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2012 - 2013 Toyota Avalon

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Comments

  • havechavec Posts: 45
    I filled out the JD Powers questionnaire:

    My final comment was: The 2013 Avalon Hybrid Limited is a nice vehicle that probably isn't worth the extra cost over a fully loaded Camry Hybrid.

    I made the statement more on what I've read post purchase than actual test drives. I drove the Camry Hybrid a few months before the Avalon. I wasn't impressed enough at the time to buy the Camry but the Avalon roped me in after driving it. If I had it to do over again I would have driven the 2 cars back to back on the same day.

    Anybody here drive both cars on the same day before buying their Avalon?
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160
    havec,

    We did. Actually drove a Prius V, then a Prius Model Five, then on to the Camry Hybrid and the Avalon Hybrid. Camry XLE loaded was nice; however, IMHO, did not come close to the Avalon Hybrid. Avalon just seemed much nicer, more room, and rode better and quieter.

    We, however, decided not to go with the Limited, as we felt that the Touring gave us everything we needed, saved us thousands over the Limited (most of which had the tech packages, which we felt was unnecessary for us), and was not truly that much more than the XLE Camry Hybrid while EPA mileage was essentially the same while providing (again, IMHO) more luxury and room. My wife felt that the Camry, even in loaded XLE form, was not as upscale at all in terms of the leather, finish etc. versus the TAH in touring form (and of course, the TAH in Limited form, too). The bells and whistles added onto the Limited for the extra thousands were not worth it for us (again, especially those loaded with the tech package). For me, the only things I would have liked to have from the Limited were the ventilated seats, outside photo-chromatic mirrors, and the nicer NAV unit with the larger screen. Again, at least for us, not worth the extra thousands, but that is personal preference. We certainly could have afforded the Limited, just chose not to go in that direction.

    I think, overall, you will be pleased long-term that you went with the TAH versus the TCH. Your mileage should be equivalent, power was pretty much identical (Tech at dealership said they tweaked the TAH system more than the TCH) and you will be more comfortable while doing it.

    HTH...JMHO :)
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    So score one for the Avalon Hybrid having a better ride than the Camry Hybrid.

    For what it's worth, CR rated the regular Prius's ride the same as the Avalon's and rated the Prius V and the Camry as having a better ride than the Avalon.

    I'm beginning to think that there could be some issues with CR's ride rating system.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160
    havec,

    I'm not extremely picky; however, my wife can be. We both drove all of the cars mentioned, and not just around the block (we are lucky to know the Fleet Manager and he lets us take the vehicles out for extended periods on long loops...). Driving the cars back to back on the same long loop, there is no way that the Prius V and Camry had a better ride than the Avalon. Not only that, but the standard Prius was much more jumpy and skitterier (???) than all of them; however we would rate them Prius last, Prius V next, Camry, then Avalon. Our friend told us to drive the TAH after the Prii; however, it was due to CR's recommendation of the TCH that we had to try that car out ('cause if it was THAT good, why not). Again, in both of our opinions, driving back to back on the exact same route, we both figured that CR had just missed the bullseye on this one. I know its a personal thing; however, I have to agree with you that there might be an issue with CR and their ride rating system....maybe they pay too much attention to comparing the previous model to the current model rather than objectively test it outright? I can say that having owned a previous model of the Avalon, it was a nice car but way too cushy and floaty.
    Also, I have read that the 18s on the gas Limited run a little rough; however, all of the hybrids run on the 17s...maybe they just transferred their opinion in this case, as we did drive the gas Avalon and liked the Hybrid better....

    We traded that '11 Avalon Limited in for this TAH Touring and we just feel much safer and secure in the '13 than we ever did in the '11 (not that we ever felt unsafe in the '11). We've made two long trips so far in the TAH, trips that we've made several times over the last few years. Even from the passenger seat, my wife comments on how much nicer she feels the ride is during portions of the rides that might be considered 'memorable' for their uniqueness and challenges.

    We are certainly enjoying our car (except for the challenges posed by the iPhone 5 and entune!), and hope you enjoy yours.

    Cheers,

    Robert
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    Your reply makes me feel better about my decision. You and CR are on the same page about feeling safer in the 2013 TAH than in the 2011 TA. CR rated the 2011's emergency handling has being 1/2 black circle poor. So Toyota fixes the handling problem and gets attacked on the ride. I think CR's statement "that most $25K sedans ride better" is a little too damming. The overall rating of 86 is still high compared to most of the vehicles that they test.

