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2005-2007 Toyota Avalon



  • msavalonmsavalon Posts: 49
    As you know, I'm sure there is no one person having all the problems you have described. These people are having one problem or another, not all together. I wonder why GM is offering employee discounts and Toyota is not. :P I wouldn't have a Buick if you gave me one. I love my Avalon! Never paid attention to it before going to different dealerships just looking. After test driving the Avalon among others, I couldn' t get it out of my mind. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it may make you feel better about your Buick.. I am in my 40's and have had a Buick as one of my cars. It won't be another. I hope you enjoy your car as much as I enjoy my Avalon, which I have not had ANY of the above mentioned problems. :shades:
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Basically GM fans are jealous because GM has to bribe people to buy cars like LaCrosse, Malibu, Impala etc with Employee Pricing gimmick. The LaCrosse has been a sales dud before GM decided to give them away. GM's bond rating is JUNK while Toyota's is A+. Meanwhile Toyota can sell cars like the Avalon at close to MSRP. The Avalon is a great car, way better than any of GM's offering. It is hard to believe in the year 2005 GM is still peddling pushrod powered lawn mowers as family cars.
  • barclay3barclay3 Posts: 90
    Baltoman... you must work for GM!

    I owned an 85 Cressida, a 95 Avalon and currently own the 05 Avalon Limited and it is a much better car and has had fewer defects than my 2 previous Toyotas. Also, I am a few years past 30 and I know of no shortcomings (no hesitation, distorted glass, pull to left or right) with my Avalon.

    You would be doing your mom a favor if you recommend she gets one.
  • blane31blane31 Posts: 8
    I like the looks of tinted windows, but when I googled the subject, a site said that the most used method of application (a film) could be expected to wear out (I don't know how they could wear out) in 5 or 6 years, and that they are a devil to remove. Any comments?
  • baltomanbaltoman Posts: 43
    "The Avalon is a great car, way better than any of GM's offering."

    Why do you think it is only GM owners that feel this way. The first poster had a Buick. The other - me - didn't even list his car.

    I was seriously considering the car.
    It was the problems listed on this forum - plus poor JD Edwards rating regarding factory and dealer support - that made me go elsewhere.

    My comments were about poor quality control. I'm sure many Avalons are problem free. Still, considering the total number of Avalon owners vs the minuscule number of Avalon owners on this forum (and that would be true of any brand). and considering the number of complaints on this forum, one can easily calculate that there is a too large chance that the Avalon I buy may have one of these problems.

    Like the girl said: " I have the money but not the time."
    Meaning I don't want to be going to the dealer for ANY reason for the first 7500 miles. Many forum members have been back within the first MONTH !
    Just read the posts.

    And then there is the issue of Toyota corporate integrity. Horsepower ratings anyone? How about mileage ratings - especially for City.

    Now if you think the car is worth the chance and you are willing to overlook any of these issues, then, fair enough, the car is for you. But you are day dreaming if you think the 2006 Avalon is at the top in quality control. Remember all the discussions about the plant where they are built? That was Avalon owners complaining. Just look at MB sales this year - collapsing due to years of "resting on their laurels". Quality is more important than toys to many buyers.

    And forget GM, just go to any other Edmunds car forum and try to find this many problems of this magnitude in a new model. Take a look at the 2006 Infiniti M45 forum. They complain about minor issues such as bluetooth connectivity - not the long list generated in the Avalon forum.

    The original poster only made an observation of the collective comments in this forum. But one that really sticks out if you are objective. Toyota is sacrificing quality control for marketing. It can't be more obvious.

    In the long run, a continuation of cars with Avalon's quality issues, Toyota's poor customer support, and arrogant dealers will only help Toyota's competitors - domestic and foreign.
  • blane31blane31 Posts: 8
    Phantom, what is the name and location of your dealer?
  • dajabdajab Posts: 35
    > I'm just wondering if anyone has had any problem with the Dynamic Cruise
    > interfering with their radar detector.

