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2007 Toyota Avalon

patpat Posts: 10,421
edited July 19 in Toyota
Let's talk about what you'd like to see for next year's edition of the Avalon.
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Comments

  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Let’s talk about improvements we would like to see on the 2007 Avalon. I suggest we limit the discussion to things that can actually be done to the current platform, since we know it is not changing for 2007. I.e. “increase trunk space” would not be a realistic suggestion. I'm also not going to get into QC issues such as "less rattles."

    Here’s my list:

    --6 speed transmission

    --Eliminate sensitivity of accelerator pedal behavior to foot position

    --Touring suspension, wheels/tires and trim bits should be an option package available on any of the other 3 models, rather than a separate model. Black leather should be simply a leather color choice, rather than a mandatory component of the Touring package. You should be able to buy a Limited with Touring package and ivory leather, or an XLS with black leather and the base suspension.

    --Both suspensions need fine tuning. Base suspension should not get floaty on road undulations -- not even Buicks and Cadillacs do this nowadays. Both suspensions need flatter cornering. Target for base suspension handling should be Ford 500. Target for Touring handling should be Acura TL.

    --Improve steering feel/centering at highway speeds.

    --Driver’s seat should have one to two inches additional rearward travel and seat cushion should go one inch lower, to better accommodate tall drivers.

    --Make JBL audio system available on XL.

    --Both audio systems should play mp3 discs and have auxiliary input jacks.
  • Great list, smith1!

    I've adopted all your suggestions (1-8) with only minor modifications and added more here:

    1. 6 speed transmission

    2. Eliminate sensitivity of accelerator pedal behavior to foot position

    3. Touring suspension, wheels/tires and trim bits should be an option package available on any of the other 3 models, rather than a separate model. Black leather should be simply a leather color choice, rather than a mandatory component of the Touring package. You should be able to buy a Limited with Touring package and ivory leather, or an XLS with black leather and the base suspension.

    4. Both suspensions need fine tuning. Base suspension should not get floaty on road undulations -- not even Buicks and Cadillacs do this nowadays. Both suspensions need flatter cornering. Target for base suspension handling should be Ford 500. Target for Touring handling should be Acura TL.

    5. Improve steering feel/centering at all speeds.

    6. Driver’s seat should have one to two inches additional rearward travel and seat cushion should go one inch lower, to better accommodate tall drivers.

    7. Make JBL audio system available on XL.

    8. Both audio systems should play mp3 discs and have auxiliary input jacks.

    9. Provide fuel ecomomy display that is switchable and resettable to show tank average, trip average or instantaneous fuel use.

    10. Re-design front passenger seat belt so it does not rattle when retracted.

    11. Provide option of 2-driver memory seats/mirrors on XLS and Touring, in addition to Limited (or make the Limited available in Canada).

    12. Relocate and illuminate the buttons for trunk opening and gas filler door opening.

    13. Exchange locations of sunglasses compartment and overhead lights, so that when the compartment door is opened it doesn't block the rearview mirror.

    14. Offer factory-installed back-up sensors as an option.

    havalongavalon
  • One more that needs to be added if it's not already on the '06 Limited, passenger seat adjustable positions that are the same as the driver's seat.
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    The "wish list" is just that-unless Toyota is listening?! Knock, Knock Toyota--anybody reading and reacting? My biggest complaints are: Complicated & user "unfriendly Nav System, front end paint chips too easily, needs fold-away side mirrors and standard body side moldings.
    Bob
  • topgeartopgear Posts: 111
    I agree with you. The "unfriendly Nav System" is a disappointment for me. I bought a new Solara convertible with the nav and I love it. But, I did not do my homework and discovered after buying the Avalon (2nd car) that it's not a touchscreen and most features are difficult to use via the dash mounted buttons & "joystick". Oh well,...so much for Toyota Nav technology. Folding mirrors would have been a very good feature and would help in the two car garage which is tight with two the cars inside.

    P
  • gladiator99gladiator99 Posts: 104
    Hi havalongavalon!!
    I had an opportunity to view the new Lexus ES350 today.
    I believe that most of the items on your wishlist might be avaailable on the new 07 ES350. Lexus chose Kelowna to have automotive journalists test drive and review the new GS 350 and the GS 450 Hybrid as well as the ES 350. I think it might be a option for those Avalon owners who want more options or a firmer suspension. I didn't have an opportunity to drive this new Lexus but it looked very well finished and looks a little bit like the Avalon.
    I still really love my Avy, besides on a recent trip to Calgary and back I was able to get 39 mpg. ( shown on my car's computer screen) Great mileage for this car. I may consider the new Lexus in another year or two but for now the Avalon is running great.
    Take care!
    :D
  • melbcmelbc Posts: 31
    Hey gladiator99,

    I noticed you mentioned you were able to get 39 mpg as shown on your computer screen. Did you have to convert litres to kms or did you actually figure out how to make the screen show mpg. I have navigation system and can't seem to find a way to show the conversion. Any help would be appreciated. I tried the menu setup area but nothing changed.

