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Toyota Avalon 2004 and earlier



  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    Does anyone know if the head level, or curtain, air bags will be in the 2001 Avalons? Anyone seen descriptions or pix anywhere?
  • boordboord Posts: 27
    I also have a new 2000XLS. It has just under 2000 miles on it. I've put nothing but 89 octane in it so far and have had no problems; no ping, no knock, no stuttering , nothing wrong. My calculated mpg is around 26 (not from the on board computer, but calculated at each fill up).

    Several articles I have read say that the higher octane is actually the more economical way to go - the theory is that the engine will perform more efficently with the higher octane and therefore deliver better mileage.

    I pay $1.71/gal for regular. Premium goes for $1.93. That's a cost increase of 12.8%. My intent is to switch to premium at about 2000 miles and see what the new mileage will be. In order to be at breakeven the mileage would have to improve from 26 mpg to around 29 (an increase of 12.8%). If it gets close to 29 mpg I'll switch permanently to premium for the alleged increase in performance characteristics.

    Anybody see a problem with the testing method?
  • mcgowan1mcgowan1 Posts: 16
    Our 2K XLS now has 6000 miles on the clock and all we've ever used is regular grade fuel.Here in Canada, regular is 87 Octane. We've had nothing but good results with the car so far; performance is excellent, mileage seems as advertised, and we're very happy with the Av.
    One item that we adhere strictly to is oil and filter changes--every 3000 miles. Also, I get an oil analysis from a sample taken at each oil change.(We have an airplane and subscribe to an oil analysis program with it)
    So far, all's well!
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    I have a '97 Avalon, and it runs fine on 87 octane, but a mechanic friend tells me that most 87 octane does not contain any detergents, and will ultimately cause carbon buildup in the intake manifold and associated parts, which will require a cleaning sometime down the road(read:$$$). A mid-grade fuel(89 or higher), typically has the detergents and keeps things in good condition. I use 89 in my car, and all is well(so far). I get 26-28 MPG all the time.
  • boekboek Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Avalon XLS with premium audio package. We notice a distinct, intermittent raising and lowering of the audio level. This happens on CD as well as FM. Any thoughts out there?
  • boekboek Posts: 2
    How do I turn off the auto lock feature??? 2000 Avalon XLS.
  • I work for one of those oil companies and most companies (even the little guys) put detergent in all grades of gasoline ever since BMW began to recommend it for their cars. Due to fuel injectors, many car companies now recommend detergent gasolines and the oil companies have responded.
  • Does anyone know if the new Avalons are available with bench seats? If so, and you have one, how do you like them? Also, for people who own the 2000 models and up, does the car drive straight on the highway, or does it tend to drift? When do the 2001 Avalons come out?
  • I have a 2000 Avalon with a bench seat and have come to love it. My wife has a '98 XLS with buckets and we hadn't even considered a bench. A 2000 model we saw on a dealer's lot had everything we were looking for but happened to have the bench too. At first I was worried it wouldn't be supportive enough, as it has no lumbar support adjustment, but it's plenty firm without being hard. I've noticed there is more room to squirm around, which I've really come to appreciate on long trips. Also there's no console connecting the dash to the floor to potentially flex and sqeak (a problem we had with the '98). Given the choice, I don't think I'll ever go back to buckets!
  • As I've posted earlier my Y2K Avalon has only been given 87 and 93 octane fuel. Commuting mileage ranges from 23.5 to 26.0. Depends more on how much the A/C is used than on the fuel. I record every tank, brand, mileage, grade. But don't record A/C usage. :-)

    Coming from a 1993.5 Infiniti G20 the "bucket" seats in the Avalon severely lack lateral support.

    Off the top of my head page BE-82 in the service manuals tell how to disable the autolock. Have I not posted it here before? If not, its in a toyota usenet group.

    Don't have the book, loaned it to a friend. Off the top of my head:

    - Ignition on. Open driver's door. Remove key.
    - Unlock the open door (it it doesn't work, repeat without this step)
    - Key in ignition making beeps. Remove. Repeat 5 times, (total of 5 times.)
    - Press unlock on door 5 times.
    - All of the above within 10 seconds.

    To undo the above (if it works) press the lock side rather unlock.
  • george5:

    We purchased the 2000 Avalon with a bench seat and we love it. It feels much more roomy than the console model.

