels, the new avalon is a wonderful car. And to think a few changes would have made a world of difference to so many others.

    - Make it the same size as the earlier models
    - Make it a Luxury Sedan i.e.
    ¥ Smooth
    ¥ Quiet
    ¥ Reclining Rear Seats
    ¥ Same spacious trunk (opening)
    - Make a "Sports" model, for that other market they are trying to reach. Those folks WOULD have purchased the car, and the others, myself included, could have had their Luxury Sedan (Boat)

    This is my 4th Avalon (of more then 36 cars over the years), so I feel like I can say these things with some bases of knowledge. I drive 35,000+ miles a year, and comfort, quiet, tech, luxury for me are important. In my opinion, they shouldn't have messed with the Avalon, they should have brought back the Cecilia for those looking for a Sports car, or again, just simply made a Sports Model for those looking for a sports model.

    Toyota says this ISN'T in fact a Premium Luxury Sports Sedan, and that it IS a Premium Luxury Sedan? (with Sports Paddle Shifters, Sports Suspension, Sportier Seats, Low Profile Tires, Sports Mode Option)??? And then there are those Avalons they brought to SEMA?

    Just make take on it É great day to unload, sorry

    Skip
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,230
    edited June 2013
    In my opinion, they shouldn't have messed with the Avalon

    Toyota may disagree with this assessment as sales of the new Avalon has increased exponentially (see below) over the Generation 3 model. Too bad older folks will have to turn to Buick or Cadillac for the ride that they covet. Frankly I think it is a good thing.

    Avalon Sales Data
    2012 Vs 2013
    Month
    January......3,219---4,840
    February....3,497---5,703
    March........3,327---6,982
    April..........2,881---6,321

    Source: http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/toyota-avalon-sales-figures.html
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Sales really had nowhere to go but up. The 2012 was 7 model years old.

    NCEE, at one time Toyota did have a Touring version of the Avalon that had a stiffer suspension.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • teresa01teresa01 Posts: 14
    Dave,

    I just this week bought a 2013 Toyota Avalon Touring model. I wished that I had read your review first!. I too, like everything about the Toyota Touring model. I like the look of the 18" wheels, I wanted the nav/entune, etc....which is not available on the Premium model so I went with the Touring model. I have had the car 5 days and I am very disappointed in the ride of these crappy tires. Two questions: Have you gone ahead and gotten the Michelin tires yet and if so, how do they ride compared to the Bridgestones (question open for anyone that has traded out these tires) and two: Is it possible to switch out to a 17" wheel and tire with a 55 or greater profile on the Touring model should I decide I can't stand the current situation? I am thinking of switching out to the Michelin 18" first and if it still is not satisfactory, going down to the 17" wheels. I am assuming the suspension and the brake size would be standard on all the models and no different from the premium to the touring models.
  • Should be no problem in changing from 18" wheel and low profile tires to a 17" standard profile tire and wheels as the net OD is virtually the same. Same can be said for the break rotors and basic suspension components. You might want to investigate the possibility of keeping the 18"s and just go to a 55 aspect ratio tire. it would make your speedo a little slow due the the slightly taller tie but we are talking a small error here of maybe a couple MPH average. Naturally it would offer much of the advantages of the 17" wheel and tires with out the expense of wheel replacement not to mention the look factor. You can also go down a couple of pounds on your air pressure (31 psi cold vs 33psi cold) it has been my experience that the tire low pressure warning light tolerates a 5psi drop before activation. That was the case on my 2009 Camry Hybrid.
  • teresa01teresa01 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the reply. I am hoping that I can just "get used to" the bumpy ride in the new suspension and tire size. We'll see. If not, I wanted to know what my options were. I like everything else about the car. I think Toyota blew the interior out of the roof this time around and I like the options I got on the Touring model, otherwise, I would have gone with the less expensive Premium. I really had no idea that the 18 inch low profile tires would cause this much difference between my 2006 Avalon and the new 2013 ride. I just liked the cool look of the tires. LOL still learning at 51. What can I say? haha. I don't mind a little stiffer suspension and I can understand that Toyota is trying to grab a younger demographic...just wished they hadn't gone that far with it or at least offered an option on the wheel and tire size for the different trim levels. So far, love the car, otherwise and will deal with the tire issue. I looked at other cars for several months before buying and I kept coming back to the Avalon. It was just a good value for the money. Thanks again!.
  • robnichrobnich Posts: 13
    Before you go to the expense and trouble of changing wheels and/or tires, try dropping the tire pressures from 33 psi to 31 psi, as mentioned by an earlier poster. This does make a significant difference. After you drop the pressure, reset the Tire Pressure Monitoring System as outlined in the owners' manual.

