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Acura TL vs. Toyota Avalon



  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I think Toyota made a mistake. I think it will hurt ES sales, neverthess, My wife chose a TL, and she can't me out of the drivers seat. :shades:
  • brown3brown3 Posts: 26
    Funny thing is, I'm really buying this car for my mother rather than for myself to replace her old Crown Vic. I figure I'll basically "pre-select" a couple of good cars (reliability and safety very important) and then take her out for a test drive to see which one of them she prefers. When I mentioned to a colleague with an Acura CL that I was considering the TL for my mother his reaction was "Wow, that really puts my ego under fire, telling me I drive a little old lady's car!" ;)
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    LOL, my wfie chose the TL over the Avalon because she said "I am not a little old lady already!!!" :P
  • quest3quest3 Posts: 33
    That is the bottom line. Avalon is made for the "older" person different demographics than the TL. You can prove this by going to and looking at how many people have pics of their 05 TL compared to how many have their 05 Avalon pics up. In my opinion no one under 35 would buy the Avalon over the TL unless maybe you have a family which I do and the only vehicles I'm deciding over are the TL and the new Lexus IS350. Avalon and TL should not even be compared to each other each is geared to a different group. I'm not downing the Toyota both are great cars but maybe I'd want the Avalon in about 10 yrs. And I'm sorry but in my opinion there is no way the exterior/interior styling of the Toyota is nicer than the TL, but see its geared for an older age bracket. I'm not trying to drive the in laws around and impress them with a cloud like cushy ride, I'm trying to roll out before they come over...
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I would really like to see actual demographic data on TL and Avalon buyers. Many young people can't afford either cars. I am 43 (not a geezer yet ;) ) and I saw that the Avalon had a hefty 280 horses and thought it deserved a look, but not really a serious look, and my wife's reaction was "I am not an old lady yet!" Oh yes, she is much younger than me.
  • donb1donb1 Posts: 49
    I evaluated the both the TL and the Avalon extensively. I test drove both for several days. I loved the sports feel of the TL and the interior was attractive. I loved the styling of the car and the standard equipment.

    I found the ride to be too hard tor these old bones ( I am 57 and yes I know I am dead in the middle of the Avalon demographics). The backseat room left a good deal to be desired if you are trying to put in the grandkids car seats.

    I test drove the Avalon and agree with the comments that the drive is completely different. I was not sure I like the interior but the more I drove and rode in it the more I liked it. The interior space , esp the back seat is HUGE.

    I eventually landed on the Avalon and I picked it up last Friday. I have to admit I really like the car now.

    I have 400 miles on it in a week and did my first fill up today and got 25MPG in mixed driving. I am very happy with that for the first tank of gas.

    There are a few annoyances but those are my personal peculiarties.

    Both cars are wonderful vehicles and you just have to figure out which is best for you ( or your mom)
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Oustanding post! That is fantastic milealge for a 280 hp car. If you got grand kids, or just kids, the Avalon is a great choice.

    I didn't find the TL ride that rough at all, in fact I thought it was very smoothe, not as soft as the Avalon however.

    Enjoy your new Avalon, it's a great star with great new styling. :)
  • mojojojo24mojojojo24 Posts: 24
    Having looked at both (and went with a Mustang GT... don't ask), I think they really appeal to two different sensabilities.

    The TL has more of a sport sedan feel. I honestly think it belongs more with the G35s, 330s, or A4s in comparison shopping, rather than with the Avalon. It's got a firm suspension, good handling. There are places where the others can beat it in the sport sedan area, but like with all Honda/Acura products, it's very good at the "jack of all trades" role.

    The Avalon's a cruiser. It's a nice cruiser, but it's a cruiser. It's more on the level of a 300, M35/45, or a modern Buick (not a 70s Buick). The closest thing I'd experienced to that car before was, honestly, one of the mid-80s Impalas, with the huge interior and the floaty suspension. Granted, it's much better quality and has a nicer interior than any Impala ever thought about being. It's also a little Jekyll and Hyde in that when you approach it from the outside it's very staid and bland, but once you get inside the thing, it's a whole different experience. It's very "Lexus-ized" to coin the dealer's phrase.

