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Toyota Avalon Owners: Meet the Members

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  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi All:
    I'm Dean, 36, married, two kids (3yrs & 7wks). Pearl Gray '05 XLS, graphite leather, dark wood w/VSC, JBL, mats, locks, glass breakage sensor. Previous car (now my second car) 96 Maxima SE (160k mile) engine, tranny, a/c still run like new - I hope my XLS does just as well. Reg gas in the Maxima during warm weather caused my car to start knocking/pinging after 60k miles, so I've since used prem gas w/no probs. I'll probably use premium in the XLS except during winter months just in case.

    Deanie
  • ccriderccrider Posts: 26
    Hey deanie, you happen to have some interior pics of your car? Haven't been able to see the combination interior that you have. Still trying to decide between the Phantom Gray Touring and the Phantom Gray XLS.
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi CC:
    Sorry, my digcam is on the fritz (software prob on my computer). HOWEVER, There are photos of the gaphite interior here on edmunds. Click on "First Drives" then click on the 2005 Avalon. There's photos of the interior of the Limited tested (has graphite - but disregard the wood steering wheel which is exclusive to Limited), and conveniently located a photo or two beneath it is a Touring interior photo (charcoal).

    By the way, has your choice been reduced to the appearance of one interior vs. the other??!? C'mon. Did you read the Cnsmr Rprts article on VSC yet? After you read it, how important can the interior appearance be? I know, to each his own. To me, safety is paramount, and avoiding an accident is infinitely better than surviving one.

    I can tell you right now, if I could transplant the Touring's charcoal/plastiluminum interior into my XLS, I'd do it because I think it looks better, but not so much as to be anything close to a determining factor. If the interior look is that important to you, go with the Touring. Personally, I think you should focus substance stuff matters (VSC + other XLS options VERSUS slightly better handling, Xenon lights & lower price (money saved is money earned). Ask yourself, what really matters to you.

    Other minor consideration: which model is easier to resell - probably XLS due to Touring's limited market appeal, which means little if you're gonna drive it for more than 5-10yrs as I will mine.

    Regards,
    Deanie
  • ccriderccrider Posts: 26
    Hey deanie. I got to see through the windows of a couple today on the lot that I think may have had the graphite interior. The top portion looked darker, then everything else (seats, steering wheel, below the wood trim all around) looked more like gray. Wasn't sure if this was the graphite interior or not. But it looks similar to the picture on the First Drive. If so, I was hoping the leather color would be alot darker. If not, I still haven't seen the graphite interior.

    I'm still leaning toward the XLS because of the safety features, but I wonder if I really need it. I've never had it before. BTW, I haven't read the article in Consumer Reports.
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi CC:
    You probably saw the graphite b/c the Charcoal you're familiar with in the Touring is so many shades darker than graphite. In reality, they misnamed the leather color that is "graphite" because it more closely resembles battleship gray. When I hear "graphite", I think either "black" or "pencil lead". Regarding VSC - like insurance, you may not think you need it - until you do. Then, it's your best friend.
    Regards,
    Deanie
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Hi, my name is Paul. I'm 43 & my wife and I live in southern New Hampshire. We just contracted to buy a 2005 Avalon XL in Blue Mirage Metallic with the Ivory interior. It should be delivered to us within the next week or two, and we can't wait!

    We're replacing my wife's 1996 Ford Contour and my 2000 Mercedes C230 with the Avalon. We love Toyotas - my 1993 Toyota Pickup will turn over 210,000 miles this weekend, and we hope for similar longevity and reliability from our new Avalon.

    I'm a former junkyard mechanic turned computer geek and then corporate technology trainer, so how things work and people are what I'm all about. My wife is learning how to deal effectively with that, as we've been married less than 2 years. No kids as of yet, but we will soon have one beautiful new addition in our garage! :D

    This seems like a very positive forum & I'm looking forward to sharing Avalon tips, tricks, and experiences with you all.

    Best regards,
    - Paul
  • rainh2orainh2o Posts: 19
    'Just did a quick tally of the ages reported in this forum. Including me, the average is 47, with a range of 28, the minimum being 29 and the maximum being 57. I'd have to say that the 29 year old is wise beyond years, and the 57 year old hasn't lost his joie de vivre!

