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#8432 of 14955 Review of 2006 Avalon Limited after 500 miles
Sep 02, 2005 (7:04 am)
Review of Avalon Limited after 500 miles and 2 weeks. The car had 8 miles on it when received.
I purchased an Avalon Limited Phantom Grey about 2 weeks ago and have put 500 miles on it. It included the NAV system, VSC, Laser Cruise as well as XM radio
I traded in a 2002 Avalon XLS
Prior to owning the 2002 I owned a 1998 Buick Lesabre limited and many Buicks prior to that.
Let me say that prior to buying I read this forum for weeks and months ahead of time. I took a list of items with me to check prior to the purchase. The items included those that people have listed on this forum. They included:
1. door rattles,
2a. window rattles
2b Passenger seat rattles
3. distortion in rear window
4. steering pull to the right
5. brake fade
6. seat comfort
7. engine hesitation
8. XM Radio installation and operation
9. Fog light looseness
10 Door locks
13 Wind noise
15. Rear window shade operation
16. Rain sensor operation
17. Fit and finish
18. Nav system
19. Laser Cruise
The 2002 Avalon compared very favorably to the Buicks and had very comfortable seats, with road noise about the same. No trouble with the 2002 Avalon in about 4 years. The Buicks had more problems. Now with that said, lets talk about the new 2006 Avalon.
The car was road tested for about 1 1/2 hours on highway and side road conditions and included a bumpy road and a to the floor test at a highway entrance, before I accepted it. All of the items listed above as well as others of less importance were checked. I was the only passenger
The car has plenty of room everywhere for my 5'10 size. The back seats are great. The trunk is a little smaller but not by much and is quite adequate.
The new start/stop system worked flawlessly and I like it
1, 2a and 2b. None of the doors,or windows or seats had any rattles when the windows were fully or partially opened. These were tested on each type of road.
The passenger seat never had any rattles at any speed or road type .
-------------------------------------------------- In fact nothing rattled anywhere in the car.
3. There does appear to be a very small amount of distortion near the top of the window but I would probably would have not noticed it if I had not read about it on the forum.----------------------------------- Not considered a deal breaker fault
4. There was no steering pull noticed at any time and I would have noticed it as the 2002 had it and it took several months for the tires to wear on it to stop it. A dealer alignment did not help on the 2002.
5. I did not notice any brake fade when stopping hard several times. The brake pedal is located closer to the floor than that on the 2002 or the Buicks but does not appear to give any problem. The brakes seems to stop well.
6.Seat comfort-- This was where I saw the biggest problem. The front seats are no where near as comfortable as the 2002 Avalon leather seats.
Actually 1 1/2 hours testing was not enough to find out that the driver seat does not support your seat and back any where near as well as the 2002. I even called Toyota about that.
I am about 220 pounds it feels like I am sitting on a board after a while. Now, yes, I'm a little heavy, but I bet there are a lot more people in this range. There is not enough cushion-period. I never had any problem with the 2002 even for long trips. This car will not be as nice to drive for long trips without additional cushioning. There is nothing wrong with the seat and I tried a multitude of positions and lumbar support positions. ------------------------Must have been a cost-cutter item.
7. Engine hesitation- I did not notice any real hesitation. It is a little different than the 2002 or the Buicks but seems to be in the way you hit the gas pedal. When I accelerate slowly there is a difference but I can't say it is a real hesitation, it more like I have to push with less force on the pedal than I'm used to. Its really not a problem. When I used a hard accelerate, it responded quickly and sure does have more pull than the 2002. ------------------------------Again, no problem
8. XM radio-- The car came with XM radio install by the "factory" or Southeast distributors". The antenna is about 1 1/2 sq, in., black and mounted on the passenger side of the trunk 1/2 way toward the bumper. The radio plays well and displays the station, artist, and song name on the information screen.
