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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#3076 of 3629 2000 Avalon compares well with new
Jun 24, 2005 (4:00 pm)
I have a 2000 Avalon XL and am looking to upgrade. I like my Avalon, it is quiet, smooth, and has acceptable acceleration but I have been thinking of getting a more sporty styled sedan. I have driven an assortment of cars in order to determine what would be acceptable for me and my family:
2006 Mercedes S350
2005 Mercedes E500
2006 BMW 325i, 530i, 530xi
2005 Acura TL
2004 Lexus GS300
2005 Toyota Avalon XLS, Limited
I know there are other cars but the above were top of my list. I like to take my family when I test drive these cars so I can get their viewpoint on the cars. So far, collectively we can only agree on the 2005 Toyota Avalon with a few exceptions. Top things considered were price, quietness, room, ride.
2006 S350 was nice but expensive and too heavy for the engine.
2005 E500 was powerful but wind and road noise was louder than I cared for. Kids liked the temperature controls and roller blinds.
2006 325i impressed me very much. Ride was excellent. Just too small for family.
2006 530i,xi new engine does not seem much more powerful than the old, nice but too noisy. Kids liked rear seat and air conditioning controls.
2005 Acura TL none of my family liked it, too noisy and bumpy and not enough rear seat room
2004 Lexus GS300 Nice and quiet but just didn't do it for me
2005 Avalon XLS, Limited Family liked it very well, kids loved the rear seat. Lots of luxury type options. Safer. I liked the ride and it was quiet except for some minor wind noise around mirrors and some minor road roar. Not sure if it is noisier than my 2000 Avalon because the noises are different, probably due to design changes. However, the ride was slightly more firm than my 2000 Avalon, I am not sure if I like the firmer ride. The interior looked both lush yet cheap. A nice combination of leather and wood but the steering wheel controls and dash pieces were slightly misaligned - unlike my Avalon. Steering wheel control pieces SHOULD HAVE a more quality look because it jumped right out at me quickly and may have tainted my overall impression.
I was surprised when my family said they liked our 2000 Avalon better than most of the cars we drove. I now have more appreciation for my 2000 Avalon.
#3077 of 3629 Re: 2000 Avalon compares well with new [bobez]
Jun 25, 2005 (9:03 am)
Your experience is similar to mine. I too own a 2000 XLS in mint condition with 43K miles. It is smooth, quiet and refined. I looked at the new 2005 Avalon XLS and Limited but there was no emotional connection.
Since I am in no rush to buy right now, I am waiting to see what the Hyundai Azera looks like. By all accounts it appears to meet my needs better. It is reported to be more quiet than the Avalon, has a more plush (look and feel) interior and the exterior styling is more pleasing to the eye. Also, it is a full size mid-luxury sedan that competes favorably with the Audi A6 and th Infiniti M35/45 two cars I am also interested in.
#3078 of 3629 Update on my "New" (to me) 2000 XLS
Jun 27, 2005 (3:40 pm)
Just wanted to update since I've had my 2000 XLS now for about 2 months. So far, I LOVE it. I have the bench seat, and my kids like that too. I have found that the gas mileage is almost totally dependant on the way I drive. I have tried 87, 89 and 91 octane fuel, without noticable difference, however, if I drive "like an old man" I get decent mileage, but if I really lay into it, it's in the high teens/low 20's around town. I can avg close to 31 or so on the hghwy. So far the only complaints are:
1) Can't de-program the auto door lock feature no matter how many different ways I try (see previous posts).
2) Hazards don't work, and I haven't had time to troubleshoot
3) Have some tires that when I drive on grooved pavement like the interstate cause the car to shake around a lot. Anyone else had this happen? and is there anything short of new tires that would help it? They still have 80% tread, so I hate to trash them early.
Rob in AZ
#3079 of 3629 Re: More Problems with VSC lights
Jul 04, 2005 (5:53 am)
While we were travelling on a short trip yesterday, the VSC, VSC off and Engine Check lights all came on in my wife's 2000 Avalon XLS. This was after Toyota covered replacement of a steering angle sensor under our Platinum warranty when the VSC lights lit up 30 days ago.
55,000 Miles and the car is getting flakey and even worse, the bozos at the dealership can't fix it right the first time.
Some kind of quality.
