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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon



  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    I own an 05' XLS and had luggage concerns similar to yours - two young kids (one stroller/pack-n-play crib). Before I bought the Avalon, I had an old Maxima (sold it) and my company car is a Chrysler Sebring Touring (small car).

    My dragon-in-law is staying with us until the youngest becomes 2 and 1/2 yrs old, so I needed real seating for five, good power, high reliability, safe handling/braking/performance numbers, good fuel econ & strong reliability. Seating for five - Avalon was the only choice short of a minivan or an SUV. But Minivans and SUV's don't handle/accelerate/brake particularly well, they range from "not great" to "bad" on gas, but offer superior luggage capacity. I travel to NYC from MD 4-6 times per year and renting a minivan/SUV that frequently would be prohibitively costly.

    So, How do I manage with five passengers on trips in an Avalon XLS? A pair of Saris roof load bars and a 15 cubic foot cargo box costing $500-$600 (Thule or Yakima will do as well, but are far more complicated and less aerodynamic). Even when fully loaded with the box, I still get 25-27 hwy MPG @70-75mph and when the trip's over I remove the box and load bars and get my 27-29 highway MPG again. It's a total of 20-30 minutes to install/remove each trip an elegant and solution to a temporary and relatively infrequent problem. Gas ain't getting any cheaper and to expect it to is a bad bet.

    The one time every 2-3 years I'd actually need more capacity than I have between my trunk and cargo box (hasn't happened yet), I'd rent a larger vehicle. You already have a Pilot, why not get a car you'd enjoy more that's more responsible to own (better mpg), more fun (more horsepower and less weight = quicker/faster vehicle, which translates to safer as well). Hope I've helped. Please post what you plan on doing.
  • lofgren, alan and deanie...thanks for the input. I still have a few months before my current lease expires (though I might be able to convince the dealer to take it back early without penalty). I'll keep you informed as to what I do. Alan...I think I'll pass on the XLS. If I get an Avalon, its going to be a Touring....and, right now, I'm still leaning towards getting the Avalon.
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    catman: Do yourself a favor and check out the Hyundai Azera. That car surprised and impressed the heck out of me. It is solidly built, has a smooth and integrated powertrain/transmission and no rattles! Hyundai are offering a lease special on the Limited. If more folks discover it, I think it could become an Avalon-killer.
  • bluesman3bluesman3 Posts: 202
    The Azera does have a nice ride, it has room and power, but it's nowhere close to being an Avalon killer. The styling is a bit dated, it looks like a late 90's Pontiac Bonneville in my opinion.

    Nice car but feels generic.

    The Avalon is an Azera killer in resale value...
  • retired7retired7 Posts: 133
    I find that shifting to the S mode seems to reduce the hide and seek games played between the engine and transmission. Anyone else notice improvement in S mode?

  • I had My avalon XLS about one month and have the problem exactly same as your, will bring the car back to dealer later to check this problem. Hope they can fix this and will update you later.
  • I test drove the Azera 10 minutes after my first test drive of the Avalon (I like to try various cars back to back to back for a better comparison). Anyway, I know what the numbers say, but the Azera felt quite a bit slower/more sluggish than the Avalon. I don't bring a stop watch for the 0-60 time, but I believe I get a sense for how the car performs as I race up to 60 (actually, I like to punch it up to 80 and then see how it feels crusing at 80). I felt that the Azera's engine was working so dang hard to get up to 80 and, perhaps, that's why it felt sluggish. When I feel the engine working hard, I feel like I'm working hard. On the flip side, the Avalon was as smooth as any car I've tested on the way to 80. I know you guys are mentioning this transmission shutter issue, but I've tested an Avalon on 3 separate occasions now (looking for different things) and I didn't notice any shutter...but I will test it one more time to specifically look for this.

    Anyway, maybe I'll try the Azera again as perhaps I got a bad one on the test drive. Or, perhaps, I was still getting over the feeling of getting thrown back into my seat testing the Charger RT (which I tested right before I tested the Avalon that day). The Charger was a beast that had absolutely no problem getting to 80....and the Avalon was so smooth getting to 80....that anything in between (the Azera) was probably not going to cut the mustard that day.
  • lofgrenlofgren Posts: 14
    I use only the 'S' mode and have found no noticeable transmission problem. The Avalon drivetrain, in spite of being front rather than rear, seems about the same as my Lexus GS. In my experience, these drive-by-wire designs all lack the degree of sudden acceleration response provided by their predecessors. Many years ago, I had a Mercury 428 cu. in. beast that was an immediate rocket sled... but with slower 0-60 time than this Avalon. And the Mercury got about 12 mpg when it was treated gently...
  • alan_salan_s Posts: 356
    The transmission hesitation and general electromechanical confusion is most apparent in stop and go traffic when it has to change and adapt quickly, or if you suddenly press the throttle to pull away quickly. I test drove 3 Avalons before getting mine, and didn't feel anything amiss with the transmission until I started using it in heavy traffic. It just doesn't do what you would expect it to, thumps, clunks and slips and sometimes gets completely out of sync with the situation. Toyota consider this a normal "characteristic" of the transmission.
    Test drive in traffic if you are concerned about this issue.
  • tome1tome1 Posts: 10
    2005 Toyota Avalon - Hesitation & Lousy Shifting by tome1 Mar 15, 2006 (1:36 pm)
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    In June 2005,we purchased a new Avalon. Almost immediately,we started noticing that the low speed shifting was not smooth (jerky). This is most noticeable when slowing down and then accelerating as you would constantly be doing in city driving. At the same time,a hesitation would occur. I have spoken to the dealership and opened an incident report with Toyota. All that I've been told is that this "characteristic" of this 5 speed transmission and the way that it is controlled by the computer. The hesitation is again "computer" related in conjunction with the wonderful "electronic" accelerator control. I just recently opened a complaint in NHTSA web site ( as a result of a close call we experienced because of this lousy performance in the Avalon. We were exiting a major interstate and had to quickly merge into a heavily travelled secondary highway. As I slowed and then proceeded to accelerate,the engine RPM died off and then when the car decided to shift it lunged forward at high speed. This all happened in the span of 1 or 2 seconds but was enough delay that it frightened all in the car. I've been reviewing Edmunds for similar problems with other Avalons and see that I'm not alone here. Has anyone gotten "ANY" satisfaction from Toyota on these problems???
  • I've had my 2006 Ltd since 11/05 and have experienced consistent hesitancy or lag especially in stop & go traffic and merging onto freeways etc. It's been annoying me to no end. Discussed it with Toyota service during the 5000 mile service and told "normal characteristic" of the car. Drove another 06 Ltd on the lot and experienced the same. While "researching" this issue I found this forum about a month ago and have been reading several posts citing the same issue. It's had become apparent to me it was the drive-by-wire (DBW) technology and computer programming on this vehicle. An obvious design flaw or so I thought, until...