    MelBC
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    Sir/Ma'am: Love the Forum and all the helpful tios--i.e. buying a 7 Year 100K Mile Warranty for $990 vs the MSRP of $1650! Does anyone at Edmunds have direct contact with a Toyota representitive who's empowered to effect any of the great ideas addressed in the Forum? While it's great to voice your opions and concerns, if nobody's listening--the end affect is simply getting frustrations off your chest! Most of the great ideas do not require any major manufacturing line changes and would certainly enhance the overall quality of the Avalon. Toyota---remeber where ya came from and how ya got to where you are today--LISTENING & ADAPTING!! Wonder why Hyundai has come so far so fast--mmm?
    Bob
  • Good morning, gladiator99!

    What a rare treat, to have a private first showing of new Lexi right on your own front yard!! Did you take any sneak pictures that you could post for us? ;)

    I bet you are right, the new GS 350 and the GS 450 Hybrid as well as the ES 350 may incorporate all or most of the features that we are wishing the next Avalons will have.

    This reminds me to add another wish to the list: No changes in the Avalon price points!! (in US dollars, that is). On the other hand, the new Toyota Canada prices should really come way down, given the steady improvement in exchange rate... Toyota Canada, are YOU listening? :D

    Regards,

    havalongavalon
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    1. rear wheel drive - although I know Toyota would never do this - too close to an 'LS350'
    2. general 'tightening' of suspension - feel that all trims except for the Touring way too soft and even the Touring could benefit from a little less body lean. The ride/handling tradeoff may alienate some of the traditional Avalon buyers?
    3. the 6 speed tranny is fine and will almost certainly be std. on the 07 - and may make no difference from a operational point of view if Toyota persists in 'programming' the transmission the way it is (for economy). So the wish is for control improvements on whatever trans. ends up in the car BUT only if that change doesn't wind up costing too much at the gas pump.
  • gladiator99gladiator99 Posts: 104
    Hi melbc!
    I had to convert km. to miles and litres to gal. I have a handy slide rule type of converter which automatically displays the mpg. for me when I line up the litres used for any number of km. I was very impressed that I could get such a good average of mpg. I will have to read my owners manual to see if we can display miles per gallon averages instead of litres per 100 km. I think all the Canadian Avalons show only litres and km.
    Take care!!
  • tinatinatinatina Posts: 388
    In no particular order,

    1. 6 speed tranny.

    2. Fold down rear seats

    3. A red dot in CR. Better fit and finish.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Coming down the pipe..6 speed transmission, minor headlight, tail light changes, grille change, bluetooth added. Some options added and some deleted, same with exterior colors. Touring model maybe discontinued. Stay tuned..
    Mackabee
    :shades:
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    The Touring is the really distinctive model in the line-up. Seems like you could consolidate the XLS/Limited easier. Just have one and then adjust the single options list and package options as necessary. Same with the base price. Then you really still have all 4 cars in the showroom, just one less name.... maybe?
  • tinatinatinatina Posts: 388
    What about fold down rear seats, at least as an option? Remember, I asked you this when the 2006s were just coming out. You may call me the pest from the west.

    Its actually a tough call for me between the Camry and the Avalon. Avalons have some good discounts on them.
  • maryjmaryj Posts: 53
    With just a few minor changes already mentioned, this car would be the best of the bunch. I suggest an auto release for the parking brake, a trip timer with a manual reset, an MPG indicator with manual reset, passenger seat full controls, fold down rear seats with a hole large enough to crawl through, reposition the garage door opener from the mirror which has so much play in it that it continually gets out of adjustment. And, for them to put some kind of smaller box, on top, inside that big center console to hold items readily available so that you don't have to search around like you're reaching into a well. TedJ
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I believe the reclining feature rules out having the rear seats fold down.
  • gladiator99gladiator99 Posts: 104
    Hi havalong!!
    Yes, I did take a few pictures, but you can see pictures of these new Lexus models on the Lexus.ca website. What I found interesting is that the new ES350 is priced just slightly higher than the Avalon XLS. The ES350 with premium package is priced at $46,500. CDN. The ultra premium package is priced at $54,000. If you go on the website you can check out the options included with both packages. If you have an extra 20 thousand, you could move up to the GS 450h Series.......Nice car. A little steep for my liking but a very classy automobile. I will try to get a test drive in the ES350 the next time I am in Vancouver, as we do not have a Lexus dealer here in
    Kelowna. Will try to get some Pics here shortly.
    Take care!!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    agree with you - the Touring the only Avalon that doesn't drive like a Buick - and possibly a main reason why the average Avalon buyer is getting a little younger - which I thought Toyota was trying to do? Don't know what unit sales/trim is, but, a big mistake IMO if mackabee is right. Sure would take the Avalon back off my shopping list when it comes time to replace my Touring unless they offer something like a 'sports suspension' option in the Limited.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I'm hoping that Touring will become a suspension/wheels/tires option package available on all the other models....that would be the best of all worlds. I like the Touring suspension setup, but the fake metal trim, mandatory black leather and pseudo-spoiler don't do anything for me.
  • 54gradsteds54gradsteds Posts: 102
    Mackabee , Thanks for the heads-up on upcoming color changes, etc. for the Avalon. This will be for the 2007 model, right? When can we get a peek at the colors, which, to my mind, have been a major short-coming. I sure wish Toyota would hire the color folks from Ford! Also, I hope there will be a major improvement in the quality of the leather offered. I've managed to live for almost seven decades without the need to air-condition my tush....and, I think the perforated "leather" is extremely cheap in appearance, and may prove to be a major pain when one attempts to clean it..
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    If you combine posts #20 and #21 above, you might get the best of all possible Tourings:

