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Acura TL vs. Toyota Avalon



  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Avalon vs Maxima would be a great choice for discussion, and to me would also be a better comparison. HOST...consider a new post with that. They are both cool cars. I would be interested in what Maxima drivers think of the Avalon.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi ronn - feel free to create a discussion with that subject. Go to the main list on this Sedans Comparisons board, hit Add Discussion and go from there.

    It should be a good comparo.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    There's an ES vs. Avalon thread already. Maybe just adding Maxima to it.

    A long while back there's an ES vs. TL (new models) comparison forum but it did not last very long mainly because of a general consensus that those two cars, despite similarly priced, are attracting different crowds, I'd say the reasoning logic applies even more so to Avalon vs. TL. I actually think there're more people cross shopping ES vs. TL, or Avalon vs. ES, than Avalon vs. TL.
  • gbjerkegbjerke Posts: 158
    Interesting discussion here. These were my picks last November. My wifes car was an '02 Avalon XLS which she loved. It's her driver unless we go on trips. My toy is a Corvette Z06 which she hates so it was her choice.
    Drove the Maxima---I liked it but she felt it was a little firm and noisy compared to her Avalon and she thought the lack of leather on the door panels was "cheap".
    Then the TL which I drooled over----drop dead georgeous. Her opinion, firm ride and nosier that her sled. She also disliked the fact that the passenger seat was only 4 way adjustable and she could not get comfortable with it. Frankly, I agreed with her on this point. Secondly, when she put a styrofoam cup in the cupholder it virtually disappeared...too deep...and if you wanted to use the second cup holder, you had to raise the arm rest to get at it....wierd!
    Question became, wait for the new Avalon or check the Lexus out. One drive in the ES330 and the rest is history. It has become her "favorite car ever"!
    Most of the attributes of a car is strictly personal preference. Wifey happens to like QUIET and SMOOTH; I prefer looks,handling and performance so my first choice was the TL; second was the Maxima but since I drive what I want she made the choice.
    "Bang for the Buck" goes to Maxima hands down. Last November dealers were offering them at invoice less the 1k rebate and the Maxima came with power tilt/telescopic wheel tied into the memory system---also heated steering wheel so for the $$$, it's great. However if one considers Maximas value a couple years down the road, you likely will have lost more than you gained.
    Doubt all this helps anybody, just my thoughts.
  • I looked at both, and went with the TL. Avalon was too long (difficulty parking in garage) Also, my former impression of the avalon was that it was an "old man car." This is not true with the new avalon, but the TL is sportier. I liked the bluetooth on the TL and the Nav.
  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    I think you have hit the nail on the head. The TL is sportier, the NAV and Bluetooth on the TL are incredible! And, the Avalon has had a reputation as an "old man's car". However, I think the NEW 05 Avalon has an elegant style, upscale in my humble opinion.

    The problem I have with the TL is there is not much leg room in the back seat, and the head room is limited if you have a long Torso, or are tall. The Avalon has incredible leg room, and better head room. The Nav is not as good as Acura, but it does work, and is the next best system available. Bluetooth is missing in action.
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    If you need a car with room for two infant or toddler seats in the rear with room left for one adult (as is the case with me), there is only one choice - Avalon. TL, ES have room for two only, the adult would be a tight squeeze in the Maxima, but the Avalon has the widest rear bench by an inch or two (does anyone have the exact rear shoulder/hiproom measurements? I'm just going by memory).
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    IMHO, if you consistently need to carry 2 infant seats plus an adult in the back seat, but perhaps a minivan is more appropriate, and more comfortable for all concern in the long run.

    I checked out the specs and performance of the new Avalon in the current issue of C & D, and they are impressive for this genre of car. But the styling still does nothing for me. It is just not a car that makes you drool from looking at it.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "Secondly, when she put a styrofoam cup in the cupholder it virtually disappeared...too deep...and if you wanted to use the second cup holder, you had to raise the arm rest to get at it....wierd!"