    There are fewer bench seats out there though. We had to order ours. It took about 4 weeks.
  • I've come to the conclusion that higher octane fuel won't help mileage but can help reduce buildup on the fuel injectors. I have no problem using a tankful every month to keep the injectors clean. I also tend to stick with name-brand gas.
  • I just hit 1000 miles in my bench seat 2000 XL. I like evrything about it, including the xtra room-it's just convenient to lay some things in the middle spot, and in a pinch you can put someone there, too. Also I haven't noticed any drifting on the freeway, which is 90% of my driving.
    I just did an oil change at 1000 miles, and found out that it is hard to not get oil all over while unscrewing the filter. On my Corolla there was enough clearance to just let the filter drop into those disposable oil-chnage boxes. Does anyone have any ideas?
  • I have a 2000 Avalon XLS with the premium JBL
    sound system. Does anyone know whether the amp is
    integrated into the head unit or is it separate?

    If separate, is it a four channel one and where is
    it located?

    I am interested in connecting a surround processor.

  • Would appreciate help with the following

    When will the 2001 avalon be available at the dealership's?

    Any new colors available?

    Any new options?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    No new colors and constellation blue and cognac brown have been deleted. No nwe options and we will have them by the 15th of Sept at the latest.
  • ratledgeratledge Charleston county, South CarolinaPosts: 233
    My local dealer on Thursday told me the Avalon 2001 version would not be allocated until Sept 1. (Friday) and likely delivered between 30 and 45 days after that. Does that sound realistic to you, Cliffy? (i.e. I won't see one until 1 Oct and won't be able to buy one until about 15 Oct?

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The 2001s were allocated a month ago and we will have the first of them shortly. It will be very few at first, but we have two of them at the port right now.
  • I just purchased a 2000 avalon xls and the dealer placed his logo on the back without informing me. Looks like stencils with a sticky back. If I try to get it off with a hairdryer, will I damage the finish?
  • My 2K Avalon has a bench seat and I agree with jmiller475 (#217), it's much roomier.

    But one caution: If you're considering the XLS, be aware that the buckets have a lumbar adjustment, but the benches do not. At least, that was true on the 2000s.

    And it matters. I've never had trouble with any other car seat, but the unfortunate lumbar setting on the Avalon's bench seat hurts my back, a lot. Take a long test drive/sit before you buy.

    I've had no problems at all with driving straight on the highway. It does not drift at all.
  • Check out Maintenance & Repair Forum Topic # 554
    Many solutions to your problem
  • Have a 96 XL. My husband is 5"11 and complains about feeling uncomfortable in the driver's bucket seat. Says it doesn't accomodate him well. The lumbar doesn't really work, and the armrest is hard; sore legs, etc. Anyone else have comfort problems?
  • Should be fine -- use something like "Goo Gone" to remove residual adhesive matter.
  • Just bought a new 2000 XL. I'm a long time Toyota owner and continue to be amazed with their quality and value. One issue I have is a rattle coming from behind the dash above the glove box. Any ideas will be appreciated.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Take it back to the dealer and have the rattle checked out. Our 2000 XLS has had enough rattles and squeaks to start our own marimba band. Dealer has done good work on most of them. We involved the Toyota NCAC folks from the local zone here in Boston. They were friendly but made things worse in the end.
    Good luck
  • I had been intending to buy either a Lexus ES300 or IS300. On a lark, I test drove an Avalon. Wow, was I both surprised and impressed. Same approximate size engine as the Lexus ES300 and Lexus IS300 (3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve VVT-i V6). Though it's just a hair bigger than the Camry on the exterior, the interior is HUGE - particularly the back seat. My college-age daughter, after riding in the back seat said, "It's like riding in First Class."

    Strong performance. Not as quick as the Lexus IS300, being a much bigger car, but fast enough. Amazing gas mileage - 21/29. Much better than the IS300. Incredible luxury - this is the quietest car I've ever driven. Great handling. So, I'm wondering - is it just me? I start looking at reviews for this car, and found the following on-line ……

    Crash test results - Outstanding. 5 Stars, and a Best Buy from the Insurance Institute (

    "Avalon outperforms every Lexus model with the possible exception of the LS400, and since I haven't driven one of these in a while I'm not sure if it is any better than the Avalon" (

    .... the car could easily be called, especially in upscale XLS trim, the "Lexus LS399."

    "The Toyota Avalon, Who needs a Lexus?"

    Quotes from the JD Power's review at
    "If the Avalon is merely nice at a standstill, it's an eye-opener on the road - if you pay attention. But the car's big trick is that little attention is required. It works so well! Toyota couldn't have asked for better work from the guys in NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). At nearly anything less than full throttle, you'd swear you were coasting. All we could hear on a rainy day was a creaking in the windshield wipers, like an old screen door opening and closing, opening and closing.

