Last post on Nov 23, 2013 at 6:38 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Toyota, Sedan
#573 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [teresa01]
Jun 29, 2013 (1:00 pm)
I have not been on this forum recently, but I noticed your post and thought I could provide my reply.
I did swap out the Bridgestone EL400's for a set of four Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires (P225/45R18) a few weeks ago. So, I now have had the chance to evaluate the ride of the 2013 Avalon for all four combinations of rim size and tire comparisons between Bridgestone and Michelin.
If you use a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the best, here are my observations:
17" rims with Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires (P215/55R17)..........Score = 9
18" rims with Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires (P225/45R18)..........Score = 7
17" rims with Bridgestone Turenza EL400-02 (P215/55R17).......Score = 4
18" rims with Bridgestone Turenza EL400-02 (P225/45R18).......Score = 4
Note that the Michelin tires are not identical; the MXV4 is a little more ride comfort oriented, while the MXM4 is a little more performance oriented. The MXV4 is quieter than the MXM4 at highway speeds over 50 mph, but the MXM4 is overall much quieter than the Bridgestone tires. The Michelin MXM4 takes the road bumps better than the Bridgestones. The MXV4 is not available in the 18" size.
The best possible ride for the 2013 Avalon appears to come from the combination of the 17" rims with the Michelin MXV4 Primacy tires. I would venture to say that the 2 point improvement in score from 7 to 9 comes 50% due to the larger sidewall and 50% due to the Primacy MXV4 vs. the MXM4 tire design.
Now that I'm riding on the MXM4's on the 18" rims, I would say the ride is OK. It is a reasonable compromise between handling and comfort. I liked the ride on the 17" rims with the MXV's more, but I don't care to spend $1500 to purchase 4 new Toyota 17" OEM rims. You would also need to have a competent mechanic transfer the four TPMS valves to the new rims as well, otherwise you're looking at over an additional $400 for four Toyota OEM TPMS units. My current thinking is to ride the Avalon with the MXM tires, and when it comes time to replace them, consider buying four 17" rims and MXV's then, assuming that I plan on keeping the car for a few more years from that point.
I actually have not tried the suggestion of lowering the tire pressure from 33 to 31 PSI to see if the ride improves, as other posts have suggested. I did note that when I got the car back with the Michelin's installed the fronts were set at 33 PSI, but the back were set at 29 PSI. I didn't like the way the vehicle was riding, and I raised the rear to 33 PSI, and the ride is actually better. The only residual ride annoyance I still observe is that when riding on smooth, but worn, blacktop roads, I seem to feel a sense of riding over a pebbly/gravelly surface, while when I ride on newer blacktop road surfaces, the ride is smooth. This is probably due to the stiffer suspension, as opposed to a softer suspension which would probably filter this out. A little more padding in the seat wouldn't hurt either.
To sum up, I know how well the Avalon can ride with the 17" rims and the MXV4's, but I'm not up to sinking in the cash to switch from 18" to 17" rims at this point. Maybe later on down the road, if I know I'll keep the car for many years.
P.S. Note that just going from 18" to 17" rims without also changing the tires to Michelin MXV4's does nothing to improve the ride in any meaningful way. I believe that this was mentioned in another post on this thread. Also, my observations comparing the Michelin Primacy MXV vs. the MXM tires agrees with the overall reviews of these tires on Tirerack.com. Both Michelins are vastly superior to the Bridgestone El400's, but the MXV is a little quieter than the MXM (but both rate in the excellent range).
#574 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [daveinva]
Jun 29, 2013 (2:55 pm)
Thanks for this thorough and careful analysis, which I am sure will be helpful to many forum users. I do believe, however, that you might try lowering the pressures to 31 PSI -- there is nothing to lose but the 5 or 10 minutes it will take to do it and I think you will agree that there is a noticeable improvement in the ride without detectable deterioration in handling, should you decide to go ahead with the change. Another 5 or 10 minutes will put you back where you were if you don't agree.
I think that one should also consider the possibility that Toyota, the largest manufacturer of cars in the world, might have known what they were doing when they put 18" rims on the top of the newly redesigned Avalon line. Handling and appearance are generally felt to improve with larger wheels, and many of the costliest and most admired performance/luxury cars such as Bentley sport wheels up to 20" in size.
#575 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [daveinva]
Jun 29, 2013 (4:45 pm)
Thanks so much for the detailed analysis. I appreciate it so very much.
This is great information to have and I will probably do as you have done and just hang onto the 18" wheels and replace with Michelin tires next time around. I'll be sure and look for the tire that you have switched to. I agree that sinking an additional $2K into the car for 17" wheels is a bit steep after paying for the car. I usually keep my cars for at least 8 years so if I do keep this one that long, I may eventually switch the wheels out but for now, I am just getting used to the ride. If I find a few years down the road that I need a more floaty ride, I guess I can upgrade to the Lexus or get a Caddy. LOL. I really didn't want one of those
Thank you again for the information, it is really helpful.
