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Acura TL vs. Toyota Avalon



  • bplayerbplayer Posts: 56
    There are two things the 2gen has over the 3gen. The major one is trunk space as it can easily hold 2 full size suitcases and 2 carry ons with a little room to spare. Not so with the 3gen. Steering stability is better with the 2gen (less tendancy to pull to left or right based on road surface), probably because it did not use low profile tires.
  • Trunk space is a major issue? With a TL or any sport sedan? I think my 06 has more than enough trunk space FWIW.

    And this generation of TL has taken the car way past the previous gen. Two totally different cars.
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    "And this generation of TL has taken the car way past the previous gen. Two totally different cars."

    In what ways? Gizmos I presume, basically its the same engine from the previous genaration Type "S" that they brought over to the current TL with a bit of fine tuning.

    I am not bad mouthing the current TL but the previous generation (which I own) has a more classier look especially the Type S.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    I (and my father/brother: All TL owners) have to disagree re: styling. The prior gen TL I found to be a generically handsome car. Nothing wrong with the style, it just blended in with the crowd more so than the current gen. Both interior and exterior style are vast improvements in the current iteration. So much so that my dad broke his '03 lease early and my bro is jealous of our TLs (but fiscally more prudent than dad, no early lease terminations for him!).

    In addition to the gizmos, I believe they also fine tuned the suspension as well as the engine. As one would hope, the TL continues to evolve.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    As we have said here numerous times style is subjetive.

    I have three more payments on my 03 TLS and the current TL is not even on my short list.

    Right now I am looking on the RL, 530XI, A6 3.2 or 4.2 and the GS350 (waiting for the release).

    Honestly, I am in no rush to buy a new car, I might just wait for the next generation TL.

    Good Luck with your TL.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    "the previous generation (which I own) has a more classier look especially the Type S."

    Other than a label of 'Type-S' I can't tell 03 TL from 03 TL type-S from the outside. Why Type S 'especially' then?

    I have to also say 04+ TL stands out much more than 03- TL. Now it may stand out to one's liking or disliking, but I bet more would turn their heads for those new TL. 03 TL does give you a softer (more comfy) ride, and it's less $$ though. Can't get everything.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112
    No argument, BillyP. Beauty is in the eye. Sounds like you're heading uptown with the next car. Be sure to post your impressions as you test drive each.

    If I was in the market, from your list I'd test all but the GS350. The styling just isn't for me (we do have a Lexus in the family). The 530 is no beauty, but it's grown on me. It's still only a 7 to the TL's 9, however!

    Speaking of the RL, it reminds me of your gen TL in that I find the RL to be handsome, but generically so. It just blends in to the crowd a little to much. Cool car, though.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • bplayerbplayer Posts: 56
    You are moving up a level based on the list stated. I love the ride provided by the A6. The car in demand for media testing is the M35X and you should add that to your list. There are so many fine choices in this group.
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    'Other than a label of 'Type-S' I can't tell 03 TL from 03 TL type-S from the outside. Why Type S 'especially' then?'

    They are actually several physical features that are different on the S-

    1).Wheels- much better than those star fish wheels on the base model
    2)17" on the S compared to 16" on the base
    3)The seats are different
    4).The type S badge as you mentioned

    Things you cannot see but feel-
    1).The 260 horses compared to the 225 on the base
    2).The sports tuned suspension compared to the soft suspension on the base.

    I love this car but we are going to have to go our seperate ways this coming summer.
  • glenn386glenn386 Posts: 47
    I chuckled when I saw the thread title. Do people seriously cross shop the two. I drove both before buying the TL but drove the Avalon before I decided on an entry level sport/lux sedan. I thought the Avalon and TL were worlds apart in every department. I saw the avalon as an upscaled camry/maxima and the tl more inline with the Audi's (between an A4 & A6), new Passat, Beamer(between an 3 & 5), infinity and lexus sedans, despite the obvious fwd vs awd and rwd performance differences.

    I would be interested to see what others are thinking..Do most of you see the handling, quality, trim and styling of the TL as closer to the Avalon or as closer to the entry sport/luxury sedans?
  • People cross shop everything these days, but I totally agree with you. In looking at the two cars, it seems that shoppers looking for a touring car would prefer the Avalon's ride, and those preferring a sportier drive would opt for the TL. The Avalon is a good ride - for my mother-in-law.

