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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • kicker9kicker9 Posts: 57
    This is an actual complaint someone filed on the NHTSA website, did he/she not realize they could lower the seat or raise the steering wheel???
    Hope this person doesn't have a cell phone in the car.

    Make : TOYOTA Model : AVALON Year : 2003 Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0 ODI ID Number : 10001386 Date of Failure: October 29, 2002 Component: STEERING:WHEEL AND HANDLE BAR Summary:
  • Anybody has any experience with OEM leather replacement seat covers for avalon XL, recently
    purchase leather trim kit to replace original cloth seats ???
  • Classis Soft Trim [] is discussed in some [you have to register]. All good reports there...

    Their local installation shop here in my location is highly recommended by both the Honda and Toyota dealer. I had been considering it but decided to order an XLS instead because of the navigation option, mainly.

    My guess is that you'd come out with something better than factory leather.
  • stmechstmech Posts: 19
    Following up my previous message #2054. While I prefer the ride and feel of the Avalon with the new Tokico struts, I have found that this is not necessarily shared by everyone who rides in the car. I have heard a complaint that the ride is "busier" than before. I think that means the car reacting to more road surface irregularities. Thought I should make mention of this because these struts might not be everyone's cup of tea. I remain satisfied.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    stmech-GOOD HEADS UP for anyone considering the change..."BUSY" is a good word. I noticed more "feedback"...and the car was more "aware" of smaller road imperfections (see post 2024). When advising anyone, considering the upgrade, I noticed these people were expressing a desire for more "performance".....and any increase in handling performance will yield a more rigid platform. The more handling you want....the more bumps you get. These are more bumps but, it is never "harsh". (FYI: I have 15" wheels) The Tokicos IMO are a great combination of "ride" and "handling". The car is definitely more fun to drive. It's NO Acura TL type "S" but, then again, it's NO Buick! -nomad-
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Does the 2003 XLS ride the same as the previous models? My father has this car and I thought it rode very well on secondary roads too, but this car still has less then 4k miles. Do the struts get weak as the car accumulates mileage? In fact, the Avalon has a smoother ride than the 97 DeVille that it replaced (comparing to the Cadillac now with over 100k miles and original struts). The Avalon does not seem underdamped now, but if the struts get any weaker I can see why people are not satisfied. The Cadillac seems to have a firmer ride even with 100k miles, but I would not say it is better.
  • stmechstmech Posts: 19
    My 2000 XLS was way under damped as I drove it away from the dealer (brand new car). I knew this when I test drove one and knew it when I bought it. I can't speak for the 2003 model, nor can I compare my taste to someone else's. This is very subjective territory so you can't really compare my opinion (or Nomad's - he and I seem to agree on this) to your own. You have to make that determination for yourself. Bottom line - if you are satisfied, stay satisfied and don't change. I wouldn't expect any deterioration for many, many miles. You'll probably get a new car before you would change the struts.
  • I have an XLS so it came with Leather but I recently just purchased another new Sequoia and this time I added Leather (my '01 Sequoia had it from the factory). I used, at my dealer's reccomendation, Classic Soft Trim.

    I have to say the hides were of higher quality than that of my '01 Sequoia and are just as nice the those on my '00 Avalon XLS.

    They did a fantastic job on the install and I feel I have a superior product.
  • chetzchetz Posts: 6
    Does anyone know of any resources for altering/ replacing/upgrading the speakers for the 2003 Avalon stereo.

    I have searched all over the web but can't find anything.