    1. A separate model name. It has younger crowd appeal as a "sport" type car with a more firm suspension but with family size room. This is not the same as a Limited with a "touring struts" option. Not to the person who really wants Acura TL handling, with a back seat and a trunk.

    2. The car needs some interior upgrades. As is, it's a little plain. More options, better materials, nicer finish and a decent selection of colors. Basic stuff, nothing that runs up the price. It shouldn't be that hard to do.

    Chances are, none of this makes any difference. Toyota does at it pleases. ;)
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Yes, Toyota does as it pleases, but it also listens to its present and potential future customers via focus groups, surveys, etc. Whether or not Toyota monitors online forums such as this, it is reasonable to expect that the input it gets from its customer base will correlate with the thoughts presented here.

    Toyota didn't get where it is today by ignoring this kind of input, so I suspect that many of the improvements we are discussing are under consideration. Of course, the timeframe for their implementation is anybody's guess.
  • Before or after Labor Day?
  • richa502richa502 Posts: 16
    1. 6 speed tranny with no hesitation.
    2. Redesigned dash. Remove the cover from the radio...it's just plain ugly.
    3. Bluetooth.
    4. The Limited should have the option of an Ebony interior.
    4. Power tilt and telescope.
    5. Passenger seat should have up/down capabilites.

    And lastly, they should hurry up and release the 07 Avalon, because the 07 Camry seems like the better deal.
  • rodc2rodc2 Posts: 26
    More suggestions for the "We'd like to see it" list:

    Redesign the parking brake to automatically release when transmission selector is moved from Park to Drive.

    Add a pen/pencil holder to the inside of the glove box door.

    Allow CD player to play MP3 recordings.

    Add an easily accessible "input" jack to the stereo system to allow use of other audio sources (Digital audio players, etc.).

    Lose the cassette player--Who needs it--Try to purchase a music cassette today; it's nearly impossible--(Cassettes are rapidly approaching antique status)--Can't believe Toyota still thinks this is an essential/desired item.

    Illuminate the gas and trunk release buttons (Sometimes you have to use these things at night).

    Make the glass portion of the rear view mirror larger; it is too small. (Could reduce/eliminate the frame size to give larger glass area without significantly increasing overall size)
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I recall reading somewhere that the primary reason Toyota included a cassette player on the Avalon is that a lot of older adults enjoy listening to books on tape while driving. At the time the current Avalon was designed cassettes were still the primary format for audiobooks, but I believe that has changed and most are now also available on CD. So, the original rationale for the cassette player seems to have vanished.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    IMO - think that the basic similarity between the Avalon and Camry has always been a mistake on Toyota;s part. Prior to '05, the Avalon was nothing more than a slightly upsized slightly posher Camry at a premium. That all changed with the '05 with a much more aggressive design not to mention what is under the hood. And the sales increases have validated the wisdom of the changes and the differentiation. So now we come full circle again with the intro of the 07 Camry, and yes, it will be hard for many buyers to justify the extra $ for an Avalon - and Avalon sales may plummet almost back to '04 levels unless something different is done. Imagine that Toyota does better (profitwise) on Avalons than it does on Camrys competing in a much larger market segment - so doesn't it make sense that Toyota do something to the Av that really makes it a superior car? I'm still holding out for a RWD Toyota (that isn't a truck or a Lexus).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    What would you like Toyota to do for the 2007 edition to better distinguish the Avalon?
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    captain2: Totally agree! If it weren't for my son, I'd never have looked at the Avalon---I remembered them as Camry's in a "Prom Dress"---no real disitinction. Glad I drove one--love it! Now, if the Camry's continue to look like the Avalon's---guess I'll have to look elsewhere in 3 years or so. I mean, why pay extra $$$ for the same engine/transmission in an Avalon that looks like the normal mom & pop car. What Toyota needs to do now that the Avalon has regained its own personality, is to enhance the image--maybe a big A on the grill and make it unique----BMW has the "twin kidneys"--Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercedes--all are distinctive and easily recognizeable. Keep moiving "away" from the Camry image or once again the Avalon will be just another great vehicle in the Toyota line up.
    Bob
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