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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • Can't understand how toyota could allow the avalon to get lower crash test ratings now then they did between 95 and 99. If they had the technology to increase safety, why did they ignore it in the later models?
  • My wife and I just purchased a 2002 Avalon XLS and have already agreed that we love the car. Its very quite and handles great for a large car. In fact it rides just as good as a ES300 or GS300. Well the Lexus cars might be a little quicker, but hey I take a car that's thousands less and only 1 to 2 seconds slower.

    The primary reason we choosed the Avalon was that we could fit three car seats in the back seat. No other import sedan could do this in this price range. The Avalon is a great alternative to buying an SUV for the room. Better ride, reliable and fuel efficient.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    The Insurance Institute gave the Avalon a "best pick" for offset tests. Now, if you plan to ram it in to a wall, then you should be concerned about the government tests.
  • toyota knew the gov't testing. they worked
    to get the avalon a great rating. can't understand how they can "forget" how to build a
    car that does well in the crash tests.
  • The reflections from the dash instrument cluster are caused by a design defect. The visor or hood over the instruments is not long enough to block out the reflected glare. There are to options to correct this problem. First would be to change the angle of the instrument dials. This would necessitate the removal of the dash and the cooperation of your Toyota dealer. The second is to stick a 3 X 5 index card in the seam above the instrument cluster and the dash. This was the only solution that worked for a friend of my mother who I convinced to buy the Avalon instead of another Lincoln Continental. I think Consumer reports gave the Avalon an average rating because of build quality (squeaks, rattles and wind noise) all of which the Avalon has experienced as noted in previous posts. The mechanical reliability has been good. As to fuel injector replacement, I think this is covered under the emissions warranty up to 50k. Consult your owners manual. I like the Avalon but feel the dash looks too GM. I guess the build quality problems stem from when Toyota hired away from GM the Oldsmoile interior engineer to work on the Avalon. Sqeeks, rattles and wind noise are the "mark of excellence" at General Motors.
  • I also had a Volvo S70 that I traded for a 2001 Avalon. The Avalon isn't perfect (there are a few things I would like to see changed/improved, e.g. brakes) but compared to the S70, it is a dream. I liked my S70, but I always wondered if it would start each time I got in it to drive. Yes, the Avalon is becoming as plentiful as Accords/Camrys where I live too. Even though the prices have come down, this is not an inexpensive car when loaded up. Most of what I see are loaded XLS. Point is, many people have recognized this car for the bargain it is.
  • I have a '97 avalon w/ 155,000. I'm in real estate and drive mostly city/subdivision miles. I've replaced the power steering pump twice. Once at 80,000 miles and again at 125,000 miles. The brakes were repaired twice under warranty for a "clank" noise. The paint job is terrible. The front hood has numerous chips in the paint. Overall, the car has been great. I'm looking to replace with newer avalon when this one finally dies. Has it been perfect? NO, but no car is. If I don't have a car, I don't make money. This car has been very reliable and a joy to drive.
  • good news, all! i just received the new 2002 buying guide from CR, and guess what? they have moved the avalon's reliability up to their highest rating, "much better than average." so, i guess i made a moot point! thanks for the responses, folks. looks like it may be time for me to trade in the new beetle and return to avalon-owner-land!

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    Avalon owners, What's your experience with an all purpose cleaner?

    I just used an all purpose cleaner and conditioner (brand name TANNERY)in my Avalon. It comes in a black 10-oz aerosol can, and the label says it is good for Leather, Vinyl, Rubber trim and Fiberglass.

    I used it on the console, dash and leather seats with no apparent fading or discoloration. I was expecting a little more luster, something close to what you get from a professional detailer, instead what I got was clean surfaces waiting to be shined (although too much interior shine/luster is hazardous to night time driving).

    The product is odorless and does its job well with no mess or residue. For an all purpose product I am very satisfied. My question, how often should one use such products on leather?
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    At New England's largest Toyota dealer today I was told that they have stopped ordering the Avalon XLS because it does not sell and its sales have been canibalized by the NEW CAMRY. They had over 60 XL models on the lot but ZERO XLS'. The saleswoman believes that Toyota has discontinued the Avalon XLS line entirely.