    BTW, nice car.
  • dabossdaboss Posts: 4
    I have been pricing Toyotas since back in 1989 and have always had the same problem over and over. They want the sticker price and do not want to deal. Well the car I currently have is no longer reliable so I have been shopping around for a few weeks. I narrowed my search down to 3 cars. Toyota Avalon, Acura TL type-S and Infiniti G35. I would love a caddy but resale makes it a ridicules purchase. I dropped the Acura for 2 reasons. It was a tight fit for me and the 1.6% failure rate of transmissions that have been posted on the Acura web sites. Between the Avalon and the G35 I test drove both cars each were very good but completely different. The G35 handled excellent, you feel the road, hear more outside noise and I was a little more cramped inside it. The exterior body style is awesome it should keep up with the next generation of cars. Now what I couldn’t get over was the acceleration and the breaking. This was the best I have had the pleasure of driving since the early 70s. This car has POWER!!!. The price was unfortunately non-negotiable. $35,000 they would be nice and take $500 off the sticker. I had to say all that because I ended up with a 2003 Avalon XLS completely fully loaded. Not one option that is offered is missing. Carpets Mats/trunk mat, Premium Lux pkg, Toyo Guard plus, Spoiler, Nav system, Gold pkg, color splashguards, moon roof, wind deflector, V skid control, Diamond white pearl paint and extended platinum 7 yr/100,000 mile warranty. $28,900.
    I took the luxury of the Avalon over the performance of the Q35. It all came down to the price. Both are excellent vehicles.
  • kicker9kicker9 Posts: 57
    Chetz, try click car speakers and subwoofers under the shop for car products on the left side of the page, that will bring you to a vehicle selector page, there will be several choices for front and rear door replacements. I like mine just fine, don't know if I would notice that much difference in after market speakers.
  • mikem30mikem30 Posts: 20
    Congrats on the new Avalon. Since yours had all the options-2 questions:
    1-was yours a cash buy @ $28,900 or did a trade-in figure as part of the deal?
    2-this seems to be the best price quoted on this site-where did you buy from?
  • kicker9kicker9 Posts: 57
    Chetz, try click car speakers and subwoofers under the shop for car products on the left side of the page, that will bring you to a vehicle selector page, there will be several choices for front and rear door replacements. I like mine just fine, don't know if I would notice that much difference in after market speakers.
  • dabossdaboss Posts: 4
    There is an option in N.E. Florida for a Gold Package that is $179 MSRP. My dealer though it in the package with my car but what exactly is the Gold Package on the Avalon. The price of my Avalon included a 1995 Mercury trade in.
  • avalon22avalon22 Posts: 8
    I know this may be a bit premature, but does anyone have any knowledge of any changes to the 2004 Avalon, whether it be interior, exterior, tires, rims, guages, etc....?
  • chetzchetz Posts: 6
    " don't know if I would notice that much difference in after market speakers..."

    I think you can improve significantly on speakers made from paper. I was fishing for an audio enthusiast with an Avalon out there.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    chetz-Speakers are not too hard to upgrade. People I KNOW have installed: JL AUDIO VR525-CS This is a 5 1/4 that a friend put in his Avy, with light mods to door/panel. Also, Polk EX series (I am assuming these product lines are current!) Basically 4" mid-drivers and 3/4" tweeters. SOME 1" tweeters will fit...without a hammer! If you are a DIY'er the 4" mids are easier. A SUB, is up to you...the trunk is BIG! Head unit. Anything goes. It's a standard double-din opening. Wiring is the tricky part. 2 options: 1) If just upgrading speakers, TAP into the existing leads. 2)If you are changing everything, and may, or may not, someday go back to OEM, I recommend NOT touching the factory harness or amp(most Avy's have the separate amp???) and run your own wire to the new locations. If you want to avoid running speaker wire, you have to TAP into the harness AFTER the amp!!!! This type of work starts to look like Michael Jackson's face.... I will gladly try to answer any Q's -nomad-
  • luffnuttluffnutt Posts: 13
    chetz, I have the JBL 7 speaker system and I think it does fairly well, with the bass set at maximum and the volume cranked to as loud as I can take withoutpain, I did not notice any fuzziness or distortion. You are correct that the speakers and enclosures are the weakest link in audio systems. Oh bring back the Electo-Voice SP-12 woofer and the T-35 Tweeter in a Karlson enclosure, pushed by a tube type amplifier, mono in those days. That gets Charley ofF the MTA.
  • luffnuttluffnutt Posts: 13
    When I was looking for a new car in December'02 I thought about looking at the Nissen Maxmia and maybe the G-35. Very impressive specifications for both, however I was not overly happy with the local dealership. My late wife had a '97 Maxima and it was a good performer. The original dealership was sold and the new owners, (they had two other brands locally) appeared to be more expensive for any type of work done. My new wife had a '79 Cadillac that blew a head gasket and was not economically feasible to repair it. We picked this one together and she really likes it, she preferres to move out smartly, (lead foot)and yet it rides smooth enought for a pair of 70 year old riders. Got to play with the VSC and ABS in the snow, on a parking lot, but I am not quite sure about the traction control yet. I kinda like to experiment in a controlled situation so I don't get too may surprises when it is really needed.
  • bigbluekybigblueky Posts: 11
  • Recently Toyota USA sent letter for certain Toyota vehicles sold and registered in California and vehicles sold and registered in Massachusetts since 1998...extending certain Evapoative Control System components for a period of 14 years or 150K miles from vehicle's in service date.

