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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon



  • The last three cars I've had with five speed auto transmissions were real slugs at freeways speeds while in 5th gear. All could climb any hill easily - in fourth, and all had no trouble passing on two lane roads - usually a two or three gear downshift. None of the cars I have driven with five speed automatics (including test drives and rentals) have had an imperceptible downshift to fourth and upshift to fifth. However, some could climb most hills because the manufacturer did not set the transmission to downshift until there was a large gas pedal movement compared to most, that downshift at a small pedal movement.

    Two of the five speed cars above had V8 engines and nearly 300 hp. The current one has a 240 hp V6. The current car will, at freeway speeds, downshift on even small hills and cannot maintain freeway speeds in fifth gear against a strong head wind. Yet all three cars are/were quite peppy when driven aggressively.

    The point I was trying to make is as cars get heavier a larger engine (within reason) can provide better high gear part throttle performance than a similar horsepower smaller displacement engine, with little or no loss in economy.

    My experience has been that all else being similar the size of the engine does not have a big effect on mpg. At one time I had three cars that all gave essentially the same mpg. One had a V8, one a V6, and one a 4. Engine size went from 5.7L to 2L. All of the cars weighed within 100 pounds of each other. All had similar drag coefficients (close anyway). All had four speed automatic transmissions with locking torque converters. The bigger the engine the peppier the car was for part throttle high gear operation, yet mpg did not suffer because of the bigger engine. Yes, the big engine car was very fast at full throttle, but in my normal driving over 95%+ of the time it is part throttle driving

    It is not the horsepower that determines how peppy a car is during part throttle high gear operation. It is torque and or final drive ratio. Normally the bigger the engine the more torque at lower rpm. This doesn't mean there aren't cars that already feel fine during high gear part throttle operation with a five speed transmission, just that many that don't would be with more displacement.

    I like my Avalon, but it is getting up in years. When I look for a replacement I hope the new Avalon has at least as much performance in part throttle high gear operation as my 96 has now. I don't care if it has better full throttle performance, but if the new model gets heavier the added low rpm torque from a larger displacement engine should keep part throttle performance level, even with an extra gear or two.

    Note: The only 'seemless' shifting cars I have driven are cars with essentially shiftless CVT transmissions (no abrupt rpm changes due to a gear change). Who knows, maybe the new Avalon will end up with one of these.
  • fatguycarfatguycar Posts: 38
    The new Acura RS is now up to 300hp, and in the few pictures I've seen looks like a Mercedes. I see also that Ford's Escape hybrid is being exhibited at the New York Auto Show.

    Still betting on a 270hp hybrid.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    you probably wanted to say the RL, not RS.

    And by the way, I wonder how the RL will manage torque steer with so much power, being a front-wheel drive. I think the new RL will be offered in AWD, too (I read it somewhere).

    But the Avalon will stay front-wheel, I guess.
  • boomsamaboomsama Posts: 362
    RL has SH-AWD standard i think, so it should be good
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Arent really competitors- so what does it matter?

  • fatguycarfatguycar Posts: 38
    I would have thought so.

    But are you going to buy our nice new 300hp RL or stick with that 210hp Toyota?

    That will be what the Acura salespeople will say.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Acura is a luxury brand while Toyota is not. You can't compare them!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The RL costs in the mid-upper $40,000 range. The Avalon is not near that amount. I realize the RL is being heavily discounted, but that will end when the new model comes out. The RL and Avalon are priced too far apart to be competitors.

    Besides, the RL still caters to a younger target than the Avalon. The Avalon buyer's average age has crept up in recent years and is now 61, placing the car on the top 10 list of cars with the oldest buyers.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Just heard that Acura is having trouble with most if not all its models with seals and oil leaks. Have at it, for 40K. No thanks.

  • It is worse than that. With the new recall announced yesterday, Honda now has five model years of cars with transmission problems (1999-2004 models). My MDX is part of the new recall. I don't know how that compares to the oil gelling problems Toyota and Mercedes have/had, but it does tend to shake one's confidence in reliability and quality reputations.

    With a virtually all new car (2005 Avalon) coming, and taking into account problems formerly bullet proof reliability car companies are having, maybe, as part of the purchase decision, we should accept that there will be some problems and concentrate on which companies handle the problems best.

    I'm not thrilled with silent recalls (If the customer complains loud enough, fix it. Otherwise do nothing.). My Avalon was subject to one that I know of. Toyota did do a lot of work on the car but did not tell me there was a fix for my complaint. I found the fix by looking at service bulletins.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    Sorry about those problems. Too much trying to bring too many models out. Best advice is to never buy the first model year of any vehicle, and if you can wait out the second.

