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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • ffbellffbell Posts: 1
    I agree with ronell in post # 900. The 2000 Avalon's rear suspension does not isolate bumps as well as the '95-99 models. I test drove a 2000 XLS and 1999 XLS back to back in Oct. 1999. Over the same route, bumps were loud and jolting in the 2000 model relative to the 1999. The 2000 had 16" Michelin MXV4's. A rental 2001 XLS that I drove over 300 miles two weeks ago exhibited similar characteristics. This car also had 16" MXV4's, which I maintained at 32 lbs. I have also test driven a Solara SLE V6 and found the ride firm and well controlled, but not harsh over bumps like the 2000+ Avalon. Currently, I own a 1995 Camry LE 4, which I bought new. The car has been terrific in both ride comfort and reliability. The ride is even softer than the 1999 Avalon, which I felt had a nice balance between handling and ride comfort. I believe Toyota took a short-cut on the 2000+ Avalon. While the ride is very controlled at highway speeds, I believe they could have done a better job of isolating bumps. If Toyota corrects these problems, I will likely make the Avalon my next car. Perhaps a TSB will be issued similar to those pertaining to the previous generation Avalons' strut and wind noise problems.
  • zman247zman247 Posts: 1
    Taupe leather interior for the 2001 XL discontinued, but think it might be good with the desert sand (light gold) exterior. So, checked the southeast 5 states for one, no luck. Found one in Jackson, MS, and proceeded to strike a deal. 2001 XL, desert sand mica w/ taupe leather interior, electric seats, pwr moonroof, gold trim package, upgrade security, keyless entry, permavin glass etch ID, pinstripes, upgrade mat set, cargo net, night vision mirror upgrade, extra mile roadside assistance pkg, moonroof wind deflector, dealer tax, paying that in Florida. I think that's it...looking at $27,8. Opted not to go for the alloy wheels, get a bigger choice after-market for the $150 each they wanted. I'm thinking this is about $400 over the minimum I could possibly expect to pay, and about 3k less than msrp. Whaddya think? Flying from Tampa up to Jackson tomorrow to see if we like it....(fly for free)..let me know....thanks.....zman
  • frankmaxfrankmax Posts: 18
    Hi There, I'm new here. I read all the posts here. They are very informative and helpful. I just bought my XL about two weeks ago. Every thing seems fine. But I noticed one thing, that is, when I stand right in front of or behind the car, It seems that the car is not level, or the driver's side is lower than the passenger's side. Although I am not small guy (240 lbs), I don't think just sitting on the driver's seat for 30 min per day for two weeks can cause this. Does anybody has notice the same thing? Or this is normal for the new car? Greatly appreciate your response!
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    There is a recall on the 01 Avalon built in 1/01 affecting only 45 units due to the front sub-frame assembly not being welded properly. This could explain mapper1's concern about front end strut noise and vibration in exhaust? Check the NHTSA web site for info on recall.
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    Does anyone have any info about what new options the Avalon might have for 2002 and when it will be released? TIA later, ldf
  • bearloverbearlover Posts: 12
    Several of my friends and I agree that the most inexplicable thing about the current Avalon is its rearend design. Wouldn't be much to fix, just restyle the verticle portion of the trunk lid. Please someone tell me that is in the works for 2002 to "freshen up" its looks. Send the designer of the current rearend back to the Pontiac Aztek project where he/she must have come from.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi friends,

    Catherine Heins is looking for people to interview who have switched from American to Japanese cars in the past few years-- especially folks who wouldn't have given a Toyota or Honda the time of day in the 1970s.

    She's a business reporter at the Yomiuri Shimbun, which is the biggest daily paper in Japan with a circulation of 14 million. They are writing a feature story about Japanese automakers' continuing success in expanding production in the U.S. and snatching market share from the Big Three even on their former home turf of light trucks.

    If you fit this description and are willing to be interviewed, please call her directly at 212-582-5827 or e-mail her at As always, you can contact me at if you have any questions.