    The only thing I see comparable between them is the price point. I'd personally go with the TL if I had to pick between the two, but that's a personal preference. I'm not sure, all things considered, which is really the better car. They're both fast... but the TL feels fast. Fast for the Avalon is almost an experience in general relativity... the world looks like it's going by quickly, but everything inside is calm and undisturbed. Which flavor do you really want for your coddling?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    To me, the styling of the Avalon still says "This is your father's Toyota"! :cry:
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275

    But it's a great car and I believe will hurt Lexus ES sales.
  • one3one3 Posts: 2
    Both cars are wonderful vehicles and you just have to figure out which is best for you ( or your mom)

    Funny you should say that, my mom test drove both Avalon and TL and loved them both, weve got a few others to look at but these two are definitely her front runners.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Your mom has excellent taste in cars.
  • I wasn't even originally considering the Avalon - I was trying to decide whether to spend more for a TL or settle for a loaded Maxima. But when I saw Avy, it was love at first sight! I've had my Limited for about 10 days.

    The TL is a great car - fun to drive, lots of technology, extremely sharp styling. But its smaller than I thought it would be, including the front seating as well as the back and trunk. I didn't mind the tauter ride, in exchange for the driving experience, which was first rate. But the space issue really caught me off guard.

    The Avalon has just as much technology that is important to me (Smart Key is awesome!), and the inside styling is breath taking to me - very fresh, but classic. I find the exterior styling a significant upgrade from the previous generation, and I'm surprised by the positive comments from the younger folks at work.

    After having compared these two quality cars, I agree with the crowd - it depends what your priorities are. My wife kids me that I'm 49 going on 65, and this geezer in training has decided its time for smoothness and comfort. I have happily transitioned from my long line of sport sedans to a big, nasty cruiser.

    ;) :shades:


    P.S. If you are thinking of buying an Avalon, make sure you pay attention to the feel of the front seats. They are the only real concern for me (and obviously an important detail).
  • evancdsevancds Posts: 7
    I would have to agree with alot of the comments previously made, but I have a slightly different perspective being 22.

    The TL has an extremely well executed interior. It's better than the Avalon in many aspects including the Nav, bluetooth, Seats (styling and comfort), and dash layout. The one thing I don't like is the flimsy feeling gas pedal which seems unusually cheap. The Avalon, however, does offer a few cool features such as smart key, fake wood steering wheel and shifter, ventilated seats, rain sensing wipers, and rear sunshade. The dash layout is dissapointing though.

    The TL definetly has a more sporty feel due to the tighter suspension which provides more feedback from the road. The Avalons suspension is a great deal softer providing an extremely smooth ride. As a result the Avalon is not as capable cornering at high speed, most notably while going over bumps.

    The TL has a standard VTEC with 270HP, but seems lacking in torque. This is evident while accelerating up inclines or from a stop. You hear the engine whine, but it seems sluggish off the line. The Avalon has plenty of HP and torque giving it impressive acceleration for such a large car (roughly half a second slower than a G35). Even more impressive are the MPG numbers for the powerful engine. Easily the most efficient for its power output.

    Driving Experience:
    For me the Avalon offered a more enjoyable ride overall. I enjoy the isolation it provides with its extremely quiet cabin, and soft suspension. As someone mentioned earlier, in the TL you feel like your going fast, but in the Avalon you really don't. The difference between perceived speed vs. actual speed for me is around 15mph, i.e. travelling 80mph feels like 65. The soft suspension is only problematic on high speed turns (20mph above speed limits) with bumps, and since I do most of my driving on streets and not on oval tracks, I prefer the bumps and potholes to be absorbed by the car and not by my kidneys. The Avalon also has very small turning radius, which is useful in urban situations since is it such a large car. While both are extremely well engineered vehicles, they offer very different driving experiences and the only way to decide which you prefer is to drive both cars. I chose the Avalon because even at 22, it is a better fit for my needs.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Excellent post!

    The Avalon is a very fast car, and with the new exterior styling, finally it no longer looks like a big Camry. However, I am surprised that a 22 year old would by one over a TL, but your analysis of the cars makes perfect sense. My wife chose the TL and I believe that the ride is not harsh at all, in fact, I think the ride is smoother than my old '96 Camry.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I am surprised that someone at your young age would choose the Avalon. But you must be one sensible and level-headed young man because when I was 22 you couldn't pay me to even consider a 4-door, any 4-door!
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    But you must be one sensible and level-headed young man because when I was 22 you couldn't pay me to even consider a 4-door, any 4-door!