    While this group may be relatively well seasoned, I'm 41 and have to wonder: Where are all of the old folks that are supposed to be buying the Avalon? I have to admit, though, that the first one I saw on the street was being driven by a fellow that had to be in his 70s! It was quite disappointing as I hadn't yet made the decision to purchase and was embarrassed to be talking about it to one of my workmates.

    I got over it and now have a Limited on order, which is, obviously, the most popular trim level among those of you that have posted here. So, apparently, I'm in good company!

    'Would love to see more activity on this particular board, but have a hard time imagining an Avalon owner's club. First of all, there are so few at this point, it would be difficult to get a group together in any city. Ah, well! 'Guess this will have to do!

    How about this: If you're interested in a lively discussion, tell us what your favorite feature of the new Avalon is. Thanks!
  • avalonmanavalonman Posts: 6
    Well I just read your Msg & I wanted to tell you I own an 05 limited. I am 64, live in the Long Island NY area, and have read most of the msgs. So you can update your findings for the oldest.

    This is my third Avalon - my others were 99 & 02. My sons are now enjoying them. I don't get a chance to review all thats on here often, but once in a while I catch up. I don't have much to say so I don't post much. But here I am.
  • rainh2orainh2o Posts: 19
    Thanks for responding! I was beginning to think no one would!

    You may have raised the average age a tad, but you're 2 years younger than my father, and I don't consider him to be old. Just the same, I certainly meant no offense to anyone that might read this forum. I should be more careful with my off-hand remarks.

    Besides, assuming you purchased the earlier models new, you were approximately 58 with the first and 61 with the second. Much has been speculated regarding the new Avalon and the average ages of purchasers of the previous models.

    Apparently, you've been very happy with your Avalons! How do you like your 2005 Avalon? Is it preferable to your previous models? What do you especially like about it?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    Add a 60 to the average age.. I'll be 61 when the model year changes and am waiting, for no other reason than my loaded '03 XL is a great car. If it helps any, I was 54 when I bought my first Avalon in late 1998.

    Have not seen many of the new models on the road here in Atlanta but at the dealer where I have mine serviced, almost everybody looking at the ones on the lot is under 50, some look to be as young as 25 maybe. The engine is the attraction, according to the salesmen, and they cross-shop against the Maxima a lot.
    Fred (fin)
  • rainh2orainh2o Posts: 19
    fin,

    Do you trade up, often? My wife would shoot me if I traded an '03 for an '05. I would be stuck in it for at least 6 years. But, considering that both are Avalons, there are worse things.

    Or, are you considering the new Avalon because of the improvements? Which trim line will you choose? The Limited seems to be the most popular on these forums.

    I've seen a grand total of 3 on the road, here in west Phoenix. And I saw two of those cars on the lot before they were sold. Having watched the lot of nearest dealer closely for the last several weeks, I'm surprised that the Avalons aren't selling faster. But, there's only been one Limited on the lot in the last 6 weeks.

    The Touring and XL models don't appear to be moving quickly. Considering the bang for the buck, that surprises me, as well.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 586
    Waiting on an '06 model actually. The '03 XL is great. We have purchased 8 new cars in the last 16 years (3 drivers use 3 different cars). My last 2 were the Avalons, '99 and '03, loaded. Wife and daughter drive V6 Accords.

    Will look first at the Limited as it has perf leather seats. My '03 has them. Might go for the XLS. No Touring or XL models for me, but yes, they are the bargains in the lineup. Avalons are selling well in Atlanta, but they just don't have the cars. Not usually more than about 6 offered at any dealer at one time. Go figure....
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    rainh2o,

    My favorite feature of the new Avalon is that they finally put automatic climate control in the base model, as in the Cressida days. Even our 2000 Mercedes C230 (which the Avalon is replacing) does not have that - temp was automatic, but fan speed and direction were not.

    I also am a great fan of the solidness and reliability of Toyota products. Today when sitting in a new Avalon at the dealership, the ignition key felt so solid in the lock - the same way it did in the early 1990's models.