    I got an iphone 5 to try entune which turned out to be pretty worthless. The window 7 phone that it replaced would read out text messages something the iphone won't do.

    There aren't to many cars out there as future proof in terms of gas mileage and as comfortable as the TAH.

    Hope you enjoy yours too.

    Best

    Chris
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited May 2013
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited May 2013
    I just read an owners review on CR's website where a Camry Hybrid owner said that his car rode like sh*t with the factory installed Bridgestone Turanza EL400, size P215/55R17 tires. He put on top of the line Michelin's after 500 miles and reported "HUGE improvement"

    In the 19th (most by far of any 2013 Toyota) CR owner's Avalon review an owner said he had the 18 inch wheels switched out by Toyota to 17 inch with little or no improvement.

    I wonder if the 17's had the Bridgestones. Why would Toyota be so stupid to run these tires? Usually they run soft riding tires that don't last out of the factory. Maybe they are more concerened about fuel economy than ride.
  • Sold my loaded 2009 Camry Hybrid and bought a 2013 Avalon Touring sedan. Ride softness,the Camry has the edge(both cars riding on Michelin's). Seats softer on the Camry personal taste some people like a soft bed some like firm. Avalon quiter and better fit and finish. Avalon has more room especialy in back seat. Over all handling is noticeably better on the Avalon. Would I make the same buying decision again? Yep.
  • malcolm9malcolm9 Posts: 6
    CR kind of panned the avalon for the ride. I was thinking of buying one either hybrid limited or v6 limited.

    Can anybody advise on the following:

    1. Is consumer reports telling the truth about the ride? - It's hard to test drive on rough road and I would value somebody's opinion who's got some miles under their belt.

    2. How noisy is the 4 cylinder on the highway if it's a hybrid?
  • malcolm9malcolm9 Posts: 6
    This may be heresy to a classical music listener but I assume you're not driving around with a record player and have gone digital. :)

    Have you considered altering your playback settings if you're using an ipod type device. I know my ipod (classic) offers various equalizer settings and you can possibly fix your problem on the input side using these.

    You might have to use an auxillary jack for this as your USB input will just try and read the file and would ignore any ipod equalizer settings.
  • trespinosranchtrespinosranch Posts: 27
    edited May 2013
    Yep, CR is correct. In fact I think they were too generous in their comments about the ride. I would grade the ride as an "F". Everything else about the car gets an "A".

    The ride is so rough every couple of hundred miles I have to close the sun roof shade. It gradually opens on its own from all the jostling.
  • dkid1dkid1 Posts: 2
    I came from a Lexus CT200h an I think the ride is very good.
    The hybrid 4 cylinder is smooth, powerful and very quiet at all times. I hear no engine noise at highway speed.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited May 2013
    I've had my Avalon Limited Hybrid for going on 3 months now. The ride only deteriorates on some types of rough road and has gotten significantly better with 31 psi in the tires as opposed to way above the recommended 33 psi when I took possession of the car. The Camry Hybrid rides on the same wheels and tires as the Avalon and somehow get's rated by CR as having a better ride. I think CR, as others have said, is reacting to the some what radical departure from the older Avalon's couch on wheels ride. The new Avalon at least doesn't get rated as poor by CR in emergency handling as did the earlier car they tested. There has also been quite a bit said on how lousy the stock Bridgestone tires are and how the ride improves with Michelin tires and I will find out after I put enough miles on to warrant changing tires. Maybe, if there isn't too much of a penalty in handling and other problems one could put on a set of 60 series tires for a softer ride and gain a 1/2 inch of road clearance something the car could use also?
  • I own a Touring 3.5 V6 with 18" Michelin's. When properly inflated to 33psi cold the ride is firm and well controlled but does exhibit some harshness when impacting very large road patches and pot holes. It reminds me a little of my daughters last Volvo in this respect. Frankly,I think the ride is so quiet,smooth and controlled normally I think there is a surprise element that magnifies impacts effect. My last car was a 2009 loaded Camry Hybrid and frankly I do not miss it very much overall. The sounds and performance of a 4 cylinder engine is crude compared to the smooth,refined performance of a V-6. Being retired now I only drive 10-12,000 miles a year so this cars 25-26mpg mixed and 32-33MPG highway is fine for me. To be fair I am sure some improvements have been made to the Hybrid system but I suspect it is still is little crude overall compared to a V6 especially under full throttle passing maneuvers. Overall performance wise there no comparison. For the record I did drive the Avalon Touring Hybrid.
  • Might I be so bold as to inquire do you actualy own a 2013 Avalon and if so which tire your car has? If you do not actualy own the car and just did a roadtest you might want to give the car another chance and be sure you check the tire air pressure as in the vast majority of time the tires will have 39-40lbs of air in them. If that was the case and the car also has Bridgestones on them "F" would be a reasonable grade. I drove my first Avalon in this configuration and to be kind it rode like a hay wagon. Read about the tire selections and over inflation problems and returned for a second roadtest with tire gauge in hand and selected a Touring model with Mitchlins and it drove like a different car as you can imagine. Bought the car. My only area I am not totaly satisfied with are the seats they are a little firm for long distance comfort for my old bottom but they do seem to be breaking in a little and we may reach a accord. If not that's what they make seat cushings for. Keep in mind I am 73yrs old and not the primary customer they are looking for.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160
    malcolm9:

    1) Having owned an '11 Avalon, then drove the Camry Hybrid and Avalon Hybrid (and prius or two...) back to back on a very long loop that included 70+, rough and smooth roads, I cannot honestly see how they thought the Camry rides better. As discussed by me and others, I sincerely wonder if CR did not truly objectively evaluate the ride on the Avalon, or actually subscribed the ICE 18" ride to all Avalons (the TAH rides on 17s...). It is a MUCH tighter ride than the '12 and earlier models and you do feel a little more of the road; however, IMHO you feel much more in command and in control at limit in the '13 than I ever did in the '11 that we put 40k+ on. Neither my wife nor I felt that the Camry road better at all and, in actuality, felt it rode worse! It is certainly subjective, tho, and I would see if you could get one to drive on a long loop like we did before purchasing. Also, I noticed a difference between the Micks and the Stones, so I'd certainly go with the Michelin's if you can.

    2) Not that noisy at all on the hybrid. Under EXTREME loads, you can tell it is working hard(er) as compared to the V6; however, nothing as to intrude at all. Remember that the electric motor kicks in to assist in these situations so the load on the ICE is not what it is on a similar sedan with just a conventional ICE...which I agree can get quite angry-noisy! Overall, the TAH is the quietest car I've been in.

    Again, I'd encourage you to see if the dealer will give you a car for more than a brief test ride. Also, ask, as many dealer sales people know a road/route that might be exactly what you are looking for to test this....sometimes they won't offer unless you ask.

    Good luck in your vehicle hunt!

    Robert
  • Yes, I own a 2013 Avalon Limited w/Tech Pkg. It does have the Brigestones and I have 4k miles on it. The first thing I did was check the tire pressure after noticing the terrible ride. They were at 33 psi, factory specs.

    About a month ago I lowered them to 31 psi (and reset the tire pressure monitoring system). The ride improved somewhat...maybe 20% (and you know, I think my mileage increased by one mpg), but I'm still disappointed and will probably retire the car after 12 months.

    I agree about the seats not being so comfy. I came out of a 2009 Lexus ES and I guess I was spoiled.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm beginning to think that there could be some issues with CR's ride rating system.

    Ya think?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    1. Is consumer reports telling the truth about the ride? - It's hard to test drive on rough road and I would value somebody's opinion who's got some miles under their belt.

    CR is telling the truth about HOW THEY FEEL. But that is their "opinion", not always the facts. Frankly, my experience is rarely the same as theirs. I don't hold their ratings, other than reliability, in much regard. Also, their ratings on quality and reliability are also often skewed because for example, they'll rate a new Cadillac with a Black Dot (much worse than average) because of the compliants they get - without regard to the fact that old people often drive them, and can't get comfortable with the telemetrics on the car, so they "complain" that they don't work. IMO, you shouldn't "rely" on CR for your decisions - it's just their opinions based on random, unscientific feedback from idiot (some of them) consumers.

    2. How noisy is the 4 cylinder on the highway if it's a hybrid?


    Miserable.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited May 2013
    It would seem that most people on this forum would not agree with CR's "opinion" that "most $25K sedans ride better".

    Anybody know anything about switching to 215 60 series tires from the stock 55 series? Not so much for a little more road isolation but for the extra 0.4 inch of clearance. My tail pipe scraps a little going up my driveway and I have hit the front undercarriage on some dips coming out of parking lots and on steep downgrades.
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