    Also note that after ranting online about the harsh ride with 18" wheels, Consumer Reports ended up in the print edition this month giving both the V6 (18") and the Hybrid (17") Avalons the same open circle (average) rating in the Ride category. One would have expected at least a half-black circle for the V6 after reading the rant online.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    I've been considering going to 215 60R 17's from the stock 215 55R 17's. An online tire calculator gives:

    15/55-17 to 215/60-17 Difference
    Diameter inches (mm) 26.31 (668.3) 27.16 (689.8) 0.85 (21.5) 3.2%
    Width inches (mm) 8.46 (215) 8.46 (215) 0 (0) 0%
    Circum. inches (mm) 82.66 (2099.53) 85.32 (2167.07) 2.66 (67.54) 3.2%
    Sidewall Height inches (mm) 4.66 (118.25) 5.08 (129) 0.42 (10.75) 9.1%
    Revolutions per mile (km) 766.53 (476.3) 742.64 (461.45) -23.89 (-14.85) -3.1%

    Changing the 18 inch wheels from stock 45's to 55's

    225/45-18 to 225/55-18 Difference
    Diameter inches (mm) 25.97 (659.7) 27.74 (704.7) 1.77 (45) 6.8%
    Width inches (mm) 8.86 (225) 8.86 (225) 0 (0) 0%
    Circum. inches (mm) 81.59 (2072.51) 87.16 (2213.88) 5.57 (141.37) 6.8%
    Sidewall Height inches (mm) 3.99 (101.25) 4.87 (123.75) 0.89 (22.5) 22.2%
    Revolutions per mile (km) 776.52 (482.51) 726.93 (451.69) -49.59 (-30.81) -6.4%

    The diameter of the stock 17 and 18 inch wheels only differs by:

    225/45-18 to 215/55-17 Difference
    Diameter inches (mm) 25.97 (659.7) 26.31 (668.3) 0.34 (8.6) 1.3%
    Width inches (mm) 8.86 (225) 8.46 (215) -0.39 (-10) -4.4%
    Circum. inches (mm) 81.59 (2072.51) 82.66 (2099.53) 1.06 (27.02) 1.3%
    Sidewall Height inches (mm) 3.99 (101.25) 4.66 (118.25) 0.67 (17) 16.8%
    Revolutions per mile (km) 776.52 (482.51) 766.53 (476.3) -9.99 (-6.21) -1.3%

    I'm guessing that the 18 inch 55 series tires might be a little tight in the wheel wells.

    My local tire dealer said not change the AR of the 17's from 55 to 60 only because you couldn't get the same performance rating in the 60 series.

    I'm still considering it both for the added cushioning and the added road clearance if I can find a really good handling and riding 215 60 17 tire.

    Any suggestions?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That said, I know my TAH isn't going to beat too many cars in noise level going up the steep hill to my house.

    And that's exactly what I'm saying.

    Still, with all that said, the Camry is decidedly quieter than any Honda Accord model, especially from Road Noise.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    A lot of us are having second thoughts about CR. Yes, the ride could better especially with 18 wheels but not to the point where you have to trash the car by saying that "most $25k sedans ride better". Something that most people on this forum do not agree with.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Have been an avid reader and supporter of CR for many years.... but they seem to be publishing more subjective opinions than testing facts lately. The mag is one of the better, my opinion, absolutely independent. But my idea of success is putting measureable test results on the page. What is "firm" to one driver may be "normal" to another, be it tires, seats or anything else.

