Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 1:02 PM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Sedan
#4383 of 14965 Re: Hi deanie.. [just me]
Apr 12, 2005 (7:07 pm)
Hi Just Me and Others:
I bought last Friday. I feel like I just joined AA (Avalons Anonymous). Wife and I decided we couldn't wait. The thought of getting into an accident in our 1996 Maxima SE (lacking in today's modern safety features) outweighed all other considerations.
So let me formally introduce myself. I'm 36, married, have a wife, 3yr old, and a 4 week old and live in Maryland. The Avalon is our second car, which had to have genuine seating for three across (wife and two kid seats). The only other cars I considered were Maxima SE, Infinity G35, and Acura TL, but all were too narrow to realistically fit three across.
I dislike minivans and suvs for their overall bad handling, braking, and gas guzzling shortcomings and general lack of economy, though I almost bought a Nissan Murano (more a wagon than suv), which has a .9" wider back seat than Avalon, but guzzles gas, has dismal rear visibility, and doesn't brake as well as Avalon, but does have very good handling. I'm probably one of the only people to have ever cross-shopped Avalon and Murano. Will Toyota build an Avalon Wagon???
Cars from the American makers don't cut it in terms of quality and reliability, so I could think of no other car to buy - not that the Avalon was bought by default. It is an astoundingly high quality and feature-filled car for the price - none better. I finally figured out why Avalons don't have real wood or aluminum trim options - if they did, then Avalons would kill Lexus ES and GS sales.
Now to my Avalon. My XLS Phantom Gray Pearl w/gray interior and dark fake wood has become the envy of the neighborhood. While at an intersection, a guy in the new Mercedes suv did a quadruple take at my car, and I could swear either his head was going to twist off or he was going to crash into oncoming traffic. I'm now a hero of the over-50 set who have embraced all previous Avalons, 6 to 7 of which are strewn along a 1/3 mile stretch of my street.
I haven't had the opportunity to take it on the highway yet, but am getting 19.5 to 20.5 MPG locally in town under 50 mph if the tripmeter is at all accurate. The ride is smooth and extremely comfortable, but is just a little too soft for my tastes - just a little. I plan to replace the shocks and springs with those of the Touring model a few years down the road.
One complaint, a tiny squeak coming from the driver's side of the dash near where the dash and windshield meet. I only heard it once, but then again I've only driven the car twice. It's minor, but my expectations for this car were high. It's only gonna get worse as time goes by (shoulda waited for an '06?), but it's admittedly nitpicking/splitting hairs. The JBL stereo is the best I've owned. A pleasant surprise, the constant display of mpg encourages me to drive more economically, much as it does for Prius drivers.
I truly did want to wait for the 06, but the idea of having a safer car now got the better of me. That I got my car for the relatively low price I paid means that I would not have saved any $ on the purchase price by waiting for an '06. I never trade in a car, but rather drive them into the ground before donating, so resale value is unimportant to me, but nice to know the Avalon's is high.
I can't wait to make a road trip.
#4384 of 14965 Re: Check your tire pressure! [jordan7]
Apr 12, 2005 (7:15 pm)
The purchase price of my XlS was $30,557 before tax, tags, fees and 2yr registration. Did you get a Limited for just over $30,000??!? Wow! And kudos if you did. Awesome job!
#4386 of 14965 WIND DEFLECTOR
Apr 12, 2005 (7:55 pm)
STILL INTERESTED IN ANY COMMENTS OR IDEAS RE THE SUNROOF/WIND DEFLECTOR AND , WHILE YOU ARE AT IT, COMMENTS ON ADDING A SPOILER TO THE XLS.
#4387 of 14965 Re: WIND DEFLECTOR [mmg1]
Apr 12, 2005 (8:08 pm)
It appears that you and I may be the only ones connected at this time...! So I'll try to help you. There have been some earlier entries on the wind deflector, and a lot more on pros & cons of adding a spoiler. You can quickly see all those earlier posts by entering the key words in the SEARCH box, at bottom right of the page.
And now, what do YOU think of adding a red stripe?
#4388 of 14965 A New Owner's Opinion
Apr 12, 2005 (8:23 pm)
I'm about to write a short story here so anyone here with A.D.D., move on.
The E-Mail came late in the evening and it said that they've found my Avalon!!! A Phantom Gray Pearl 2005 Toyota Avalon Touring model. No matter the options, this is the color and the model that I have been wanting and now it's mine!! I picked it up the next day.
In order to capture your attention, I'll begin with my dislikes. I have a few concerns but haven't had much time to do anything about them. When I test drove my car, I had mentioned to my dealer rep that I thought it pulled a little to the right but put that aside due to it being a windy day and only taking the expressway east and on the return western trip we were in traffic so I couldn't tell. Well, it drifts to the right. I would like to have the alignment checked. (both front tires look a little low on pressure so maybe that's it)
There is a dent in the back passenger side door that needs to be taken care of and although I had to find it myself before all the papers were signed, my dealership is going to take care of it for me.
