Last post on Oct 01, 2013 at 8:18 PM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES 350
Sep 21, 2013 (5:09 am)
My wife and I have always driven Toyota Camrys (and one Accord) over our 30+ yrs of marriage. After the last child graduated from college, we wanted to 'move up'. I guess our timing was wrong. We took the test drive, and on the short test drive, it did ride good...more acceleration, etc. So we took the plunge. This ended up like 'the new girl in town' syndrome, great first date but ho-hum after that...actually disappointing with regrets. I have never had this type of buyers regret with a car before. The ride is great on the interstate, but not on side roads. Not much better than a 2003 Camry. I suppose I had projected all the past Toyota quality and Avalon comments on past models on this one. Why would they change it so much? I usually drive a car 6-10 years, and may need some therapy (kidding) to keep this one. I was at a restaurant yesterday and passed a ES350 on the way in. I am very envious if the dash, it looks so much more 'adult' and better laid out. I am tired of the capacitive switches..and I believe the layout compromises safety. When driving in a busy situation, I don't dare try to make much changes to the a/c, etc. For example, there used to be a simple button to turn off/on the a/c. Now you have to touch in one SPECIFIC place, then find the small icon on a busy screen..which by the way...is low on the console...so you must take your eyes off the road. You used to be able to glance/feel your way to the correct controls. Never touch anywhere on the capacitive area, unless you know exactly what you want to touch. You can make multiple changes simultaneously without realizing it. Several times I suddenly had hot air blowing in my face when trying to turn up the radio. I really want a car that rides well..has Toyota abandoned this attribute altogether? I'm 55, very well coordinated, etc., so I can relearn how to approach this crazy thing. Disappointed in Toyota and myself. I've read the Toyota book on quality, "The Toyota Way", and wonder how this came from that organization. Sorry to hear this is advertised as an all-American design.
#259 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [redfishfl]
Sep 21, 2013 (7:52 am)
The more I read about later models, the more inclined I am to keep our 03 Avalon. I updated the suspension on it (04 and earlier Avalon forum) and it's more fun to drive than our 08 BMW 528i. Both are great cars, but totally different breeds of cats. The Bimmer is much heavier feeling - more solid and refined - also newer, but I constantly worry about when something will cost me big time. I also do not like the newer BMW models (11 and newer). We also prefer the interior function of the Avalon. More storage etc, and of course room. No center hump. Larger back seat space. Not sure what I would buy today, but was sure impressed by the way the Cadillac ATS drove. They really got that right. Too small for travel though, as we usually haul stuff. BUT, the new CTS will probably have a take off of the ATS suspension and that may be a good candidate as the target has been BMW and they seem to have hit it. Check it out. I would love to buy American once again. This is the first time I see a reason to do so.
#260 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [redfishfl]
Sep 23, 2013 (9:53 am)
What size wheels do you have? If it's the 18" rim, you might see if the dealer will swap out a set of 17" wheels and tires, they'll ride smoother, especially if you go for a set of tires especially made for low noise (Michelin and Goodyear have them, I think).
#261 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse 
Sep 30, 2013 (1:41 pm)
Notice how EVERYBODY is trying to match BMW? Even MB has redesigned their interiors to "resemble" BMW to some degree. Lexus admits to trying to build a "reliable BMW". So, clearly BMW is the one to watch. It's Butter. You never heard Butter say, "Gee I'd like to get as good as Margarine", have you?
Oops, look out BMW, Audi is sneaking up your tailpipe!
#262 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [nvbanker]
Sep 30, 2013 (2:03 pm)
Maybe Lexus is saying 'We kike your function, but your reliability and cost of repairs sucks'. It may be that Lexus and Cadillac are sneaking up BMW's tailpipe.
#263 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse 
Sep 30, 2013 (2:12 pm)
That's the goal, I've been told by my service manager. Been a Lexus owner and fan now since 96 (owned other makes continually as well though), but I'm a little troubled by some of Toyota's recent moves. Not enamored with the new design on most models - the large mouth bass look doesn't appeal to me, I think the new Camry is much uglier than the previous, with a disjointed - committee designed - theme that makes it look like they didn't even try, inside or out. Yet, they drive great still. I was hoping Toyota would stay consistent and not fall into the GM trap of being the world's biggest, therefore the world's most complacent manufacturer.
#264 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [nvbanker]
Sep 30, 2013 (4:59 pm)
I agree. And, we do not like the new Camry - agree on the design, but the bigger factor for us, it feels light and the ride at lower speeds ia anything but smooth and refined. Maybe the V6 is better, but I thought I was driven a gen past Sonata. My wife loves our 08 528i, but I'm not sure I would buy another. No problems yet 52k, but it just went out of warranty. The first time it costs me big bucks, it's history. Maybe a Lexus GS or the new CTS would work. After they lose a couple of years depreciation. I will never buy new again. Let someone else take the big hit first.
#265 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [nvbanker]
Oct 01, 2013 (7:11 am)
Speaking of Camry.... we were recently in the Toronto/Buffalo area and rented a Camry 4 cylinder for a week. This car rode better than the 2013 Avalon Limited (to me), very smooth and powerful enough to run on the QEW (freeway) with the traffic. They drive fast but relatively safe up that way compared to Atlanta, much more polite. What a surprise... this is no luxury car, just a basic rental and yes, it is not pretty. But it works and the rental agency has a fleet of 50% Camrys due to great reliability. Hope the new Avalons are as reliable for all who have them...
#266 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [fin]
Oct 01, 2013 (7:26 am)
Was that Camry an SE? Edmunds had one of those for a long term test, liked it a lot overall.
#267 of 268 Re: Buyers remorse [fin]
Oct 01, 2013 (7:59 am)
The entry-level Camry, Accord and Sonata (I rented Sonatas from Avis in May, in Toronto and DC) are very good cars and offer fantastic value for the money. Once you get them outfitted comparably to an Avalon, though, you're in the $30K range, not $18K (a bit more to upgrade to an Azera if you want to go that route) and the value proposition becomes less attractive.
Apart from growing ever older and more crotchety (my wife calls me Judge Mental), at 6'2", I'm finding the size and comfort of the driver's seat and ease of entry to be important. The jury's still out for me WRT the new Avalon, more because of the height than the ride; I'm waiting to see next year's Accord (non-plug-in) hybrid. If not for the size and room in the driver's seat, the older Camry Hybrid would have done the trick.
Meanwhile, the RAV4 V6 Sport has plenty of room (and power!), but compared to any Avalon or even an RX350, it's noisy and not very smooth. The seat is smaller than I'd like, but stepping down to get out is an advantage.