    You/she might have the arm rest set on the forward position (for more arm resting). You can move it backward a bit so that both cups are wide open. One of TL's cup holders is kinda deep while the other is more shallow, for uses on different cups/bottles. Is she ok with ES cup holders tho? It's cute but won't hold your Starbucks too well. Anyway if QUIET and SMOOTH is the key to hers, get ready for a Lexus in your garage (on her spot) for a long time!
  • gladiator99gladiator99 Posts: 104
    Hi Guys! Picked up our new Avalon XLS yesterday and man what a great ride!! Our dealer was located about 100 miles away, so we had a nice drive home. I am satisfied with my choice of the Avalon over the Acura TL. The Avalon seems quieter and a softer ride. The TL I drove provided more road feel and also more road noise. The Avalon is a larger car than my 02 TL but still fits in the Garage.
  • gbjerkegbjerke Posts: 158
    Interesting on the cupholder bit...still, I think it is weird engineering.
    The ES cupholders are not great but they hold cups/even my tall coffee mug although I would not want to test that one while "carving up the road".
    Just returned from trying to find some warm weather...Illinois to Arizona to Tennessee, Kentucky, W. Virginia etc.---found a TON of rain and little for sun and warmth except for Kentucky and the Makers Mark Bourbon Distillery...(even dipped my own bottle in the wax). Great drive from there thru W. Virginaia and the Appalacians. Wish I would have had the Vette or at least a TL for all the switchbacks etc. The ES was not a fun car to drive in the "spirited" mode but it was comfort personified. Quiet as a mouse; 3,000+ miles and averaged 27.8 thru the entire trip.
    It's a cruising car plain and simple but I was impressed as long as one does not want performance/handling as part of the package.
    Hey, if my wife is happy with it, I'm least I better be!
  • opksopks Posts: 4
    You are comparing apples and oranges. Toyota is known and designed for comfort while Acura focuses that driving experience. Personally, I hate Toyotas because it is like driving a couch, and turning corners with it, well need I say more? After 1 year of research, drove Lexus, Volvo, BMW, Audi and Acura, I settled for TL -- value and quality. Personally, Avalon has an ugly body style with a fat square butt -- but yes it does provide that comfort as if you are in the living room. Enjoy your Avalon, and I my TL!
  • cafpafcafpaf Posts: 65
    I have very seriously considered both of these cars and ultimately decided on the Avalon. I have been driving Cadillacs for the past fifteen years and with my recent retirement, I wanted something smaller and less expensive but with all or most of the creature comforts we have come to take for granted and enjoy. Both of these fine cars fit the bill. The TL is definitely the "sportier" car an a lot can be said for some of it's technology. However, I had to read all of the reports and reviews and consider them from a practical standpoint from what was important to us and how we drive. We are not going to push the performance. We live in Pittsburgh and front wheel drive or all wheel drive is a must with our topography and weather. The Avalon simply suited our requirement better. It is larger and easier to enter and exit. (Particularly the rear seat). It has things like rain sensing wipers, daytime running lights, and auto on/off headlights. It also has more interior room (including the trunk), a shorter turning radius, and gets better gas mileage. I have driven both several times and the Avalon in just a quick but is quieter with softer ride. For us, that is performance. Although the Acura was less expensive ($34,000 vs $35,000 out the door including taxes and fees) we felt the Avalon was worth it and better suited our needs. Both are wonderful automobiles and I know that the owners of both will be pleased with their decisions.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think given your circumstances, and the type of cars you're coming from, you definitely made the right choice. As much as I like the TL, I can see how the harsher ride (as well as a somewhat "jitttery" steering feel) would bother some people. It just doesn't isolate you from the elements as well as the Avalon. (And you certainly can't complain about the 280hp!). Happy motoring.
  • I am comparing these two cars as well as many others in this price range. We are looking for the elusive multi-talented car in the $27,000-$35,000 range. I have one issue with the Avalon and the way it is packaged. The traction/stability control cannot be had with the Touring???? We liked the interior better on the Touring (as well as the handling) than the wood inlay on the others. The wife through a curve at me the other day when she looked at the Mercedes c230 Kompressor, she actually liked it?? Anyone shopped this range (20+ cars) that has any input or warnings?
  • the avalon has 58.2 in. in the shoulder rear and 56.2 in the hip rear
  • stickymanstickyman Posts: 53
    I agree with you 100%. I have several friends that love their Kia's. It is like dating, to each his own. I suppose that is one reason why there are so many automobile manufactures today. My one concern with the TL is the rattles, sqeaks, flat spotting, transmission, and vibration issues I have a 03 TL Type S, at 16,000 miles, a new transmission, two rattles in moon roof that can't be fixed. My 01 Avalon XLS, 60,000miles and not one issue and is still quite today as it was when I purchased it. By all means, the TL is Lux. sport vehicle and the Avalon is just luxury waiting to be driven.........
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 591
    Always remember that these are two very different cars. They have similar price tags and come from two of the world's best manufacturers, but beyond that, they are a world apart. Drive them both and go with one you like best. My choice has always been the Avalon because of the softer ride, more interior room and larger trunk. Great cars, either way.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I am one of those who is deciding between the Avalon and the TL. I have not test drove either cars yet. I have a 96 Camery that I love, so Toyota has my loyalty. However, I just love the stlye of the TL, both exterior and interior. Plus, I believe, that younger people will go for the TL, older will go for the Avalon. Either car is an excellent choice IMHO. :P
  • stickymanstickyman Posts: 53
    My concern with the TL is vibration issue and rattles that people are complaining about. I have a 2003 TLS and replaced the transmission at 16,000miles. Acura took care of everything inclusing a loaner but, a $33,000.00 car with transmission issues that continued into 2004 is not good. Really look at the Avalon and maybe you should look at the M-35. My 2001 Avalon is still a wonderful car and my wife will kill me if I tried to sell it. Good luck with the decision, TL, Avalon, M-35, they are all fine cars. ;)
  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    Stay away from the new tl. It's a rattle trap and has many vibrations :lemon:
  • terrylterryl Posts: 34
    Unfortunately, the selection for DVD-audio disks is so limited, it is hard to benefit from this great technology.