    For questions, call Toyota USA (800)331-4331
  • mikem30mikem30 Posts: 20
    I have a 2003 XL with 8000 miles on it. I have noticed recent posts about using regular fuel(2045 & 2046). I have been using regular and agree that the car runs fine. However, my car is used 90% on the interstate and the m.p.g. seemed low. I started using mid-grade and the m.p.g. improved. At that point I read posts 2052 & 2053 about the odometer. I checked mine by interstate mileposts this past weekend and find mine is running slow by over 4%. This error brings the m.p.g. to an acceptable range. My questions are -I have the luxury package with 16" wheels. As the tires wear, should I expect the speedometer error to lessen? Has anyone compared m.p.g. using premium vs. regular fuel? Thanks!
  • 02mdx02mdx Posts: 64
    I use 93 octane fuel in my '02 XL and get 29-30 mpg on road trips with the car fully loaded with cargo and kids. I have never used 87 octane fuel in the Avalon, but have done comparisons in previous vehicles and have noticed an improvement in both performance and fuel efficiency. Note: these comparisons were done with less sophisticated vehicles without knock sensors and high compression ratios of todays engines.

    Even with todays high prices at the pump, I feel premium fuel is the way to go... but I also use synthetic oil too... (some consider both practices to be excessive).
  • luffnuttluffnutt Posts: 13
    Checked my 2003 Avalon XLS speedometer against a handheld GPS, a Garmin eTrex Vista, and a 60 miles per hour set on the cruise control on an Interstate the GPS read 60.6 miles per hour. That's less than 1% difference. Gas milage came in at 21.1 miles per gallon, 80% or more city driving. Miles on odometer is only 1250 miles, and on tank fill today put in 92 octane, ($1.75 a gallon) so between the gas and the 1000 mile oil change the engine seemed pertty happy, and I had an ear to ear smile. This was my first visit to the Service Department at Bobby Rahal Toyota Dealership. The Service Person was a young lady who was anxious to please, but I found you must be very specific on what you want. She is not a "gearhead" like me. Found some extremely useful information on tires at the "Tire Rack" site. They had more answers than I had questions.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Our 00 Avalon XLS gets mileage in the 29 range on the interstate at 65 mph on 87 regular gas. It's performance is terrific.

    To me, if Toyota say 87 octane is fine, they make a huge bet. What if they were wrong? This car was designed to run on 87.

    Maybe the engine computer can figure out that the mixture performance is better when it has premium - maybe it's perception.

    It would seem to me that the car mags and consumer reporting groups would be having a field day reporting on gasoline octanes and mixtures if there was any real difference.

    Buying premium fuel is almost as bad as buying a Mercedes and thinking you are getting a 'quality' car. A little fluff goes a very long way. So do engine additives.
  • jbergjberg Posts: 2
    Bought a used 01 XLS with power buckets. The front of the seat in the passenger power seat does not raise.(The entire seat elevates but the front portion does not) The drivers seat does raise. Is this normal or is it something that needs repair? Also, the car has wheel locks. How do I unlock the wheels? The car manual is silent on these two topics. Otherwise happy with the Avalon after one week.
  • I will check my seat in mine when I go home tonight and see if it is as your is....but I think it is.

    The wheel nut locks are opened using a "key" that is found in your tire tool kit in the trunk. I believe mine was actually already in the end of the lug wrench. These are "Port" installed options so most likely they would never be mentioned in your manual.

    If your lock key is missing...the dealer has them. I actually have an extra one now because the dealer left one on the trunk of my car after a tire rotation.
  • dyladyla Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2003 Avalon XLS w/factory nav system. This nav system appears to be outdated and when we ask dealers about getting an upgrade, we are told to talk to salesmen. No one seems to know anything about these nav systems. Our nav system in the car is DVD Ver. 02.1. Anyone know how we can find out what the latest version is and/or where we can get one? It is the only thing about the car that has disappointed us.
  • nomad56nomad56 Posts: 134
    DYLA-See my post, #3, in your original post to "Where do I get Nav System Upgrade for 2003 Avalon". If the dealer doesn't know, go to another dealer! -nomad-
  • jbergjberg Posts: 2
    Re key for wheel locks...found it where you suggested. Any findings on the power passenger seat?
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