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Toyota Avalon Owners: Meet the Members

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  • 06ltd06ltd Posts: 25
    I'm 59, a retired scientist, and live in Maryland. I just bought our second Avalon ('06 Limited) for my wife and I have mixed emotions. Lots of value for the money (lots of room, and everything but Sat Radio for $34,400 OTD), but I find it a bit staid (I'm 25 at heart) and not the handler my '02 BMW 330Ci is. While the mileage is good considering the HP & torque, it's certainly not a hybrid. We've had a '98 XLS since new (now with 112K) and it's had the rack and pinion replaced, as well as the front struts. The HVAC controller really should be replaced, too, but the system only quits once in a while and replacement is $1,000, and now there's a 5" crack in the windshield. The steering is much too spongy. It rattles, too. In sum, the car has been OK, but not great.

    I considered many alternatives (of various types) before choosing the Limited; a BMW X-3, Accord Hybrid, Prius, Acura TL, RS-330 Hybrid. My wife refuses to drive any SUV on principle. In short, I chose the Limited because it splits a lot of differences, not because I'm passionate about it. It's reasonably powerful, efficient, roomy, comfortable, and elegant without being showy and overpriced. I hope it's more solid that the '98. If I could change anything about it, I'd put a hybrid drive system in it. I sure hope that's in the planning stages. I'd gladly trade the HP for the fuel efficiency.

    This is a good board. Folks are quite helpful. :)
  • will16will16 Posts: 21
    We purchased a 06 Avalon XL. I traded a Lexus RX 300 2002 with 80K miles, trouble free. However I wanted something with better mileage that was roomy and quiet. We just came back from Great Barrington MA. to CT. and the average MPG was 33.1 at 50 MPH. Driving at 70 MPH was giving 29 MPG. So far we hit a high of 35.1 MPG.

    It is a big car and does not handle like a BMW, but it rides much better, always a trade off. I have a 01 Porsche Boxster S and when I want fun I jump in that.

    My wife drives a Acura Legend 92 with 47K miles, the Avalon is luxury compared.

    It only cost me $4000 to leave the Lexus and get a new car, and with 7 air bags, I feel I at least have more safety then before.

    I'm a car nut, and have had a Ferrari, real Cobra, many Vets and Porsches, and read all the car mags.The Avalon is so close to Lexus, same switchgear, 3,5 engine and muched shared equipment. I thought is was very good value for the money. My daughter has 04 BMW 525 with electrical glitches, great handling, but not worth the money IMHO.

    I have the car a month with 3200 miles and not a problem. I do my own oil changes and noticed they did away with the metal filter and went the way of Porsche and BMW with a paper element that slips into the engine.

    Bill , CT. -- PS, Great board for info.
  • Hi, I read your blog saying you had a 5" crack in the windshield. Did you know that driving with such a crack is illegal in most states, and that you must fix it ASAP. A big bounce in pothole or rut can crack the glass the rest of the way and become quite dangerous. Don't you have "Glass Breakage " :) :) insurance? In NY it is mandatory.
    Good luck.
  • I'm not sure what insurance company you deal with ( :confuse: ), however, Glass Breakage insurance isn't mandatory. Although it is good to have. I live in NY. I just purchased my forth car. The last three were Avalons. '95, 2000, 2006.
  • joe369joe369 Posts: 61
    Hey plummer2

    How would you rate your 2006 Avalon compared to your old ones? I'm satisfied with mine but it is noiser than I expected to be. Especially with the wind noise at 75mph or so.
  • octimoctim Posts: 2
    I am a new Avalon owner...bought a used 2004 Avalon XLS with traction and Navigation system with all the bells and whistles. A salesman had put 80K on it of freeway miles, so I got it for 17,500 at Auction, about 4 grand below blue book. Its the nicest car I have ever had. I am so impressed with the quality and fit and finish. It rides well, has all the little things I would want in a car(except XM Radio, which I had to add). Still learning the Navigation system, but I plan to keep this car for ten years and try for 300K on the engine before rebuilding.
    I am a little shocked at how often some of these Avalon Owners trade in their cars! I can't imagine keeping a car only two years! Depreciation would eat you up! When we were looking for cars, the combination of power, huge trunk, huge back seat, leather everything, quality of the parts and fit and finish sold me. This is my first Toyota but I did a lot of checking on Camry's and Avalons and they come highly recommended. One friend has a son who is a dealer mechanic at Toyota and he recommended the Avalon to his mom. High praise, since mechanics know which cars are reliable and which are problems. I also wanted a safe car, with traction and ABS and air bags and a solid body, which the Avalon is. I plan on replacing the stock struts with KYBS and I have added a K&M lifetime air filter. I am interested in any other owners of Avalons with long life. So far, I have seen three owners of 95 Avalons with over 250K! Thats a good sign. I plan on driving this car a long time. I have previously driven A Honda civic, Rabbit, Saturn, Mazda 626 and a lot of lesser cars. I think the Avalon is the perfect car for a family with big kids who need a lot of room in the back seat. My kids are cramped in all my other vehicles, not the Avalon.

