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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier

L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
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  • djamiesondjamieson Member Posts: 8
    I am thinking of buying the XL model with moon roof and the leather package with alloy wheels etc. Following which I'll install the wood grain trim kit myself for about $300. I figure cost to be $26,500. plus taxes.

    Does this sound right and am I missing anything major by not getting the XLS?

    Thanks for your opinions in advance.
  • tallpaul2tallpaul2 Member Posts: 1
    Re your comments on the impact of the internet, I think you have made a number of good points. I don't know how this thing will finally shake out but there is no question the net will have a big impact. I was fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of one of the more adventurous recent efforts in online auto sales this past March. Bought my 2000 XLS from Pearl White, Pkg 6 (leather, wheels & JBL), wheel locks, gold pkg & mats (sorry now I didn't get the VSC). Total price $29660 including all taxes and state registration. Took me a little over two months but I got exactly what I wanted delivered to my front door and couldn't be happier. Minimum dealer/sales force contact (just one telephone question concerning my registration papers) and no heart burn. I live in Florida so I would have had to deal with the rather interesting SE Region distributorship surcharges had I purchased directly from a dealer. As it happened, CO absorbed that fee in my case. They are no longer doing this and their prices are much closer to well negotiated local dealer prices now. I guess my point is that if they are still in business, I would definitely give them a go again. If the prices were equivalent, I would stay with the local dealer everything else being equal. Otherwise, I would have absolutely no qualms about utilizing the net. My guess is that if I were equipped with a hard-copy internet price the next time I was in the market, it would help cut through a whole lot of preliminary malarky in any local negotiations. LOVE MY AVALON.
  • jmiller475jmiller475 Member Posts: 5

    Our 2000 Avalon has got more squeaks and rattles than any other car we have owned (including American cars). When I called the service department today, the manager covered his you know what by saying he wouldn't be able to make the car "noise free". What a way to get out of any troublshooting. Toyota's quality has gone way down and to any of you out there I would think twice about purchasing one.


    As far as the locks, that feature of having to manually unlock all doors except the drivers is ridiculous. I hate the feature and am having a module installed that will unlock "all doors" when turning the engine off.
  • chuttiechuttie Member Posts: 6
    Recently purchased a 2000xls, love the car but have one glitch I'd like some info on. In regards to the climate control, my unit auto switches to recirc whenver there is a substantial difference between outside temp and inside temp. This happens on start up. Seems I read something on this before in an earlier post but don't think it was quite the same as this quirk Any input from others would be appreciated. Back to lurking.
  • mmcfmmcf Member Posts: 3
    Thanks to you all after reading a jillion posts I confirmed I wanted an Avalon - and purchased one last week. Pretty happy except for little issues. First, the Diamond White Pearl shows tire spray something awful. I'd like to find black front and rear mudguards like Toyota offers for the Camry. The dealer said the Camry mudguards couldn't be put on the Avalon. Does anyone know of an aftermarket source? Second, I have an XL without leather, and the steering wheel has three small holes in the back at the top when the wheel is centered. Was told these are normal casting marks, and sure enough, other non-leather Avalon and Camry steering wheels have the same three holes. But in the others, the holes are visible but not feel-able. They're filled in with some vinyl. Mine have a depth and distinct edges and you can feel them with every turn. Bugs me. I asked for a steering wheel replacement and was told no. Should I press it or is this "normal"?
    Thanks in advance, I'll be checking here often.
  • wxchenwxchen Member Posts: 1
    just bought my av2k last week. love the car and the ride. its a xls with package#7, MOONROOF,tire lock and glass breakage sensor. paid $400 above invoice. A Few problems as fellow: rattle and squeaky noices from the passenger side, the glass sensor dose not sense, car pulled to the left at highway speed(michelin tires on board). The dealer is trying to fix them. I will post the results, hopefully will be happy ones. Any body's feedbacks would be appreciated.
  • gentlegiantgentlegiant Member Posts: 12
    Just test drove an XL w/o sunroof--amazing legroom and headroom. Wow. My concern? There is no dark leather interior option. That seems like a glaring omission to me! I like to keep cars for 8-10 years, and I can only imagine what that pale ivory would look like after only a few months. Am I overly converned? Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  • playbak1playbak1 Member Posts: 3
    Switching to recirculation on startup is a feature:-)

    The recirculate setting is a function of temperature differential triggering an automated response. Recirculated air is the fastest way for the system to bring the temp to the desired setting. When you switch from manual or turn it on, it's a pretty sure bet that there is at least a 5 degree difference between the internal temp and your setting. The system is programmed to
    eliminate this difference as quickly as possible,
    which includes top fan speed and and recirculation.

