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Toyota Avalon, Sedan
#4806 of 14965 Opinions on 05/06 Toyota Avalon vs. any Lexus RX330
Apr 23, 2005 (3:34 pm)
Congrats to all 2005 Avalon owners. I've ready nearly every single message posted on this thread over last few weeks. I'm STRONGLY considering ordering a new Avalon (Blizzard Pearl Limited w/Graphite & Dark Wood, all options except possibly remote start) by end of year. Currently, I own a 2002 Nissan Maxima SE w/all options (including Navigation) and am wanting a new, modern vehicle with smoother engine & ride quality.
I briefly drove a Phantom Grey Limited w/all options, and must say I was VERY impressed with smooth/quite ride & roominess in rear seat. Didn't like the fact that remote start didn't allow me to walk up to car and drive away (w/secure fob in pocket). Shuts off the second the door is opened. Don't want unnecessary wear & tear on my future baby by stopping & starting it back-to-back on a daily basis.
In any case, I have significant non-owner experience (if that makes any sense) driving a 2004 Lexus RX 330, and have been really impressed. Doing all research, I've found numerous positive reviews and a tremendous history of holding high percentage of value. Doing same value comparisons, I just don't see as much value holding (overall) on the Avalons. Now, granted, the past Avalons haven't been as technologically advanced - but we're talking both Lexus (name), SUV (type), & AWD (convenience) vs. Toyota, Sedan, & FWD. I just don't know how a $36,000 (or so before taxes & such) Avalon will fair 5 years down road... Maybe worth $12-15K??? All in all, my wife wants Avalon, I love Avalon's technology & quality (all the way down to my favorite MXV4 tires), and the price is $5K cheaper than similarly equipped AWD Lexus. But, I don't want to be kicking myself a year from now knowing that I was 5K away from an SUV w/Lexus badge.
By chance, are there any other forum members that are considering these two vehicles - or better yet, have made their decision &/or purchase? Are any of you waiting till the 06 Avalon comes out so teething pains (however minimal they are) can be worked out.
#4807 of 14965 Re: Opinions on 05/06 Toyota Avalon vs. any Lexus RX330 [cmptrguy74]
Apr 23, 2005 (5:57 pm)
I have some limited experience driving my friend's RX 330 with luxury and sport package.
I think you are getting hung up on crunching numbers too much.
Do you need AWD? Do you and your wife just want to be seated higher up and have the Lexus badge?
I don't see much of a comparison on the two vehicles. If you need/want a full size car then the Avalon is a great choice. If you want a mid sized Luxury SUV then the 330 is a great choice.
You don't need to justify your purchases to anyone...except yourself.
There's no wrong choice as they are both good options.
My friend's 330 has just over 30k miles on it and not one single problem. The 05 Avalon is new this year as you pointed out.
The 330 retains it's value well and was in Consumer Reports as a Best Pick. If you have a good deal lined up and want it now...get it.
When the 06 Avalon comes out you can sell it if you want to get the Avalon.
Just a few random thoughts...
PS- Just read your post again. I thought you were going to get a used 330. You are stating you can get a loaded RX 330 for $40k out the door? Hmm. I guess so. Just did Edmunds TMV and with options I picked invoice came to $39,405.
You can take a look at residuals on the Avalon and have a fair idea of it's value.
#4808 of 14965 Re: First timer! [boatsman]
Apr 23, 2005 (6:15 pm)
I have played with the lumbar support moving it all the way both directions and so has my son. It is the seam that is the problem. I have had two avalons and the seats in both were much better. There just doesn't seem to be enough padding in the area above that seam. To me it feels kind of hollow. Like I said, I have gotten use to it - except on long trips. It is my son that has the complaint. He hopes to inherit it some day-ha, ha.