    A lot of my friends said I was crazy to buy a car that had 80K miles in two years...but I saved about 25K off what a new 2006 with the same features would cost. For 25K, I can live with the miles and a couple small spots I had to touch up the paint. I read a book called "drive it forever" and his main point was "ignore the miles, concentrate on the type of driving and the number of times the engine was started". Its cold starts that wear out engines, not freeway miles.

    My only shock so far....the spark plugs are TEN BUCKS at the dealer. OUCH! For that price, they should be solid gold! But if they last as long as I am told they will, thats money well spent.
  • I agree with you. I'm 25 and bought a 2002 XLS in May with 37K and had it Toyota Certified so I'm covered to 100K or 06/08. My first Toyota.

    It's been the best car I've ever owned and prior to that I had a 1998 Buick Park Ave which was a complete waste of money and time. GM should get the hint that the garbage they put out there will NOT stand up to a Toyota. That's why you can run Toyota's into the 200-300K mile range. You would be lucky to get 100K out of any Buick without it draining your bank account.

    This Avalon has more power, better MPG, and has 95% of the toys my Park Ave has.

    I do miss the HUD, but I can get over that for a car that starts, runs, and drives the same it did the day before, every day.

    Bottom line, an Avalon is the way to go if you’re looking for a full size that is going to last for years.
  • Hi, I'm Mike. I will be picking up a new Limited with navigation, laser cruise control, remote starter and XM radio. It is black with a spoiler. I was torn between this and a 300C. I know--no comparison, but the 300C was a hoot to drive. The first time I drove an Avalon, it seemed ho-hum. I found a black Limited and after another drive, I'm convinced. I can't wait till next week to pick it up. I spend 50 miles a day in a car and am looking forward to the drive, (at least for a while). I have a 200 Tundra and have been pleased except for the thin paint job.
  • I am about ready to purchase a Avalon 2006 limited. Can someone explain the pros and cons of the VSC option. Do I really need it?
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    Hi Dave: First, hi to a fellow Iowan! I just bought a Silver Pine Mica 06 Avalon Limited--what a machine! We retired at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and the Avalon soaks up the curvy & bumpy roads like a sponge I refill at Casey's and use the 89 Octane with 10% Ethanol--cheaper than regular and works better! I'm 62 and the Avalon runs like a dream on the 89 Octane--probably would take-off with 91 Octane! I'm back in my youth again! What's wrong with US carmakers--a 3.5 liter motor, 0-60 under 7 seconds, 26 MPG in combined town & country driving and seats more comfortable than your sofa! No wonder we're falling farther and farther behind the foreign competition. I did drive and was impressed with the Buick Lucerne--great car---only concern was it is a 1st year car and how will it hold-up? I got the 7 year 100K mile warranty--what I like about it is--Toyota pays the towing to the nearest dealer, no matter the distance--and we're 75 miles from the nearest Toyota dealer. I have the Nav System--VERY complicated--still learning. Also have the Carpeted Mats, VSC & Trac Control plus Laser Cruise--that takes some getting used to--and I had Body Side Moldings, Spoiler, Splash guars, Pinstripes, Tinted Windows plus a couple other add-ons. My XM Radio antenna was originally on the top right of the windshield--keep losing signal so the dealer relocated to bottom middle of rear window--works great!! Never gave much thought to the "little black box" perched on the outside--like you--as long as it works! Enjoyed your forum entry. Thanks! Bob
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    My 1st question would be do you live in ice & snow contry? I have an 06 Limited and love the VSC & Trac Control--but--we live in Missouri and it does come in handy on the cury and snowy roads. I tend to drive "faster" than I should--the power of the Limited takes this 62 year old back to his youth! I say for the $600 get it if ya live in snow country or you also have a tendency to "Mario Andretti" around the curves! Love our Avalon--it is a machine!! One thing--make sure to chk with your local Michelin dealer about tire pressure---mine said use 40 lbs in the 215/55/17 low profile tires--not the 32 lbs on the door seal ID plate---he said tires will definitely last longer. I know you'll love the Avalon---faster than aBMW--quieter than a church, seats more comnfortable than your sofa and built like a tank! It also helps to get an "honest" 26 MPG in combo town & country driving---probably would be better if i didn't have a "led foot!!" We'll be taking a trip soon and I expect 30 MPG + on the trip. I use 89 Octane which is 10% Ethanol. Hope this helps! My email is fishing9209@aol.com and email me if you have any more questions! Bob
  • reitsterreitster Posts: 2
    I have had by 06 Limited for about a month after trading in a 2000 Camry. My ez pass tag has not been working through the windshield although it still works if I hold it up through the sunroof. I'm thinking this might be attributable to the extra acoustic insulation that is supposedly on the interior of the LTD's window glass. I've since ordered an external tag....but wondering if anyone else has experienced the same issue.
  • andrejakandrejak Posts: 4
    I have a 2005 Avalon Limited and no problems with EZ Pass up here in New Hampshire
  • murph777murph777 Posts: 1
    I too have an '06 Av, Ltd. Fabulous car. You spoke of body side moulding. Interesting. I'm really concerned with the "new look" on cars with doors waiting for dings. How does it look and did a Toyota dealer do it?