    The ride is flawless ...... We haven't taken the Avalon on a long trip, but we feel safe in saying our bones won't feel a thing after hours in the saddle.

    Michelin 205/60R16 tires were impressive in the wet. We aimed for narrow rivers in the road that stretched for half a mile at a time, places where water collects in the worn spots from tire tracks, and at 60 mph we could have taken our hands off the steering wheel. We could see the water, we could hear it, but we couldn't feel it. We hit a shallow double pothole in the river. We heard a light thump, but scarcely felt it. We drove over a washboard unpaved road. We felt it, but not much.

    Then we got a little daring in the wet, blasting through a two-lane sweeper heavy on the throttle at 65 mph. The traction control connected in the middle of the turn, three or four times on and off, each time for a mere instant, and the car's direction stayed true without our having to do a thing except point it the first time. Something faster, smarter and more sensitive than us was doing all the tricky work.

    We mashed the brake pedal as hard and fast as we could. Excellent anti-lock brakes said, "No problem. Thumpeta-thumpet-thump, there you are." We were stopped before the final splash landed ....... We accelerated away, feeling 210 horses rush the car along at a pace no Avalon buyer is likely to find inadequate. The upshifts of the four-speed electronic transmission were ? well, where were they? We never felt them.

    We saved the most exotic for last: Vehicle Skid Control. It's a Lexus hand-me-down, remaining innovative as it moves along from $50,000 cars to $30,000 ones. It's a lot of option for $850. No, it's a steal for $850. Get it. Vehicle Skid Control keeps you from sliding off the road. Electronic sensors measure four forces to detect a slide ("when the direction of travel does not correlate with driver steering inputs," in robot language), which may be either at the front or rear wheels. Using throttle or brake intervention, VSC makes the appropriate adjustment in grip. For example, if your tail is sliding out throttle and apply the brakes to the left-side wheels. It won't take over the steering wheel, but with the other corrections it won't need to.

    We found a hard-packed logging road, vacant on our rainy Sunday and slick from oil as well as water. We found a sharp curve with good visibility and no ditch. We charged it at spinout speed: all gas, no brakes.

    Because the Avalon is front-wheel drive, understeer was our obstacle in this slow turn. We heard the VSC warning ding that says, "Whoa Bucko!" saw the orange traction-control light out of the corner of our eye, and then felt the car magically bite and come back into position. VSC had cut the throttle and hit the ABS brakes on all but the outside rear wheel.

    This is a great sedan ..... We'd love to see a jet-black Avalon with a lowered nose and Vintage Red Pearl flames streaming from that toothy grin. But we may be the only ones who feel that way."
    I've test driven the Avalon twice now. I'm leaning towards getting one .....
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,471
    I too was a skeptic until I test drove the Y2K Avalon. Before you know it I brought home an XLS. The car is not much to look at but once you turn on the ignition and put it in drive there is a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that overwhelms you. I pamper this car like a baby and sometimes I wish I could take it to bed. Great car, and italstallion, Great review.
  • I tried the auto lock disable mentioned by n4hhe. No go has anyone got different information?
  • A while back I asked about the headroom (I'm 6'5" and most cars are definitely not roomy enough!). Well, I went to see the dealer and there was plenty of headroom in the non-sunroof models. I was especially impressed with the room in the bench seat model--it feels twice as roomy as my current vehicle! (A 4Runner)

    I took it for a test drive and was incredibly impressed with the almost numbing level of engineering in the noise, vibration, and harshness department--something I can appreciate as a mechanical engineer! Though I'm young (22), and this car may be aimed towards an older market, I know when I see a good vehicle and I'm definitely impressed with the Avalon. The only other car I'm considering is the VW Passat, but I'll probably end up deciding on the Toyota because of the reliability issues I've heard with Passats....(and the 115,000 trouble free miles on my 4Runner!).

