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Toyota Avalon, Interior, Sedan
#929 of 3629 7 WEEKS AND 1700 MILES DRIVING AN AVALON XL
May 29, 2001 (8:33 am)
I have now had my 2001 Avalon XL for 7 weeks and 1700 miles. For those out there thinking of buying one, here is my 2 cents worth:
-The engine is very smooth and very quiet, which I like.
-What is not smooth is the exhaust. It is quiet enough, but there seems to be vibration when taking off on light throttle and when driving at a steady 30-35 in overdrive. On my old car (1998 Chevy Venture) the exhaust was completely silent and vibration-free. The Avalon is a very refined car, but this vibration is the fly in the ointment.
-Compared to General Motors transmissions, I find Toyotas to be rather primitive. While both are smooth shifting, Toyotas is only 4 speed, while GMs is actually 5 speed. My Avalon will sometimes go into overdrive at just 30 mph and grunt after that. GMs would never go into overdrive until at least 45, so there was no grunting. The good thing is that the Avalon can go up the hills on the Interstates without downshifting. Also, the Avalon seems reluctant to downshift when some more power is needed at mid-speeds. GMs downshifted more readily. I think Toyota needs to study GMs transmissions more closely.
-The engine idles fast in the morning. (1400 rpm. in Park) Not since my old cars without fuel injection have I had a car that idles this fast in the morning. I dont know if this is normal or not.
-My biggest problem is excessive road noise on coarse roads. It seems quiet on smooth roads but not on coarse roads. The car tracks good on calm days, but not on windy days. It blows around the road some, but it doesnt require as much steering correction as other vehicles I have driven. This car has wimpy tires. (General XP400--P205/65R15) I do not know if a better set of tires would help the noise problem or not. I am looking into the possibility of getting new tires. I have experienced some truck tires that do not seem to emit more noise on coarse roads than smooth roads.
-There is an occasional, slight kerplunk sound in the front left strut, but it is hardly bad enough to take it back to the dealer for strut replacement. Overall, the suspension is very tight and rattle-free.
-There is a lot of debate about what kind of gas to burn in an Avalon. I have been switching between regular and premium. There really isn't much difference. To tell the difference in acceleration, I think could only be done with a stopwatch. Presently, I've gone back to regular.
-I would say Toyota doesn't quite have their act together with the Avalon. But do I want to go back to General Motors? --No way! I test-drove a Buick LeSabre right after test-driving the Avalon. It didn't measure up at all to the Avalon.
May 29, 2001 (12:16 pm)
Mapper1, thanks for the informative comments. My 01 Avalon has only 600 miles on it and I do not notice the exhaust or strut noises you mention. Mine is as quiet as a tomb. You may want to have these areas checked. As for the transmission , I prefer an early shift into od. This adds to the smooth ride. I've found this car to be very responsive at any gear when you need more power. You are correct about noise on coarse roads, And yes, I too drove a LeSabre. Not only is the Avalon better quality, but it rides more like a Lexus than a Buick and will sustain much better re-sale value than a LesSabre
#931 of 3629 Suspension Problem with 2000+ Avalon
May 29, 2001 (9:40 pm)
I agree with ronell in post # 900. The 2000 Avalon's rear suspension does not isolate bumps as well as the '95-99 models. I test drove a 2000 XLS and 1999 XLS back to back in Oct. 1999. Over the same route, bumps were loud and jolting in the 2000 model relative to the 1999. The 2000 had 16" Michelin MXV4's. A rental 2001 XLS that I drove over 300 miles two weeks ago exhibited similar characteristics. This car also had 16" MXV4's, which I maintained at 32 lbs. I have also test driven a Solara SLE V6 and found the ride firm and well controlled, but not harsh over bumps like the 2000+ Avalon. Currently, I own a 1995 Camry LE 4, which I bought new. The car has been terrific in both ride comfort and reliability. The ride is even softer than the 1999 Avalon, which I felt had a nice balance between handling and ride comfort. I believe Toyota took a short-cut on the 2000+ Avalon. While the ride is very controlled at highway speeds, I believe they could have done a better job of isolating bumps. If Toyota corrects these problems, I will likely make the Avalon my next car. Perhaps a TSB will be issued similar to those pertaining to the previous generation Avalons' strut and wind noise problems.