I found the radio to be located in the trunk on the right side wall and there is enough excess wire to relocated the antenna to the center of the trunk near the rear window, which looks a lot better. I have not noticed any reduction in signal quality to date. I had Best Buy radio installers do the moving. Took about half hour and cost me $16. The info display will allow you to see up to 18 preset stations as bunles of 6 at each push of the mode button on the steering wheel.
The antenna is magnetic with tape used in addition. did not use tape in the new location and have been threw the car wash with no trouble. Used the mag. mount for around 4 years on previous cars with no trouble. They are very strong magnets
9. Fog Lights --- I found them to very slightly loose but not enough to tighten them anymore as it may cause stress and may break the lights. I believe they were meant to be that way.
10. Door locks-------- I found no problems with either the doors opening/closing or any of the locks operation that was mentioned in this forum. I have experienced the horn honks when opening or locking the doors that some have reported. The car only beeps
11. Tire Pressure--- The tires did come with 40 lbs pressure in them for some inexplicable reason. I reduced it to 32lbs when cold.
12. Road noise-- This is another area that I'm not as pleased with. The road noise/tire noise from the Michelin tires is too much. Although it is about the same or a little more than the 2002 with the Michelin tires. There is no additional undercoating (Toyoguard) on this car.
I would think they could do better. These tires are harder (higher tread wear than the 2002) and will probably last a little longer but that makes them noisier and they don't take the bumps as well. Bring back the Buick for this one.
13. Wind noise--- The wind noise is not objectionable and is similar to the 2002 but quieter than the Buicks at speeds up to 85.
14. Overall ride --- The overall ride is somewhat harsher than the 2002 Avalon or the Buicks. It feels more like a mild sports car ride than the softer ride I'm used to.
However, its not bad and I will get used to it. It seems more sure footed when going around corners (handling) than the 2002 but only somewhat.
15.Rear window shade--- Works well and automatically goes down when you put the car into reverse (nice touch). I have not had any of the problems people listed on this site.
#8433 of 14955 Review of 2006 Avalon Limited continued
Sep 02, 2005 (7:11 am)
16.Rain sensing wipers--have worked flawlessly on 2 occasions . They turned on and off at what I thought was the right time.
17. NAV system -- I used a dash mounted Garmin unit before that had the entire U.S. in it. That was nice. Go from one coast to the other by address without having to change regions that you have to do in the Toyota unit.
The joy stick is easy to get used to but the startup screen requirement every time you start the car is a pain. Also, not being able to change the map without stopping is also a pain. The voice system appears to work most of the time but the number of commands to learn and are not available on-screen is also almost insurmountable.
The unit is not as sensitive to streets that are close together and sometimes thinks you are on a different street.
However, it may have a steep leaning curve but if you like this sort of thing , crack open the book and practice with it.
Other items-- The little doors over the radio and NAV system controls are perfectly aligned and I have had no trouble with them.
The cars fit and finish is excellent inside and out. Seams do line up at the dash and door as well as elsewhere. Tail pipes are aligned.
In conclusion, I like the car overall and would probably buy it again but the seats would be the biggest reason not to
The car is the result of a great improvement in design and I have received several compliments.
#8434 of 14955 Re: Review of 2006 Avalon Limited continued [algee]
Sep 02, 2005 (8:00 am)
From a potential buyer of a 2006 Avalon, ThankS for the honest opinions of what you like (or don't like) about the car.
#8435 of 14955 Re: Limited chromed wheels [rosebud3]
Sep 02, 2005 (8:49 am)
See my post #'s 6231 and 6593
#8436 of 14955 Motorola BLNC 1000 Bluetooth Kit
Sep 02, 2005 (8:58 am)
Has anyone beside Bakeroid had a Motorola Bluetooth Kit installed in your 2005/2006 Avalon? If so, where was the chrome keypad placed ? Do the sound come thru your stereo speakers? If the radio is playing and a phone call come thru, does it mute the radio, so your conversation can be heard? Who did the installation and for how much?
I'm choosing between an Acura MDX and the Avalon, but the Avalon does not come with Bluetooth and the MDX does.
