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2012 - 2013 Toyota Avalon



  • 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.

    That's interesting....Driving my usual routes where my previous '09 Lexus ES350 and '05 Acura TL would scrape entering and exiting some parking lots, I have yet to experience any scraping with my '13 Avalon Limited...going in and out of those same lots.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160

    Not sure why you say miserable....can you elaborate? Neither I nor my wife can hear the engine AT ALL on the hybrid except on extreme acceleration and even then it is not that intrusive....just a little noisier than the V6. Just drove 270 miles at 75-80 up and down hills, etc. and love the quiet of the TAH.

    We're you, perchance, being sarcastic?
  • malcolm9malcolm9 Posts: 6
    Thanks everybody, I really appreciate the feedback. Will definitely try for Michelin and check the pressure. Depends on how my wife likes hybrid vs v6. Would like to go hybrid to not pollute as much.

    Am coming from an accord hybrid and a fit. Fit is rough but great city car. Have stuffed a two stage snow blower in the back and closed the hatch. Going to keep it for utility car.

    Accord has nice quiet ride but understeers on corners. Wind noise after Mr Ohio crashed into it in 2008. Otherwise good.

    Thought I would try the Avalon this time. Thanks again.

  • Glad we where of some assistance. The Hybrid will have 17' standard profile tires and also about 200lbs extra weight. Still be sure to drive one with Michelins. When I drove a non Hybrid Camry and the drove a Hybrid (same type of tire) the ride was noticeably better. I think you will be surprised how much different the car will feel and how much smoother the car will ride. Let us know how it turns out. Good luck and God bless.
  • I have the 2013 Avalon XLE Premium Hybrid and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! It glides like a dream. My friends can't hear me pull up in their drive or hear it running most of the time. The seats are very comfy! Came from Lexus Es330 and love this more than my Lexus. I will be getting the Michi tires as well. Hate bridgestone.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No sarcasm. I'm a Toyota fan! Have had 3 Lexus LSes, the Camry Hybrid, a Lexus Es, etc.... But the Camry Hybrid (not Avalon, mind you, and that could be the difference) was indeed, miserable from a noise, harshness, vibration & jerky standpoint. Drove it 60,000 miles, and dumped it. The normal Camry is a joy to drive...... That's my experience. The Avalon may be much better sound insulated.
  • havechavec Posts: 45

    I assume you changed the tires at least once in the 60K that you had it. What tires were you running? CR gave the Camry hybrid a rating of 93 (TAH=86) around the third highest behind some Mercedes and the Telsa which scored 99.

    I paid a visit to my local tire dealer. He wasn't enthralled with the Bridgestones. He couldn't understand why Toyota would OEM them if they wanted to sell cars. Then again he wants to sell tires. Around $900 for a set of Michelins MVX4's with rebate. I asked him about going to 60 series tires (0.9 inch greater diameter). He said you could do it but the 60 series tires were not rated as high as the 55 series so you might not stop as fast. Said going to a better 55 series tire would make a big difference.
  • I owned a loaded 2009 Camry Hybrid with Michelin's. It was one of the smoothest rides I have owned since my last GS300 Lexus. I removed the GS 300's high speed rated tires and replaced them with the lower speed rate Michelin's(118mph). Same tire used on Cadillac with the North Star. It road smooth as a butter. Not sure what was wrong with Robsis Camry Hybrid but he did not mention what year it was so its hard to know if I am talking about the same car.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I changed out 2 tires at a time, but honestly, can't remember what I put on it. I do remember, they didn't match. But I know the difference between tire noise and engine noise......

    Look, tell me I'm crazy if you want. I don't care. I also think CR is unreliable. I thought the engine was too noisy. Maybe you wouldn't. I'm used to a Lexus LS. Compared with that - The engine was too noisy.
  • havechavec Posts: 45
    edited May 2013
    Noise at freeway speeds on the freeway can be measured and is not subjective like ride. I believe at least 2 automobile reviewers measured the TAH decibels on the freeway and said that it was one of the quietest cars they had ever tested. I remember one reviewer saying it was measurably quieter than a Bentley that they tested. 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. The little 4 cylinder can be a little raspy when it has to work. My only two complaints about the car is a little too much road feel on certain roads and not enough road clearance front and aft scrapping the pavement at times. Hopefully, a new set of Michelins will take care of the first complaint.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160

    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,

  • 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

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,163
    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

  • 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

    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.
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