#932 of 3629 price check
May 30, 2001 (2:36 am)
Taupe leather interior for the 2001 XL discontinued, but think it might be good with the desert sand (light gold) exterior. So, checked the southeast 5 states for one, no luck. Found one in Jackson, MS, and proceeded to strike a deal. 2001 XL, desert sand mica w/ taupe leather interior, electric seats, pwr moonroof, gold trim package, upgrade security, keyless entry, permavin glass etch ID, pinstripes, upgrade mat set, cargo net, night vision mirror upgrade, extra mile roadside assistance pkg, moonroof wind deflector, dealer paperwork...no tax, paying that in Florida. I think that's it...looking at $27,8. Opted not to go for the alloy wheels, get a bigger choice after-market for the $150 each they wanted. I'm thinking this is about $400 over the minimum I could possibly expect to pay, and about 3k less than msrp. Whaddya think? Flying from Tampa up to Jackson tomorrow to see if we like it....(fly for free)..let me know....thanks.....zman
#933 of 3629 My new 2001 XL
May 30, 2001 (8:22 am)
Hi There, I'm new here. I read all the posts here. They are very informative and helpful. I just bought my XL about two weeks ago. Every thing seems fine. But I noticed one thing, that is, when I stand right in front of or behind the car, It seems that the car is not level, or the driver's side is lower than the passenger's side. Although I am not small guy (240 lbs), I don't think just sitting on the driver's seat for 30 min per day for two weeks can cause this. Does anybody has notice the same thing? Or this is normal for the new car? Greatly appreciate your response!
#934 of 3629 Recall on 01 Avalon
May 30, 2001 (9:56 am)
There is a recall on the 01 Avalon built in 1/01 affecting only 45 units due to the front sub-frame assembly not being welded properly. This could explain mapper1's concern about front end strut noise and vibration in exhaust? Check the NHTSA web site for info on recall.
#935 of 3629 New options 2002?
May 31, 2001 (2:24 pm)
Does anyone have any info about what new options the Avalon might have for 2002 and when it will be released? TIA later, ldf
#936 of 3629 Question (hope) on 2002 Design
May 31, 2001 (5:49 pm)
Several of my friends and I agree that the most inexplicable thing about the current Avalon is its rearend design. Wouldn't be much to fix, just restyle the verticle portion of the trunk lid. Please someone tell me that is in the works for 2002 to "freshen up" its looks. Send the designer of the current rearend back to the Pontiac Aztek project where he/she must have come from.
#937 of 3629 Message from Edmunds.com's PR Director
Jun 01, 2001 (6:33 am)
Catherine Heins is looking for people to interview who have switched from American to Japanese cars in the past few years-- especially folks who wouldn't have given a Toyota or Honda the time of day in the 1970s.
She's a business reporter at the Yomiuri Shimbun, which is the biggest daily paper in Japan with a circulation of 14 million. They are writing a feature story about Japanese automakers' continuing success in expanding production in the U.S. and snatching market share from the Big Three even on their former home turf of light trucks.
If you fit this description and are willing to be interviewed, please call her directly at 212-582-5827 or e-mail her at catheinsyahoo.com. As always, you can contact me at jfallonedmunds.com if you have any questions.
#938 of 3629 Maintenance Cost
Jun 01, 2001 (11:05 am)
Could anyone please tell me roughly how much the annual maintenance costs for Avalon? I bought a prepaid maintenance program for $1000 which covers 55000 miles or 4 yrs. How do you think about it? Thanks.