#4809 of 14965 Re: Parking Sensors [johni]
Apr 23, 2005 (6:50 pm)
I installed the Awell 4-sensor & beeper system this afternoon and it works perfectly. As you predicted, johni, the supplied connectors were problematic; one made good contact but the other didn't, so I removed it and made an old-fashioned wire-to-wire connection. I installed the beeper directly onto the metal underside of the rear shelf, half way between the center speaker and the left-center speaker (JPL sound system), near a 1" square hole through which I could see the underside of the rear shelf. This location allows the sound to carry well into the cabin.
Thanks again for the useful leads, johni. Your earlier posts convinced me to buy the same Awell system from this internet supplier. Total cost: US$ 99.95 plus Can $58.47 for shipping, taxes and broker fees, or about Can $185.00 The Toyota dealer would have charged me Can$ 699 + tax = Can$ 800 to install a (nearly identical) Sienna parking sensor system.
#4810 of 14965 Re: Avalon Remote Start System [dan41]
Apr 23, 2005 (7:12 pm)
I spoke to Toyota and the dealer service people about the remote start which has a short range of 50 -70 ft. I have an aftermarket brand on my 04 Highlander (doesn't void the warranty) that has much greater range. I need about 130 ft to start the car outside the office here in the Michigan winters. The Toyota remote just won't do it. Plus, the remote system shuts the car off when you press the unlock button to enter the car. Does yours do that too? Competitve brands don't force you to restart the car after unlocking the doors.. My major concern is the limited range of operation provided by Toyota which makes it useless in my case. I am disappointed that Toyota didn't provide a better system for such a great car as the Avalon.
Apr 23, 2005 (8:14 pm)
"William: A V rating is a tire industry standard, not a Toyota standard. V rated tires are rated 149 mph. H rated tires are rated 130 mph."
I hate to stand corrected, so I'll just lean back here and take it! I was expecting auto tires are rated the way aircraft tires are--but as I said, I knew up front I'd be better off not contradicting you, Groza. Thanks for the correction.
But the big news is that today I took delivery of my indigo ink pearl Limited. Wow! It is the first Limited I've seen, since my dealer can't meet the demand as it is (I ordered it on February 28th and it was expected the middle of May). I am up to 32 miles now (it had 6 when I got it). The navigation system is super accurate and even chose my favorite route of many options in one case. And that laser cruise control is SUPER. It's the main reason I leaned toward the Limited, but all the other features....Oh, the cool seats when on blower turned out to be much more essential than I realized. How did I live without it?
I went out in the garage tonight to see the puddle lights. They're neat alright, but I didn't realize I have an alarm system. When I reached in through the open driver's window to unlock the door manually all hell broke loose. I probably woke up the neighbors==it was flashing and beeping while I dashed for the kitchen to get my little key fob, then ran back and punched buttons until it stopped. Yikes!
I also didn't think I needed that adjustable under-knee support, but now I do! I find it definitely helps me make the seat extra comfortable. I also love the dimming mirrors and the turning signals in the side mirrors--very neat. The automatic headlights work fine, but I haven't tried the automatic windshield wipers yet. (I nearly chased a thunderstorm for that purpose today, but I was too busy reading the manuals.)
XM radio is activated now, but I've not tried it yet. I'm not fond of the chintzy dealer antenna installation, since the wire will depress the trunk sealing, but lack of symmetry doesn't bother me at all. On their website XM says if the installer put it inside the car you should make them move it outside at no charge--they say it -will- experience reception drop-outs. I know some on this formum claim perfect reception even with it inside.
BTW, that graphite and dark wood interior is perfect with the indigo ink.
And speaking of tires, I was delighted to find the Limited came with Michelin XM4s, my favorite tires. I had just put a set on my '02 Avalon, which I am giving to my very deserving son. Apparently they put Firestones on all other Avalons...but don't quote me on that.
#4812 of 14965 Re: Opinions on 05/06 Toyota Avalon vs. any Lexus RX330 [alphawolf]
Apr 23, 2005 (9:08 pm)
Thanks for follow-up...
