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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    When I was Matrix shopping, Boch was advertising one for $13,800 something. When I stopped by, it had been sold.

    Call before you go over. An Avalon at $21K is a couple of K under invoice, might be a demo or exec car.

    Good luck. in your shopping.

    Can you imagine anyone paying $31K for a Camry? Every now and then you see them for 16 to 17K in Boch ads. How much more Camry do you get for another 14K....
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Congratulations on your new car, happy motoring! If you don't mind, would you please tell us how much your 03 (XL or XLS) cost and the options you added? Are there any differences between the 02 and 03 other than the NAV? I looked at and found that for an 03 XLS with nav, sunroof, vsc and premium luxury pkg with heated seats, the price (including destination charges but before tax) comes to $32,688. Is that a good price?
  • hi we bought an 03 xls with nav,sunroof,vsc,prem leather w/heated seats,glass breakage sensor for $32,360, out the door w/tax and title was $34,132. Make sure they don't charge much more that 50 for documentary fees and also dont pay any advertising fees. They made a few changes in the 03. The front grille is a little different and the back lights and insignia. the 03 steering wheel is leather accented in wood while the 02 is all leather. Just a few minor changes, the biggest being the nav system.
  • highlander7highlander7 Posts: 177
    Other than the multi-stage air bags and electrochromic side mirror, the other items are cosmetic. If they were options, I would have payed extra for the alloy wheels and wood grain steering wheel, they really enhance this car.

    2003 XLS New Features

    Multi-Stage Front Air Bags

    Lexus Like Alloy Wheels

    Wood Grain Trim Steering Wheel

    Rain Sensitive Windshield Wipers

    Electrochromic Driver Side View Mirror

    Re-Designed Front Grill and Rear Tail Lights
  • amc697amc697 Posts: 9
    I have a 2002 Avalon XLS with power bench seats. The passenger side seat does not go up & down with the power seat buttons, unlike the drivers seat. The dealer said that it is manufactured that way.
    Can anyone confirm this?
  • gotshagotsha Posts: 8
    I have a problem with the Auto setting for the a/c. I set the temp to 78 degrees and the car is like an ice box. It doesn't cycle off when it reaches the set temp. Went back to the dealer and asked and he said you have to turn the a/c control off.
    I had a 200 Chrysler Concorde which also had an auto temp control and it worked fine. No matter what temp you set it to, when it reach that temp, the a/c cycled off and then back on when the temp got warmer again. Even in the winter when I set the heat on auto, it maintained the right cabin temp. This Avalon just keeps going and going and going and there is no way to have an auto temp control either in the a/c mode or the heat mode. Anyone else have this problem? Why would they tell you its automatic and not have it work that way? Very dissapointed in this car. Over rated and over priced and lacks a lot of small refinements that you get on American brand cars. Don't look for window switches in the dark because you have to feel for them. They are illuminated like in the Concorde.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Is your automatic climate control set on auto?
  • hello52hello52 Posts: 11
    gotsha, we have the same problem as you with the automatic A/C control on our 2001 Avalon. In response to alpha01, we did have it set to auto. I had a 1994 Dodge Intrepid prior to the Avalon and like the Concorde, it cycled perfectly and its window switches were illuminated. Why should I have to turn the A/C off to have it work 'automatically'? When we do turn the A/C off, the automatic function still doesn't work quite right because when its, say 64 deg F outside, and I set it to 68 on auto, it doesn't cool the interior.

    Overall great car, but minor annoyances. We just returned from a 3000 mile road trip. Had the above annoyances, still have the glare problem, and the car bottoms out more often with a car load of people and a trunk full of luggage. Overall though, not a single engine problem, cruise worked perfectly, didn't burn a drop off oil, and we couldn't believe how much stuff we could put in the trunk: baby stroller, golf clubs, large luggage bag, two medium sized luggage bags, cooler, several misc bags, and a camera bag.

    Just passed the 15,000 mile 'seasoned' point and plan to change the oil to Mobil 1.
  • bitnoj1bitnoj1 Posts: 17
    Where can I get a list of invoice price options for the 03 XLS. Also who's offering the best price in the NW Indiana/Chicago IL area? I am willing to pay $500-$1000 over invoice if that's possible, otherwise it's off to the Acura TL dealer.
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    Try Kelly Blue Book at or Intellichoice at
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    You can get option pricing for invoice, MSRP and TMV here on Edmunds. Click the New button on the home page, then Toyota from the list and then Avalon.