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    Hi Murph: yes, I had the body side moldings installed by the dealer. They look great! Another point of interest. Talked to our local Michelin dealer as i wanted to make sure i had the proper PSI in the tires--car data plate calls for 32 PSI--he said NO--should be 40 PSI--rotated, kept properly inflated and balanced--they'll last 80K miles +--hope this helps!! What color did you get? I got Silver Pine Mica.
    Bob
  • jondjond Posts: 43
    Just bought a new 2006 Avalon Limited. About to take a long trip. Do I need to be concerned about the break in period where the manual says not to drive for extended periods at the same speed until you have 2000miles. Is this necessary? Any experiences?
  • b1gatorb1gator Posts: 12
    I'm Brian and I own a 2005 Limited. I have had my share of frustration with the navigation system. However, this car is one of the most roomy, fast, quiet,and smooth running of any car I have ever owned. We traded in a 2000 Camry.
    :)
  • fuzzymanfuzzyman Posts: 5
    I'm John and I just purchased a 2006 Limited. I am also concerned about the Engine Break-in Question posed by jond.
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    John: Vary the speed--don't stay too long at any one speed--I took mine from stop to over 80MPH--some 30MPH--some 50 MPH--etc.--I just kept varying the speed. Its hard not to "give her the gun"--what incredible machines these Avys!! I got Silver Pine Mica--awesome color--got body side moldings and door edge guards--they work!! Enjoy your Limited!
    Bob
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    could you tell me where you purchased the door guards?
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    niteone: I got the color keyed door edge guards, body side moldings, splash guards, window vents, tinted windows and splash guards installed at the dealership, I didn't get color keyed splash guards--just figured another area to get chopped paint & dings on---I've seen color keyed splash guards on other Avy's---look great--but----as they are close to the ground they get chipped and dinged. Hope this helps!
    Bob
  • jcouzjcouz Posts: 1
    Brian, what type of problem did you have with the Nav system? I'm about to buy an Avalon and was wondering how well the voice activation feature works? My son has an Infinity and his Nav system seems to understand all the primary code words. Thanks, John
  • My Name is Steve, from MA. I'm a retired 48 yr old and awaiting a small settlement very soon. All my adult life I've driven mostly GM cars, the latest a 90 Celeberty Wgn w/ a modified eng. It's been a good car. BUT, I am now ready for a "Real Car"! A few years ago, I got to ride in a 98 Avalon XLS. I was like "WOW". I haven't to this day forgot that. I swore from that day on that if I ever got the opportunity to get one, I will. Although I can't afford a newer Avy, I have researched 4 candidates ranging from 96-97. One of them has very high mileage(over 200k) but I hear 200k is like 100k on a GM in comparison. Some of the other candidates are 150-180k. You can't find an Avy in New England in good shape for less than 5k. I found ones in NJ, VA, & FL for between 2900-3900. It's worth the 400 in gas to go to FL and back if necessary to save 2k. Of course if anyone one this forum who lives in reasonable distance wants to sell me their 96-97 XLS for the same range of the candidates found, I would like to talk to you. Be advised though that I have a few prerequisites. 1 a bench seat w/ shift on columm. 2- CD player. 3 full maintanence records w/ good carfax history. I prefer any color but green but will still consider it if other conditions are met. BTW 3900 assumes less than 100k mileage. Looking forward to being an Avy owner VERY SOON! I'm counting the days.
    Thanks,
    Steve :)
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    jcouz: Read the Forums about the Nav System--its a JOKE----sorry I got it--same with Remote Start and Laser Cruise ( unless you're in an area with little traffic!) I use my manual cruise more than laser cruise. The Nav Syste is antiquated 20th Century technology. TRY TRY TRY it before ya buy it!!!! Avy is a SUPER car--30+MPG at 75 MPH and I get 27 MPG running around the Ozark hills! Body side moldings are a MUST--they work and for $150 you'll be glad ya got them! Good luck!
    Bob
  • Sounds great that the problem was solved, now remove plugs from other doors too.
  • krekre Posts: 2
    YES ! That's the ticket. For some reason they left the drain plugs in the doors. If you look along the bottom edge of the door there is a black plastic trim piece. At the front there is a small round plastic plug, remove it. Also another one at the other end of the trim. Just use a screw driver and it will pop out easily. When I pulled that plug about a quart of water drained out!
  • fadilfadil Posts: 21
    I just bought a new Avalon 07 from Crown Toyota- Lawrence (Kansas). After several email messages and several phone calls the deal was reached. I went from Illinois on seven hour trip to Lawrence. To my great surprise, a young internet manager (whose name I can't mention here)made my buying experience a pleasurable adventure. No games, no tricks. I felt like I was buying a TV.I was very impressed with this young gentilmen service and treatment.
    Good job, Crown Toyota.
  • Congratulations & enjoy your new car. I was interested in your post because others have recently mentioned that Crown Toyota in Lawrence, KS offers one of the best deals in the country on Toyota's extended warranty plan (typically for 75,000 or 100,000 miles and for 6 or 7 years duration). Did your salesman happen to give you any information on the cost of these plans for your Avalon?
  • Hi Bob: I have read several of your posts in the Avalon discussion groups and feel very informed by your comments.