    Not sure exactly how they do it, but I'm sure glad they do :) . Actually my wife and I toured the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA on our honeymoon. We're planning a trip to Georgetown, KY this fall or next spring to see the Avalon assembly facility.

    - Paul
  • rainh2orainh2o Posts: 19
    paul_p,

    Thanks for responding! And, I agree, the automatic climate control is a great feature! My wife is usually cold when I'm hot, so it will make the trips from Phoenix to San Diego more tolerable.

    You mentioned tours of the American plants. Are they available to the general public, or do you have inside connections?

    Thanks, again.

    rainh2o
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    rainh2o,

    The tours are opent to the public as far as I know, but you have to make a reservation well in advance. They give you an introductory presentation, then ride you through the facility on trams. A bonus for my wife and I was that we were allowed to purchase items at the NUMMI company store afterwards - t-shirts, hats, jackets, etc. Really cool!

    What surprised me was that our tour guide encouraged us to wave to the workers as we went through the facility, and they waved back! It was as if they wanted you to see them doing a good job. Very positive, unlike the GM parts plant where I used to work in 1981, which was shirts and ties vs. laborers (i.e., me). At the Nummi plant, it appeared everyone was working together in teams to get the job done. In my next life, that's where I want to work!

    If you go to google and type "NUMMI tours", that will bring you to the link for Fremont, CA tour. "Georgetown Avalon tour" gives you the link to details on the Georgetown, KY Avalon plant tours.

    Has anyone reading this toured the Georgetown, KY plant? I so wanted to do that before buying an Avalon, but ran out of time.

    - Paul
  • mixedbluesmixedblues Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Toyota Avalon LS Special Edition. The car only has 42K miles on it, I am the original owner and by the time the car had 22K miles on it the windows had been worked on 6 times. At 33K miles (3K out of warranty) The dealer did a window repair at no cost. Well, I myself have worked on those windows and have managed to keep them going and I have more work ahead of me today, 8 May 2005. The front passenger and left rear windows are out again. This will make a total of 14 window failures during the life of the car. Bottom line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will not ever purchase another Toyota vehicle of any kind. Incidentally, I must mention I had a first yesterday, I drained 1/2 liter of water out of the right rear door and 14 ounces out of the left rear door. Solved that problem quickly, I drilled 3 drain holes in the bottom of each rear door and rust proofed the holes.
  • rainh2orainh2o Posts: 19
    Paul,

    Thanks for sharing the NUMMI tour info. Your experience is a testament to the way Toyota does business, as well as the way they build their cars.

    A former boyfriend of my sister's worked at the Georgetown plant, and by all accounts, it is amazing. Though, I can't say what the tours involve.

    -Derek
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Thanks for sharing your experience, mixedblues. This is why I am waiting to purchase the extended warranty. If things break early on, its a fair indication they will proably break again later & I appreciate your confirming that Avalons are not immune.

    Not sure if it would have helped your car over the last 10 years, but about every month I try to run all four windows up and down. I've found that inactivity can also cause problems.

    If one lives in a toll booth city, then: (250 days per year commuting * 2 up/down cycles per toll booth) * 10 years = 5,000 window up/down cycles per toll booth over the ten-year life of a car (that is, for cars that last 10 years). Another reason to get Easy Pass!!

    I used to live in NJ and it's one reason I volunteered to relocate. Not to mention two window cycles up/down every time an attendant has to pump gas for you.

    - P.
  • nemodatnemodat Posts: 14
    My name is Doug. I am 58. I have a blizzard Pearl Limited picked up Feb. 28th. It is my 3rd Avalon. I have had one of each body style. I live an hour from Georgetown. The tour is much the same as the one described in Calif. except at the end they allowed us to ask questions. I asked about the '05 Avalon which at that time was still hush hush. Unfortunately, because they were changing the line over for the '05, I didn't see any Avalons being built. You need reservations as in Calif.
    Peace
  • Not too long ago, I heard water sloshing around when opening or closing the rear driver side door. Not good. Does anyone know of any cost efficient solution to drain the water? I think that water may be entering the door via loose door moulding. Nevertheless, I really want to get that water out. Any suggestions?
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