    However, I do have a few questions for the owners out there, I would really appreciate a reply either on the forum or by mail ([email protected]

    1) Any troubles with traction in the non VSC models in slippery conditions?
    2) How composed does the car feel at highway speeds (75-80). Is it the suspension too mushy to handle safely at these speeds? (one worry I have with the soft suspension)
    3) Amazing gas mileage for such a large car...are people actually seeing 21city/29highway, or is this a conservative estimate?
    4) If anyone has a digital camera, I would love to see pictures of your cars--the pictures on the website aren't very large and the only color at my dealer was white. Particularly the red and silver colors. Would also like to see pictures of the interiors besides beige...for comparison. I'd actually really appreciate this, I'd probably even use one of these on my dekstop! hehe....
    5) How dark is the stone leather. Is it black or lighter? I live in a warm climate and am somewhat concerned about the threat of scalding leather when it's sunny!
    6) The brakes were a little mushy IMHO. How well do they work in emergency stops. I didn't want to frighten my salesman. =)
    7) Any other reliability concerns I should have with this new model?
    8)Any word on when head airbags will be offered? This is one of the few things (In addition to the functionality of a wagon, and the firmer and more tight road feel) that I like on the Passat, and for me is pretty important being that something like 50% of side-impact crashes involve head injuries. They're about neck-in-neck on the frontal crash according to the tests, however....

    that's all I can think of for now....being this is my first car purchase, I'm spending tons of time researching my decision....=)

    thanks, BILL
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 2,471
    1) Any troubles with traction in the non VSC
    models in slippery conditions?

    2) How composed does the car feel at highway
    speeds (75-80). Is it the suspension too mushy to
    handle safely at these speeds? (one worry I have
    with the soft suspension).

    3) Amazing gas mileage for such a large car...are
    people actually seeing 21city/29highway, or is this a conservative estimate?

    5) How dark is the stone leather. Is it black or
    lighter? I live in a warm climate and am somewhat
    concerned about the threat of scalding leather when it's sunny!

    6) The brakes were a little mushy IMHO. How well
    do they work in emergency stops. I didn't want to
    frighten my salesman. =)

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Good responses but a bit harsh in the last sentence. The Y2K Avalon has been bringing in a lot more people for the Avalon. We are getting a distinctly younger demographic but not loosing the more seasoned drivers.
  • I'm 17 and a senior in high school. I love to drive my mom's Avalon to school. Everyone kept saying that they liked my new Lexus. :) We have been extremely pleased with the Avalon and have put 6,000 miles on it since June. We've taken it on several trips and it has been wonderful. After having four vans over a period of ten years, my mom was worried that she'd miss the extra space. Even on long trips, there is plenty of room for our luggage and for us. I'm so amazed that there is so much room in the back seat and it is only about 5 inches longer than the Camry. There is plenty of power, and I do believe that putting premium fuel in adds a little punch than just regular (87). My dad, who has always bought "American" cars, says that he'll always have Avalons from now on. He's enjoyed it that much. He was also pleasantly surprised that it costs less to insure the Avalon than it did my mom's van. I would recommend the Avalon to anyone. My grandfather likes ours so much, he's thikning of trading in his new Impala for one. Happy shopping!
  • Has anyone seen the 2001 Avalon? Does it have the same or different style from the 2000? I currently have a 97 Avalon and love the car, but really do not like the looks of the 2000.
  • Edmand's "What's New for 2001" states the following;

    Avalon - Two colors, Cognac Brown and Constellation Blue Pearl, are dumped for 2001. No other changes to this imitation Buick, which was completely redesigned last year.