    When I crossed shopped, I looked at the entry level sport sedans from Infinity, Lexus, Audi, and VW (Passat). The combination of sporty exterior, ride, handling, interior, and price of the TL won out for me. Some of the others had better handling or power, but for me the TL had the best combination of looks, features and price.
  • I agree that the TL and Avalon are different cars. However, for some people like me, there is some cross-shopping going on. When I learned that we would be adding a second kid to the family, it was time to look for something bigger than my BMW 330i. I wanted something with power, space, comfort and some sportiness. The TL just didn't have the space of the Avalon, Charger, etc. I think even the Altima SE-R had a little more rear leg room than the TL.

    Anyway, at some point, I had to convince myself that power, space and comfort outweighed sport. I realized that in my normal driving activities, there is little use for sport driving. I could not recall too many times where I wanted to gun it around a tight curve (though those were fun times). However, I did recall how the BMW wasn't all that comfortable on long, weekend drives that involved a lot of straight roads common in Florida. So, I went with the Avalon and chose the Touring trim as it is slightly more sport-tuned than other trims (and it doesn't have that crap fake wood in it)...although its still not a sports sedan.

    In sum, a lot depends on a person's normal driving pattern. and, I think a lot also depends on whether you live in a state with primarily straight roads or a state with lots of curvy roads.
  • neil5neil5 Posts: 118
    The Avalon is the replacement for my 98 5 series Bimmer, I looked at Acura, Lexus, Infinity and ended with the Avalon. The accessaries blew the others away as did the silence and quality of the interior. (JBL synthesis, Voice Nav, H@Cooled seats ventilated, Laser adaptive cruise, Bluetooth, Lexus 3.5L engine (GS350, IS350, Avalon), Electrolumiscent dash (IS, ES Lexus), Keyless ignition, Auto mirrors, etc. Plus the size of the vehicle (LS430, Infinity M series, The Avalon is bigger!!!. Also reclining rear seats...The Steering wheel is also same as Lexus models. Saved over 15K. And I got a Loaner with service and Service will be cheaper as well. So far very satisfied
  • glenn386glenn386 Posts: 47

    I agree with everything you said about the differences between the avalon and the Tl and I am glad that your car fits what you needed to a "T". I didn't meant to imply that the Avalon isn't anything but a great car. But, I think you actually made my point that the cars are so different that I am surprised that they get cross shopped.

    Your points on the Lexus GS items that are on the Avalon are well taken. You did indeed make a good purchase for your needs.
  • folkherofolkhero Posts: 1
    I'm about to decide on what car to purchase and after much research and calculating my personal needs assessment I'm 100% sold on the Avalon. Below lies a glimpse of my thought process (worth exactly what you paid for it = absolutely nothing...just an opinion).

    Much to many people's disbelief, I am only 30 years old and am in love with the Avalon. I'm absolutely in love with the styling of the Avalon. I concluded that the Avalon's styling is more timeless and will age gracefully. The TL, with it's hard edged lower skirt ground effects, style started to not interest as much as it did when I first saw the design. Avalon looks to me to have a more visually appealing design. A cleaner, understated design when compared with the TL's design.

    The cars that I cross shopped were the TL, RL, Avalon, ES330, Ford Five Hundred, and Ford Taurus.

    I have a linebacker like body (6'2"; 270lbs.) and spend many hours in my vehicle showing clients apartment buildings (usually in stop and go, noisy, inner cities) as a real estate broker. So, cabin comfort and spaciousness was a top priority. The Avalon won out in the group hands down. It offered the most space for my knees no longer rested along the side of the center console unit anymore. The wide center armrest was a huge plus. The fact that there is more distance between me and the front passenger is a huge plus because I can get stuck sitting next to a client for long car rides that has stinky breath...I call that my 'workplace hazard'. :-) The TL just seemed too cramped.