    When you think about it, it is certainly much easier to cool the cooler air in the cabin than it is to keep pumping in very hot air from the outside. (In the case of the air conditioning)

    If this is a problem for you, the only way around it is to hit the recirc button to get outside air, or take the system off auto before you turn the car off so it won't come on when you start up. When you have an automatic setting, you lose some versatility for the privilege. But by
    turning off recirculate you compromise the
    efficiency of the system, something the designers
    probably did not anticipate.

    I can tell you that I had the same system in my
    Chrysler Concorde (probably the best working system in the car) and it did the same thing as the Avalon when it was in auto mode.

    So there you have it. The laws of physics strike again. I hope you find this info helpful. This explanation is a modified requote of the earlier posts you were alluding to. In that issue, the person asking the question wanted to know if this automated feature could be turned off (programmed differently) so the recirc wouldn't happen at all.

    I have to add that I find this very interesting that so many people object to recirculated air. There is always fresh air coming into the car through various areas in the car body. The car is not airtight. So what's wrong with recirculated air? It all passes through a filter and you can always hit a button to turn it off, although I can't imagine why anyone would want to keep pumping 106 degree dusty, ragweed infested Texas summer air into the car cabin. But that's just me. I know there are much cooler places in the world (we seem to get a lot of Canadians in this group and I sure envy them this month), but if you got a five degree differential, the system is designed to bring it down as quickly and economically as possible. I just shows the infinite variety of car owners preferences. That's why you have to take all of the comments in these forums with a grain of salt.

    Hope you enjoy your 2K Avalon as much as I have enjoyed mine.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    Those holes are normal but I agree that it is annoying. As a salesman, I drive these cars all the time and have felt this on several Camrys and Avalons and if I owned one, I would probably try to fill it in with rubber cement.

    In case anybody wonders, while I don't own an Avalon, I do own a Tundra but that has a leather wrapped wheel.
  • ratledgeratledge Charleston county, South CarolinaMember Posts: 233
    Cliffy: my wife swears she saw a commercial for the 2001 Avalon somewhere on the dish today. Is that possible, or has she maybe been into the wacky weed while I wasn't home?

    I'm very much interested in buying a new 2001 when they become available, and I understand from the posts I've seen you put up recently that the only likely change this model year will be the possible addition of a GPS-based navigation system, a feature which I am not interested in...


  • uwilsgduwilsgd Member Posts: 4
    I have been working with a dealer in the Dayton-Cincinnati area to buy a 2000 XL with package #4, moonroof, floor mats and cargo net. To get the interior/exterior color I want the dealer needs to locate the car from around the region. The best price he can give is $26,450 plus tax and title. The invoice price is around $25,748. Am I getting a good deal considering I am not buying off the lot? Is the $150 Toyota rebate certficate for $49.95 worth the effort?

  • lorainemax2lorainemax2 Member Posts: 35
    I have a 2000 XLS (Light green with Ivory Leather) and had the same exact concern that you did. I also have a 4 year old that further compounded my concern.

    However my car (now 6 months old) looks like new. I have treated the seats once with Meguiars Gold Class Leather Cleaner/Conditioner (since no one in Galveston, Texas sells Lexsol). I have had spills and other stains that have wiped right off (I keep the cleaner and a clean cloth in the trunk).

    The only thing that gets dirty fast seems to be the shift lever and I clean it along with the steering wheel every time I wash the car and it too looks new.

    I wouldn't worry. This is some of the best leather I have ever seen in a car (bar none including Lexus). We love the car, all of its features and look forward to owning it many years.

    BTW...we have had no squeaks, no rattles, no problems and the car now has 7000 miles.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    I don't know if it was wacky weed or not but that was not a 2001 commercial she saw. I have the schedules for release dates and advertising dates. The '01 Avalon will be available for retail sale on September 1 and the advertising starts Oct. 1.
  • thepope1thepope1 Member Posts: 23
    ANSWER TO STRANGER 94 (#681 of Toyota Avalon - Two)
    Your story parallels my own. In my case the Regional Toyota Service Manager reported 'no problems' after a test drive at 4,000 miles. When the dealer Service Manager and I rode with him he had to admit there was a serious 'thump' on changing all gears. He ordered the pan dropped. The inspection showed metal filings in the transmission oil. The entire trans was replaced (dealer had our car for 30 days). The problem persisted. Regional Technician then took a stab at it. (13,000 miles) His test drive showed 'no problems'. Again, the SM and I rode with him and again the problem presented itself. Now, is that weird or what?