    Link is as follows;
  • Some pictures and info are at Sounds like you want a BMW!!!
  • For Bill No. 232: We have a 2000 XLS with over 6,000 mi. So far we love it. Car rides well at 75 to 80. Have not tried hitting the brakes hard to test them out. Pedal does seem a little soft; however, I don't have a problem with it. Gas is not what they tell you it gets. We have traveled on 300 mi stretches quite a bit and the best mileage on the freeway for our XLS is 26. Have not checked the city driving as we don't use it too much in town. No rattles. Quiet motor and feels very comfortable inside. Finally got Totoya Mud Guards, which are a must to have. We also have a 91 Honda Accord which has never had a problem with it since we own it. If the Avalon does as well as the Honda we will be satisfied. If it doesn't, then back to a Honda or Acura. Ed
  • The Avalon is the quietest car I've ever had the pleasure to drive. When I start the engine and the windows are closed I can't even tell that the engine is running. At highway speeds it's tight as a drum with little to no road noise coming into the cabin. The Avalon is a perfect highway cruiser. It is extremely comfortable and quiet.
  • Does anybody know of a web site that lists Tech Service Bulletins applicable to a 98 XLS? Also, what about Recalls? Thanks
  • Does anybody know of a web site that lists Tech Service Bulletins applicable to a 98 XLS? Also, what about Recalls? Thanks
  • Sorry, people. I'm trying to "reload" to look for your answers. This is my first time on (or is it my 4th?) Anyhow, I won't do it some more.
  • I am thinking about buying a new 2001 Avalon XLS after test driving a 2000 model. I have received hugh difference in price range from different dealers for 2001 XLS model (with every option available for Avalon XLS -traction, leather, moonroof, heated seats to gold emblem etc...).
    One dealer wanted preorder price of $38,000; another wanted $31,500; another wanted $30,400 and the last dealer wanted $34,500. What should be the best offer for this car? I noticed that resale value on used 1999 and 1998 was advertised pretty low in the news papers and in used car ads (for 99' around $24,000s to 98' around $18,000s)! I also checked and found out from internet that dealers from different states other than here in California offered 2000 XLS in the $27,500+ range. I would like to hear response from other prospective Avalon buyers and Avalon owners what will be a "good offer" for this 2001 model. I am thinking about offering $30,000. Thanks!
  • Dealers in my area, Alabama, are starting their 2001 prices at 4% above cost. This is the starting point for negotiations. I think one can expect to bet in the $800 above cost range and close the deal.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    ...on a huge number of factors. This includes how many 2000's we have left, how may 2001's we have coming relative to demand and competing dealerships and the business philosophy of the dealership. I would expect $800 to $1500 over invoice would be normal this time of year for a new model year vehicle like this.
  • Ordered a new 2001 Avalon XL for my Mom over the Week of Labor Day in Western New York, and the dealer accepted 3.0% above invoice. The base price of the 2001 model was estimated by the dealer at about $300 above base prices the 2000 models (new price sheets had just come in, and the dealer had not fully digested them). (We ordered a 2001 because Mom wanted a bench seat, and we could not find any XL's with benches, only XLS's.) The order that was placed was non-binding, but from the price sheets of 2001's on order the dealer shared with us, the numbers seemed to make sense. Waiting to see if the factory has allocated the car this week, and then there's a 4 to 6 week expected delivery time.
  • Another thought, when shopping for a 2000 Avalon XL, I saw a few XLS's on dealer lots with a sticker price in the mid $34,000 range. Although these were pretty loaded, they may not have been fully loaded. With the belief the base price of the 2001 Avalons are going up only a few hundred dollars, I would expect a fully decked out Avalon XLS should be in the $35K range. Suggest you price out a 2000 Avalon XLS, then add a few hundred dollars for an estimate on a 2001. Similar pricing could also be applied on Invoice prices.
  • I'm thinking of purchasing a new car and, for the time being anyway, have narrowed my choices to the Avalon XLS and the Lincoln LS. Has anyone compared the two? I know that the Lincoln LS is a bit more expensive than the Avalon, but if the price for the Avalon is "in the $35K range", then the Lincoln LS is not THAT much more expensive. Yet the reviews that I've read have me leaning toward the LS based, primarily, on what I perceive to be its better performance. I would like to hear from someone who has driven, or at least ridden, in both.
  • losylosy Posts: 14
    Thanks for the recommendation on WC Toyota. I just purchased a 2000 XLS from them. They were friendly and displayed exceptional customer service. I also liked the fact that their service department is open until midnight.
  • With the 2001 coming out what are the chances of getting a 2000 coming of a lease or trade in, and at what price?
  • To Pugnme (#253) I test drove both of these beautys, before buying. The Lincoln LS is a really nice auto, BUT, you should, personally, give both of these cars a good drive. When you do you may note some of the same things I did: You feel you're packed into the LS; the take-off is not the greatest (I understand it commences in 2nd gear ???); the ride is smooth; the seating comfort is marginal; braking & handling is only o.k.; the reported gas mileage is not great; the depreciation factor is not good; vision to sides and rear is marginal.

    I found the 2000 Avalon XLS excellent in all the above catagories and everything else one looks for in a luxury auto. You feel (in the bucket seats) like you're setting in your favorite living room chair. The distance to the dash is like 'wow'. Gas mileage is just about what they say 21 city & 29 country - which is excellent for a car of this weight. Take off may not beat some performance cars, but 0 - 60 in 8 seconds or less is all I need. The handling, smoothness of ride and 'just a real good feeling' is commendable. And I guess I better mention one feature that most 2000 Avalon owners praise...Shh (Quiet) -Unless you want to boom-box the JBL system.

    With everything on it, you should be able to buy a 2001 XLS for something like $30K...and 3 or 4 years from now it will be worth a lot more than any Lincoln. Guess which one I chose? Good Luck!
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