  • My advice to you is Dont buy the TL
    I bet with 280hp vs 270 hp, an Avalon can outrun a TL in 0-60 maybe less than 5.7 secs (TL's best time)
    I'm also sure that Avalon's handling is also better and looks sportier.

    TL has been named again as the consumer most wanted car $25-35k(Edmunds version) for the second time, can you really believe that? with all those genuine complaints? I think it should be named consumer most hated car. :mad:
  • donb1donb1 Posts: 49
    I have been considering both cars for several months. I currently have a 2001 TL which has been great. Prior to the TL I had 2 Avalons. So I have had some experience with both cars. I have driven both (XLS and TL w/o NAV AUTO)and they are totally different cars. They are both wonderful machines. The Avalon is a much smoother ride. The acceleration in both cars is great and will get you out of trouble on onto the freeway with no problems. The interiors are dramatically different. The Avalon going for the older crowd (of which I am one), while the TL goes for the FUN drivers (of which I am also). I have read all the complaints on ACURAZINE. Something to remember is that the complaints are from a minute number of owners. I am not saying that the problems don't exist but everything has to be kept in perspective.

    To my other observations. Things I liked in the Avalon:
    Interior Finish was great.
    Ride was smooth and very quiet.
    Liked the Temp Controls on the steering wheel.
    Good ergonomics
    Quality feel of the controls
    Back seat room
    Good Dealership
    Toyota Reputation
    Big Center armrest and console

    Things I liked about the TL
    Exterior design The looks are great
    Interior Design, the cockpit feel
    The blue dash lights
    FUN To drive
    XM radio standard
    Preset/memory for seats and mirrors
    Good Dealership
    4 year warranty
    Mirrors that move down when backing up
    Free loaners for normal maintenance

    I have not figured out which I will go with yet, but I need to get off the dime by the end of the month.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Thanks for the feedback! I understand that the problems with the TL is with the 2004, and the 2005 is free of these problems. Also, I trust Consumer Reports. My wife is leaning to the TL, I am leaning to the Avalon, but I believe either car is great. My wife does most of the driving so she might make the final say. However, she has not seen the new Avalon and how great it looks. :shades:
  • donb1donb1 Posts: 49
    I suggest before you make a decision you tell each of the dealers you want to keep the car over a weekend to test drive it. I have a TL with Nav in the driveway now. I am keeping it till Monday night so I can give a good test. I did the same for the Avalon XLS. You can get a good feel for the space, comfort, gadetry and lighting for each of the cars. I am anxious to take out the TL tonight to see if I really like the blue lighting. I have not tested the Avalon with Nav or XM display but I gotta say WOW to the TL gadgets so far.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    We went to the Toyota dealer and my wife hated the look of the Avalon, both exterior and interior. I was shocked, I thought it was great. She disliked it so much she didn't even want to test drive it. So it's back to the Acura dealer for a test drive. :surprise:
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Your wife is right. Hate might be too strong a word, but I just don't care for the looks of the Avalon, past and present. The best I could say for it is that it is inoffensive, but oh so bland and forgettable --- along the same vein as the Infinite Q45. And of course, if you compare it side by side, or one after the other, with the TL, then it's simple no contest!
  • ed31cincyed31cincy Posts: 56
    The only valid comparison to the Toyota Avalon would be with the Buick LaSabre, Park Avenue or Lacrosse! Luxury and bland.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Maybe there should be a new thread comparing the most boring-looking and blandest sedans :P
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