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2011 Toyota Avalon



  • lakebreeze1lakebreeze1 Posts: 8
    edited May 2010
    To those of you who think the sunshade, vent seats, push button start and rain sense are gimmicks, you're speaking without knowing. I admit I was one of you until I got my 08 ltd. Do I need any of these? Not really. Do I want them in future cars I'll own, definitely.
    Rain sensors are almost a need. What's great is they adjust to the speed of car in addition to the rain. The days when you have an intermittent mist and you couldn't find the right intermittent setting on the wipers are gone. When you stop for a light under a bridge and you don't need the wipers going, they'll stop for you. Partly what it does is reduce the wear on the blades and reduces how much smear on the windshield you get.
    Sun Shade, cooling the car while parked? Not really, but I like it for the times when an idiot is behind me with the brights on or the few times the sun is low behind me and blinding my mirrors. It's also nice for when passengers are in back and the sun is coming in on them.
    Vented seats. I sit a lot at work and having a cool rear is more refreshing than you'd think. (Laughing is allowed). Again though, until you've had the option of warming yourself on a cold morn or cooling off after a round of golf, you don't know how nice it is.
    Push button start, again almost a need. Never having to fish out your keys from your pocket is WONDERFUL. Getting into my '00 Sienna van and having to use a key seems almost primitive. Being able to just walk up to your locked car, grab the handle, open it, sit down, and push a button to go is just short of having a driver waiting to whisk you away.

    A couple of things I do wish for are a mute button for the radio and dials for the climate controls. I hate having to take my eyes off the road to see what setting I'm punching to with the buttons.

    If you can spare the extra $$, I think you'll be surprised how much those "bells and whistles" are appreciated.
  • hnelsenhnelsen Posts: 1
    Went shopping for 2011 Avalon with my wife yesterday. Dealer only had one in stock. Passenger side seat belt had strong, uncomfortable take-up tension. No problem with driver side. Called Toyota and was told this could not be adjusted. Has anyone else encountered this problem with their autos?
  • rotterdam6rotterdam6 Posts: 36
    I have noticed this in many cars, not just in Toyotas. The driver side seat belt is fine, but the passenger one seems to become tighter and tighter....not comfortable for me.
  • gramzgramz Posts: 106
    Just purchased a 2011 Avalon Limited. The last 2 cars I've owned were DTS Cadillacs. The Avalon may not ride quite as good but I enjoy driving it more. I look at the Avalon before I bought my first DTS but for some reason I passed. I really like the looks of them and am quite happy.
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    I used to post on this board some years back when I purchased ,I believe the 2005 Avalon. I owned the very first one Toyota made as well. I think that was in 98. I recently traded in my 2008 yesterday and purchased the Avalon 2011. It is the best of all of them that I've owned. (I definitely like the changes inside on the dash as well as the suttle ones on the exterior) I got it with the Memory which includes the 8 way passenger seat with lumbar support and heated seats to boot.

    I compared it to the Ford Taurus, and the new Buick LaCross. Both are nice cars. Also the Maxima. However in comparing all the spec's, fuel miles, rear seat room, etc., etc. I still believe the Avalon (or the Limited for those that want it) for me anyway was the best buy in many ways. The Buick weighs to much and loses it on MPG.

    The first time I've used Blue Tooth, ( dial by number) is fantastic. Satellite radio which I never wanted I believe has me hooked . The new color Cypress Pearl is very nice. Already my neighbors asked me about the color. I ordered it without even seeing a paint chip, just from the Avalon brochure and couldn't be happier. This by far is the best car we have ever owned. The back up camera is a dream. As far as navigation, I didn't want it, I use the Garmin which is so easy and mount it when I need to. So for me having the navigation installed is a waste of money. I take my Garmin when I rent a car with me.

    This car has it all safety wise, VSC, Brake Assist, Traction control etc. Folding outside mirrors, back up camera, Blue Tooth, all standard, things guests on this board asked for when I was posting, and Toyota made them standard. I'm not one that shows off, so lables like Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes are not for me. If you look at the report on Mercedes for what it cost, the quality just isn't there. Read about it in Consumers. My dealer has been just wonderful over the years. With all the Avalons I've owned I think this is the 5th one, I've never had a problem. It's one very comfortable car for me.