#3080 of 3629 Improving ride of 2000 XLS
Jul 07, 2005 (2:04 pm)
I just read many messages on Avalon suspension weaknesses. I own a 2000 XLS with 38 000 miles, made in december 1999. I just changed the four struts and struts mounts for Toyota factory struts and mounts at my Toyota dealer and paid the big price.
I am completely dissatisfied with the result. The ride is bouncy on bumps and dips, as is the shocks were not working properly. The chief mechanic of my Toyota dealer says the shocks are working as expected. Compared to my other 96 Avalon, the ride of the 2000 Avalon is not as smooth, thought it is quieter.
Many members of this forum seems to have experienced better ride with KYB (I though this was OEM) or Tokico shocks. I am afraid they may firm the ride too much. I am 60, and I prefer a soft ride.
Nobody mentioned that Toyota made a change in april 2000, switching from 374,5 mm front coil springs to 378,5 mm. Will installing these longer springs improve the ride? Does anybody know why Toyota made that change?
Do I have to change the newly installed factory struts to really improve the ride? Is there a way to convince my dealer to take back those struts if so?
Any help will be appreciated!
Jul 08, 2005 (4:23 am)
Can't offer any wisdom on working with the dealer on the work already done, but I made the change to Tokicos and have been completely happy. The ride did stiffen some, but so did the handling and I can now have passengers in the back seat without fear of ripping the gas tank off driving into parking lots. (You know what I mean). Good luck
#3082 of 3629 Re: Improving ride of 2000 XLS [par_pa]
Jul 08, 2005 (6:27 am)
After the fact is hard to do. Tokico's or KYB's struts are premium to the OEM struts. You thought incorrectly if you thought the KYB's GR2 struts are OEM. They put in the same struts as the Camry/Solara. Look at the similar parts numbers.
You can improve the ride some, but not as much as with the struts. Change the tires to a sportier tire without changes in the diamter (Falken Ziex) and you can change the sway bar bushings to PU type (Energy Suspension). That is about all you can do.
#3083 of 3629 Re: struts [sanandton]
Jul 08, 2005 (6:36 am)
Thank you sanandton, I have read all your posts.
What do you mean by stiffen some? The new struts of my XLS 2000 seem to kick up the front end at large dips, instead of absorbing the shock. So the body has too large a motion, that independent suspension mechanics also found strange and disturbing. Have the Tokicos you installed suppressed that wallowing and excessive body motion?
I think you also have a 2000. Was it made after april 2000, with the longer front coil springs, that I suspect are softer than the shorter ones?
I am considering replacing at least the front struts with KYB or Tokico (not well know in Canada), and also replacing the front coil springs. I live in Quebec, where the roads are kind of bumpier than the ones in US. If successful in suppressing the kicking, I will then replace the rear struts.
Jul 08, 2005 (10:16 am)
I have noticed that I can feel minor road imperfections slightly more significantly since the Tokicos were put on the car. The noise did not change. Our Avy had 46k miles on it when we bought it. It would pitch and roll like an old Cadillac with bad shocks when we bought it. When we would traverse speed humps(not bumps) the front would bottom at least once, and the back at least once, possibly twice. Since the Tokicos this has all stopped. The handling is much more resposnsive, and the car does not lean around curves as it used to. I think it is a much better ride, and worth the money spent.
On the other hand, the Avy is my Wife's driver. I drive a Tahoe Z-71 with off road suspension. It is very stiff, but makes the handling much more controllable, so I appreciate the Tokicos a little more possibly.
#3085 of 3629 2003 Avalon XLS/2005 Avalon Limited
Jul 11, 2005 (2:17 pm)
I had some spare time today and took a 2000 Avalon Limited for a drive. I currently own a 2003 XLS with all options except Navigation - 38,000 miles.
Other than the tremendous increase in power I did not find the 05 Lmited to be impressive. No body side moldings for protection in parking lots. Door lock controls still not luminated, minor but bothers me. Brand new vehicle also had a minor vibration which I could feel in the seat - probably tire balance problem.
Sticker price was $35,751. Dealer wanted my car and $15,751. in "real" dollars I figure they were offering me, at the most, about $17,000 for my 03 Avalon.
I'll spend the bucks & change the struts. I live in the Boston No Shore area and can not locate Tokico Struts - can find the KYB's with no problem. Does anyone know if there is much difference with the Tockci & KYB Struts? Thanks