    From the point of view of the waves being emitted, this is physically impossible. The cruise control uses an infrared laser, while the radar detector works in the microwave portion of the spectrum. Dynamic cruise control is not a radar device, so it won't interfere with your radar detector any more than a TV remote would.

    Now, if one could install a radar detector that slows down, or even brakes, like the laser cruise control, then we'd really be getting somewhere.
  • angeange Posts: 158
    One of the main reasons for me buying the Avalon was the 280 HP engine.Now the maxima at 265 HP doesn't look so bad.

    Isn't this mislabing horespower misleading the car buyers. I trust Toyota will do someting for the mis lead buyers. I would not have bought the 2005 avalon had it listed 268 HP. I had a Crown Victoria police car version and I really wanted a powerful car. ange1
  • dajabdajab Posts: 35
    Great pictures of your ltd, one4damoni; reminds me of my cassis ltd.

    I noticed that your Nav screen has only one panel set rather than two. Now, many people may prefer this, but others may not know that you can split the screen into two panels. Since I haven't seen any discussion of this feature yet on this forum, I thought I'd mention it.

    On my left-hand panel, I have a fixed large-scale map; north always is at the top, and I keep the scale at 1 mile. This is like looking at a paper map of the area, and this view allows me to keep my bearings. On the right-hand panel, I have the rotating map (the road ahead is always at the top, so it rotates when I make a turn), and I keep the scale at 1/16 mile. This panel allows me to navigate the neighborhood as I approach my destination.

    I find that, unless I'm really lost, using the dual-panel screen is often sufficient to get to where I want to go. I don't always need to enter a destination or listen to instructions. (For safety purposes, of course, you do have to make sure that you glance at the map only occasionally when moving. If you have to look at the screen all the time, then using the Nav System's destination entry and voice instructions feature may be necessary.)
  • hoop43hoop43 Posts: 11
    Very nice looking car. It looks like you have different rims and tires from stock. If so, what tire make/model did you choose and what size? Any particular reason(s) for your choice?


  • barclay3barclay3 Posts: 90
    baltoman... Here's an earlier post of yours "I too left GM in the mid 70s thru the early 90s. But judging a company by something made 25 years ago is a stretch. During that period I drove the usual runners - Toyota, MB, Honda, Volvo. Quite frankly, some were excellent and some were awful. Some got good mileage and some didn't. To me, there is more to a car than squeezing the last drop of gas out of it. I now drive a 2005 GM product. It is an excellent, trouble free automobile with a high quality of fit and finish. Are there foreign competitors that were just as good for the same dollars? Yes - a few. But all things being equal, I spend my US dollars on American products and American workers. Afterall, I want MY customers to spend their money with me."

    Which 2005 GM product do you own and why is it better than the Avalon?
  • baltomanbaltoman Posts: 43
    I drive a 2005 Cadillac STS.
    There are a lot of reasons I like it better than an Avalon.

    For one thing, I could not believe all the letters and phone calls I got from both Cadillac Division as well as the dealer both thanking me for the business as well as - to my surprise - extremely detailed surveying of my likes and dislikes of the STS. They solicited my comments, both positive and negative. They queried me at length about my thoughts on fit, finish, interior design, material quality, noise levels, seat comfort and on and on. It was obvious to me that Cadillac really cared about my input and wants to make sure they are building products that meet and exceed customer expectations. They have contacted me on multiple occasions.

    That is a refreshing approach that I have not encountered after buying any car - foreign or domestic, average or upscale. And it's not the factory response Toyota owners are getting.

    Most important, the STS is a well made product of an American company.
    And I like supporting a country that has given me a lot of opportunity.
    Like a home, economic security, my own firm and a great family.
    All from scratch - except the family.

    I know buying American is not high on the list for too many people.
    I won't buy American junk. But when close, I buy American.
    Or possibly Canadian.