You're absolutely correct - we (especially me) love being higher off the road - just like the feel of it - and would have use for the rear fold-down cargo area... While I have an 02 Maxima, my wife has an 04 Sienna - we're both in love with the Sienna! So while that car stays, the Maxima goes (soon). Since we have a new addition (10 1/2 months now) to the family, van is a must - but we'd prefer not to drive it 100% of the time. We'd split it more evenly with the Lexus, but probably more of a 25-75 split for the Avalon.
The 04 Lexus RX330 I've drove extensively is my parents... We live nearly two thousand miles away from them, so every time we visit (normally every major holiday and sometimes for 2-3 weeks at a time), we're allocated the Lexus to drive
We're only considering brand new (preferably ordered w/out even test drive miles)... That's how we received both current vehicles - and we'd strongly prefer continuing this way. I've verbally negotiated about $500 over invoice on the Lexus... At present, invoice is looking like nearly $39,700 (Performance Plus Pkg, Navigation, 18", 6-disc, Rain Sensing Wipers + Heated Seats, ...). So $500 over is just over $40k... The Blizzard Pearl Avalon Limited w/all options + spoiler, but excluding remote start & XM, is $33,700. Problem is I'm having a rather difficult time getting a better price than $1,500 over invoice - as apose to the easy $500 over invoice for the Lexus. After math, this comes to a $5K difference on the nose! BUT, if we could somehow negotiate an Avalon price $1,000 over invoice, and combine this with tax/title/license differences, we're actually talking about a $6,000 difference between the two! Ouch, now, you're cutt'n a little deep into pockets.
We'd only consider the AWD Lexus - value in, value out... The future used value retains most of the AWD vs. FWD cost difference - so pretty much a no brainer for us in this regard.
Ride quality & up-front $$$ savings differences may pay off though... The 04 Lexus I've drove has 17" rims (apparently popular in mid-west, but very rare out here - most are 18"). I know we'd get the 18" - so a bit worse ride Quality I'm sure. Hmm... Decisions, decisions...
Regarding your buy & sell 1 year later option - ouch... California (to my knowledge) doesn't take advantage of trade-in tax savings like other states... Hence, the $3,500 tax cost on the 1st vehicle would be a complete waste - with another $3,500 to pay for the 2nd vehicle - no special tax-on-difference breaks out here! This would be a killer in taxes alone - let alone the amount of $$$ car drops the second it's drove off lot! Nope - once we get this new baby, we're keeping it for a minimum of 3 yrs - with 5 years being target.
To be honest, Lexus badge appears to be a little worth it - regarding future value... I'm not hung up on Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus brands too much, but love seeing their apparent used-car worth & respect years after birth
I appreciate the comments.
#4813 of 14965 '06 changes???
Apr 23, 2005 (10:16 pm)
This is my first post here, and I still haven't made up my mind on which car I will buy. I'm stuck between the Limited, the Acura TL, and the Nissan Maxima. I drive an '03 TL now, and love it. I know there is a big difference between the Avalon and the other 2 cars, but I'm still up in the air. I realize that the Avalon is a brand new car as far as design, equipt., etc., but has anyone heard of changes to be made on the '06 Avalon? I would really like to see power pedals, a power tilt and scope wheel, cornering lights, and for the interior controls for the mirrors, windows, and steering wheel controls to have a brighter light. I've test driven the Avalon XLS a few times, only because they had no Limiteds, and the Limited a bunch of times. What an amazing car. Any info would be welcomed......thanks
#4814 of 14965 Re: Avalon Remote Start System [ejmann]
Apr 24, 2005 (5:03 am)
I have the factory remote start on my XLS. It has worked fine for me. I can start my car when it is in the garage and I can start it from my third floor office where my car is parked (I'm guessing) around 150 ft. away. I wasn't really sure it would work from that far away, but I have used it three times and it has worked fine.
I don't understand why the car shuts off when you unlock the doors but it doesn't bother me too much.