    I am hoping Toyota just sticks the 3.3L in the new 2005 Avy, and does not debut a 3.5L like others on other forum talk about. Not a big deal anyway, as it has become overrated, pushing the prices up as well.

    How things work out.

  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
    Darn, no word on the next Avalon yet! Agh...
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    There was a memo to the TMMK staff regarding the imminent demise of the 3.0L engine, and the 3.5L has been confirmed for use in the "2006 Avalon". My guess, as others have stated here, is that there will be a short run of 2005 Avalons (kind of like how there was a short run of 2003 Siennas), with a February/March 2005 debut for the 2006 models. Also, the 5 speed auto will be the only transmission offered in the 2005 model Avalon. No word yet on how soon the 3.0L is being killed, ie... if it will linger for the abbreviated 2005 MY, or will be replaced by the 3.3L.

    That 3.3L sure does seem to have been a stop-gap measure, though. Im wondering if all Camry variants will adopt this "new" 3.5L, or the timing of that. (Very little is known about the 3.5L- Not sure how new it is, if its just a bored-out 3.3L, much as the 3.3L is a bored-out 3.0, or a clean slate design.)

  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I doubt the 3.5 would be a second stop gap. With as much money and effort as Toyota is investing in this project, it is surely a new design. When was the last time the V6 got a full redesign anyway? 1997?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Much of what is being posted here follows my Toyota service writer's comments of some time ago: slightly larger engine (25 more hp), a 5 speed transmission, etc. The real question is: When do we get it? late '04 maybe? '05? Just hope they don't rush production and sacrifice quality for a faster delivery date. Of course, all "spy pics" are always welcome.
         When the new Av finally arrives, it will be interesting to again debate how the total package compares to a current model Acura TL and RL. That debate can be a topic unto itself......
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Re-read my post. It states my opinion that the 3.3L, NOT the 3.5L, may be a stop-gap. The 3.0L (1MZ) engine debuted in 1991 as a 1992 in the Camry and ES300. It has been continually refined up to this point, to maximize efficiency, and lower emissions. Its top power/torque ratings were in the OLD RX300 (and HL) 220hp and 222 lb. ft. of torque. The 3.3L (3MZ) now used in Camry applications is a bored out version of the 3.0L. We do not yet know if the 3.5L is related to this family of engines, or if it is a clean sheet design.

    Fin- I really do not feel the Avalon will be competing against the RL, a vehicle priced higher by about $10,000. The Avalons competitors will likely continue to be some of the non-performance oriented entry luxury models, as well as the Chrysler 300s, Ford Five Hundreds, Kia Amanitis, etc.

  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    If the 05 Avalon gets the much anticipated 3.5 engine wouldn't the ES330 also get it? It's hard to imagine the Avalon outdoing the ES. So in that respect the ES330 was also a stop gap measure. Why didn't Toyota just go from 3.0L to 3.5L?
  • cammer2cammer2 Posts: 38
    With all the talk about the new Avalon, is it still a given that it will be built in Kentucky? And that it will remain FWD?

    I keep wondering if the (concept) Toyota Crown is really the Avalon replacement. Seems awfully strange that the Avy is slated to appear the same time as the new GS300 (350?), and that the Toyota web-site is even showing the Crown.

    On the other hand, it's crossed my mind that Toyota could be going the way of the entry-level Lexi -- offering both a IS300/ES300 at the (roughly) same price point.

    Does anyone think there could be a FWD Avalon sold alongside a RWD Crown?

    Enquiring minds want to know ... (or just have too much time to think about about such things .. <g>)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    To be clear, I think its pretty much accepted at this point that the NEW Avalon will debut with a 2006 model year designation. Not much is known about other Camry variants using the 3.5L engine, but I would imagine that the ES will get the engine too. The entire ES line is hardly a stop-gap. Who knows the reasons why Toyota didnt go from 3.0L to 3.5L directly? Im guessing it was for similar reasons that Ford can't debut its new models with the Duratec 35- timing, production, testing, and monetary constraints. Basically right now there is too little known to provide concrete answers of many of the questions being asked.

    All we can say is Toyota has a 3.5L in the works, destined for use in the next Avalon and other Camry based platforms. Timing of the final production of the 3.0L is uncertain, though likely to occur BEFORE the 3.5L is mass produced.

    cammer- The Avalon will be produced at TMMK. Powertrain employees were the ones who received the memo about the "2006 Camry and Avalon 3.5L V6". I feel the Crown is a doubtful candidate- its not a Camry based model, which the Avalon is.

  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
    Don't get your hopes up that the Avalon will be the Toyota Crown! That model is only on the Toyota website to showcase what they can do if they put their minds to it. The Toyota Crown is basically a Lexus GS/Toyota Aristo. Same platform, same transmission, same engines. The Avalon will be based on the Camry which uses a different V6 engine.
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