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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon



  • prigglypriggly Posts: 643
    Just returned from my local Toyota dealership where I was able to sit inside a new Avalon XLS but was not able to test drive the car due to the fact the dealer had only the one display car on the showroom floor and none available for driving. I was able to test the JBL Synthesis system and the navigation system.

    Generally, the fit and finish of the car were good but there were a few significant interior disappointments. One of the "little doors" which conceal the audio and navigation controls, specifically the lower one containing the navigation controls, did not work in that it would not open without pushing/tapping it numerous times and even then would not completely open without manually being pulled forward. I can see where these things are going to be problematical. Ergonomically, I do not like them as they delay access to vital controls, especially if they do not work properly.

    On the subject of the navigation system, the screen is too small, does not have a touch screen function, is non-intuitive and generally is inferior to some others on the market, particularly that on the Acura TL.

    As for the JBL Synthesis audio system, while not a bad system it is also not an exceptional one. The speaker clarity could be better and the "surround sound" digital signal processing feature in my opinion does not compare to a true 5.1 surround system. I was generally disappointed in the quality of the audio and expected better.

    Otherwise, the interior is a pleasant place to be.

    As the model choices for the Avalon in Canada do not include the Limited, a number of the interesting and useful features of that car are simply not available, such as the laser cruise control, acoustic windshield, ventilated front seats with driver's seat cushion extension, power rear sunshade, and the Smart Key system. HID headlamps are not available on the XLS, although they are on the Touring model, but then you lose both the vehicle stability control and the traction control. What Toyota could have been thinking when they omitted these essential safety features from the Touring model I do not know.

    Price wise, both the Touring and XLS models are overpriced when compared to their US counterparts when taking into consideration the exchange rates in the two currencies. The comparably equipped XLS is US$34,430 which is at current exchange rates, the equivalent of CDN$42,460. Yet, the Canadian XLS retails for CDN$46,825, which is more than four thousand Canadian dollars more! To my thinking, this is an excessive differential.
  • buckeye6buckeye6 Posts: 8
    I was very dissappointed with my XLS because of road noise. Yesterday, I had it undercoated/soundproofed(their terminology). It did work. Helped a bunch. I am much happier now. Cost $168.54. Worth it to me. Still need to work on wind noise, but the dealer will handle that.

    Just threw this in to let you know, there is help available.
  • star51star51 Posts: 17 - ota.avalon/

    In the above photo (front view of 2005 Avalon), what is the black rectangular shape next to the fog lamp on the passenger side? Note it is only on this side of the car.
  • tassotasso Posts: 33
    Yes you can, as I do the same thing for my sons dvd player. It will latch shut.

    WOW stopped by our Toyota dealer in SD. I bought the first Avalon in SD 3 weeks ago. They got 2 in last week - already sold and gone. They have pre-sold over 80% of their next allocation, and they say they are primarily selling LTDs. They have a black touring on the floor. They sold a grey one last week. I loved the gunmetal exterior with the grey interior lighter and dark wood. I do not like the black on black on this touring. Remember I choose black on tan in my LTD. I think Tourings and they confirmed it, are selling slower due to lack of heated seats and than lack of VSC.

    Overall, I am happy with my deal.

    Still love this car everyday.

    Why no coin holder?
  • tassotasso Posts: 33
    Opening for laser cruise control.
  • solara00solara00 Posts: 81
    I don't know, but I wonder if it is the sensor for the Dynamic Laser Cruise Control? I think Toyota has a little video clip showing the sensor sweeping the area in front of the car to determine when to slow down or speed up based upon the distance to the car in front of you.

    Admittedly, I'm just guessing.
  • solara00solara00 Posts: 81
    Thanks Tasso, your answer came through before I posted my guess.
  • I want to thank everyone who posted in response to me previously. I just wanted to share my experiences from the No. VA area.

    First I was shopping for a limited, and the dealership had the color I wanted Phantom Grey. It looks great in that color. However, a few things.

    1. I test drove the car and pick up was smooth and fluid. On a real curvey road (Lots of S turns, I found for me I had to watch out because the car was so floaty/responsive, based on what I was used to, that it was easy for me to over steer.

    2. The NAV system was less than desirable. You had to keep hitting control buttons on the console to direct input and selection on the screen. The NAV had trouble in finding Columbia SC, and reported it with a region name in paren's, and it took the salesman an I about 10 minutes to realize you had to select the little tab arrow to scroll the line over to see the state.

    3. The price for the car was 37,500.00 no deals no reduction. With state tax it would have come in delivered at 39,000.00. I asked the dealer if he would take a deposit and hold it over night until I could make it back with my wife.
    He said I would have to buy the car, and then if my wife did not want it they would refund my money because I had a 3 day return right.

