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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon

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  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    P.S. the XM installation is being done at the port the same way as the pictures that were posted here. We got a Limited in today with that option and I agree with everyone here. It does not look good where they placed it. I'm thinking that maybe the wires would interfere with the power rear shade? But what about the cars without the power rear shade? I will talk to my master mechanic and see what he thinks.

                     : )

                      Mackabee
  • Great work, Mackabee. One question: will Mid-Atlantic be ordering the darker wood with the Indigo Pearl exterior sometimes?

     

    Now go take a nap! You earned it.
  • Took a look at the Maxima...no head room, poor turning radius, and didn't like the exterior and interior design. However, I do wish that the Avalon did have Maxima's power and memory telescoping steering wheel.
  • strange that you say light gray will not be available in Md. since i have seen that on most of the cars in the rockville, silver spring area. can you order from the factory (i know it takes 45 days or so)Ltd, titanium, dark wood, light gray leather, skid control and that's all. one dealer stated avalons can not be built to order under the toyota plan. i thought any toyota could be specially orderd but it just takes time.
  • I can't find what fuel the 05 Avalons use - regular or premium?
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/bus- iness/1107426883235690.xml

     

    There is a healthy dose of critisism there, although nothing new for those who read this forum. I did find this part of the article amusing:

     

    "'Older people need cars, too', said Don Esmond, general manager of the Toyota division and an Akron native."

     

    Reminded me of "Women are people, too". :-)
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    Mackabee, first of all speaking for myself and I'm sure many posters here, thank you for take time out to speak with us and answer some questions, when we know how tired you must be from your treatments. It speaks so well of you and again I wish you only the best. Regarding the leg room up front, I am so excited by your answer because I knew I had much more leg room and now understand why the brochure printed it that way. They should have had a star by the printed leg room, then showing the measurement with the seat all the way back on the track which would have shown long legged people that there was plenty of room there so they would visit the showroom and see for themselves. Anyhow what a blast Macabee, because my 04 felt like it was shrinking leg room in the drivers seat or I was getting bigger : ) The steering wheel seemed like it got closer to me, and now it seems so far away when I'm all the way back even if I telescope the wheel towards me that I have to move the seat in and I will have the perfect set up. It is great. Thank you for educating me that it wasn't a figment of my imagination. The link Future just posted is mostly good reporting for the Avalon. Almost "quiet like the Lexus", and the 04 was very quiet so another plus I can attest to driving my 05. My neighbors are asking me I bought it.Thanks again for sharing with us. You and Toyota have a winner.
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    One other thing Macabee. Is there any truth if you know, that the engine for this 05 Avalon was made in Japan, and that the 06 next year will be made here, I'm just curious, since I heard that in spite of reading it's an all American car? If the engine was made in Japan, great, if here also great. Thanks again.
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    "The Chrysler looks like a "macho" vehicle to me" Macabee, that was exactly my feeling about the 300, it reeks of Macho, Macho, no doubt a seller to people thumping their chest, just the opposite of my core values, but again different strokes for different folks. Also why people would pay thousands more for a name plate (I don't mean the 300)and sometimes not really get a better car, and sometimes sacrifice comfort regarding their passengers in rear because the name plate is more important. That is capitalism and what makes the economy work.
  • The 300 is a car on steroids...it will fade as quickly as a juiced-up athlete. At first, I was intrigued, but after a more sober consideration, it looks ridiculous. I want my sedans to be elegant and svelte; Avalon fits the bill.
  • AutoWeek has just posted a favorable review.

     

    http://autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=101739
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    You re so right about that. I felt the same way at first. I looked and first thought I was looking at a re made souped up Mercedes grill till I got a better look. Just like the hummer reeks of I MAN, MACHO MAN, I AM HERE, WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT : ). Instinctively I knew this was a car not for me. However I'm sure it's a fine automobile since Mercedes has their hands on it. So when I drive I don't want to stand out from the crowd, and that's what this is all about. Some people want to wear a jacket with a P. Cardin or Calvin Klein label on it and when they take it off they fold it in a way so people can see the label and then their are people who buy the same thing without the label and save money on the purchase. It's what makes the world go around. So it's the same thing as thumping the chest when you make a bold style set to jump at you and a quiet look that isn't noticed but does as excellent a job of getting you to where you are going. So once again, different strokes for different folks and nothing to criticize.
  • johnijohni Posts: 43
    Per my internet request, Toyota mailed me information (hard copy) on the NAV system. I asked Toyota for this information since we could not get the NAV system to work during my test drive. I'll summarize the speech recognition commands here.