    Afterall, I'm from East Baltimore, not Tokyo or Munich.

    As for worries about resale - Simple.
    I lease for 3 years. At very attractive terms provided by GMAC

    BTW, if you ever travel to Japan, you'll find out that
    many Japanese consider it unpatriotic to buy "foreign",
    especially cars.

    But I was looking for a car for my mother.
    Although I prefer she buy American,
    she gets what she wants.
    She didn't want the Avalon.
    We are still looking.

    Like most families, various members have tried just about all there is out there except exotics.
    Long term conclusion: Today's foreign products are over-rated with high maintenance costs. Domestics are erratic in quality too, but are really trying to improve.

    The Japanese built their quality reputation on cheap, efficient, simple cars - like the Corolla or Celica. But those days are mostly gone. Today's cars are complicated and often feature laden. In this environment, Japan and Europe both seem to have at least as many quality issues as the domestics.

    And that was my only point.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    "I spend my US dollars on American products and American workers. Afterall, I want MY customers to spend their money with me."

    If you are here to start a domestic vs import competition than you are failing badly. The Avalon might not be the perfect car but it is definitely better than anything GM offers as the competition. The LaCrosse is an OK car but not at the same class as Avalon. The Avalon has roasted the LaCrosse in just about every comparison test. You cannot judge by people's gripe on internet forum as an accurate sample of a car's overall problem. That is called bad statistics. The 2005 Avalon has been completely redesigned so some minor issue is not at all uncommon. I trust Consumer Reports since I think it is the best source for a car's long term reliability. And the Avalon did very well. I keep my car for at least 10 years/120,000 miles and I do not trust GM product to last that long. I still see a lot of owners of late model GM cars on the side of the road with the hood popped open and scratching their head.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    It's all a matter of taste, people!!!! Some, like me, are sold on Japanese (specifically Toyota in my case). I read Consumer Reports - and buy accordingly. I don't like my (new) car sitting in a dealers repair bays. Fortunately for me, my LTD has been perfect - no complaints, no problems.

    Interestingly, my dealer also sells GM products; value (as with Japanese) drops dramatically when the car is driven away. But resale stays much higher than GM. A friend just bought a CTS Cadillac and took me for a ride - there was no comparison to my LTD. But that is what he likes and he's happy - so I am. His CTS has been in the shop for 2 weeks now trying to figure out a starting problem.

    I lived in Tokyo for almost 4 years. Japanese people had a lust for American cars -but they had to be modified for Japan & it cost a fortune. Regardless, it was not uncommon to see a big American car with right hand drive trying to squeeze down some of the narrow streets. To own American, modified for Japan, was a huge status symbol (it really showed who had the $$).

    So---------to each his own! All of the American car owners - have a great day! For the owners of Japanese products (built in the U.S. or overseas), we'll have a great one, too!
  • n0v8orn0v8or Posts: 169
    - The good -
    Engine responsiveness.
    Very quiet and smooth ride. Best of any car I have owned or leased.
    Impeccable exterior fit and finish.
    Ventilated front seats
    Rear seats
    Toyota technical information web site- a great value.

    - The fair –
    JBL stereo – clean, but weak bass; no punch.
    Front seat comfort (Limited model) – disappointing, but tolerable. I wish they would have copied Volvo instead of Fiat.
    Poor rear visibility - installing a parking sensor system helped a lot.
    Fuel, trunk and rear shade switches to close together, hard to see, and not illuminated.
    Homelink buttons not illuminated – how hard could it be, with power already there?

    - The bad -
    Brake fade. I agree with those who have observed this. If I stop with the engine running, and apply constant firm pressure to the pedal, it will fade all the way to the floor (this takes 10-15 seconds). However, I don’t feel any fade in normal driving. I noticed in the shop manual they have a pressure regulator in the system that bleeds fluid back to the reservoir above a certain force, so this may be a design “feature”. Toyota should have explained this in the Owners Manual.