    TMV is zipcode specific and ought to represent what people are reporting as paying for Avalons in your area.

    You also will get a page full of pop-ups for dealers in your area. Try each one on the net or over the phone and see what you can get them to offer.

    It also helps to approach the purchase from an 'out the door price'. Add in the sales tax you will pay and typical registry and titling fees that you think are reasonable.

    Always talk 'out the door' price with the sales team. To prepare for this, go to the website. Select build you own and put in your zip code. Toyota will show you the 'popular' packages for area ( i.e. the ones they are shipping to where you live ). You can price them online and then go back to Edmunds to get TMV and invoice. Most of the cars on their lot will be one of these. Figure out the out the door on each that you are willing to pay.

    As they say in the Westerns, "Son, that gun fires faster when the bullets is alreddy in it".

    If you just deal from 'over invoice' leaves the sales guys open to 'etch your glass', charge for 'Toyo Guard' on your fabric ( very common down South where salemen must have soiled trousers or something) and other add ons. If the carpet set isn't on the sticker, don't buy it from them at list. Ask for 40% off and if they won't sell it at that, buy it online from

    Also, if you are trading, call the used car department at the dealership and tell them you just inherited a 'whatever it is you have that you want to trade' and need to dispose of it and see what you get offered.

    Use that as the low benchmark in the deal for the new car if a trade is a part of the equation.

    Agreed out the door price minus lowest trade equals your max cash out of pocket. If they over more than the used car guys and meet your out the door price, you are ahead of the game.

    Don't talk lease or financing until you've settled on a price. Don't tell the sales people any more about your financial circumstances than you have to. They take cash, but like to get you to finance it, since they often get inception fees and kick backs from the loan. If you belong to a credit union or have good credit, get a quote for the deal up front from CU, bank or finance compay. Ask the dealership to beat it with no change in the out the door price.

    The 03 is fresh to the lots but you still ought to be able to deal in the range you want. 02's ought to be well under invoice!

    Good luck and let us know how you do!
  • highlander7highlander7 Posts: 177
    Just ordered a pair of WeatherFlector window air deflectors made by ClimAir for my wifes 03 Avalon. These are the best on the market, they do not stick or tape on, they fit inside the window channel. They will not interfere with the window operation.

    At this time they are only available for the front windows. I have a set for both front and rear windows on my 4Runner and they are great. When parked on a hot summer day, crack the windows 2 - 3" to keep the inside much cooler and no worry about rain. This is another option that Toyota should offer, they work great.

    MacNeil Automotive:

    they are not yet listed for 03 Avalon but 02 is the same...

  • gotshagotsha Posts: 8
    Yes, you're right. Another thing that Toyota failed to get straight. Only the drivers seat will go up and down.
  • gotshagotsha Posts: 8
    Yes, I had it set to auto. The service manager told me to turn the a/c off. I said what good is the auto setting if it doesn't work the way its suppose to. He told me that auto doesn't do anything but adjust the fan speed. When the car gets too cold you have to turn the a/c off. Someone should tell Toyota what auto a/c is suppose to mean.
  • maknarrmaknarr Posts: 3
    I just installed a set of black mudguards on my 02 XLS. Car only has 400 miles on it but brake dust was obvious behind all four wheels of our sandstone car. Guards are easy to install, buy a Craftsman ratchet style offset screwdriver for 10 bucks, lot easier to get in and around the front tires. You drill four small pilot holes in plastic, rest of the installation is easy. I recommend them for long term ownership.
  • hello52hello52 Posts: 11
    maknarr, where did you buy your mudguards? Thanks.

    gotsha, I finally had a chance to ride in the passenger seat and noticed it too that the power seat does not go up and down.
  • maknarrmaknarr Posts: 3 is a Toyota dealer in Washington. No sales tax, no shipping charge, and they sell at a discount from your local dealer. I just ordered winter floor mats, a case of oil filters, some other misc. stuff. My mudguards are genuine Toyota parts as is most of the stuff from this resource.
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    hello52: If you want color-keyed mudguards, check out
  • surrfurtomsurrfurtom Posts: 122
    I had a Pont GP 1970 (yes 32 years ago) that had auto A/C that worked perfectly until I sold it after 10 years of driving. Had an 82 Datsun 280ZX with auto A/C that never worked. It would cycle between hot and cold. I guess they designed it for an average temp., not absolute. Dealer never coud make it work right.