I too did not get a full owner's manual. It was a dealer trade so who knows where it is. My dealer rep personally drove out to get my car for me before I had even put down a deposit. That's a service and a show of commitment that I think is hard to find. Go CHECKERED FLAG TOYOTA
There’s a crease in the leather on the front passenger seat that one of my clients commented on that I’m not too happy about.
I too had holes drilled into my front bumper. I will have NC tags and bought the car in VA where it's illegal not to have front plates. Oh well.
IMPORTANT QUESTION HERE: One other concern I have may be due to my ignorance of driving a large and heavy automatic. It seems a little odd to me when I come to a stop light. It feels like the front brakes are battling the accelerator while braking. The whole front end seems to drop under the pressure. Is that normal for a big automatic?
Now for my likes.....
• I'm surprised to find that I'm much happier with the stereo than I thought I would be. I do however wish there was a "mute" button on the steering wheel for when the phone rings and you have to answer quickly.
• I’ve tried my best to be good in the break in period. I had to drive back out to Newport News to present offers to my sellers. (real estate for those of you who don't know) On the way home (1.25 hr drive) I stopped midway to give the engine a rest. I’m not sure how often and how drastic I’m supposed to vary my speeds but I’m doing the best I can while staying productive. I’ve babied the gas peddle and have only brought it up to 70. I start off the line really slowly and probably take 20 sec. to get up to 60 There was that one time however that the need for a boost was necessary and damn did it feel good. (I’m at a little over 600 miles in 3 days and yes, I will be changing my oil at 1,000 miles)
• I find myself walking out to my car and staring at it. It’s gorgeous! I love how the rims on the Touring match the Phantom Gray Pearl!! They were meant to be together!
• My portable XM Radio needs no extra installation. I have a Delphi and it’s great. I take it to my car, home and office. I put the antenna right up where the windshield meets the glass and have had no reception problems. I will be mounting the actual unit right to the tape player cover as that is all I will be using the tape player for. I’ve checked for clearance of both the shifter and the cup holder and it’s all fine.
Now for my random thoughts and such.
• The compartments on the two front doors are great! They slide out and work perfect for me to store my folder of papers as I’m showing houses. I do however think they look and feel like cheap plastic. In Toyota’s defense, cheap plastic probably weighs less and throughout might give my baby better gas mileage so I’m ok with it.
• The sliding center console also seems like it was designed just for me! I use it for my laptop and whenever I need to pull out my portfolio and take notes.
• There is one thing that stands out to me that I feel appeals to the younger crowd specifically. Have you noticed that the back door windows have that angled and cool look to them like … … yes… … … the 300. They look great and give the car some attitude. (and they roll all the way down!!! What a plus!)
• I’ve had so many looks and questions from strangers that it’s ridiculous. Someone actually followed me as I pulled into my garage to ask me about it. My 18 year old brother told me “it is a luxury car but it has a sporty look to it!” And of course that was followed by.."can I drive it??" that was a NO
• I personally love the rear spoiler. I don't like a chopped back end look and the spoiler lifts the back end look a little to make it look a little more squared off.
• I love the electronic sounding beep, opposed to the horn blowing sound, when I lock, unlock, or pop the trunk.
• My boss wants one. My friends want one. My family members want one. All I know is that it took me forever to find my baby and nobody can have it!
I've been averaging about 27 mpg with high test and a mix of about 75% highway. I'll post pics for you all soon.
#4389 of 14965 Re: A New Owner's Opinion [agent]
Apr 12, 2005 (9:05 pm)
It was worth waiting for the full story, you sure have made quite a few observations already. I enjoyed reading your random comments. Your kid brother is right on!
On your question about braking behavior, I find that the response is modest to light pedal pressure, but if you step on the pedal progressively harder, the braking response will be a lot stronger, it's just a matter of getting a feel for this. The good thing is that the brakes don't ever "grab" too early. If the engine keeps revving at first during braking, this may in fact be assistive. Does the front end dip during braking? Sure, all cars do this to some extent (conservation of angular momentum, Newton called it), but I haven't noticed the Avalon doing it excessively.
Nice that you can drive for work. Have fun with it!
#4391 of 14965 Re: A New Owner's Opinion [havalongavalon]
Apr 12, 2005 (9:23 pm)
Thanks Havalongavalon. I wish you had posted your e-mail address as I want as many replys as possible before the conversation breaks off into only one aspect. To answer your question... yes.. the front end drops like a sack of potatoes. Like I said, I'm used to a very small manual shift car so maybe it's normal but it sure does feel weird. It really feels like the gas is always applied and the brakes are fighting them. I'm not used to my body being forced forward (even as slightly as it is) like this when I go to slow down to a stop.
PS I woke up at 4am yesterday because I couldn't wait to drive to work!!!!!!!!
Apr 12, 2005 (9:36 pm)
Welcome to Avalon 2005! It's interesting how well we can all rationalize the need to buy one now, not later. You listed all the right reasons for NOT waiting for the mythical 2006 model. Best wishes!