    Is this true?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    While there are many, many excellent salesmen and women out there, who care about their customers, there are also others who just want to sell the cars, and in that very instant. Bwia, I think you said it yourself.. she had 60 XL models on the lot... OF COURSE she's not going to try to steer you to an XLS of which she has none!
  • We leased a 95 & then our 98. Both cars were/are wonderful. The two-tone color (cream & taupe), the beautiful front end, the moon roof and its superior handling capabilities make it a car-for-all-seasons. (I traded my 92 Buick Park Ave. for my first Avalon.)

    BUT then the styling changed and I just hate the current boxy design. So, when the lease ended, we bought our 98. It still looks beautiful and, just recently, I was asked by a (not very knowledgeable) friend if it was a Lexus.

    And what's with this new Camry? Anyone have actual factual knowledge about what Toyota's plans are vis-a-vis their product line? Best wishes!
  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    On KBB and other internet sites, there is an extra charge of $187 for the white exterior color on the '02 Avalon. Can anyone explain why there is an extra charge for white, but none of the other colors.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    It is an extra procedure during the painting process.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    After 3 years and 2 months and 75,000 highway miles my 1999 Avalon XL finally needed something fixed. A -brake light bulb- burned out. Is this the best car sold in America? For my money, YOU BET IT IS! And it still gets 30+ mpg on the highway driving 70 mph with a full load in the trunk and rear seat. On average, this is one of the finest cars ever produced by anybody. Buy one!
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    I just read the post stating that he gets 30+MPG on his '99 Avalon fully loaded. Over the past year I have read many claims on MPG that are widely different.

    I have a 2000XLS with 20,000 miles on it. I live in central Cal and drive a mix of highway and light suburban traffic with a lot of 70mph miles.
    I use mobil 1 synthetic oil and change it every 3000 miles. I use regular gas (I've tried premium in several successive tanks and noticed no difference in either mpg or performance). I rarely have a fully loaded trunk or passenger compartment. The a/c is usually on.

    I usually get between 24 to 28 mpg with it closer to 24 more often than not. So what am I doing wrong not to get 30+MPG? What's the experience of others?
  • I have kept exact mileage/gas records for every tank of gas on my 2000 Avalon XLS with 19508 miles. I have filled up 72 times, mostly using reg 87 octane. I tried several tanks of premium, and similar to your experience, could not detect a difference. I also change the oil and filter at a maximum of every 3000 miles. Results from my spread sheet:

    City driving (around town, some freeway driving): 18.8 MPG
    Long trips (Mosltly freeways, some around town): 24.7 MPG

    Combined totals (19508 miles divided by 974 gals): 20.02 MPG

    Maybe we're both doing the same thing wrong, whatever it is, huh?
  • n4pyn4py Posts: 10
    I have a 2000 XLS with 37000 miles. I live in
    North Carolina. Most of my driving is highway driving. I have averaged 28 mpg on 87 octane over the life of the vehicle. I wonder if the previous reports of only 24 mpg were in California and are the result of the more strict pollution standards there.
  • In my above post I forgot to mention that I live in Southern California. It's possible Califonia's standards contibute to lower MPG.
  • Going into the Denver area this weekend to look at a Toyota Avalon XLS the dealer has gotten in for me that should pretty much have everything on it. If I decide to get it, how much should I pay for it?

    Also planning to drive an Acura TL-S. Wonder about the Lexus ES-300, but it seems smaller than the Avalon. Am giving up my '99 Chrysler 300M due to the noise it makes on the highway and the posts rear and back that make it hard to see well at certain angles. Otherwise it has been a great car. Any thoughts from anyone on these choices?
  • Regarding Post #1190 by markxd and Post #1183 by toledo19, what year is your Toyota? I have a 2001 Toyota Avalon and have the same problem. At night, I can see a reflection of the 120 from the speedometer and the fuel gauge. I have to turn the dash lights down, but I think I'll take the 3x5 card advice. I too went to a Toyota dealership in Appleton, WI. They could not do a thing. They too told me my VIN number was not eligible for the repair similar to the 2000 models and they could not do anything.

    markxd, who did you talk to at Customer Service, so that I can log the same problem with the same person, if it makes a difference talking to the same person. Thanks.
  • We bought a new 2002 Avalon on Nov 30. I had read a lot about the console lights reflecting on the inside of the windshield. I'm 5'11" and use the seat in its lowest position. I had to contort to about 4'11" to even see the phenomenon. My wife is 5'3" and uses a high seat and she can't see it either. Sound like much ado about nothing. I wish the elapsed driving hours and average fuel economy didn't reset when the key is turned off. Am I missing something? Seems like a great car tho. A good word for the '95 Concorde with 132200 miles that I got rid of. It was a fine car.