    Good Luck to every one, whatever you decide on. :)
  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    I just read the 2 reviews in the "Learn More" section on the right side of this page:
    The first reviewer says the mats in all the new Avalons are black. For those of you who've bought the car, is this true?
  • iamknottiamknott Posts: 82

    Mine are black and provide a nice contrast to the light gray interior. FWIW, my salesman told me the black mats come in all new Avalons. He also pointed out that the black ones would show less dirt, which is true. I tried everything to clean the gray mats in my '07, but could never get all of the winter grime out of them.
  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    edited May 2010
    Seems to me that once again the suits at Corporate have shot themselves in the foot. There are those of us who will have beige or gray interiors that want color matching carpet mats. Every other car company offers several colors, but Toy will let us have any color we want, as long as it's black. What the hell is wrong with those people? My guess is they saved ten cents per car when they ordered 8 million mats in black instead of some in black, beige, and gray. Lentz, Carter and the gang are doing everything they can to keep me from buying an Avalon.
  • gramzgramz Posts: 106
    Not sure where this is coming from but my mats are beige.
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    I was told Black mats when I purchased the car. However they gave me Beige mats that match my interior. So not sure about this all blac mats?
  • nceencee Posts: 419
    Ok, so let's forget the floor mats for a moment.

    Is the car better, smoother, quieter then your 2007?

    So far, what is your over-all thoughts on your new car?

  • energizer1energizer1 Posts: 4
    I have been in the market for a 2011 Avalon Limited but can not find many at area dealerships (at most, dealers only have one in stock but not in the color/options I want). I was told by at least 2 dealers that there is some sort of manufacturing delay at the TMMK Georgetown plant but would not provide details. Has anyone else heard of this? I am wondering if it has something to do with the heavy rains in Tennessee the past few weeks. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • iamknottiamknott Posts: 82

    See my post #199. It is better, smoother, quieter and I like it a lot. The only thing I don't like about it is the same thing I disliked on the '07: the determination of Toyota engineers to put the recirculate button on the HVAC system under the control of the car's computer. It is a pet peeve of mine because I think I am a better judge than the computer regarding when the inside air should be recirculated.

    I have ranted about this before, but for the benefit of those who have never had the blessing of my wisdom, here is the most aggravating situation: The car has been sitting for a few hours on a bright, sunny Spring day. Outside air temp 70 degrees with low humidity. Interior air temp 90 degrees. Start the car and the recirculate button lights up. If in Auto mode, the a/c fires up too, trying hard to cool down the 90 degree air, instead of simply grabbing some already 70 degree air from outside. I am fairly certain that it does the same thing when not in Auto mode, only without the benefit of the a/c, it just recirculates the hot interior air. Crazy.
  • bergaminibergamini Posts: 45
    FWIW, the mats on my '11 also match. If they put black mats in a $35K car, regardless of interior color, I can't believe they'd expect to sell many of them.

    Re: the recirculate on the A/C, you can take it off Max/Recirculate by going into Manual mode. I guess the logic is that the most efficient method is going to be to cool the air that is there and when the majority of times that is true but, such as in this instance, it might not be. I've found the HVAC so effortless that I don't change or notice any of that usually.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,409
    I never found that the Recirc coming on was a big deal. If anything I think it cools the interior faster. The system appears to blow more air when in recirc than when not. I would think that on recirc the system exchanges the air faster than when off. At any rate, opening the windows for a minute is still the fastest way to get out the warm air.

    FWIW, my 09 Genesis's auto A/C works very similar to my 06 Avalon.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Suggestion...a simple solution.

    Add an air EXTRACTION blower at the exhauster port in each rear quarter panel. Have the blower turn on automatically when the car is started with the interior atmosphere above ~75F. Run it on a timer so the interior surfaces get cooled down also.

    The same extraction blowers could be used in deforst/defog/demist mode, anytime the rear window defog/demist is active, and to dry the A/C evaporator once the car has been shut down for ~60 minutes.
  • You are 100% correct on the recirc. I HATE that. 99% of the time I'd rather have it off and no, having it set to manual doesn't keep the computer from switching to it upon start up in the right conditions.

    Some of you might not be bothered and that's fine but really, Toyota would be better off letting us make that determination instead of a forced default.

    By the way, I just had Goodyear Comfort Tread Touring (new V rated) tires put on and they are great. I know the wet/snow traction will be better than the OEM Michelins. I've read where others have complained about how the GY Comforts would vibrate but the sidewall ratings were H so it was the sidewall strength not matching with the suspension requirements.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2010

    You would be WRONG on that.

    If the interior atmosphere, and let's not forget interior surfaces, is/are significantly above the outside temperature (happens often in the South and mid-south) then it is patently FOOLISH to begin using the HOT, even Super Heated, interior atmosphere as airflow entry to the A/C cooling evaporator.

    The BEST procedure would be initially use FRESH, relative "cool", intake airflow at a moderately high blower speed to PURGE the over-heated cabin atmosphere via the provided exhauster ports. Given the miniaturization of modern day airflow EXHAUSTER ports it has now become a virtual requirement to lower the rear windows temporarily, even if ever so slightly.