    LOL, me too :P

    But the Avalon is a very fast big car, and makes a lot of sense to buy regardless of age.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "me too"

    You mean to say you're a level-headed young man, or you wouldn't consider a 4-door either? :P
  • The Avalon seems like a nice car for someone like my grandfather but not for me. Its big, ugly, boring and expensive. The TL is a better value and its not a toyota. My parents have problems with their 1996 Toyota Avalon, power steering fluid leaks in 2002 (replaces the whole thing), 2 flat tires, battery dies when it is only 8 years old and recently got hit by a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Toyota quality is not satisfactory. Still waiting for estimates on repairs to the body. The body bent in and the lights got pushed into the car but still work. Now there is no reason to buy another Toyota ever, worst cars ever made, thats why the police and taxi drivers dont use them, they tend to fall apart. No way am I going to pay $35k for a toyota. The smart key is a cheaper version with a black dot on each door handle, the dynamic cruise control is located next to foglamp instead of inside, its just too cheap. The Acura TL is much better. You get more for your money and a manual is nicer too. But i have to agree that the new Avalon is much better than before but will still fail with poor quality and reliablility.

    My parents also own a 2003 Acura TL. Runs flawlessly, only problem was a recall on the transmission but that is the only problem. I trust Acura with their quality and reliablility. Acura also has better service than toyota (they wash and vacuum your car.

    The TL is my choice, no offense. But i would probably choose the Avalon when i am 80.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    battery dies when it is only 8 years old

    8 years is a long time for a battery to last, and Toyota didn't make the battery. I had a 96 Camry for 9 years and not one problem, the best car I ever owned in terms of reliability. I did, however, buy a new TL, and the jury is out on that car. The new Avalon is very fast, and not bad looking IMHO, but not my wife's taste. Toyota makes fine cars. It's not Toyota's fault a Jeep hit you. BTW, cabs is San Francisco use Camrys all the time. :P
  • I guess Toyota is a decent car. I think the Camry is more reliable than the Avalon. I like the TL better, my 2003 TL is nicer than my Avalon, we bought the XL which is the base so its not as nice. Just waiting for estimates today on repairs by Toyota.
    The Jeep Grand Cherokee was at a stop sign and just backed up because it was almost hit by a speeding Benz driven by an old lady at an intersection. The driver drove up and realize he couldnt make it so he backed up and i quess didnt see us. But i think Toyota need to design the cars better so that a case like this will have no damage except maybe a scratch. But their cars are so cheap so i get a dent in the middle and the grille has fallen off.

    I guess i will consider a Toyota in the future. Probably the 2007 Toyota Camry or 2007 Lexus ES350.
  • just got estimates.... $2248.70 for repairs.
  • gbrentgbrent Posts: 1
    does anyone know what the limited top speed for the 05 or 06 avalon is?
    please say where you got the answer, either by literature or by your actual road test. how does the car handle at max speed?
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I don't have exact numbers, but I think the Avalon is slightly faster than the TL. As far as handling at that speed, I have know idea. I test drove the Avalon and did not feel as confident going fast in the Avalon as I did in the TL.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    What pupose is there with the 'top speed' indication?
  • gbrent, you asked "Does anyone know what the limited top speed for the 05 or 06 avalon is?"

    I think I read somewhere that it's 179 miles per hour, or something like that. I think the 06 is faster than the 05, but not as fast as the 05 used to be since they decreased the horse power from 280 to 268. Hope this helps with your decision. You are making a decision, right?

    ROBERTU :blush:
  • The horse power remains the same for both 05 and 06 models. It is now mandatory to measure the HP performance on a vehicle with the A/C on which means ~10-12HP less...
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    This discussion of 'top speed' I believe is misleading. :confuse:

    Top speed is not dependent on what the speed gauge indicates and is not dependent on the horsepower rating.

    Think of it...say that you hit the 'top speed' on the speed gauge on the flats...then you went on a hill. Do you think that the car would organically slow down? Same as the horsepower...not a direct indicator.

    Again...not sure what you all are doing trying to figure out the 'top speed' of an Avalon.
  • delmar, you posted the question "...say that you hit the 'top speed' on the speed gauge on the flats...then you went on a hill. Do you think that the car would organically slow down? ...[I'm] not sure what you all are doing trying to figure out the 'top speed' of an Avalon."

    delmar, if speed wasn't important, why do we measure it?

    ROBERTU :blush:
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    You miss the point. The question others were posting was TOP SPEED on the gauge. Do you all really think you will base your car decision on the maximum speed on the dial? Geez.
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