    Navigator instruction manual – close to worthless. Virtually every instruction omits some subtle but important step. Sometimes, the missing step is intuitive, so you perform it without realizing you have done so.

    Transmission – occasionally vibrates (feels like a highway “rumble strip”) when changing gears at light throttle. Most 3 and 4 speed automatic transmissions only require application (or release) of a single friction element (band, brake or clutch) to change from one gear to the next. For the intermediate gears, the Avalon design requires 2 synchronized friction element actions. If not perfectly timed, the transmission tries to be in 2 gears at once. It won’t take many of these to self-destruct.

    Steering pull – I agree with those who have detected a tendency for the car to pull away from the crown of the road. There is not enough caster and/or steering inclination. I can live with it.

    The passenger is seat too flat (front edge should be higher); height and tilt are not adjustable - I changed the tilt with shims, more to our preference.

    Stupid cartridge oil filter – “back to the 80s”, when both Toyota and GM used, then abandoned, these. Who wants to handle an oil-soaked filter element? Looks to me like an attempt to discourage home mechanics, so Dealers can charge outlandish rates. My dealer was crestfallen when I told him I planned to do my own oil changes anyway. Sorry, his new boat purchase will have to wait a few more weeks.

    “I agree” (navigator) – Toyota is genuflecting at the altar of the US Trial Lawyers association. I think I can beat this (initial testing of a hardware hack looks good).

    Interior fit and finish - poor and disappointing. Misaligned seams abound. The nav controller was loose and falling out of it’s “drawer” (I fixed it myself – Dealers break 3 new things for every one they successfully repair). Dirt on the headliner, and glue residue all over the instrument panel cover and trim from tape used to hold protective plastic sheets in place for shipping.

    - Other –
    Rear window distortion. Yes, it’s obvious, but not really a big deal to me. It seems to be a consequence of the steep backlite rake. If I sit in the back seat and look up toward the top of a tall building, there is no distortion.

    Window haze – every new car I have owned since 1979 had done this until the interior materials completed out-gassing. Old cars used metals instead of plastics, so no haze.

    Loose fog lights – yes they are loose, but I see this as preferable to a tight mount that stresses the glass (Volvos are infamous for headlight and fog light lens stress cracks).

    Hesitation – I have not perceived any. The vaunted new Mitsubishi Eclipse was dog meat for the Avalon at a stop light.

    Seat belt warning – doesn’t bother me.

    - Overall -
    Would I buy it again . . . . . absolutely.
  • nels2nels2 Posts: 1
    I am interested in the transmission hesitation problem you mentioned. I have a 2005 Avalon, the fifth Avalon I have owned since 1995 and this transmission is different. I had the service tech drive it and he said he didn't see any problem, but something has changed.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    The 05 tranny in the Avalon uses a new 5 speed automatic instead of 4 like the pre 2005 versions. Also the throttle is an electronic drive-by-wire throttle system which means there is no mechanically linked cable between the acclerator pedal and the engine. So those of you who are first time owner of cars DBW throttle system, it does feel a bit different from the more "traditional car".
  • lgigantelgigante Posts: 34
    I had tinted film applied to my 2001 Chrysler after I bought it. When I sold it after 4 years, I could detect little wear. Very few minor scratches, no peeling or color changes. The only thing I didn't like about them was visibility when backing at night when there were no street lights. I found the windows definitely kept the car cooler in the Florida heat. I plan to install them on my Limited but will only use 35% all around for better night visibility. Make sure they are installed by a professional.
  • nemodatnemodat Posts: 14
    I've had tinted windows on my last four vehicles(two Nissan Maximas & two Avalons) and have it on my 2005 avalon. I sold each of the previous 4 cars after 5 years of use. In each case the tinting on the windows looked as good as the day it was applied. The tinting was done professionally by a reputable dealer and I made every effort not to accidently scratch it but put forth no superhuman effort. I don't think you have anything to worry about judging from my experience.
  • 94supra94supra Posts: 32
    While I don't yet have an Avalon (considering one for 06 or 07), I do have a Camry SE with the 3.3 liter engine and 5 speed automatic transmission. This is the same drivetrain they are using in the Lexus ES330 and there does seem to be a pattern of complaints involving hesitation in certain driving conditions associated with the Toyota 6 cylender engine/5speed automatic transmission combinations.