    Only once the cabin atmosphere has been thoroughly purged and the cabin (black..?) surfaces cooled to a more reasonable level should the recirculate mode be used in order to lighten the load on the A/C condensor, engine, and engine cooling system.

    I even go so far as to block the heater core coolant flow during the cooling months in order to bypass the IDIOT reheat/remix aspect of these newer systems.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,409
    I am sure in theory, the fresh air upon starup makes sense. The system, when on recirc, has a much more forceful amount of air coming from the vents. This is why I feel that it can exchange the air faster and allow a more rapid cool.

    Like I mentioned above, the best way I have found to cool a hot car is to 1;) lower all windows, 2:) set A/c to "Max" or "recirc" and then shut the windows after a minute of driving. This does the trick for me.

    FWIW, my cars have light interiors and NJ isn't nearly as hot as some other places.

    Having said all that, the A/C systems in today's cars are not nearly as good as years prior. My 79 Continental and 89 Town Car were much better than any of my Toyotas and my current Genesis.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • nceencee Posts: 419
    I don't like the re-circled air, because the car windows fog up and don't clear up, until I open the windows or turn off the re-circled air switch.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Are you certain that you aren't being mislead, at least partially mislead, by the increased sound level of the airflow in recirculate mode vs fresh mode..?? In recirculate mode you are hearing the blower air intake (typically behind the glove box) and outlet airflow "buffeting".

    But unless you lower those rear windows slightly you are most probably correct. Most modern day cars are so well sealed again noise, double and triple door and window seals, that the only viable, easy, cabin atmosphere outflow path is the exhauster port(s) in the bottom of the rear quarter panel(s).

    As I said previously, in the interest of FE (***) those exhaust ports have now been minaturized almost to the point of being non-functional. In addition the airflow path to get to the exhauster ports is often itself highly restrictive. Much of the time that path is a narrow opening at the base, lower edge, of the rear window and from there it is "channeled" into the rear quarter panel area.

    *** If the cabin atmosphere previously cooled by the A/C must remain in the cabin longer then the A/C compressor duty cycle will be lower.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You should NEVER use, or allow to be used, the recirculate mode when climate conditions are cold enough that interior condensation might result. In actuality you should NEVER use A/C, PERIOD, unless actual cabin cooling is required.

    Toyota and Lexus both have 2 C-best options that will allow you to disable the A/C from operating automatically, even in defrost/defog/demist mode, indefinitely.

    Manually switch the A/C off, once, and it stays off indefinitely until YOU manually turn it back on. Plus it will NEVER again operate automatically in defrost/defog/demist mode absent manual intervention.
  • just__mejust__me Posts: 508
    I agree with your 199 post. I'm trying to be objective and not imagining things, but my 11 Avalon does seem quieter then my 08. The ride is very smooth and the shifting is seamless, mostly unnoticed. I really think I'm driving a Lexus for less money. The Cypress Pearl has caught the attention of some of my neighbors and an interest in test driving an Avalon.

    I never thought I would opt for Blue Tooth, but I'm hooked and for the Sirus as well. They gained a customer in me.
  • twinbtwinb Posts: 140
    To clear up the confusion I stopped at an empty-of-customers dealer today. A salesman who seemed to know something said the carpet mats in new cars are color matched to the interior, but the all-season rubber mats are all black. So what they've done is only half weird. Our '05 Sienna has both types of mats in beige to go with the ivory interior.

    You'll now be returned to the stimulating discussion on how and when to use the air conditioner. ncee, copy that?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Tire selection makes TREMENDOUS difference in noise factor.
  • nceencee Posts: 419
    IF I don't buy a new Avalon, I'll be getting some tires and I'm looking at the Bridgestone Turanza's … any thoughts on these?

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,409
    Do not get the Turanza EL400s... pure junk wore out in 28K on my 06 Avalon. I do hear great things about the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity though. They are a bit pricey, prob about $200 a tire.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • rotterdam6rotterdam6 Posts: 36
    I'm using Good Year Comfort-Treds [sp?] on my Camry and love them. Anyone tried them on an Avalon? My 2011 Avalon should be here the end of this week.
  • Yes, but they have to be the Comfort Tread Touring (New this March). Sidewalls are V rated, the ones on your Camry are H rated and you'll notice a vibration from the softer sidewall if you use the wrong rating.

    I've never been impressed with the few Michelins I've had (including on my Av Ltd.)
    Good the first year, 15k mi. but after that the snow traction sucked.

    The Comf.'s are as quiet and soft riding as the Michelins so nothing given up there.
    I expect the tread life to be better and overall traction to be superior. My Sienna has
    had the Comf. since 2007 and they're holding up great.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just purchased the second set of those, summer only ER30's, for my '01 RX300. Bad news is that the ER30's are being discontinued. But stick with summer use only for best riding comfort and lowest noise.
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