    This time they exchanged the computer with the one from the technician's new XLS. The problems did reduce, but never went totally away. At about 30,000 miles, I started up and when I placed the auto gear shift in Reverse, you would have thought the whole trans was falling out. Happened several times thereafter.
    You say they have extended your warranty to 7
    years and 100,000 miles. Great. But what the h--- good is that if they keep telling you there is 'no problem'? Also, factory customer service telling you the only alternative is arbitration.
    Boy, that's familiar. In my case they called it 'binding arbitration'. I finally determined that was an outright lie - you do not have to accept the arbitrator's decision. But, as I stated in my original message, you will be up against a real brick wall. Remember, Toyota is paying for the cost of arbitration. Plus, your state may have consumer laws that are more effective then this hard route. If you do choose arbitration, have a good independent transmission mechanic check out the car. If his findings are in your favor HAVE HIM CALLED AS AN EXPERT WITNESS. You may have to pay him, but it's your only good bet to beat their system.

    While I am waiting for delivery of our 2000 XLS, the dealer has provided us with a 'loaner'. It's a '95 XLS with 107,000 miles. On about every shift it feels like the trans is tearing the car apart. So, this Toyota fault is not new. If ANY factory rep tells you rough shifting is normal, tell them they are full of beans.

    One other thing: The technician who told you the transmission roughness was a result of "a heavy car and momentum had to go somewhere" is so full of it that it's almost funny. Good luck!
  • n4hhen4hhe Member Posts: 3
    The auto-recirculation thing has nothing to do with the "auto" temperature mode. I left my system off auto for the first 4 months or so. Left it on "outside air" all the time too.

    Finally decided to quit messing with it and watch what it does. It (erroneously) jumps to "recirculate" when its hot outside. Problem is that its hotter inside. After it has run for a while it will go back to my setting.

    I think in the winter it might have been going the opposite way.

    Have never had an automatic HVAC system like this in a car before. Would be so much nicer if in addition to the temperature you have it set for, it would display the temperature it thinks it is. Else provide an indicator that its heating or cooling.

    As to the TV commercials, yes it appears Toyota is finally running Avalon ads.

    As to spell checking, this system still doesn't know how to spell Avalon.
  • playbak1playbak1 Member Posts: 3
    I'm sorry if I confused you. The auto isn't for auto recirculate, it for auto temperature. What you have is the automobile equivalent of centralized air. You set the temp and the system will heat or cool based on what the difference is. Most people don't care just so long as the car reaches a comfy temp. The car will try to hit whatever temperature you have set on your display. I found in my Concorde that it would heat the air in 'vent' mode, even if auto was off. I would have to dial the temp all the way down for outside air to come in unheated (i.e. during the fall or spring).

    You are correct that the internal temperature is usually higher inside the car initially in the summer. However, the theory is that the A/C can do nothing about the outside temp, but the internal air will keep getting cooler with each pass through the system until it hits the target temp you have set. First pass 100, next pass 98, next pass 94, etc. Meanwhile the outside temp is still 100. If you keep pumping that air into the system, it has to work much harder at cooling it. Again, keeping in mind that speed is an issue here. Most people want their car to heat or cool as quickly as possible. When you hit your target, the system opens up the mixture vent to blend internal and external air because the system can now handle it without breathing to hard.

    Commercial building HVAC does the same thing. It is a constant war between letting fresh air mix into a sealed building versus saving energy by recirculating the already conditioned internal air. If building managers had their way, there would be no fresh air (they usually aren't building tenants) because the systems would be operating at maximum efficiency and saving them money. We would all die of the fumes, but that's the price we pay;-)

    My dad used to be in the A/C business. It takes tremendous amount of energy to bring a temperature down 20 to 30 degrees. That's why it is unwise to shut off vents to rooms in your home. You just create big heat sinks that make your A/C work harder. There is no insulation in your internal walls. Your insulation in your outer walls is rated on how much heat passes through them over a period of time. The point of this is to slow down the heat down enough that an A/C unit can handle it efficiently. Once an internal room heats up, the heat passes through the walls like they weren't there (0 insulation). Your A/C ends up working much harder and using up more power.