     

    There are approx. 200 voice recognition commands controlling 126 actions in six different categories. Some of the commands are redundant; for example, there are two different commands to this action: "Calculates route to home." You can say, "Go home" or "Home". Similarly, some actions have four slightly different commands.

     

    The categories are:

    1. Map Operation - example: saying "Arrow Guide" changes guidance screen to arrow mode.

    2. Destination - example: saying "One" calculates route to previous destination 1.

    3. Guidance - example: saying "Repeat Guidance" repeats voice guidance.

    4. Volume - example: saying "Louder" turns volume up 1 level.

    5. POI (Points of Interest) - example: saying "Gas" displays gas pump icon on the map.

    6. Audio - example: saying "CD" changes to CD changer mode.

     

    Destinations cannot be entered via voice recognition. You enter destinations using the navigation controller (similar to TV remote)located behind the lower hideaway door. No touch screen. You can have 6 preset destinations (home plus 5 others) which can then be accessed via voice commands.

     

    Since I have not used this NAV system, nor any other, I can't comment on how well it recognizes these voice commmands. Perhaps someone else now using it can comment on that.

     

    My impression is that the system is complicated. I'd be worried about the distraction of driving while looking at the map and trying to figure out what commands to give. Obviously, you wouldn't want to be entering addresses with the controller while you're driving.

     

    I'm still on the fence about getting NAV and would appreciate any comments from users of this new system.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    For anyone who has heard it, how good is the JBL Synthesis audio system in the Limited? How does it compare to the ELS system in the Acura TL or to the ML system in the Lexus?

     

    Is the Avalon sufficiently quiet at highway speeds so as to be able to properly appreciate the sound system?

     

    Thanks.
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    I got a 2005 ES330 a few days ago, and while the NAV setup is somewhat different from the 2005 Avalon (touch screen instead of joystick), the voice activation is the same: press the microphone button on the steering wheel, speak the command, the system confirms the command and executes it.

     

    "You can have 6 preset destinations (home plus 5 others) which can then be accessed via voice commands."

     

    The ES 330 also understands the voice commands "Home" and "Go Home", but I don't think there is a way to assign a custom voice tag to the address. If that's what you mean, and if that capability is avalable in the Avalon, that's a major improvement. Are you sure you have it in the Avalon? That is, can you enter the address which you can later recall by speaking "Uncle Earnie"?

     

    Additionally, the 6 preset destinations are just for quick access. The total number of destination points in memory is 106, I believe. I am sure it's at least as many in the Avalon.

     

    "Since I have not used this NAV system, nor any other, I can't comment on how well it recognizes these voice commmands. Perhaps someone else now using it can comment on that."

     

    It understands me well, even though I speak with the accent. The tips posted by the Nav users on the Web recommend that you speak normally -- don't try to pronounce the commands too clearly. Another thing is to give it a pause after pressing the microphone button -- the system takes a second or two to get ready to "listen".

      

    "My impression is that the system is complicated. I'd be worried about the distraction of driving while looking at the map and trying to figure out what commands to give."

     

    The system guides you by voice -- there is no need to look at the screen once you entered your destination. As you approach the exists, turns, and intersections, it will prompt you (giving you some time in advance).

     

    "Obviously, you wouldn't want to be entering addresses with the controller while you're driving."

     

    In the ES330, you can't enter a destination while you are driving -- you must be at a complete stop. I am sure it's the same in the Avalon.

     

    Finally, the last note. It looks like the most enthusiastic Nav users are the Toyota Prius owners -- there is a number of discussions on the Web. Reportedly, the Prius owners are a younger bunch with the computer science and engineering degrees, more receiptive of the technology, compared to the Avalon owners who were already in their 60's when the first PCs came out in the 1980s. :-)

     