    I left and went down the road to the acura dealership and test drove the TL. It certainly had a different feel, and though responsive did not have that floatyness of the Avalon.

    Also the difference in the NAV is night and day, touch screen, easy controls, found Columbia SC right away. Mapped a different route, 1 hour shorter than the Avalon, the NAV was was thumbs up better. Price delivered with tax, 35000.00

    In thinking about it I did not need rain sensitive wipers, or a electronic shade screen for the back window, or enhanced lighting around the moonroof. All things considered the sound system was comparable. Very comfortable, but not as roomy in the back, or trunk.

    My earlier question about the size of the Avalon, In a back up test, I did find that with my reduced depth perception it was a problem. Luckily I stopped just short of breaking out a window panel of the show room.

    As you can guess I went with the Acura. It had proven quality, and fit me better. This forum definitely helped and I thank everyone for their posts.
  • star51star51 Posts: 17
    Thanks, Tasso and Solara00. Hope for the 2006 model they'll consider putting it in the center for better symmetry.
  • Does this include tax? Do you have dynamic cruise, navigation, and velocity stabilization?


  • gschultz3gschultz3 Posts: 134
    My opinion only, but I have read the same thing about Nav systems on Forums for the past 4 years. I really don't feel there is an issue with how they get you from here to there. I have used portables, cheap computer based systems, $5,000 third party integrated (DVD, TV, Audio, Sirius systems), Honda, Nissan, BMW, Volvo and they all worked.

    The most important issue is ease of use. I feel the top end integrated systems are at the top but the cost is also at the top ..... plus you must replace the audio system in a new car. The Honda system is probably the best automobile manufacturer installed system. I personally don't like the portables which must find a home some place on the dash or installed off the floor. I only use cordless radar detectors because I hate to deal with the wires! Obviously clutter isn't a problem for others.

    Unless you drive for your employer or your own business Nav systems have limited utility. Once you have entered all of the remote places that are hard to find most people don't enter new locations that frequently. But when you need them they are very useful. I have come to the conclusion that even though it is harder to enter addresses with a joy stick it really isn't very important over the long haul.

    While screen size is a factor the portables work just fine since you really don't need to read whats on the screen very often ... and then only miles, street names and turns. More important than size is the location .... if the sun gets on the LCD screen it is not readable .... portables, Volvo and others.

    Unfortunately the Nav systems installed by the automobile manufacturers are approved by marketing guys who decide that Lexus must be better than Toyota so options are removed even if it doesn't affect the cost. I had the same Nav system in a 350Z, G35 and FX45 but they all had minor differences. I like the idea that the Nav screen can be used to display other information and the equipment can be used for other purposes at a low incremental cost. I look forward to the time when the auto industry uses the full capability of the screen and the equipment. More and more LCD's are being installed without Nav systems so you don't need to buy a car with Nav to enjoy some of this technology.

    I won't buy a car without Nav but I also won't buy a car because it has the best Nav system. Like VCR's and computers you must read the manual and experiment to take advantage of Nav technology. It works but a user must realize that the size and complexity of the road system makes it impossible to develop a program which works in all circumstances. I know many people who buy systems and swear they don't work and never use them ..... same as computers and VCR's.

    Based on my experience buying cars only Acura (HONDA) salespeople knew much about the Nav system and that may be one of the reasons car buyers find them easier to use???? I never tried the Nav system in the Avalon before I purchased it! It will work. I'm addicted to new things so I love my cooled seats, mirror turn signal LED's, power sunshade, keyless starter, power driver seat extension. I had the laser cruise control on my FX45 but never used it so I didn't get it on the Avalon.

    What Toyota left out of the Avalon:
    Backup Camera Lexus or detectors
    Adaptive headlights Lexus
    Blind spot detectors (or camera) Volvo
    Adaptive suspension Lexus
  • pmcb48pmcb48 Posts: 192
    There are 3 interior leather colors in the XLS, not 2: Ivory, Light Grey, and Graphite. These are colors 4, 5,and 6 in the Avalon brochure. The colors in the brochure give a reasonable idea of the real colors.
  • pmcb48pmcb48 Posts: 192
    I'm glad it helped; you must have very sensitive ears. The XLS I test drove was very quiet in terms of wind noise. I plan to get undercoating on my Limited, more for rust prevention on suspension, etc. with sound deadening as a bonus.
  • everesteverest Posts: 12
    I test drove an Avalon XL today. After the test drive this vehicle was parked right next to an XLS with identical exterior and interior color.

    Mine was not an extensive drive or an in depth study by any means.