    I just turned 50 and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I traded in my 2006 Honda Ridgeline for a new Avalon, right before Christmas. This is my second Avalon, and it is a 2007 XLS Titanium Metallic with Navi, upgraded JBL stereo, traction control, rubber floor mats (front and back), trunk liner, mud flaps, 3M treatment for rock chips, extra undercoating and block heater. My previous Avalon was a 2000 XLS with all available options, except Navi. So far, I have not noticed significant differences between the two cars, except for the engine, which is more powerful but also quieter in the '07 version. The trunk seems a bit smaller in the '07, but I appreciate the practicality of a full-sized spare on an alloy wheel, which takes up some of the trunk space. I like the reclining back seats and flat back floor, which was a key feature for me for family trips with my two offensive lineman sons. The navigation system has taken some time to learn, and it is not user friendly. It often suggests busier, less efficient routes than what one would expect. I think I blew that call! I will be adding aftermarket Bluetooth and MP3 capability, but am holding off on the backup camera for now. I have read previous comments about the "floaty" ride, but when you drive on bad Canadian roads all year (potholes, frost heaving, tar strips, etc.), you appreciate the softer ride. I had no problems with traction on snow and ice in the past 2 weeks (kept tire pressures at 35-37PSI as recommended in another Edmunds forum). I may increase it to 40PSI after reading your posts.

    I paid a little extra for a 5-year, 120,000 km extended warranty, but the dealer took $1,000 off as loyalty discount, added 3M treatment, protection package, rubber mats and trunk liner at cost and free oil changes for as long as I own the car, plus I negotiated a sweet deal on my trade-in.

    I am interested in anyone's opinion on whether a moon roof deflector worth it? I haven't tried one before and an debating its practicality.

    Also do you have any picture on what the body side moldings look like on the Avalon? I can't seem to find on the web.

    BTW, the rubber mats are essential for drivers in snowy regions to keep the carpets clean.

    Roger
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    Hi Roger----love Canada--go to Saskatchewan, Lac La Ronge and Besnard Lake fishing every June!! So I don't forget--DO NOT inflate your tiores to 40 PSI---35 PSI is perfect--I talked to our local Michelin dealer and he said--in no case go above 37PSI. Ride at 35 PSI is fine and MPG improves! i have the body side moldings and they look GREAT--better yet--they WORK!! I don't have any pics. They do not detract from the lines of the car. I also have the pin stripes and color keyed door edge guards. Love our 06 Limited---a big Lexus at 1/2 the price! I do not have nor do i feel I need the moon roof deflector--I want the breeze! I also had the dealer install side window deflectors--they allow you to have the window cracked w.o having the wind blowing right in your face. Did you get a Toyota Extended Warranty? I got the 7 year 75K Mile "0" Deductible Bumper-to Bumper Warranty for $695 from www.toyotaofgreenfield.com (413) 773 5455 (Troy)--I also understand there's a dealer in Kansas who also "discounts" the warranty--and --they ARE a Toyota warranty. I know the reference to the Kansas dealer is somewhere in the Posts--just not sure where--maybe someone will read this and remember. I do agree about the Nav System--it is a JOKE and I know Toyota has taken a lot of heat ovber its user unfriendliness! I love the ride and crypt quietness--test drove an infiniti G35--thought I was in an Army 2 1/2 ton truck! All the best Roger and I hope you enjoy your Avalon as well as we do! Happy New Year!
    Bob
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