    Seriously, I see no reason not to have the NAV in the motor vehicle, except that it's still pricey. When the price drops below $500, it'll be as common as the air conditioner.
  • Thanks for the Nav information. Sounds like it is a step behind the Acura system, but still good enough. I don't like not being able to change destinations unless stopped (why not let the passenger make the change?).
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Is the same as on the Camry, Landcruiser, Prius, and Lexus vehicles. It is probably the easiest to use of all the auto manufacturers out there. I'm not saying this just because I'm a Toyota person but because I have actually used it in real life. There's no need to look at the map once you input your destination as a female voice gives you all the directions. I tried to fool it to see what it would do and it's basically foolproof! I'll explain. I used the Nav in an XLE Camry. I put in my destination as Colonial Wiliamsburg in Virginia and headed out of the dealership's parking lot. It guided me all the way to I-64 when I decided to see if I could fool it. I took an exit towards Northhampton Blvd and immediately a bell or ring sounded "ding, ding, ding" then the voice came on to tell me I had taken a wrong exit then proceeded to guide me telling me to proceed to the next stoplight and make a u-turn then gave me the number of the next exit to get back on I-64. Of course I didn't go all the way to Williamsburg as my co-workers would have wondered where I was. I did this in 2003 with the Camry and have repeated the exercise with Prius and Landcruiser. Last night I had one of my previous Avalon customers come in to look at the new one and I went over the Limited with her and had a chance to play with the Nav. Nothing to it. After reading some of the posts last night I was wondering why someone would not buy this car due to the lack of Bluetooth and tire pressure sensor. Considering the average age for the previous generation Avalon owner is 65 I could see why these things were left out this year and they may be put in later in the model year or for 2006. A friend of mine was telling me about his 82 year old mother who came to visit from Ohio this week. He was trying to show her how to get on the internet and read the news online and she kept telling him not to bother that she wouldn't know how to. My point is that most Avalon customers are interested in safety, comfort, and convenience and not the latest toys. The Prius appeals to energy conservationists, technology oriented folks, and enviromentally conscious people who want to be the first in the block with the latest technology. I can bet money although I'm not much of a gambler that most Prius owners have Apple i-Pods, MP3 players, and such. I used to be in that category where I wanted the latest electronic gadget from Japan. Priorities and life styles change. Heck I didn't know what an MP3 was until by oldest son explained it to me. He's taken my place now, he's 25 and drives a Scion tC.

                    : )

                    Mackabee

     

    P.S One thing they failed to mention at the training yesterday that no one picked up on was the Acoustic noise-reduction windshield that's standard on the Limited and not available on the other three.

    The light gray may be out there now but no more are being ordered.

                Mackabee
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
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  • johnijohni Posts: 43
    Future1, as I read the information, you are correct when you write that "I don't think there is a way to assign a custom voice tag to the address". The system understands the commands "Preset Destination One" through "Preset Destination Five". I guess you have to remember what addresses you assigned to those destinations.
  • For those of you who are looking at the Avalon navigation system, I would like to mention that there are other options out there. I have a Garmin GPSmap 76CS I use for this purpose, and I find it does everything I could possibly want from a navagation system. I have RAM mounts for it in both my 1997 Avalon (soon to be replaced with the 2005) and Sienna. Advantages over a built in system are:

     

    Price: it only costs $350

    Versitility: I can use it in both vehicles (although not at the same time!) with the same set of waypoints, built in routes, etc. Also, I can take it with me for non-auto uses or on a plane to use with a rental vehicle. Will run off of 12V power or about 24 hours on 2 AA batteries.

    Interface with home computer: You can use your home computer or laptop to preplan routes or look for points of interest. A computer with a 19 inch screen and a mouse are eaiser to use than any device in a car is going to be. The 76CS attaches via USB to the computer for 2 way communication.

     

    My particular model lacks the voice prompts (it has a set of distinctive beeps instead) which doesn't bother me. Other models with similar features do have voice prompts.
  • Thanks for all the info Mackabee. You are saying that there will be no more light gray interiors. Do you know or can you find out if there will be any new interior colors for 2005 or 2006. I would buy it except for the current interior colors.
  • Is there a website that gives you a good view of the color choices? I've only seen a silver and thought it was kind of blah. Considering the Blizzard White with ivory interior or Phantom Gray with Dark Graphite interior. Anyone seen either of these?
  • DROBERTS2:I received the following info from Toyota Hdq's in California::

    "Here is the fuel recommendation for the 2005 Avalon: Unleaded gasoline, Octane Rating 87 (Research Octane Number 91) or higher. For improved vehicle performance, the use of premium unleaded gasoline with an Octane Rating of 91 (Research Octane Number 96) or higher is recommended."

    I believe that this is the same wording as used for the fuel requirements for older Avalons.
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    "For those of you who are looking at the Avalon navigation system, I would like to mention that there are other options out there. I have a Garmin GPSmap 76CS I use for this purpose, and I find it does everything I could possibly want from a navagation system."