    I felt that XL interior looked nice. Even with cloths, XL looked upscale [XLS felt luxurious].

    Compared to my 2003 Camry (4-cyl, XLE), this one was quite lively, with no transmission hesitation. It was comparably quiet and soft. The thing about this beast is its power and expansiveness. I didn't feel any torque steer, even in situations where it might be generated. There is no question that it can be a fun car on express ways, due to its power. Although, I didn't drive it in winding roads, to evaluate the other side of fun.

    Among the things I liked about XL, besides its price, is its 16" wheel and no moonroof. No moonroof means that I can have a nice DVD system installed way forward. I bet the seats at the rear of this vehicle would indeed make it a nice moving studio :)-

    The manager told me that he was given a demo by Toyota on the effectiveness of the stability control in an Avalon. He appeared to be impressed.

    He didn't know whether the 2006 XL will be offered with stability control as an option.

    I am inclined to wait for the XL to get stability control option. I will then take an extensive test drive.
  • solara00solara00 Posts: 81
    Probably can't center it because of states that require the front license plate. That would be my guess.
  • pmcb48pmcb48 Posts: 192
    "I won't buy a car without Nav but I also won't buy a car because it has the best Nav system. Like VCR's and computers you must read the manual and experiment to take advantage of Nav technology. It works but a user must realize that the size and complexity of the road system makes it impossible to develop a program which works in all circumstances. I know many people who buy systems and swear they don't work and never use them ..... same as computers and VCR's."

    Your comments are exactly in sync with mine on the NAV system. I like the Avalon, and want an built-in system. So I'll live with whatever system the Avalon comes with, and make it work. Per the Avalon Introduction brochure, this is a "Generation 4" system with advanced graphics and operating system, so it must be better than the one in my 2004 Sienna, which is OK, but apparently not as good as the Acura/Honda system.

    Most people seem to define "user friendly" as never having to read the manual, so I'm with you there too. Some manual time is inevitable. I've been reasonably satisfied with the Toyota system, and while the Honda system may be better, it doesn't come in Toyotas. We need to keep our priorities straight.
  • mikerochmikeroch Posts: 69
    There are actually only Ivory and Graphite available in the XLS in Canada, and the Dark Charcoal is reserved for the Touring only (which is the only other model available here).

    There is a picture of an interior in our brochure which looks like it could be the Ivory, but unfortunately it is not labelled (!).

    If anyone can post some "definite" Ivory interior pics I would appreciate it. (It's not vital however :)

    Perhaps those of you who have owned a Maxima or were considering one versus the new Avalon could give me some thoughts on that "choice" as well.

  • gschultz3gschultz3 Posts: 134
    I just purchased an Avalon LTD and the Maxima and the Acura TL were on my short list. I currently have a 350Z and an Infiniti FX45 .... the FX45 has been sold on Swapalease because I can't transfer my lease to New York state from Florida. I also had an Infiniti G35 prior to leasing the FX45.

    I went to see the Avalon first and decided I didn't have to go further. I loved my G35 despite it's marginal interior quality and poor seats. It was just fun to drive. My 350Z has been trouble free except for the tires but I'm not impressed with the build quality either .... interior is marginal - OK and the paint chips easily especially the front end. My FX45 could have been a Volvo XC90, Lexus 330 or a BMW X5??? I like it but the interior is not up to the standards of a $55,000 MSRP SUV. I have doubts about Nissans ability to build quality cars with marginal materials???? They have done great on the performance side.

    I almost purchased an Acura TL when I got my G35.
    Impressed with the interior, performance OK, design questionable. It's better in 2005 but still doesn't get me excited.

    My opinion: Avalon Acura Maxima

    Quality Reputation 8 7 6
    Interior 8 8 5
    Design 8 7 8
    Size 9 7 7
    HP/Torque 9 8 8
    Fun to Drive 7 8 8
    Wife* 9 7 8
    Options 9 8 7
    Price 8 8 9
    Turning Diameter 9 7 7
    Safety (Guess) 9 8 8
    Nav Sys 7 9 7

    *My wife wants comfort not performance.

    I thought Toyota's were boring but I like the Avalon design. The size is important and the interior impressed me. I like the options included with the Avalon keyless entry, outside mirrors etc. The HP was right. I can live with 6.5 sec. to 60mph. Handing OK. In the end I guess it was HP, size and comfort..... 40" legroom back seat equals almost any car! I'm 63 so maybe Toyota knew what they were doing. This is my first Toyota.
  • markermarker Posts: 4
    Interesting about the wind noise. Did you have the dealer perform the undercoating/ soundproofing? Where and what did they add?
    Thank you.
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