    The recent Avalon comments noted here are a good example of this and the confusion is causes. My test ride in a 2013 Limited was quiet. The ride was harder than my '07 but not bad. No idea about tire air pressure. The mag tells us very little except "go drive a hybrid" or whatever and see if you like it. Compare it to whatever else you like and go with the results.. not a lot of help this time around....
  • Interesting info on the effect of tire size and aspect ratio,thanks. As far as seat firmness,as long as the seats are properly shaped and supportive is a lot like mattresses. There are many folks who like their mattresses firm and many folks who favor pillow top soft. One mans misery is another's delight. With that said,as we get well along in years our bodies lean towards a softer mattress then when we where younger. Hence,some owners find the seats too firm others love 'em. I also have never heard of a soft seat getting firmer but I sure have heard of and experienced a hard seat getting softer with use. My first BMW would be a good example. I also think your body adjust over time to the seat as well. Food for thought.
  • capaccionecapaccione Posts: 11
    I have a 2013 avalon xle ( base ) with michelin tires on 17 inch rims and have no problems. This is my 3rd avalon and the ride is not as smooth as earlier models but these tires are good in rain and dry roads.
  • teresa01teresa01 Posts: 14
    Capaccione,

    Thanks for your reply. This is interesting. If you have the base model with the 17" wheel and tires and you find that the ride is not quite as smooth as earlier models, then it must be a combination as others have said of a stiffer suspension and not just the wheel size. I have driven my new car a few more days now and I am getting more used to a bit firmer ride. I think I will replace my bridgestone tires with the Michelin's on my 18" wheels when the time comes, first rather than ditching the 18" wheels and spending the bucks for the 17" right off the bat. From the sounds of it, that won't be too long coming as I put approx. 21,000.00 a year on a car. If anyone else has had any experience with the tires/wheels I would love to hear any other comments on this subject. Thanks.
  • Would suggest you also look into also going up to a 55 aspect ratio tire as well. I think it will work and might be the best solution to a ride that may be a little to firm for some. The "Stones" are awful! Could not believe the difference when I got them off a Lexus I owned in ride and NOISE levels.
  • neil1neil1 Posts: 17
    You may want to consider checking out the July edition of Motor Trend magazine which tends to agree with CR. Motor Trend rated the Avalon number 3 of 5 in a comrehensive comparison of full sized models - behind the Impala and a Kia Cadenza. Motor Trend says the Avalon crashed and banged over bumps, transmitting lots of harsh noise to the cabin. They wend on to say that the 2013 Avi is extremely efficient and generous in interior room and features, but let down by a bone-shaking ride and an uninspiring drive. OUCH!!
  • robnichrobnich Posts: 13
    edited June 2013
    On the other hand, Car and Driver rated the Avalon first in a comparison of six cars in the current (July 2013) issue. The Kia Cadenza was fifth and the Hyundai Azera a distant sixth.

    By the way, earlier assessments of the Avalon by Motor Trend were highly positive:

    http://wot.motortrend.com/2013-motor-trend-car-of-the-year-contender-toyota-aval- - - on-287909.html#axzz2VLgz5W1B

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1210_2013_toyota_avalon_limited_first- - - _test/

    Robert N.
  • I read the review and noticed the car they tested in this comparison had Bridgestones. I find it interesting they noted how much worse the ride was then their previous tested Avalon and do not seem to notice the different tire their current car had. I also wonder if they bothered to check the tire pressure? I also wonder if consumer report did as well. I doubt that all the other auto manufactures ship their cars with 40psi of air in their tires. I guess new car prep is basically a wash and vacuum service based on what I have experienced at my dealership. Heck, I even asked the salesman to be sure the checked the tire pressure on the first car I drove and when it road ruff I checked them and they had approximately 40psi in them.
  • douglas1douglas1 Posts: 130
    I'm a former Avalon owner that purchased a 2013 Azera. I can tell you that my Azera came with 40PSI in the tires when it was delivered to me.