    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • frankmaxfrankmax Posts: 18
    Could anyone please tell me roughly how much the annual maintenance costs for Avalon? I bought a prepaid maintenance program for $1000 which covers 55000 miles or 4 yrs. How do you think about it? Thanks.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    Why would maintenance costs average $250 a year. Think you should try to re-coup your money!
  • frankmaxfrankmax Posts: 18
    Toyota guy told me that this program includes three major services at 15k, 30k and 45k and each one will cost over $400 if I pay over the counter, and plus oil change etc. every 5k. Unfortunately, I was told that I can not cancel it when I called them today. Anyway, thanks a lot for the reply.
  • mapper1mapper1 Posts: 11
    Re: Post#900 about the 2000 Avalon's rear suspension problems, that must be something Toyota corrected in the 2001's because my car (an XL) (though it has other problems) seems fine in the rear. I recently carried 3 adult passengers in the back seat (+ 1 in the front seat) some 200 miles roundtrip, and it ran fine; just like when I'm alone by myself. There was no noise or bottoming out.My car is so high in the rear end, there seems to be plenty of suspension travel.Maybe you can get your dealer to replace the rear coil springs with springs they use in the 2001's.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    My 63 year old mother owns a 95 Avalon with 80K miles. She bought the car new and this was our 10th Toyota since 1980.

    She calls me every time she has a problem with it. The first 50K was a breeze then things started to fail. Power steering pump, drivers window, three oil leaks from different places front seal and rear, two antenna's, new drivers mirror, front passenger side suspension work (not sure what they fixed), cup holders and some other small things.

    This is on top of all the scheduled maintence, timing belt, brakes and tune-up.

    I cant help but entertain the idea that Toyota's American built cars have slipped in quality a little. Maybe since production is higher some quality controls have be relaxed. Possibly to meet the higher demands and quotas Toyota has set out to achieve.

    If you plan on keeping the car beyond 4 years you will benefit from the extra coverage.

    Total out of pocket $2,500.00 excluding scheduled repairs.
  • fredricksfredricks Posts: 1
    I'm planning on buying a basic 2001 xl with no options except floor mats. What's the best price you think I can get? In Aug 1999, I purchased a new 1999 XL with only floor mats as an option and, excluding taxes and tag,paid 22,500 plus a $300 handling charge. Will the prices go down as we approach October? I see ads in the newspapers for this type of car for 23,770? I am very pleased with the 1999 avalon and will be going for my 30,000 tuneup shortly.
  • thebergsthebergs Posts: 1
    The dealer techs could not reproduce this problem in the shop and had no advice.

    Here are my tales of woe. On at least 4 occasions, recently, the A/C cuts off after a few minutes of use. To restart A/C I must pull over, turn of the engine, wait for a couple of minutes and restart engine. It usually keeps working after that. On one another occasion, the unlock switch would not work. And finally, at one time the up and down window switch didn't work.

    For all of these occasions, the problem corrected itself only after the ignition was shut off. Any advise or solutions are welcome.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS and I park it in my basement garage. In many instances, it will lock its doors by itself. Very disturbing because whenever I go down to basement, the car is locked and have to go back upstairs to get remote or key.
    It very disturbing and Toyota cannot correct it. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    If you unlock the doors with the remote keyless entry, they will automatically relock if not opened. If you manually un-lock they should remain unlocked. Check your owners manual.
  • joel2468joel2468 Posts: 75
    I have a 2001 XL. I find that, even if I manually unlock the doors after parking, and then get out of the car, and then close the drivers door, and then hit the unlock on the remote, the Avalon will automatically lock the doors after a short amount of time. I like the way the unlock/lock features work on this car.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    They're re-locking because you've un-locked with your remote!
  • donstackdonstack Posts: 9
    The remote is "trigger finger" sensitive. I lock/unlock the doors AND the trunk by merely walking in the house with the keys in my pocket. My wife was in the garage cleaning up, came in the house and told me my car 'beeped' at least 3 times. I walked in garage and it beeped(locked) again. left keys on table for entire weekend and NO beeps, NO locked car/unlocked trunk. The remotes for our SUV (Ford) DO NOT go off by accident.

    Even though this is a distraction to the car, I do enjoy driving it, and the gas mileage is excellent and I can run it on regular gas.

    Did anyone mention The AVALON was the best 'PREMIUM MIDSIZE CAR' in both 2001 and 2000 in J.D. Powers and Associates Initial Quality Study, and was ranked #5 on the 10 Most Pleasing Vehicles of 2001 by AutoPacific Marketing of ALL vehicles surveyed( - check it out, and check the competition too).