    Since I'm on the road and in my car a lot, safety was a primary concern of mine since by virtue of spending more time driving I had an increased chance of getting into an accident. Although the Avalon did not get straight A's according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Loss( ) it was close to matching the best ratings of the group's leaders. I was, although, shocked to hear that the crash test dummies in the Avalon's crash test suffered enough pressure on the right knee area to cause damage (see link above for details on safety)...and the Avalon comes with the front knee airbags! No matter, I've got a bum right knee already that the ortho doctor can't seem to fix no matter how many arthroscopic surgeries he tries. :-)

    The best option that I liked on the Avalon was the ventilated driver's seat. I can't count how many days I would get out of my car in the summer with a dress shirt on with a visually perceivable sweaty back. Problem solved with the Avalon.

    I thought the TL's power and ride responsiveness was very nice (much better than the Avalon's) when I test drove it, but I asked myself how often would I try to test the limits of the car? What's the point? If I wanted to drive a firm riding, sports like ride I would buy and drive a sports car like a Porsche Cayman/Boxster or something.

    One huge disappointment with the Avalon is that it does not offer Bluetooth. Not sure why because the 2007 Camry offers that option and you would imagine that Toyota's flagship car would offer it as well. Maybe the '07 Avalon will offer it.

    What I saw in the Avalon was a poor man's Lexus LS 400. Basically, Lexus quality at Toyota price.
  • billyperks1billyperks1 Posts: 151
    The Camry is the Flagship for Toyota.

    Wear a t-shirt under your dress shirt to aviod the sweateness.
  • 4bearhug4bearhug Posts: 52
    I can certainly understand your attraction to the Avalon styling. It's definitely striking. Did you, by chance, look at the new Hyundai Azera? I just had a chance to test drive one on vacation last week and I must say that I was very impressed. I've owned Acura, Honda, and Toyota exclusively for the past 15 years and the Azera is right up there with the Japanese car companies. The ride is top notch(Lexus like), roomier than any Acura/Honda car, and priced about $8-10k less than Avalon. It has some features that you can't get on any car in its class. The biggest issue is getting past the name. I really think that Hyundai is going to make a major inroad in the next few years with some of the vehicles that they are bringing out. I'm still unsure if I ready to take the plunge on a Hyundai, but they have definitely impressed me w/ the Azera. Definitely a serious threat to Avalon.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    did precisely that - about a year ago - after several years in large SUVs wanted a 4 door something, easier on gas, with some power, fun to drive. The top 2 - G35 and TL.
    And then happened by a Toyota dealer who I had thought had nothing to offer to meet the definition, and there it was - a hot off the presses Avalon Touring. Impressions: the G35 easily the best drivers car, the only true sports sedan of the three, and an absolute hoot to drive - but small and with fit/finish not quite up to the other two. The TL, wonderful engine, suprisingly rough ride with some torque steer (more like a Maxima) and was really turned off by those 'bubble gum gauges' and concerns about transmission problems. The Avalon superior designed larger interior, and, at least, in my opinion the best trade off between ride and handling (Touring trim - the other trims too soft), power to run with either, and better mpg and a couple of thousand cheaper. Would do the same thing again, but the Avalon is certainly a different car than the TL.
  • having tested all 3 before choosing the Avalon Touring, I concur with captain's assessment.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi avalonlimited - your post was moved to the more appropriate Toyota Avalon 2005+ discussion. Just click on that link to get there.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Here in the Midwest (Chicago) I am hearing the Avalon does not come with you have it and how does it work? What part of the Country?

    Additionally - does the NAV work well? I heard the car can not be moving if you want to input a destination?
  • niteoneniteone Posts: 41
    "Additionally - does the NAV work well? I heard the car can not be moving if you want to input a destination? "

    that's partially can input some 'saved' destination's beforehand, and either go to them manually while driving, or 'speak' the desination number you want to go to....but, yes, while driving, no new, only previously saved destinations can be either entered or spoken, unless it's a gas station or some other poi.