    Was told that manufacturers pump up the tires to keep them from getting flat spots during periods of storage. Not sure I believe that with todays tires but that is what I was told.
  • robnichrobnich Posts: 13
    As an indication of the accuracy of the Motor Trend comparison article, consider that they stated about the Avalon Limited V6: "We didn't even regret not having manual gear selection" One wonders if they drove the car, as it's hard to miss the big paddles on either side of the steering column.

    It definitely does have manual gear selection -- I've done it many times. One would think that the self-styled "World's No. 1 Automotive Authority" wouldn't make such a basic error. I also wonder if they checked tire pressures on the Avalon they drove, as mentioned in another post above.

    Robert N.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    My TAH had pretty close to 40 psi when I took possession also. It rides a lot better with 31 psi. You can rest assured that CR had the right tire pressure when they test their cars. They own them and drive them for 3 months before writing up their findings and generally are pretty scientific about how they test their vehicles. I've been reading CR for over 40 years and believe they are the only really truly non-biased testing organization out there. I think it was a mistake on their part to review both V6 and hybrid Avalon Limited models side by side. A better comparison might have been to compare the TAH to the Camry hybrid's ride which was rated as being better. At least CR could have had a sentence saying that the Camry was a better car for a better price if their rating system is valid (93 CH vs 86 TAH). When I asked people here if they had road tested both Camry and Avalon hybrid's before buying a the Avalon and which had the better ride the answer was the Avalon.
  • neil1neil1 Posts: 17
    Yep, I read the six car comparison and the number one rating is certainly a feather in the cap for the Avi. But I'm thinking those concerned about the 2013 Avi ride in this forum will get little comfort from the comparison when they read the Avi was ranked next to last in the "ride" category.
  • Ride quality is personal just like mattress quality in that one person likes a soft mattress another a firmer mattress. Same with ride quality. I thought my first BMW rode hard and the seats where to firm seeing as how I was coming from a '84 Buick Rev. After I got used to the firmer well shaped seats and the controlled ride as well as the handling that went with it I became a convert and appreciated the benefits. I do realize as we get older the firm well shaped seats and firm controlled ride may not be as desirable but you get my point. Personally the more I drive the car and sit on the seats the better I like it so either my posterior or the car or both are adjusting and or breaking in. I would buy the car again in a heart beat.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited June 2013
    I'm wondering how CR can give the Camry hybrid such praise about how good the ride is quote "Bumps are soaked up well with impressive isolation" and then say that the TAH has an inferior ride when both cars are riding on the exact same Bridgestone tires. How different can the suspensions be between the 2 cars be and why would Toyota make a car that had an inferior ride in a more expensive car? I guess I'm going to have to go back and drive a Camry hybrid again.
  • Personally I think Toyota deliberately made the Avalon a sharper handling firmer riding automobile to differentiate it from the Camry. They deliberately wanted the Avalon to appeal to a different demographic and a younger clientele. There is a old saying in the automobile industry,"you can sell a old man a young mans car but you can not sell a young man a old mans car". I think that probably sums up the car they wanted the new Avalon to be and I think the mostly nailed it.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    Even if both cars cost the same I doubt that that not very many people would choose the Camry over the Avalon. The fit and finish is better as is the technology package. The adaptive cruise control is worth every dime in freeway traffic.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,230
    There is a old saying in the automobile industry,"you can sell a old man a young mans car but you can not sell a young man a old mans car". I think that probably sums up the car they wanted the new Avalon to be and I think the mostly nailed it.

    As a former Avalon owner, I can't argue with your conclusion. There is nothing wrong with the Avalon's ride and handling and Toyota would be unwise to change this dynamic since the car is selling so well. However, the center stack and console have an old man's look and perhaps that's an area where Toyota should do a little tweaking.

    For those looking for the traditional Avalon ride and great handling, the new Impala is a worthy alternative. In both Car & Driver and Motor Trend comparison tests the new Impala came in second place.
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