    So back to the point. I don't know how Toyota programmed their system, but if it's like Chrysler, if you have the temp set, even if Auto is off, it will still act as if it is in Auto. I'll do some experimenting with mine to see if the Avalon system does the same thing. At any rate, that's my 2 cents worth.
  • boordboord Member Posts: 27
    Today I bought an Avalon XLS. I went to the site and printed out their price for the car along with all the options I wanted. The CarOrder price was better than autobytel, carsdirect, driveoff, etc.,

    I then went to a local Toyota dealership and gave
    them a copy of the print-out and said that all I
    had to do was push a button to get the price shown
    on the printout. The dealership had 17 Avalons in
    stock to pick from. They immediately matched the
    CO price and I took delivery with no hassle or no
    push or whining. In fact the salesman and the
    sales manager both stated that when a customer
    walks in with an internet price they know that they
    either must meet the price or let the business go
    - it's a simple business decision. The finance guy was prewarned by the salesman that we wouldn't be interested in warranty extensions or any other add ons. He also was as nice as could be.

    I received a price I am well satisfied I couldn't
    significantly improve upon. The dealership and the salesman (Santa Maria, CA Toyota, Mr. Fermin
    Vasquez) must have been happy with the price or
    they wouldn't have sold it.

    So we have a happy customer. A happy salesman. A
    happy dealership. A price matching CarOrder's. Choice of 17 models on the site. Immediate delivery -it's in my garage now. Polite, informed sales people and finance manager. Tell me again why anyone would consider going through the delays, changing account reps, and nonpersonalized service so often talked about in discussions about internet buying services.

    Now I have to read the owner's manual which appears to be just slightly longer than "War and Peace".
  • finloverfinlover Member Posts: 7
    I bought an Avalon XL in "Lunar Mist" two months ago and noticed the same casting marks. They were driving me crazy so I very carefully shaved them down with an exacto knife which worked like a charm. Its funny, if you look at these raised circular marks they only protrude slightly but they feel huge! Hope this helps.
  • finloverfinlover Member Posts: 7
    Oops, I forgot to mention this was in response to the last part of mmcf's #5 post "Mudgaurds for 2000 Avalon".
  • 4murphy4murphy Member Posts: 20
    I purchased a 1999 Avalon XL about 15 months ago and I have been extremely disappointed with the quality and fit of the vehicle. I have had five door weatherstrips replaced because the color wears off every three months. The car has presently 10,528 miles on it. The dealer says that it is my fault that the color wears off because of the way that I get into the car. I am 55 years old and have owned many new cars and never had the problem before. I have also had two windshield wiper motors replaced, the dash fixed for rattles and the drivers side window fixed.
    After the last weatherstrip was replaced, the dealer told me that no one else was having the problem, I went to several different dealerships to look at older model Avalon's. All had wear on the door weatherstrip. I informed the dealer and asked for arbitration.
    I had my arbitration meeting last week; I don't expect to win it, but it certainly made me feel better that I decided to do it.
    I am having a professional sign made for my car which will detail the problems that I have had with my car. I know that is probably tacky to some, but since I paid cash for the vehicle I guess I can do with it as I want, as long as I don't libel anyone with my comments.
    And since I live near the Toyota Technical Center, I plan to drive to their building often and let them look at a my nice sign.
    I have been to the dealership 17 times for various fixes for this vehicle. I think that after driving it with the sign for a few months I need to sell it and find a decent car.
    Anyone recommend a decent car besides a Toyota?
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    I like the idea of putting a sign on the car. There should be no law stopping you from stating the truth, as long as it is the truth. Most people have trouble getting the dealer to fix something ONCE. It intrigues me when the dealer REPLACES something multiple times, and the new parts are as defective as the old ones. Your wiper motor, for example. I would expect the trouble would be to get it replaced once, but that the new part would fix the problem. Same with weatherstripping. But when the replacements have the same problem, I really begin to get concerned about the entire shebang.