    Fred Anderson
  • Boord, joedbob, n4py,

    Fin is probably getting 30mpg because he's measuring them in the larger Imperial gallons used in Canada, not U.S. gallons. Either that or he's driving 50mph on the highway...
  • My parents have a 2000 Avalon XLS, and my mom has put 38,000 miles on it. We've had no problems with the car, and really don't expect to have many considering Toyota's reputation for reliability. As far as gas mileage goes, when we go on trips we usually get around 29-30 MPG. It's a little closer to 29 when we use the A/C. We live in North Carolina, and we're not doing much driving in the mountains (especially on our trips to the beach), so I'm wondering if the relative flatness and constant speed attribute to our mileage. Mom and Dad are usually pretty easy on the gas, so this might help our mileage, too. Also, another factor to consider is tire inflation pressure. I think we run 32 psi in ours. I'm sorry you guys aren't getting better mileage. As far as the car, my parents love it, and my Dad has already said that he's not going to buy anything else but a Toyota. This being after suffering through four Chrysler minivans over a period of 10 years, all with bad transmissions. Those of you with gas mileage averages that are less than what you think you should be getting, is your car an XLS model with the average readings on the dash? We've found that ours is pretty accurate when compared to what you actually get when you divide miles driven by gallons used. Okay, that's all for now. Have a great day!
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    You don't see the refection because it is most prominent when you "raise" yourself in the seat, not "contort" down,
  • I still can't find the reflection. Where does it show up? Inches from center and inches above dash?

    More on computer readouts. Elapsed time driven and average gas mileage would be much more useful if they were only reset when I want to reset them (the way my Concorde worked). Having them reset every time the key is turned off makes them virtually useless to me.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Don't look for trouble. Once you see it, you'll fixate on it. Be happy you haven't noticed it. If you drive on well lit roads, you may never see it. It is only on very dark roads that it shows up.

    Here's a little story about things that drive a person nuts only if it is pointed out to them:

    When I bought my Tundra, I noticed a click that would happen every time I hit the brakes. It wasn't loud, but I heard it. It happened at the same point each time I hit the brakes. It bothered me for a while but the shop guys said not to worry about it.

    Recently, somebody commented about their Tundra doing the same thing. I told them mine had it too, but it went away. I was quizzed about it and I was sure that I had not heard it in over 6 months. Unfortunately, this got me thinking about it and I listened for it. Sure enough, the click still exists. For 6 months, I had ignored it and it stopped bothering me. Now that I listened for it, and heard it, I am bothered by it again!

    The moral: Don't go looking for trouble.
  • dave210dave210 Posts: 238
    My wife has had two Chrysler Town & Country's that had/have the overhead console trip computer which doesn't reset, so i know what you mean. I like being able to see after three months what my average mile to the gallon is, or seeing how long the trip to grandma's took even though we turned off the car for ten minutes to eat.

    In my Avalon, it's pointless. Although the trip time works when I'm going from and to work, it's only because I make no stops on the way home. But since since all the functions reset WHENEVER you shut of the car, there really is no point.

    I'm hoping Toyota will fix this, because while they thought they may have had a good idea, it's virtually pointless having it reset ALL the time.
  • I finally touched the roof with my head and saw the reflection. Believe me, it will not be a problem.

    Thanks for the support on the computer. What could they have been thinking?
  • "But since since all the functions reset WHENEVER you shut of the car, there really is no point."

    I agree totally with you. My 2000 Avalon XLS does the same thing. It's very frustrating. They have fixed the problem though on my 2002 Camry XLE V6. Each function remains "on" until you manually reset it. Kinda nice. Don't know what they could have been thinking about on the Avalon.
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