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Toyota Avalon 2008-2010



  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    Oops. Multi-function display.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, here on the eastside in the '90 dec snow storm our offices were still over on Northup way. I helped a BMW driver get moving twice but he just simply wouldn't learn to "feather" the throttle to keep moving up the slight incline. Insisted on spinning the rear wheel until smoke rolled.

    The slight incline at the main MS campus entrance was fully blocked, "choked" with Porsches, BMWs, and MBs.

    And then just this last winter I had to show a BMW driver how to disable the TC system and then tried to quickly educate him on how to "feather" the throttle just up to the point of almost losing traction. Didn't work.

    But at least neither of them got up and going initially and THEN discovered the poor traction conditions like so many FWD vehicles in '90 scattered heither and theither all over SR520.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you were implying that it would be a good thing for the next Avalon model to be RWD. I am curious as to why
    yes I was, but the reasons for why are not the same sort of 'unsafe at any speed' comments you might see from wwest.
    Torque steer and engine braking are undoubtedly becoming conditions of these high power FWD cars we drive. The manufacturers, thru reengineering suspension geometries as well as throttle and tranny control programming, are largely minimizing the effects of things like this. What they haven't been able to change however is the natural weight imbalance of the FWD car - certainly an enemy to a well handling vehicle of any sort. BMWs, for example, are what they are because of a whole lot more than just the RWD - they are almost without exception evenly weight distributed and are further engineered to do specifically what they do (or don't do).
    FWD has been with us now for many many years and is an inherently safer and easier car to drive specifically for today's drivers because of the better traction and more prevalent understeer conditions you mention- like that BMW driver that wwest talks about that can't get up a snow covered road because nobody ever taught him to 'feather' a throttle. In fact, I would contend that it is drivers like this that make things like traction and stabililty control systems MORE necessary on RWD cars than FWD ones.
    Will Toyota join Chrysler and/or Pontiac and produce a RWD Avalon? Not if the marketing folks (or Lexus) has anything to say about it. Are the Avalons that both you and I drive unsafe? Hell no - cars are safer now then they've ever been!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, I quite firmly believe that absent the introduction of the Olds Tornado back in the late sixties we would not today have many of these new "nanny" control aspects, maybe including ABS.

    "Specifically for today's drivers.."

    I couldn't agree more...!

    But I like to think, continue to think/believe, that somewhere in the near future we will have driving simulators designed along the same line as today's flight training simulators. These will be used to train new drivers, even high school students, how to "handle" differently configured, FWD/RWD/F-AWD/R-AWD/4WD/4X4/etc, road going vehicles in climatically different roadbed conditions.

    I suspect that only then, with EVERYONE having learned how to correct for (RWD) overstear, and the fact that (FWD) understear/plowing, is beyond the driver's ability to correct (just hang on a PRAY..!!) will these patently UNSAFE FWD and F/AWD vehicles disappear, TOTALLY disappear, from the marketplace.

    Maybe replaced with systems such as the Acura SH-AWD, F/AWD with a difference, a VERY significant difference, FWD torque biasing when appropriate, RWD torque biasing, leading or lagging, otherwise.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    patently UNSAFE
    it would be assertions like this that I have the problem with. The proper correction for an oversteer condition is counterintuitive - meaning adding power to relieve the condition as opposed to (quite naturally) releasing the accelerator, the usual remedy for that understeering monster. Recognizing this - well engineered cars will almost always understeer at the limit, even those German 'sports sedans'. Such things (nailing the accelerator when you get in trouble) are beyond the ability for things like simulators to train into any of us - you and me included. Our first (and natural) reaction will always be to release the accelerator and hit the brakes.
    Lastly, even though FWD (or FW biased) vehicles have accounted for the vast of majority cars sold in the last 30 years or so, accident and death rates (per vehicle mile) continue to decline - must be because they are 'patently UNSAFE'???? :confuse:
    You have seemed intent on ragging on FWD's failings and not recognizing what advantages it does offer. Mass retraining is not a viable option, and I don't think that a whole bunch of folks stuck in your cold parking lot somewhere because their car is 'too smart' to move is terribly realistic either.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I suspect you meant to type understeer in that first senstence.

    "..are beyond the ability for things like simulators to train into any of us..."

    Wrong, that's is exactly what flight simulators are used for, through repetitive simulation runs our intuitive actions are overcome in favor of making the corrective actions, EVERY time, for the situations at hand.

    "Mass retraining is not a viable option.."

    But correct, corrective, training right at the "beginning" is, say driver training in High School.

    "bunch of folks stuck.." "car is too smart to move.." "is terribly realistic either.."

    Believe it or not people are SMART. Just a few minutes stuck in the cold parking lot and most people would be out adding traction, chains, etc. Wouldn't it be really nice if the car somehow knew that current conditions along the selected route were unsafe for the available traction and simply wouldn't start moving...??