    Two weeks ago while driving in HEAVY stop & go traffic I just happened to notice I was NOT experiencing any hesitancy, the car had become "uncharacteristic ally" VERY responsive. After about 2 miles of bumper-to-bumper stop & go traffic and trying to figure why my car had suddenly become a responsive powerhouse it hit foot placement on the accelerator was different. Normally I toe between the brake and acclerator pedals but this time, for some strange reason I was moving my entire foot. The entire length of my foot was on the gas when I accelerated. I'd give the pedal an slight nudge and the car accelerated very smoothly, evenly, and without any hesitation. Couple days later I was again in heavy stop & go, and noticed hesitancy with acceleration and I recalled my foot position from the time before. I changed my foot position to full foot on the pedal and what do you know...COMPLETE resolution and car was again very responsive.

    I know it sounds crazy, stupid, unbelievable, asinine, whatever...but since this discovery I can actually CAUSE my care to either hesitate in traffic or be very responsive to input on the accelerator simply by altering the position of my foot. I've since made a conscious effort to alter my driving habit (full foot on instead of toeing) and haven't had one episode of hesitancy, lag, or unresponsivness since. I've also noticed increased MPG during my 70/30 highway/city drive week. Have gone from 24 MPG to 29MPG this past week and a half.
  • rosendorosendo Posts: 1
    Great to find some so determined to find the noise problems that plague us. If you have any information you can share with me regarding the front passenger side seat noise and rattle on the rear shelf (behind the back seat) I would be greatly appreciative.
  • joe369joe369 Posts: 61
    I just got murdered by a riced out dodge neon in my '06 Avalon :-(!!!! It was quite embarassing to have a econobox beat this fine car....urgh Anyone know of any decent mods for the avalon?
  • sully63sully63 Posts: 3
    I was pretty jazzed about buying a new 06 Touring but after reading this nightmare of threads I'm rethinking this decision. I know that people don't typically come to these forums and write about successes but there has to be more than the couple I've read here.

    Do all the posters here hate this car????

    I was also considering the Maxima SL and the Lucerne CXL (perhaps the Azera but first model year scares me).
  • No, everyone here doesn't hate the car. IMHO just a few. I enjoy mine. The transmission doesn't hesitate and the DBW accelerator works smoothly because I know how to put my foot on the accelerator pedal correctly. I have no rattles, my MPG average 18-19 around town and 28-29 on the highway. The engine has a different sound than other engines but what engine doesn't. I know some people have problems, but I believe some problems are simply caused by driving habits. Get an Avalon, you' be glad you did.
  • lofgrenlofgren Posts: 14
    My Avalon XLS offers a remarkable combination of power, features, quiet interior, attractive appearance and fuel economy. I continue to marvel at the value. I was happy with a Lexus GS for several years, but see no need to pay considerably more than Avalon pricing for a very similar package of quality and certainly less mpg.
    I do not have the NAV or cooled seats that some appear to find irksome, so cannot comment on those, but there are no rattles or hesitation problems plaguing this owner.
  • My 97 Avalon check "engine light" is on and the trouble code tied back to "Random Misfire" or "Random Misfire in Cylinders 1, 3, & 5"?

    Does anyone know how to fix the problem?
  • retired7retired7 Posts: 133
    Thanks everyone for the responses. Not sure Toyota's explaination equates to a user friendly transmission/engine combination in this vehicle!!
    I bought one the first 05 Ltds last Feb and find driving in S mode does reduce the erratic behavior. Placing my whole foot on the gas pedal sounds like a "wifes tale" but what the heck, I'll try it out! Can anyone explain techncially whay this makes a difference-I will also investigate. I have about 15K miles on my LTD and have found using 100% synthetic oil (Mobil 1) helps performance and mileage. Also am installing a K & N air filter to increase HP a bit. I find keeping the Michilens consistently pumped up to 32 psi (use good dial gage and check in the morning before driving) helps mileage.

  • bluesman3bluesman3 Posts: 202
    Yea. When's the last time you changed spark plugs & wires?
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Try posting at the Problem and Solution section ?
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