    In 20 years I would have thought the Japanese could have figured out that auto A/C means set the temp and it holds that temp. and keeps everyone comfortable. It's good to hear they aren't perfect.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    You just precisely described the AutoAC in my '01 Mazda Millenia.

    In the ten months and 7000 miles I have had it in central Florida, it has been set on Auto 76 degrees 98% or the time. The only exception is if I manually select front or rear defrost. It automatically adjusts fan speed and controls temperature regardless of whether it has sat in the sun for 5 hours, or sat in the garage overnight in 20 degree weather. It is also quiet (not silent) even on high speed. The Japanese do know how to do it. Maybe just not all of them.
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    Today I received the color-keyed mudguards and door edge guards from for the diamond white pearl '03 Avalon with Nav I have on order. Delivery took a week from when I placed the order. The color looks like it will match perfectly. I'll know for certain tomorrow when I've had a chance to compare them to a diamond white pearl at a nearby dealership.
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    For anyone contemplating purchasing an Avalon or any other Toyota for that matter, I suggest you call the Toyota Material Distribution Center at 1-800-622-2033 and order a copy of the User's Manuals for an explanation of how the vehicle operates as part of your research. You just don't have the time to thumb through the manual while at the dealership. I ordered both the Owner's Manual and Navigation System Owner's Manual for less than $10 a piece and they were shipped priority mail and arrived in approx. 3 days. Never having previously owned an Avalon and while I wait for delivery, I figured this was a great way for me to get some insight into what the car is and isn't capable of.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    For best results try the following:
    Press in the "AUTO" button
    Temperature: set to desired temperature
    Air intake to "FRESH" outside air
    A/C button on

    This is the correct operation for the auto climate control and should maintain the desired/set temperature.

    : )
  • hello52hello52 Posts: 11
    mackabee, when I press the 'auto' button and then set the temperature, the system is already set on 'fressh' outside air the a the a/c button is already on. Do I need to press each one separately (i.e., 1st auto, 2nd temp, 3rd fresh air, 4th a/c)?

  • donellm1donellm1 Posts: 3
    Turn indicators on the dash show direction of turn, but the sound is so low that we can not hear it clicking. Particulary so when the A/C is on and fan is making noise.
    Does anyone know how to increase the clicking noise of the turn indicators when they are indicating either left or right turn?
  • gnawk719gnawk719 Posts: 14
    I will be purchasing a 2003 Avalon next month. Most of the messages on this board seem to indicate a preference for the diamond white pearl. Has anyone looked at any of the other colors and can recommend one(with an Interior).
  • gnawk719gnawk719 Posts: 14
    Ilive 6 months in Florida and 6 months in New York. My question about color is one of aesthetics rather than one of practicality(even though that is important). Thanks for your response.
  • j_walkerj_walker Posts: 99
    Anyone know the reason(s) why the side mirrors are fixed on the Avalon? This is not typical of other models. Just curious?
  • Has the auto temperature control feature available on the XLS been resolved here? My wife has a 98 Acura and you set the temperature you wish the cabin to be at and you get cold air if the real inside temperature is warmer and you will get warm air if the inside temperature is colder than the temperature the system is set on. This is an enjoyable feature. I am considering the 03 Avalon XLS, however I am also considering the 03 Acura TL. To me the cars should be priced about the same. The Acura appears to have a higher resale after a few years. I do appreciate the slightly larger interior size of the Avalon. Is anyone else going through the Acura v. Avalon quandry?
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    to this1orthat1: the question of Avalon vs. Acura has no answer. Acura has more resale value, true. But it also has a smaller back seat, trunk and gas tank. The ride is also different. On average, the quality of the cars is about equal, if you believe what most people write. And service should be equal at good dealerships. I drive a '99 XL and my neighbor has an '01 Acura. Nothing is perfect, but these are both fine each one and decide. My Avalon has over 90,000 repair free miles on it but upgrade time is here. This is a tough call, but in my case, the '03 Avalon will win.
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