    Even though I am happy with the overall performance of my SE (a great stealth highway cruiser), there does appear to be some sort of systemic issue with there new 5 speed platforms that I would like to see Toyota address. I would certainly like to see a quicker, more sure downshift and acceleration when you first need to lift the throttle and then accelerate quickly. Once the throttle is lifted, the system seems to take an extraordinary amount of time to respond when the throttle is re-applied. This scenario happens frequently in lane change situations and it also happens when you coast toward an intersection waiting for it to clear and then want to accelerate across it. People who never drive aggressively (probably 60% of current Avalon buyers) may never even notice this issue, but those of us who are used to sports car levels of responsiveness simply must get used to the response characteristics of this platform.

    Many people have tried to explain that the hesitation is a result of the drive-by-wire nature of the new platform with some implication that electronics inherently slow down the response. From a systems engineering point-of-view, a drive-by-wire system can be designed and programmed to achieve almost any type of performance characteristics. They are not inherently slower in response than mechanical linkages. All modern jet fighters incorporate fly-by-wire technology in order to achieve fast, reliable and programmable response characteristics.

    I am a bit suspicious that Toyota engineers have chosen to program the response characteristics in this application to either optimize for mileage at all costs or to cover-up some sort of design issue in the transmission. I would be very intersted to hear more knowledgable people discuss the design characteritics of the Avalon 5 speed transmission versus similar platfroms in other cars. In other applications, software is often used to intentioanally slow down response characteristics of a system to avoid over stressing some mechanical or electrical alement of the system and it would not shock me if that is what Toyota did. They may also have chosen to use slower actuators than they should have in favor of cost savings or the processor may be too slow to make the proper calculations in the needed amount of time. It could also just be poorly desigend software with no other root cause. In any event, it is not an enherent weakness in drive-by-wire. It is a performance characteristic of this particular system. If Toyota can fix this problem, I think they will see more drivers who will otherwise consider BMW or Audi choosing the new Avalon as a cost effective substitute (not everyone that can afford an expensive car chooses to drive one).
  • gwsgws Posts: 67
    Posters who come to a model-designated forum looking for reaction to off-topic incitement may be more likely to look elsewhere if they can't start an argument. Rational, well-meaning responses merely fan the flames.
  • osage3osage3 Posts: 1
    Go to Nissan's website and look at the specs for 2006 Max. You might want to inform yourself before making your argument against Toyota's fudge on horsepower. Perhaps all of the car companies did this, only time will tell. I bought a 2004 Max SL [before the new Avalon came out] and regretted the purchase almost immediately. The car had an intermittant steering wheel tremer [some call it a shimmy] which Nissan could not or would not fix [5 tries]. I finally traded the loaded Max for an unloaded Avalon XL and haven't looked back. Really, this car is more responsive and of course has far better NVH
    characteristics than the Max. You have a fast and powerful car that doesn't have the sensation of being fast and powerful. Everyone should be so lucky.
  • 94supra94supra Posts: 32
    Rational, well-meaning responses may also eventually lead to more knowledgeable purchases and they may also press manufacturers to improve their products in specific areas that are illuminated. True trolls are pretty obvious, but some of us are really interested in a dialog about the new Avalon because we have a real interest in buying one in the future. I have a great local dealer and this is a major reason I will continue to buy Toyotas, but I would also certainly like to see them improve in some areas where they have opportunities to do so.

