Toyota Avalon - Which Trim Line to Choose?

finfin Member Posts: 594
edited March 2014 in Toyota
We drive two Honda V6's. Good cars, but they are not my Avalon. Not even close. Mention the Acura TL/TLS and you have a good debate for this board.

     Now, about that auto-temp thing on the XLS: One of the reasons I drive a loaded XL (my second) is to avoid the auto-temp controls on the XLS. Problems are constant if you read the messages posted here. Not all cars to be sure, but enough to make me buy the XL. And the XL perforated seats are wonderful in the Florida heat and n/a on the XLS.
     My '03 just passed 25k and it has been perfect so far. Gas mileage continues to get better, now pushing 30 mpg fully loaded, 87 octane, on the road, a new high for this car. Enjoy your Av.

     And do not let a dealer touch it at 3500 miles for oil changes unless you use it as a New York City taxi or deliver mail.....really.


  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    Totally agree. The automatic temp. is alot of fluff that really doesn't do what it suppose to do. Never mind the new cars that are coming up with 4 zone auto temp controls. Some people will just about buy anything.

    I bought the XL for the same reason as above. The manual temp control are more reliable and I can set them to my own needs, not those of the ambient temp. of the car.

    Nice to hear people thinking outside the mainstream.

  • travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    I wouldn't wish to give up the 16" tires/alloy wheel combo, rain sensing wipers, fog lamps, light sensitive rear and side mirrors, leather wrapped wood accented steering wheel, heated front seats (I don't live in Florida but the Mountain West)with dual position memory, JBL Premium sound system, anti theft immobilizer and VSC with traction control. For me it's NOT about thinking outside of the mainstream but rather since I nearly live in this thing, I want it to have ALL the creature comforts of home. For me a car is NOT basic transportation, and a Avalon without the XLS is like getting the hot fudge sundae without the hot fudge. Just wouldn't work for me. For those that want some of the basic character of the car without the higher cost and can sacrifice the extras, by all means, it's YOUR choice. As for features that don't live up to their expectations for some, well they should have driving and worked with the car before buying. I knew all about it as the dealer insisted I take the car for a weekend (XLS demo) to be sure how I loved it or not. Now THAT is a professional if I do say so myself. Not treating me as if I was just forking over for a basic Chevy. Now, for a dealer....THAT is thinking outside of the mainstream, and THAT is why this dealer is the best to work with in the entire Salt Lake Metro area with several competing dealers. They are a shining star in a bowl of crud AFAIAC.......
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    Thanks for the input above. Love passionate responses. It is what makes this forum fun, and informative. Glad you found a good dealership. Very hard to come by. We have not found one around here yet.

    Just for informational purposes; not to start any quarreling. For the 3-4 thousand dollar difference b/w the "Trim" levels, the XL I drive comes with the follwing.

    1. JBL stereo (not 6 CD) with XM radio
    2. TokicoHP struts
    3. Extra set of 4 alloy wheels and H rated winter tires.
    4. Two sets of PIAA Model#1500 (Fog lights and Auxillary Driving lights)with Toyota switches inset in the lower dash trim.
    5. PIAA SuperWhite Platinum Bulbs (9006/9005)
    6. Powerslot Front Rotors with EBC pads
    7. Avitel Auto Car starter
    8. Valentine One Radar detector directly wired.
    9. Other lesser items.

    We do a bit of driving as well. Through a mix of weather conditions including a snow belt off Lake Ontario. While some of the items you mentioned certainly have their merit (dual memory seating/rain sensing wipers), others have less value, while being charged quite a premium from the manufacturer. Furthermore, Toyota is a master when it comes to "Packages" and not letting the consumer pick options and accessories ala carte. Additionally, I welcome your input in 5-6 years, to see if most of those electronic items are still working effectively.

    While I am sure your autocar is very nice and special, I would not exactly, in comparison, list an XL with the above options "without hot fudge". Perhaps with butterscoth instead of hot fudge. That is if you like ice cream.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    I certainly wouldn't dispute the goodies added to your vehicle as no big deal. Indeed all those modifications would change the character of the car somewhat if not a lot. I guess my goal in buying the car this time was to get it as close as possible to "loaded" the way I wanted it as possible with NO modifications necessary. I've read a lot about those Tokiko struts, and no doubt those nicer brakes make a difference. Here in the U.S. the dealer would not likely either perform those mods or warranty the car afterwards. And considering I rely on my car like an office, I couldn't risk such "specialization". I did what you've done, to a VW Jetta I owned years ago. For me, it ended up more of a headache then it was worth. The suspension ended up too stiff for the roads I was on and the stereo was too irresistable to theives to not invite more than one theft attempt causing me to install (what turned out to be a less than wonderful alarm system). In the end I prefer to just get a good loaded up profile from the possibilities of the manufacturer. I nearly got a loaded up Honda EX-6 leather. As nice a car as it was, it was NO Avalon XLS. Glad you found a combo that treats you right. I feel comfortable that I've also made a good decision. I also hope it proves to be trouble free as you say over the long haul. In about another 4 years I'll be getting another car, and who knows, if the next Avalon doesn't compare to the latest Acura TL, I might try one of those. The last years model I drove didn't entice me to get one, but that new one is sex personified. It's pretty amazing what the newer generation cars are presenting to the public now. At least I think they are all listening better. :-)
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    Thanks for the response. Certainly hope in the future more individual items can be ordered instead of the packages, on technology that may or may not be useful and consumers may or may not want. My take on some of the technology is skeptical. So of it is very useful, and safe, and other tech advances are disuseful, very expensive and sometimes dangerous. For example, reference consumer reports most recent edition to the Big 7 series BMW and the I control. They bashed it and said it was down right dangerous. On a 65 plusK autocar. Forgetaboutit. Terrible.