    This car has a lot of accolades for only 2 years of current generation. We all paid more than a Camry and got more size, power, and amenities than a Camry. I DO NOT wish I had a LEXUS because the Avalon is the car I want. When someone takes a ride in it, there are nothing but compliments, I was away at a lakefront community(Sherkston Shores in Southern Ontario) during the Memorial Day weekend, and got many compliments about the car, a couple of people wanted to see interior and they commented it was very luxurious. The interior is constantly compared to a Lexus by anyone who sees it. ( There were Lexus, BMW's, Mercedes Benz, Volvos, Saab and a couple Corvettes in attendance at Sherkston). The MB owner said the rear styling resembled the MB!

    Take time to notice all that is right with the car and remember the higher resale value associated with this car versus the competition. Seems the Avalon has a lot going for it.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    With regard to message 918 concerning my message 917. I and the dealer as well as the Customer Representatives have read the manual many times. Toyota says doors should not lock. They recently installed a new Theft Computer and thought that would take care of the problem. It didn't. I have tried not carrying the remote. Have tried hanging it on a nail in garage. Nothing solves the problem. Dealer said some smart programmer in Japan thought it would be nice to lock the car when you go to a mall, etc., and forget to lock the car. I have tried leaving driver window open but when you do that and reach in to unlock doors, security system goes off. My next fix will consist of leaving a key in ignition. Anyone else have the problem.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    I must have misunderstood your concern. So, you park your car in the basement, leave the automobile unlocked and return with the car locked? I'll have to check if mine also has a mind of it's own as to the locking. But, if you unlock with the remote, the car does lock automatically if the door is not opened within 30 seconds.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    Hi Toledo 19- I very seldom use the remote. Concerning warranty, the person who paid $1000 for warranty to 55,000 miles got took. Must have purchased one of those insurance policies. I got extended warranty to 75,000 miles for $535.00 from the dealer. Had that on my van also account the all-wheel drive. Also have it on my current RAV4 account all-wheel drive. Otherwise, I wouldn't buy it. I am now on my 17th and 18th Toyota from same dealer. Get excellent cooperation from their service dept. Also get 20% on any parts or accessories I buy. Can't beat staying with same dealer and brand.
  • heymistaheymista Posts: 22
    I just sold my 95' Avalon with 83k miles. What a relief! I too had the Power Steering Column problem and the power window problems along with numerous people I have talked to. You are 100% correct- My problems started at 51k miles and I have spent $5K since including cv joints and a/c compressor and so many other things I can't even remember. This car has been a major disappointment for a Toyota, and I think they know about recurring problems that everyone has experienced without recalls. I am just glad it is over. Toyota's reputation for reliability is taking a beating lately. I've gone back to Honda.
  • frankmaxfrankmax Posts: 18
    I found there are always dust/fibers stay along the circuits on the back window inside the car. Is it due to the electrostatic attraction from the built-in antenna? Anybody saw the same thing?
  • ganjaganja Posts: 16
    I own an XLS and is it possible that I can fold the side mirrors in, before I park my car in the garage. I have two big/wide vehicles and it would really help if I was able to fold the mirrors. But I don't think the Avalon gives you the option. Can anyone please confirm
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The Avalon mirrors are fixed and can't be folded in.
  • namitknamitk Posts: 1
    I am planning to purchase an old Avalon as my first car. Can someone advice me as to which years had serious problems in Avalon , so that I should not look for these years, also what are the best deals for 1998/1997 that anyone got.

    I am planning to buy used avalon , instead of camry , is this a good decision, and how do you compare these cars.
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    If it's any consolation, we have a 2K Silverado as well as a 2K Avalon. Both have remote door/trunk locks. Both keychain controls are sensitive, in that if you pocket them and then reach into your pocket a certain way, they can sometimes activate the locks.
    The Silverado is, by far, much more sensitive. I don't mind its locks activating so much as the "panic" alarm button--drives me up the wall whenever it goes off! And it only requires the slightest touch to do so. It's getting so bad that I'm seriously considering not using it at all!
    Other than that, both vehicles are great. We really like the Avalon--and bought a Sienna recently for our daughter and son in law. They love it!
  • hoang4hoang4 Posts: 10
    I currently lease a 2001 XL and have had it for about 7 months (5 year lease, Ouch). How is Toyota when it comes to terminating a lease early and leasing another Toyota (probably a Lexus IS 300)? Any advice? or am I stuck....
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    I just terminated a 3 year lease early on a 01 Pathfinder (only 7 months in it). As in conventional financing, there is a "payoff" on a lease. The difference between my pay off and the trade value was not pleasant, but I was so happy to get out of this SUV I just grinned and bore it.
    I never looked back, I love the Avalon so much!
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