    OTOH, why is it that most don't have any problem at all, but those who have problems, have them repetitively? Why should one bad wiper motor cause you to experience another one, manufactured at least six to 12 months after your original? I just wonder, sometimes.
  • 2000avalon2000avalon Member Posts: 1
    I am amazed at how many people seem to speak harsh of Toyota quality. I am in the auto industry and see (as well as hear from) hundreds of car owners each week. It seems that a domestic car owner can have a car that only operates correctly 80% of the time and are happy most of the time because their car is simply running. They will put up with many small quality issues as long as the vehicle runs. This is generally true for everyone from a low-end Chevy to a Lincoln Navigator. People who own a Toyota or Honda, however, seem to find the littlest things to complain about. I believe it is because they can find nothing else wrong with the car. Most Toyotas and Hondas do 99.9% of what any owner possibly wants 99.9% of the time. Yet we complain about weatherstrips that lose color and other little complaints. Talk to a Dodge owner who lost a transmission at 12,300 miles. Or I can introduce you to a Chevy owner whos new Camaro sucked in rain water, to the point it was standing water on the floor board. I saw a Ford dealership (in '96) who had a Ford Escort come in badged as a Ford Tracer. That same Ford dealership in '97 had a Mercury Mountaineer that lost a transmission with less than 100 miles. If someone trades in a Chrysler product van, most dealerships want to know when the tranny was last replaced. Or if it is a Neon, it either has a new head gasket or it needs one. Yet we complain about how dirt shows on our ivory leather. I am in the process of purchasing a new Avalon, because the overall quality is unmatched. It is at a level that the Domestic automakers can only dream of. So lets applaud Toyota and Honda for the 99.9% that they do so well, instead of complaining about the .01% we don't agree with. Talk to a domestic car owner, and you'll appreciate the quality that you have. As a note, a few years ago I put my mother in a '96 Avalon (new at the time). The car performed flawlessly and is her favorite car the she has ever owned. Drive a new Avalon and you'll see why they are getting such rave reviews.
  • jcarr7jcarr7 Member Posts: 2
    I had a 98 Avalon and the weatherstrip wore off it also. It was replaced and promptly wore off once more. I just accepted it as a design problem when the seat is pushed all the way back.

    Those of us in the 70 year age bracket can remember much worse things than that. My best friend had the motor fall out of a 55 Pontiac beause the motor mounts were not fastened properly.

    What did I do about the weatherstrip-nothing. When I traded the 98 in on a 00 nothing was said. I did notice that the design problem was corrected.

    In summary, don't forget that there are some 10k or more parts in an automobile and I sometimes marvel that they move at all.

    One more point, I own a 99 Silverado Z-71 pickup. While I have no complaints myself about the truck, you should go over and read some of the problems others have had. They cover the waterfront.
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    I believe you have hit the nail on the head, except for the reason why, and I can offer one possible reason, which may subject me to great insult. My opinion, having sold auto parts for many years, and then worked in Detroit many years, is that anything made by the UAW union will never, I mean NEVER, come close to the "imports" in overall quality. I did not say American built, I said union built. American workers employed by Honda, Toyota & Nissan build great cars for the import companies, often good enough to export back to Japan (2 door Accord coupe comes to mind). It is simply this: by being non-union, if you screw up, show up drunk and make junk on the line, you can be fired that day. In the UAW plants, if you are drunk and make junk, you will stay on the line and continue to make junk for two years until the union grievance process is FINALLY exhausted, and then they can fire you. Naturally, you receive full pay while that union process goes on. Hence, the union is protecting your job against the big, bad corporation. Hogwash. If the Big 3 could get rid of the bad and just keep the good, their quality would probably increase by 50% in one year! It is sad, but that is the way it is!!!
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    The people who "Buy American" IMHO, do not have the exacting standards of those who buy imports. If they did, no one would have bought the Big 3 from 1975-1990, when most of their product was of such poor quality that it would have trouble adequately functioning as a boat anchor.

    US products are better in the last 5 years, but they still don't hold a candle to vehicles made by people who actually risk losing their jobs if they make junk. The incentive (disincentive) is a big one, and I believe that the buyers of the import products inherently believe that, but would never say it out loud because their neighbor (brother, brother-in-law, etc) works for the Big 3 and they are afraid of backlash. After living in Detroit for 10 years, a fact remains: union workers go absolutely violent and ballistic when their product quality is compared to the imports, because they know they cannot (refuse to?) ever make a car that good. Look at how they demolish the import cars at the Detroit Auto Show. In less than one week, the cars are keyed, slashed, steering wheels broken, etc., and all because they make a better car.
  • mikochanmikochan Member Posts: 2
    Years ago, when Japanese cars were first imported, it was easy to point to "American workers" as being at fault for the lesser quality of domestically produced autos.

    In recent years, the proliferation of Honda, Toyota, BMW, MB, et al, plants in the U.S. producing cars of quality comparable to those from their native countries has muddied the question a little. It seems a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction to blame the lowest end of the food chain (i.e, the line worker or the UAW) for the lesser quality.

    Rather, I'd submit that it is the management philosophy of American car companies that is to blame. Sure, one can carp about UAW workers making a couple of dollars more an hour than those in Japan or Germany, where in truth the foreign worker may in fact make more. Even more more relevant, it is harder to fire a worker in almost any developed country than the U.S., unions notwithstanding. German unions are far more influential than U.S. ones, and despite a little recent trend towards restructuring, lifetime (or very long-term) employment is still the norm in Japan.