Thanks in advance, for those who are able to answer. Thanks.
#8437 of 14955 XM antenna relocation
Sep 02, 2005 (9:04 am)
XM radio antenna relocation seems practical. No one has said the paint becomes scratched or chipped when the antenna is moved. I've considered locating the antenna outside, on the trunk, in front of the ' 3rd' brake light or above the rear window if the rubber seal surrounding the glass is not compromised and prone to future leaks. Any comments or ideas are appreciated.
Now for the good news...tonight I will ride in my '06 Avalon Ltd. for the first time. With my foot in a cast until 9/6/05 my wife has been breaking in the car for me. Working from home recently I have walked outside each morning on crutches and waved good-bye to the car...I mean, 'wife' as she leaves for work. It's difficult not to pout.
So far, my impression of the car remains favorable. Fit and finish is very good and there are no obvious problems. I have actually read the owners manual. It is interesting what is said about keeping the 'smart key' away from electronic devices such as cell phone. The suggestion was to maintain some distance between the 'smart key' and a cell phone for example. Lucky me, I won't toss my 'smart key' and cell phone into a purse. I may consider placing the 'smart key' in one pants pocket and my cell phone on my 'far' hip.
#8438 of 14955 Re: Options... [phantomgray06]
Sep 02, 2005 (9:34 am)
I'd like to think I did my research also. I brought my car over the internet. I had dealerships calling me with prices and I turned them down. I went to other dealerships and liked Molle better all around. They gave me the best price by far! I and you know, your friend may be an exception, but women are known to get a worst deal then men. I still think I did ok. I even got a lower interest rate because I was preapproved through my credit union and Molle beat their rate. I know everyone is not going to get the same deal as someone in the business. I have no regrets, but it just makes me ill that people have to play games according to who you are. Of course, the internet sales manager kept saying 'We are giving this car away'. I said "If you are giving this car away, I wouldn't have to make payments". I didn't buy the door side moldings from Molle because they said they didn't have them and if they get them, they would cost me $399. At first it wasn't a big deal. Only a desired look. Nothing to do with performance. My first priority was a better, more powerful car than what I was currently driving ('96 LHS). I've had the car since June 29th and EVERY day I like it more than the previous day. I haven't had ANY of the problems stated in this post. That in itself makes what I paid for it worth it! If at this point, I feel like I have been taken, I now realize the deal was made and I have what I have. I got this car for appx $2,000-$3,000 less than the other dealers were quoting me. I still had them knock off another $500 and fax me the quote so when I arrived at the dealership to sign the papers, they wouldn't change the price. I am satisfied. I was stating the fact that as a rule, females do not get the respect and deals that males get. Buyers deal with negotiations about every 2-4 years, whereas dealers and people like yourself deal with this more often and know more of the ends and outs of the games dealers play. My initial statement to you was 'I was disappointed that they quoted me double the price for the side moldings than they did you because of your knowledge of the sales business'. All the way to the end of my ownership of this car, I know I will be happy. A couple of hundred dollars difference on accessories here or there will not change the way I feel about this car! No hard feelings, just stating the facts and happily driving my Avy
#8439 of 14955 XL vs XLS vs Limited front seats
Sep 02, 2005 (9:40 am)
Is there a difference in comfort?
#8440 of 14955 Re: XL vs XLS vs Limited front seats [307web]
Sep 02, 2005 (10:24 am)
From what I have read, as well as some personal experience, the Limited seats have less cushioning since they have to accomodate the cooling fans. Personally, I don't find it to be an issue (5' 8", 130 lbs., in case anyone is wondering). I do have to say that my 2001 Avalon XLS with leather seats was more comfortable, regardless of the position I sit in.
#8441 of 14955 Avalon XL Interior Photos?
Sep 02, 2005 (12:32 pm)
Are there any anywhere showing the cloth interior clearly?
I can't find any and even the Toyota web site has none.