    I am not sure what the next Acura TL looks or feels like. I am sure it will be nice, but the latest version is cramped, rides too rough and low. Let us know what you decide when you get there. I will input data in this forum for maintenance and durability of the items added and general reliability of the Avalon. My last autocar I kept for 236K. Hopefully, this will be similar if not longer.

    Thanks for the input. Keep it coming.

  • travelerjbtravelerjb Member Posts: 46
    It's interesting but there are so many choices these days, and I've been told it is actually hard to make a BAD choice. I am inclined to believe this isn't too far from the truth. While I'm not a Chrysler fan, most of the GM offerings are getting much better, and of course the Nissan, Honda, Subaru and many others are all making credible cars these days. I really suffered while doing all the evaluations I had to for my decision, I can tell you that. I guess now that I'm nearly classified as an old fart (turning 50 this December) my tastes have really changed over the years. I can still remember swearing I'd NEVER own an automatic transmission. Now I feel exactly the opposite. I like a cush ride where I once cursed them. If I had to pick ONE thing that is extraordinarily excellent on the Avalon for my personal needs/tastes it is that I am not a small person, and it seems that MOST of the cars offered out there have seats designed for someone smaller physically than I am. I find they are not wide enough, nor long enough for proper leg support, or offer correctly designed lumbar support. The XLS's seat offers ALL of this in spades, and since I have a bad back to begin with, this is worth everything to me. I may well have forsaken some aspect of car design (handling/cornering etc.) but it has charateristics that fit me quite well. I wrangled back and forth for days between the loaded Honda EX-6 and the loaded Avalon XLS (a more expensive auto also) and simply had to side with the larger design for it's shear trunk space (needed as a sales rep) and large sumptuous front seats. Everyone has different needs, and I don't think there is any lack of choices to meet those out there in this market. It just keeps getting better..........
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    While I like a good discussion, I thought you should know, although the XLS trim had things that were nice, one of many things that turned me off was the automatic climate control. In our XL model, we have no trouble in upstate NY with the temperature settings. Sometimes they sell you things that are just not worth it and sometimes they package them all together. I believe my 02 was 27K or so, and the XLS was about 32K. That is a diff. of 4-5K depending on the deal. I just could not see what you were gettin for 4-5K more. Certaninly, most of it was electronic and cosmetic touches, nothing that improved the overall driveablility, safety, or comfort. Perhaps with the new model, there will be a more substantial difference but I did not think so with the present model.

    This is open for discussion.

  • finfin Member Posts: 594
    This board has seen many posts about the auto-temp control in the XLS. Most of the comments are negative. This is one of the current generation Avalon weak spots. The good news is that you can buy an XL and not have to worry with it. I did that, twice. The XLS is a better value as a resale but there is not enough extra value to make me deal with this problem. Many others feel the same way. Let's all hope the new model will improve on this.
  • deepandeepan Member Posts: 342
    "Certaninly, most of it was electronic and cosmetic touches, nothing that improved the overall driveablility, safety, or comfort."

    infact this is true for most cars.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

    I agree and disagree. The art is in the deal again. It depends. For instance, so upscale models, if you will, have substantial safety and driving improvements while others it is more cosmetic. The XLS versus the XL, IMO, is one of the later. Conversely, the new Camry option SE model, does come with a larger engine, different shocks, tire/wheel dimensions, etc. I really think anyone has to take a step back, and not get emotional captured and to what they are trying to sell and what makes the car actually better, safer, more comfortable, etc. to the buyer. OBviously, everyone is different. For myself, in 2002, the "wood applique", sun roof, toomany button stereo controls, complicated HVAC which did not work correctly, etc. was not worth the extra 4K. Nevertheless there were options that I would have liked, such as the compass, heated mirrors and seats, and some other nice features. But not for that amount of money. I took it and put on a trailer hitch, XM stereo, a set of extra wheels and winter tires, PIAA FOG lights, an electronic deer alert, direct wired my Valentine ONE radar detector, Tokico shocks, and changed the sway bar bushings, and I think it was around even. Perhaps there will be more choice for those with the new model.

    Resale is not an option with me as I usually exhaust my cars for 10-15 years.

    Nothing stated is the gospel, just fuel for good dialogue. I know people out there have different needs and expectations.

This discussion has been closed.