    it's ok, but I do hate the fact my passenager can't use it either. There should be an override for this, but I can't seem to find it.
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    I agree that these two cars are totally
    different cars, so I'm surprised also that
    they would be cross-shopped. The Avalon,
    for my tastes, it's not a bad looking car,
    Lexus-like interior, but it's a little too
    big for me. I don't think I could fit it
    in my single-car garage. I can barely fit
    my '02 Max in my garage. The TL would be
    more sport oriented, hence the rougher ride
    vs. the smoother ride on the Avalon. Both
    are nice cars, but I keep joking to my
    friends that the TL would fit in my little
    garage perfectly. Uhm!!!
  • joeolds3joeolds3 Posts: 8
    We drove the TL ,and xls and touring versions of the avalon. The TL won. The xls has too soft of suspension, end of story. The touring avalon has a nice firm suspension, drives well, and is roomy, but does not have a lot of the features that should be standard. (self dimming rear view mirror, homelink, heated seats, moonroof, you cant even get heated exterior mirrors on the touring level) By the time you add all the comparable options to a touring avalon you are at or above the sticker of a base TL with everything standard. The TL warranty is much better, and the TLs appear to hold their resale value better. But the bottom line is this: My wife said the avalon looked "stoggy" and made her feel like an "old lady", and the TL had a sportiness she liked.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    Yes, I agree, the Avalon is sorta an older looking car, it looks huge, and it really looks sorta like a buick inside as well. Weird dash. Now, it does look classy, and it is a nice looking car, but when compared to a TL, the TL seems more youthful and sporty. The interior is very sleek and up to date. It also offers Honda's famous suspension with great handling. It seems more in sync with a driver. The TL is going to add more fun to any drive, the Avalon seems like a really nice highway cruiser.

    I would totally pick a TL over the Avalon anyday, not that the Avalon is a bad car in any shape, I just feel like the Avalon is for an older adult, like the Toyota's version of a Buick.
  • necro1234necro1234 Posts: 23
    I'm by no means old (28 years) but when shopping for a comfortable vehicle for long road trips that had a bit of punch and reliability I couldn't turn my 2007 Avalon XLS down.
    I was very surprised by the acceleration and performance from such a large car, its got very soft comfortable suspension which of course does not lend to pushing it hard into corners.
    That said I am very surprised at just how well it handles when you force it into a corner, the car is so soft that it feels like you should back off, but once you used to it you can really swing it in quite hard, it gives pretty good feel through the wheel, seat and pedals of whats going on, so I have not had much trouble reading it.
    I have 25000 miles on mine so far and not 1 days worth of trouble, I don't expect to ever have any either (knock wood) if its taken care of as far as maintenance is concerned.

    The look is by no means sporty, I feel it looks very "elegant" in design.
    I don't quite know where the stereotype of "old people drive camrys" comes from with the latest styling that Toyota has come up with on those models, but to each their own I suppose.
    The car can certainly keep up with most vehicles on the road, a bit of a wolf in sheep clothing in my opinion.
    Always puts a smile on my face when some kiddie in his honda civic or the typical BMW driver (who all own the road supposedly) pull up next to the light and attempt to pull off and in front of the Avalon.
    My XLS does not have the TRAC system, but a clean pull off with a good hard stomp to the floor leads to their jaws dropping in shock and horror.
    Thats another thing. the transmission is awesome, it finds power at any speed, on any incline.
    The pedal is quite a sensitive beast and enjoys dropping gear and revving quite hard at the drop of a hat.

    I think each car is certainly in a class of its own, the TL is more of a refined sports car where the Avalon is built for absolute comfort with some good horses under the hood.
    A good short description of the Avalon would be that its "like driving a rocket propelled cloud".


  • Drive-by-wire accelerator is a plus for me; for the first 4 months the Navigation system on TL was an expensive white elephant until another dealer explained it step-by-step; now I can't live without. Electric motor driven steering is very solid without hydraulic lag in its mechanism. will have had this automobile for one year in April and will make it a point to test an Avalon based upon the opinions here; does the Avalon have drive-by-wire accelerators?
    Last weekend tried the Ford lineup and the Taurus SHO's power curve impressed as well as it's audible exhaust "notes"; that said, there is something about the drive-by-wire system of throttle control that is still keeping the TL in my garage. The backup camera (that many cars have) is a plus, too.
    Had hoped that the new TLX would have been out later in 2013; dealer said that it will most likely be late 2014; the TLX will be built on the Accord ELX chassis; (has direct injection and 6 speed CVT) plus side view blind spot visual monitoring system and lane intrusion visual warning (necessary as the TL has a mean blind spot on each side). And completely re-designed "earth Dreams" V-6 that operates on regular gasoline, opposed to the Honda V-6 that requires premium; however, it does have 6 discrete speeds and is paddle shift controlled at will.
  • Yes, the 2013 offers Bluetooth. The Entune app transfers everything from your phone to the car.
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