     

    Right, I also considered a separate unit, but they do have disadvantages over the factory-installed Nav units:

     

    -- much smaller screen sizes

    -- no integration with the audio or climate control

    -- no integration with the backup camera (this is not applicable to Avalon)

    -- some have voice navigation, but I have not seen any with voice activation

    -- may be hard to find the right place to mount without obstructing the view or introducing the rattles

    -- no integration with the engine (my ES330 Nav checks for the mainenence schedule based on miles, must be the same for Avalon)

    -- no sensory vehicle speed input (the factory installed units use it to keep track of the location if GPS signal is temporarily unavalable)

    -- most units require programming (uploading the map data on the memory flash card)

     

    The advatages are of course, lower initial cost and lower software upgrade cost and the ability to swap it between multiple cars. The modern top rated detached GPS sells for about $700. The factory installed unit in Avalon is $1,900, although it's packaged with other options (VSC, or JBL, depending on the grade and combo), which brings the price much higher.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    <<One thing that I could not understand is this: "Limited's keyless ignition a mixed blessing; freedom from having keyfob at hand is offset by reality that car will remain running even without fob nearby." Does anyone understand what CG is talking about?>>

     

    We bought a Lexus in late December (gave our '98 Avalon to our son...recent college grad whose '96 Explorer died) that has this same Smart Key feature and yes, I can exit the car with the key in my pocket, and the car will still run. I haven't tried to see how far I can walk away....I've only done it at the Recycling Bins.

     

    I don't think "old people" (harumph!) will forget their car is running (Avalon or Lexus or any model) but quite frankly, I do not care for the Smart Key feature.

     

    The Lexus owner's manual says we cannot store any of the keys near flourescent lights, TV's, etc., nor should the key be carried in the same pocket or purse with a cellphone. (radio waves interfering). Neither should the Valet Key be left in the car at all times due to their sending signals, searching for each other, and would cause batteries to run down, etc. etc. etc.

     

    That means the Valet Key cannot stay in the car all the time and use of the Valet Key must be a pre-planned event. What a pain. Just MHO.
  • larryt22larryt22 Posts: 125
    I have seen both of these color combinations and they both look good. It just bugs me that Toyota charges $220 for Blizzard Pearl. White is not my favorite color but I thought it was classy looking. I have seen and XL, XLS and a Limited in this combination. I don't like the ivory interior on the XL. The cloth looks very cheap to me.

     

    I have a Phantom Gray Camry, and I really like the Avalon in that color. I have seen a Limited in Phantom Gray with the Graphite interior and that would be my 1st choice, except I think I want a different color than my Camry.

     

    A color that is growing on me is the Silver Pine Mica (Light Green). This is beautiful with the ivory interior.

     

    Titanium is OK but just doesn't do much for this vehicle for some reason. It you like black, you will like an Avalon in black. Desert Sand is a little on the bland side. The light blue will probably grow on you after a while. I have only seen one Cassis Pearl vehicle and it had the ivory interior. I would like to see it with the graphite. I haven't seen an Avalon in Indigo, but I do like that color on other Toyotas.

     

    Those are my opinions, but everyone has different tastes and you need to view them yourself. My advise if you are in no hurry to buy is just to keep checking the inventory at the dealers near you and go checkout the colors you want to see in person when they get one in. We bought a Camry and and Highlander last year and before we bought, we attended 2 auto shows and visited 7 dealerships on Sunday afternoons when they were closed looking at color combinations.

     

    I have one dealer in my area that has put paint stripes on all of their new Avalons. The stripes start just behind the headlights and follow the top crease along the side and wrap completely around the trunk lid. If they are done in a contrasting color to the exterior paint, this really adds something to the looks.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    As far as I know just the colors that are on the brochure and www.toyota.com

     

    The pearl white colors have always been extra charge. $220.00 is no big deal when we are talking about $30k cars. I've yet to see the Blizzard white but I'm sure is as nice as the Arctic white pearl and the Diamond white pearl.

                     Mackabee
  • Noted some *very* interesting numbers in comparing the $85,000 Mercedes S430 to the new Avalon:

    Legroom front: MB 41.3" Avalon 41.3

    Legroom rear: MB 40.3" Avalon 40.9

    Shoulder room front: MB 59.2 Avalon 59.4

    Shoulder room rear: MB 58.3 Avalon 58.2

    Trunk capacity: MB 15.4 Avalon 14.4

    Track: MB 62 Avalon 62.2/61.6

    Cabin Capacity: MB 105 cu ft AVALON 106.9 CU FT

    Horsepower: MB 275 Avalon 280

    Fuel Economy: MB 18/26 Avalon 22/31

     

    Hmmmm.... Both comperably equipped:

    MB $85,000 Avalon $38,000.....
  • I know that the Limited has Heated AND Ventilated seats...I see that the XLS has an option for Heated Seats...does that mean heated AND ventilated or is it just heated?

     

    Thanks!
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