    The question to me, more than the UAW, is how come the foreign car companies can produce cars here, with American workers getting paid similar wages to UAW workers, get better quality, and not have to pay CEO's and upper management in the millions. The difference between working conditions and compensation for a Toyota worker in Georgetown and a GM worker in Detroit is pretty minimal. However, for the upper level it is pretty huge - maybe rather than focusing on blaming the grunts, we should be asking why domestic execs are pulling down orders of magnitude greater compensation for more meager results, in terms of a quality product, than their foreign counterparts.

    The workers on the line, if properly led and motivated, produce the goods - the foreign manufacturers here have proved that. I suggest that the culture of domestic car companies is lacking and, as in most organizations, this is the fault of those at the top, not at the bottom.

    FWIW, I own a Toyota and avoid, where I can, paying for products to support some CEO living like a member of the Bourbon dynasty and treating his company like his personal cash cow. I'm also a white-collar professional w/a graduate education, so the statements above are not due to any kind of class solidarity.
  • djamiesondjamieson Member Posts: 8
    I will pick up this car tonight @$26,423.+ taxes and the documentation fee of $200 (the extra profit fee that we are not supposed to understand but can't seem to avoid) which is $300 over invoice (dealer tells me). It is also the best price I could find after visiting three other dealers. This is a local guy whom I know and expect great service from as I tend to have a large sphere of influence in the area (big mouth) and can refer other business his way.

    Between Consumers Reports, Edmonds, et al the bottom line is the bottom line and these are merely tools to be used in determining the best price you can get in a given area. I think that I got a fair price all things being considered.

    The car is Black with Stone interior, Moon roof, the leather and wheel package,mats, keyless entry & cargo net.

    I'll add aftermarket wood in Rosewood and perhaphs an amp and sub-woofer to the car if the radio does not produce to my liking.

    I am interested in what other black car owners might have to say about this color combination. Anybody have the "gold package"?

    Dave - Massachusetts
  • smoore5smoore5 Member Posts: 8
    I purchased a 2000 XLS in March. This summer in Ontario has not been very hot so I haven't really pushed the air conditioning. However,and the Air is in auto and it is hot outside I find that the fan runs in a high speed (4 or 5 bars) for at least 30 minutes. I also find that the fan speed is constantly changing. I suspect that there are at least two fan speeds for every bar and when it is at 3 bars the fan is fairly noisy. When it is at these speeds the passengers in the back seat find it quite cool because the air from the rear vents is constantly blowing on them. Incidentally I usually have the temperature set at 23 degrees Celsius (73.5 degrees F.).

    My previous car was a 1996 Maxima and in that car the initial fan speed was high on hot days but it dropped back to low in 10 or 15 minutes and usually remained in that position thereafter.

    I have ensured that the visor for the sun roof is closed as I know sun through the sunroof can upset the cooling cycle but this does not seem to help.

    Is my system operating normally or should I be complaining to the dealer? I would be interested in the experience of others. This is the only real complaint I have about my car.
  • bigrichzbigrichz Member Posts: 4
    Has anyone heard whether or not Navigation will be available on the 2001 Avalon. I have it on my Lexus LS 400 and love it. Toyota would do well to make this option available on their lower priced vehicles.
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    While I am not in full agreement with your statements, having dealt with UAW people who bragged about sabotaging the product while being assembled, your points are certainly worth considering. I do not know if German unions bend over backwards to keep "trash employees" on the line, ruining the product, but I know the UAW does, and that bothers me as much as overpaid CEO's bother you. Thanks for your thoughts.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    My latest information is that the nav system will only be available on the land Cruiser and later in the year on the Prius.
  • djamiesondjamieson Member Posts: 8
    XL in Black w/ stone leather and wheel package with remote, and moon-roof. It came with DUNLOP Tires (thank goodness) and both the cargo net,trunk mat floor mats. Under $26,500. which is a very fair price. Thank you, Northampton Toyota in Northampton, Massachusetts. They also own Tri-State in Dudley, MA

    My initial impression after the first fifty miles is that the car is quiet and that the basic sound system does not need anything as the sound quality is excellent. Also, with the stone interior I have rethought the after-market wood trim as I think that it would actually detract from the interior appearance. I am putting on the locking wheel nuts and re-intalling my Viper Alarm system. Then the handfree and radar detector go in and the package is ready. I like it a lot!

    I'll track mileage at 87 Oct. and report in.

    Finally, the car seems to be traveling faster than the speedometer indicates. I'll ask one of the locals to clock me in town at 50 just to check it.
    My windshield did not have a green image in it and I am a six footer. I can see the speed but not the turn signals easily. The dash configuration needs some work, and I wish that an onboard compass were on all models.