    I like Toyota products and they have provided my daily driver since the late 80s as well as one of my favorite toys (94 Supra, Turbo, 6speed, Targa), but there is an opportunity for them to improve in certain areas. No products are ever perfect, but I hope forums like this can help provide feedback to vendors that will lead to even better products. Specific performance characteristics may never be a problem for drivers who are never going to explore certain areas of their cars performance potential. Thus, they may be able to safely ignore those issues in their purchase decisions. Other drivers will be best served by checking out certain performance characteristics before they buy.

    The transmission/hesitation issue has been brought up often enough that Toyota should find a way to improve it. If they don't, it will eventually cost them sales. Toyota does have an excellent product engineering department, but they are pushed and pulled in various directions by various economic forces. I would like to see them do something to improve the performance of their 5 speed automatic/ 6 cylinder cars in specific ways. It would not be a show stopper for me to continue to buy Camrys if they don't, but a positive resolution would encourage me to feel better about spending even more money on a higher-end Toyota offering such as the Avalon.
  • dajabdajab Posts: 35
    > I spend my US dollars on American products and American workers. Afterall, I
    > want MY customers to spend their money with me.

    Just to set the record straight, the 2005 Toyota Avalon IS an American car. It is designed and built in the U.S. (The factory is in the international, cosmopolitan state of Kentucky.) And it is the first product developed entirely in the U.S. by the Toyota Technical Center in, of all places, Ann Arbor, Michigan. (This has been stated many times before on this forum.) I'm sure that a small fraction of the profit makes its way to Tokyo eventually, but almost all of the $25-35K per car remains right here.

    Given the difficulties with new model startup, I doubt that Toyota also will be making a right-hand-drive model for Japan very soon. And the car is probably too big for much of that market anyway.
  • Molle - Kansas City, MO
  • jim250jim250 Posts: 23
    Re: >

    When LCC is enabled the window beneath the tach (I think) shows how far the lead distance is set -- short, medium, or long. If no cars ahead fall within the set range then you cruise at your preselected speed. Once a car moves into that range, a little picture of a car appears in that window and the Avalon slows down enough to maintain the preset following distance. A car braked to turn into a driveway and my car slowed greatly as if I were pressing the brake pedal. At the same time the range/distance icon and the car icon in that window started to flash. A tone began to repeat like cell phones used to make before the advent of musical ring tones. The manual says that this is to alert the driver to apply the brakes. I'm still not sure whether my car was using the brakes but how else could it have decelerated so strongly? In answer to one of your queries, you will know when your car's set speed is being modified by LCC by the appearance of the car icon in that display window on the dash (as well as by seeing the speedometer register a lower speed).

    Jim in WI.
  • jim250jim250 Posts: 23
    Don't know why this forum left out the snip to which I was responding, but I'll try to include it again now:

    Curious as to the tone that came on when LCC worked. Mine makes no sound and anything visible. The only way I know it is on is I look down and my speed has dropped. Then when I switch lanes, it is as though I tromp the gas pedal. I was just commenting last night on a drive home, I wish it would beep to let me know I am slowing down because it so gradual.

    Jim in WI.
  • koondogkoondog Posts: 15
    You wrote: I have sent an email to Coastal Electronics asking when I should expect delivery of my Viewtech adapter to integrate a backup camera with the Avalon's information display. I will post again after I have it operational."

    Have you installed the back-up camera and if so, how is it working?
    What different components did you have to buy? How hard was the installation? What was the total cost?

  • msavalonmsavalon Posts: 49
    I brought my '05 LTD at Molle In Kansas City, Mo also and the car on the showroom floor showed the body side moldings as $399. The next day, I was on a 3-way call with the parts department and my salesman and they even quoted me $400 if they did the work. I asked my salesman if that was the best he could do. He said there is an aftermarket company that does it for Toyota and that's how I became acquainted with Cover-Up. I got them at cost (supposely) for $275. Check your paperwork again and make sure that is what they charged you for the molding. I hope as a female, I didn't get a raw deal! :mad:
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