    Wintertime accident, injury, deaths, reduction would be nothing less than phenominal.
  • doobredoobre Posts: 42
    I am in Dubai, I have the 2005 with the crap transmission and have been complaining to the dealer here since day #1. No help from them at all, except recently they offered "would you like to try the 2008" since it has a diff transmission. I had a 10 day test drive and the 2008 is a BIG inprovement on the 2005 (even though it still lacks some gadgits). I did the very first 1000kms in the 2008 and all seemed fine until some of the old issues I have had with the 2005 started to appear.

    Firstly, when starting off at the lights and the car in front first brakes then accelerates again, causing you to 'off and on' the accelerator. I big thud/jolt goes thru the car. Like the tranmission jumps into gear.

    Then on the last day I felt the same sort of thing that I have felt in the 2005 at slow speed. When traveling at about 50kmph (30mph) in continuous traffic, on a very slight incline, when applying a very slight gentle accelerator pressure, the car shuddered very lightly for about 2 seconds. Just as if you are rolling over very small cloes together bumper strips. (the strips placed on the road designed to slow you down) this happened a couple of times. This issue was evident in my 2005 on day one, but then the shuddering was very much stronger.

    But of course these issues are completely unpredictable and intermittent so can not be repeated for the dealer. Hence they have done nothing aboput fixing the 2005.

    My conclusion is that the new 6 speed transmission is a big improvement but still has at least two of the underlying problems of the 2005. Even with a "generous" trade-in offered for my 2005 I will not change to the 2008. After feeling the same things happening, even if lesser, who knows if all the other issues I have encountered with the 2005 will appear over time.... "why throw good money after bad"... my advise to you do NOT buy a new Avalon....
    cheers doobre
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I can offer a different perspective. I had an '06 Limited (totalled) and now have an '08 Limited. Both were/are exceptional. I didn't really notice any transmission problems with the '06, however, I had the TSB applied anyway and it worked fine.

    I like the looks of the '08 better (both inside and outside). The '08 also is "tighter" in its driving and handling.

    I would very much recommend buying a 2008 Avalon.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    I have an '08 Avalon Ltd. and I'm not sure about the effectiveness of the auto-dimming rearview mirror. I have turned it on correctly according to the manual and tested it with a flashlight to verify that it's working. However, in use at night, I really can't tell if it is actually working. The old flip type in my '98 Sienna is dimmer.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    It only dims when the lights are pretty close behind you. If someone has especially bright lights or has their beams on you will notice it will get really dark. It is meant to be fairly seamless and when you drive a car without it you will notice the difference. Another way to tell if it is working is that the drivers side door mirror will dim as well. Hope this helps.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The latest postings on the Edmunds 2009 Camry thread, and elsewhere on the internet, indicate that the Toyota/Lexus FWD & F/AWD "CRAP" transaxle saga is not yet over.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    Yes, that helps. I had forgotten that the side mirrors also dimmed and, as a result, I was being fooled by the fact that the rearview and side mirrors looked the same. This made me think the auto dimming wasn't working.
  • doobredoobre Posts: 42
    One other diff I noticed was the rev limiting..

    On the 2005 when you get to the red line the engine is controlled by a sort of miss firing where everything starts to hiccup as if three cylinders are not getting a spark, but in the 2008 the gear changes up automatically to the next gear... much nicer IMO...
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    My '08 Avalon Ltd. has the Sunroof Wind Deflector. I never ride with the sunroof open; I just open it for a couple of minutes to let the hot air out after being parked in the sun. Under those circumstances I was wondering if I needed the Wind Deflector. Does it create drag and extra noise? I do like to keep the slide open when the sun is not too high. Has anyone taken theirs off and noticed a difference.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    I took mine off because it rattles when going over bumpy surfaces. After I took it off (it is extremely easy to remove), I noticed that the gasket on the leading edge left noticeable marks on the roof. I washed it and then waxed the area and it's no longer noticeable.
  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    Well I did it. It was extremely easy to take off and clean up. I never liked the looks of it because it broke up a smooth roof line. It also got in the way when washing and cleaning. We'll see if I get a surge in mpg because of the reduced aerodynamic drag ;).
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    And if there is NO "next" gear.....???
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    huh?since when did the Avalon engine - or any engine for that matter - pull to its redline in top gear. I am sure there is a point to your comment - there always is- you got me on this one.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    but in the 2008 the gear changes up automatically to the next gear... much nicer IMO

    What's the point of having the manual control then? You have to really not be paying attention to the car to bounce it off the rev limiter. IMO if you do this on a regular basis leave in auto.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Would you believe...

    A bit of humor...? ;)
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