    Thanks for everyones comments, you all helped a lot.

  • lorainemax2lorainemax2 Member Posts: 35
    I have owned both American and Japanese cars. My father is a firm believer in Toyotas and will own nothing else....and for good reason none of his cars have ever been back to the shop from the first Corolla he bought new in 1974.

    When you look at my new Avalon you have a car built in the US with American labor and it is a great car. You then wonder why my '98 Suburban suffers quality issues like it does?

    The answer is simple, it is engineering and profit driven. An American automaker can screw together a car as well as anyone else, it is what he is screwing together that matters.

    Take for instance a conversation I had this year at the autoshow with a GM worker from the transmission plant. He told me the 4L60E in my Suburban was engineered to only last to 100,000 miles. It was designed and engineered to break. Compare that to a Toyota Tacoma for instance and many have well into the 200,000 mile plus range on the original tranny. A fluke? I think not.

    As long as American executives force engineers to design "more profitable" cars, our beloved Buicks and Fords will continue to be made of cheap plastics and poor mechanicals that have planned obsolesence.

    Unions may have something to do with it to, but before you blame the worker on the line it is important to look at who designed the part he is installing.

    Just my two cents.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    To comment further on your post, let me tell you what I was told by a Toyota engineer when I asked him about why Toyota does not put limited slip differentials in their trucks. I was told that Toyota had looked into this for years but could not find one that would last beyond 120K miles and this was unacceptable. The lack of an LSD in our trucks makes them difficult to sell but Toyota will not compromise long term quality to sell more vehicles today.

    As to the Union issue, I have some very strong opinions here but I really don't think this is an appropriate forum for them.
  • phandmkphandmk Member Posts: 3
    When trying to get to the bottom line price what add-ons have you encountered? So far I have seen TDA of $376, Gas of $6, and some times a docking or delivery fee. Just wondering how your final price was affected by these charges. $500 over invoice plus TDA and gas, etc.??? Thanks for your help. Also, how annoying is the glare on windshield for those of you who have noticed?
  • boordboord Member Posts: 27
    I had $45 doc prep fee and a $425 Cal license fee. No gas fee. What is the $378 TDA fee?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    For those of you who don't know, this stands for Toyota Dealer Association fee. This is basicly an advertising fee. Every region in the country has some form of TDA but it varies by region. My understanding is that Southern CA is the cheapest and Northern CA and New York are the highest.

    This is a real fee and we are not compensated for it. We used to get half the money back as a secret holdback. This practice was stopped in '95 after a class action suit. The suit also had Toyota issue those $150 coupons you have seen advertised on Edmunds.

    This is also why the coupons are specific to a region. There was a certain number of those certificates issued for each TDA and when they are gone in that region (as they are in MD and VA now), you can't get any more.

    For any who are curious about the fee in VA, the TDA on an XL Avalon is $459.
  • gentlegiantgentlegiant Member Posts: 12

    If you can answer this, I will be very thankful.

    Do you know if the 2001 Avalon will have a black or almost-black leather interior option?

    If not, WHY? Is there some reason there is not a dark interior option? This is the only thing keeping me from buying one.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    When I originally received my Avalon brochure, I, too, noticed that you could not get a dark interior, gray or black. I would get a light interior (leather) dirty in a flash.

    I also wonder if they will ever offer some kind of a "Sport" package on the Avalon, for those who want the same comfort, but firmer handling without feeling like a rock.

    As long as we are at it, why don't they raise the HP to 225-250, and let the car really fly?
  • mikochanmikochan Member Posts: 2
    I'd definitely like to see something like this.

    On the performance side, according to the ToyotaParts4U website, TRD/Kazuma will be producing a version of the Camry/Solara supercharger, a bolt on, smog-legal, warranty preserving (I believe) addition that boosts HP to around 270. When this becomes available, I'm going to really consider this. For suspension, slightly stiffer springs and a little more damping in the shocks would be nice, but I don't know if anything is available for this, esp. if they are Toyota parts.

    Even if available as aftermarket Toyota (TRD), it would be nice to have this as a factory package (supercharged Avalon w/tighter suspension) to avoid futzing around w/modifying a stock car. However, such a machine may not be to Toyota's advantage from a CAFE or marketing niche standpoint.

    Would be nice, though & I would buy one.

    On the engineering question of foreign vs. domestic, I saw an analysis once that was interesting. It contended that in Japan, the best engineering graduates, from places like Tokyo University, Waseda (Japan's Ivy league equivalents) sought jobs with Toyota, Honda, etc., since these were the companies/technologies of the greatest prestige in Japan.

