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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon



  • Avalon seem to be better choice in every angle. Exterior is more upscale, and interior also have manual "reclining seatbacks" just like the Lexus LS430. Way better than Ford.
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    Thanks for the correction, fsmmcsi -- apparently Edmunds reported wrong front shoulder room for Ford. Here is the update:

    Length: Ford is 3.5" longer (200.7 vs 197.2)
    Width: Ford is 0.8" wider (73.7 vs 72.9)
    Height: Ford is 2" higher (60.1 vs 58.1)
    Wheelbase: Ford is 1.9" longer (112.9 vs 111)
    Front Head Room: Ford is 0.7" more (39.4 vs 38.7)
    Front Shoulder Room: Avalon is 2.4" wider (59.4 vs 57.8)
    Front Leg Room: Avalon is 0.4" more (41.7* vs 41.3)
    Rear Head Room: Ford is 0.7" more (38.6 vs 37.9)
    Rear Leg Room: exactly the same (40.9)
    Interior Volume: Ford is 0.2 cubic feet larger (107.1 vs 106.9)

    *Front Leg Room was not specified for the new Avalon, so I assumed it to be the same as the 2004 model.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    It's quite clear that the Avalon will be the winner in most respects over the 500, except for those people who need the largest trunk or AWD. But I think that since the 500 is even comparable to the superior Avalon, is a big step up for Ford. And Ford still has the above advantages, plus some more (6-speed or CVT vs. Avalons 5-speed, etc.)

    And as most of you know (Alpha sure knows - he is very active in the 500 board as well:-) Ford will have a new engine in the 500 in the 2007 refreshing cycle, and will hopefully update the interior with better materials (Nissan did it with the Altima for 2005) and perhaps optitron gauges, and copy the signal mirrors from their minivans, add navigation system, and it will be even more competitive.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    Alpha-I may have been too presumptuous, in my effort to be brief. I was not suggesting the GS for a Ford 500 shopper. As noted, it competes with the RL. By "patience", I meant it is showing up in Toyo sedans, perhaps the Avy will be considered.
  • Sorry everyone - AWD will not be offered on the new Avalon. Toyota would not likely risk lost sales on the Highlander or even Sienna. I can't believe anyone would compare a new Ford 500 to an Avalon period. At best a Camry which still offers a better value. As in my last post, the new Avalon is based off the new Sienna platform and will be the biggest sedan Lexus or Toyota offers.
  • The initial basis of the comparison of the New Avalon and Five Hundred was size. As you can see, they are quite close. The Camry, is somewhat smaller, particularly for rear seat passengers.
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    I'm comparing the 500 and Avalon - both big roomy soft cars (a ford buick versus a toyo buick). In addition, awd is a great feature if you live in a place that has both snow and hills - stop on a hill while the guy in front makes a left turn and then try to go again! In addition, the 500 has a lot of nice features at a reasonable price (e.g., duel climate controls, temp/audio in steering wheel) - likely 8-10k cheaper.

    I think the avalon will just be more luxurious - the worst thing about the 500 imo is the "look" of the interior - it has such a hard plastic look, you feel like you could hose out the inside. the second worst thing about the 500 is its a ford.

    The avalon will also have substantially more power. However, I think most buyers of both cars are not concerned too much with the sportiness of the cars. Clearly, toyo's redesign (IMO) caters to the typical avalon buyer - someone who cares about comfort over performance (i.e., old) - if you are looking for performance, you'd be better off with about a dozen other cars (acura tl, infiniti).
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It seems that the Avalon will target people what want comfort AND space. Some (even many or most) of those people will also want good power. Space (back seat and trunk) is what is missing from many of the other cars you could buy (e.g. Acura TL). The Ford Five Hunded and Mercury Montego offer lots of space in the back seat and trunk. The Chrysler 300 also offers a big back seat.

    coug2 - if you don't like the Five Hundred interior, you may be surprised at the Mercury Montego version of the car - for the same price as a comparably equipped Ford Five Hundred, it has a very nice two tone interior (the leather version is also perforated, not solid), LED tail lights, HID headlights, and dark fake wood which looks far nicer than the shelf paper-like material in the Ford.

    It seems that lack of AWD may be a mistake, but having owned a turbo-charged FWD car with lots of power and unequal length front drive shafts producing plenty of torque steer, I really think that a limited slip differential / traction control and stability control, along with the super sticky snow tires now available, will make AWD less of an advantage than Ford and Chrysler hope. Chrysler is saying that AWD on the 300 (and Magnum) gives them an advatage, but they also have videos out showing how well their cars do in snow and ice without it.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I am not a retailer, but somehow the end of the year is very busy for us, so I will forget about cars for a while and check back in January after the auto show, so I wish an early Happy Holidays to everyone here.
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    The comparison between the 500 and 05 Avalon is also valid if you assume that Toyota will look at the 500 as the closest contender to its new Avalon, when it sets the Avalon price.