    However, in the good old US of A, it has been a long time since hotshot MIT/Stanford, etc., grads have been angling for positions at GM/Ford. For the past thirty years, our top technical talent has gravitated towards defense/space/basic research/computers/biotech. As a result, the U.S. is a leader in these types of technologies (we make super missiles/bombs/submarines, for example), while Japanese/German economies have had their most talented techies working on automotive and other consumer related technologies.

    I don't necessarily agree w/this whole-heartedly, but it is an interesting proposition. What I believe is that the continuing lag in U.S. automotive quality is a combination of a number of cultural and economic factors. UAW work rules/grievance procedures probably contribute as a negative factor, but the problem appears to have more dimensions than that.
  • castle2castle2 Member Posts: 1
    Have put on 4,300 miles on my Y2K XLS. Still happy with purchase however over last couple of months have developed a minor complaint/wish list.
    First Kudos
    Great Gas mileage city/hwy. & Mountain climbing 27.5 MPG on regular gas (85 octane High altitude)
    Everyone gets lost in back seat.
    Good power for traffic merging and driving over the Rockies
    Quite and quality finish.
    Driver comfort for a 6 footer 240lb.

    Major complaint
    Crappie JBL sound system. Any CD over half volume with heavy bass passages comes out distorted. Frequency ranges poor. Dealer checked it out and claims everything OK. My 98 Eddie Bauer Explorer with Ford's premium sound system 10 times better.

    Wish list
    For a premium top of the line car for Toyota several things strike me as missing.
    Before mentioned sound system
    Window and door locks not lighted.
    No radio, temp control etc. on steering wheel. (Never realized how convenient to have till I don't have it)
    Electronic display shows everything except [non-permissible content removed] Ave. MPG. Zero's out after every trip.
    3 colors of green on dash board.
    Piss Poor sound system. Again

    Other then these love the car and would buy again.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    The 2001 will have the exact same interiors as the 2000s. Sorry about that. We used to have a black interior but sold very few of them. They were just too hot and dismal looking.

    As for the stereo distortion, I have a suggestion. I have had a few complaints about this and all were traced to the settings. In my opinion, the stereo sounds best with the bass at no more than +2, mid at 0 or +1 and treble at +4 or 5. Set this way, you should not get the bass distortion but still have enough to thump your stomach at high volume.

    When listening to talk radio, move the bass to -2 to prevent deep voices from being too low.
  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    Very insightful thinking, food for thought.
  • cherryjohn20cherryjohn20 Member Posts: 2

  • playbak1playbak1 Member Posts: 3
    I think you have a problem with your A/C. If your fan is running on high after 30 minutes in Ontario, you either have the temp set at 60 F or something is broken.

    It has been over 100 F here in TX for the last month and my fans have never run on high over 5 minutes. Even after sitting in the direct sun all day in an open parking lot. I can't imagine Ontario being that hot. Have the dealer take a look at it. Sounds like a quirky thermostat.

    As too the air flow to the back seat, those vents can be shut off so they do not blow on the rear passengers.

    Hope this helps.
  • bigrichzbigrichz Member Posts: 4
    Too bad Toyota is only putting Nav in those 2 vehicles. Everyone who sees the Nav in my Lexus loves it. Toyota might double their Avalon/Camry and Corolla sales if Nav was available. Do you have any idea what their reasoning is or does it require a V8 or special large battery? The dealer who makes Nav available in a cheaper car first, will turn a nice profit.
  • smoore5smoore5 Member Posts: 8
    Thanks Playbak 1. I am going to take it into the dealer and have them check it out.
  • aimanaiman Member Posts: 61
    I think it's only about time until someone (be it toyota or some other brand) puts Nav on econo cars. Sooner or later Toyota must make it available.
  • drgg4drgg4 Member Posts: 9
    I appreciate your candid and honest replies re Toyota and was wondering if you could answer the following inquiries?

    1. What date will the 2001 Toyotas be available?

    2. What changes will take place on the 2001 model?

    3. What is your opinion of the 2000 Avalon?

    Hope these questions are not repetitious or redundant. I don't recall seeing these posted before.

    Thanks for your help!

  • stocksmanstocksman Member Posts: 2
    I was wondering now that we are getting closer to the 2001 Avalon Release, if Cliffy or any of our other friends know what colors (interior & exterior) will be available for 2001 & if there will be any other changes. Am I reading correctly that there will not be a NAV System offered for 2001 ?

    Any information is appreciated.

    Thank You !
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