    For $27,790 MSRP, the 500/Montego comes close in size and the target audience, and offers heated seats, dual-stage front airbags and side curtain airbags, HID headlights, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, traction control, memory function for seats, mirrors and pedals, premium sound system, and in-dash CD changer. There is some talk in the 500 forum indicating that Ford may give a $2000 incentive, which will bring the MSRP down to $25,790 or so.

    From the Avalon specs, it looks like the similarly equipped Avalon trim will be XLS. Granted, the Avalon interior is much more impressive, the engine has more power, and Toyota has a superior reliability record. There are also optional features on Avalon that are just too futuristic for Ford. But for the sake of apples to apples comparisson, let's stay with the Avalon that is equipped similarly to 500/Montego. The question is then, how much more is the public willing to pay for the Avalon advatnages? Or, perhaps even more relevant, does Toyota want to sell its new flagship car in some significant volume, by perhaps matching the price to the competition and providing a greater car? I hope the answer is "yes", because in that case I would not to have to pay the Lexus price for the Toyota brand.

    If Toyota hired me as a "price setter" (is there such a position in Tokyo?), I would recommend this:

    XL: $27,000
    XLS: $30,000
    Touring: Not sure
    Limited, fully loaded, including NAV system: $36,000

    I know, I know, it might all be just wishful thinking, especially considering that the XLS price would be a decrease from the current XLS model. But if you believe that Toyota wants to accompany a great flagship with great sales and visibility, I may not be that far from the mark.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I would tend to agree with your prices- if you look at Toyota's last few mainstream redesigns (the Corolla, the Solara, the Sienna) pricing has generally been held constant for similarly equiped models, despite the newer versions' obvious advantages. Often times, if there have been price increases, standard equipment levels have risen. In my opinion, this is the case for the signifcantly improved Corolla.

    Toyota seems to be introducing more, higher priced model extensions to counterbalance that... such as the XLE Limited AWD Sienna that, when fully loaded, can easily top $39,000. The last generation never got higher than $34,000, but thats without AWD and a whole slew of higher tech options that are now available. In any case, despite the price of the XLE AWD Limited, I've seen a good number on the road, and even now, Toyota is still commanding above invoice on the Sienna, with no substantial rebates offered.

    Bottom Line: Excellent products (which I think we all expect the new Avalon to be) will sell strongly, with the right marketing exposure. Good products (Five Hundred/Montego) will have a harder time, even with similar exposure. Trendy, different products will sell strong initially, but taper off (my feelings on the Chrysler 300... just like what happened with the PT Cruiser).

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Every time I glance over the Avalon specs, I find more neat stuff.

    Did you folks know that the Avalons rear seat will be rake adjustable? 5 positions, over 10 degrees. And dual zone automatic climate control will be standard on all models, along with steering wheel HVAC/Radio, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and a cassette player.

  • pmcb48pmcb48 Posts: 192
    Alpha--yes I noticed the reclining rear seats. It seems virtually all of the Avalon features are "catch up" in nature; i.e., they have been introduced previously on other cars, either Toyota or rival models (e.g., the reclining rear seats previously seen in the Infiniti G35 for one). The Avalon has been lagging behind the industry standard in terms of available features (4 spd trans instead of 5, 210 hp instead of 250+, no telescoping steering wheel, etc.). All of the features new with this model were sorely needed if the Avalon is to remain a competitive model.
      I will be most interested in pricing points, and how dealers will be on negotiating before the market is established. Were they sticking to MSRP right out of the gate with the Sienna? I didn't get my Sienna until 1/04, so I don't know.
      My wife loves the HID headlights on her Sienna XLE limited. That was the only 2004 Sienna that had them. She feels truly safe now driving at night. Amongst 2005 Avalons, only the Touring and Limited lines will have them.
  • Don't expect any discounts in the Northeast. MSRP will be the rule with an expected wait ei. the 2004 Sienna. Limited quantities as usual for months to come - orders are already being taken! Priced similar to current with more $ for new options.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    A feature of the new Avalon that was previously unavailable in this class of vehicle is the length-adjustable driver's seat bottom cushion. Toyota has been listening to their customers and the critics.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    "length-adjustable driver's seat bottom cushion. "

    But only on the Limited.
    - Ray
    Thinking it would also be useful on the "Touring" model that would be my preference . . .
  • The Touring model came between the XL and XLS.

    Is that the actual lineup order, future1?
  • From the 23 page Avalon introduction, I would say you're right.

    E. Grade Structure

    1. XL – easy step-up from other Toyota model, or entry to Toyota brand

    2. Touring – new sporty model w/ more style

    3. XLS – core model

    4. Limited – new flagship ultra luxury model
  • I am dying to test drive the new Avalon too...


    I really want to see just how unique the touring and Limited models will be.

    Seems like the XLS has been moved down a bit. Hopefully if I get to intern with Toyota, I'll get to drive them ALL the time!!!

    I can't wait!!!
  • Thanks for the confirmation on that. I thought that was what I heard!

    Maxamillion1, I concur with your emotions about the new Avalon. I don't think I have ever been more excited about a new car introduction in my life as I am of this new Avalon!
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