#576 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [daveinva]
Jun 29, 2013 (4:46 pm)
Thank you for your detailed post. Just one more nail in the Bridgestone's coffin. I can't wait to replace my Bridgstones on my TAH Limited and be able to confirm what everybody is saying about how lousy they are.
The one thing that has me confused is CR's report on the V6 and hybrid Limiteds. The V6 they tested had Michelin Primacy MXM4 size P225/45R18 91V tires and they said that if you value ride comfort go with the 17 inch rims as they "noticeably take off the edge and make the ride less harsh" So what you are saying that it is all in the tire doesn't agree with CR is assessment.
#577 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [havec]
Jul 01, 2013 (5:19 am)
Switching from an 18" rim to a 17" rim will improve the ride if the 17" tire is a Michelin, not a Bridgestone. I rode the Avalon with Bridgestone's on both the 17" and 18" rims, and did not see an improvement in ride comfort.
Michelin makes both the Primacy MXM4 and MXV4 in the 17" size, but the Primacy MXV4 has the edge in ride comfort and noise, although both Michelin's are way better than the Bridgestone Turenza EL400-02's. The MXV4 does cost a little more than the MXM4.
#578 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [daveinva]
Jul 01, 2013 (6:59 pm)
Frankly I have taken a close look at the wheel well/suspension clearance in the Avalon and it sure looks like there is enough room to run a '55 aspect tire on the 18" rim and I am confident that tire size in the correct would improve ride harshness to a level very close to if not as good as the 17" tire with Michelins and look much better. If anyone reading these posts has tried it please let us know how it worked out. I am pretty satisfied over all with my 18" wheels with their Michelins but would switch to the taller ('55) aspect ratio tires as the ultimate ride and handling combination. This opinion might change by the time I get enough miles on my car to wear out the first set of tires as both the suspension and seats will soften up a bit as a normal part of break in.
#579 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [daveinva]
Jul 08, 2013 (12:22 pm)
I concur with your findings. I test drove a new ES 350 with 17"wheels and the Michelin primacy tires and it was quiet, absorbent, and smooth. Tried the 18 with bridgestones and hated the ride and noise levels. Can't believe Lexus would sell that combo. If there was any improvement with handling on the 18's, I couldn't tell it. Thought the 2013 Avalon would be a better buy but couldn't find any with the 17/Michelin combo especially in the higher end models. Now I am back to Lexus but their higher end models have the larger 18 inch wheel.- (over $44K) - so you cannot get the ultra lux package without getting the ride-ruining 18's
I have found on my LS 460 model that the bridgestone serenity model is much smoother and almost noise free compared to the Pilot Michelins MXM4 that came on the car. But then I was comparing a worn OEM tire with the new Serenity. I did not see Bridgestone Serenitys on the Avalon or ES 350- any Bridgestone tire on those 2 models were a lower line model
If I buy an ES 350 , it will be 17 inch Michelins for me- driven several and it is the only way to go if you want comfort and less noise. Compared to the Avalon (which I thinks looks better), the ES drives better when both have 18's.
Couldn't find an Avalon with 17's that had nav, etc. Not sure if the suspensions on the cars change depending on which size tire you get.
In summary, I prefer the michelin 17's on the ES and Bridgestone Serenity on the LS. I am comfort oriented and want QUIET. I see no reason to improve handling 10% and screw up the ride 60%. If I wanted sport and handling, I would buy a different car
#580 of 716 Re: 17" vs 18" tires [mikexxxx]
Jul 08, 2013 (12:58 pm)
I bought my 2013 Avalon Hybrid Limited on March 1, without having read any comments about ride issues. It had to be built to get the color scheme I wanted so I didn't see it before it was delivered to the dealer. Mine came equipped with Michelin Primacy MXV4 215/55R 17 tires. I have found the ride to be firm but very, very quiet, and the car handles beautifully. In fact, after having driven it for nearly 3,000 miles, I have found everything about the car - styling, ride, seat comfort, cabin quiet, electronics - to be wonderful. Mileage so far has been about 42 mpg (almost all miles driven in ECO mode; I didn't buy it to be a sports car). For me, at least, Toyota has hit a homerun with this car, but perhaps I was just lucky to get one equipped with the Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires.l I think the standard rims on the Hybrid Limited model are 17 inches, so I guess I could have had the Bridgestones which have generated so much discussion.
#581 of 716 ride v6 vs hybrid
Jul 08, 2013 (2:29 pm)
I was able to do a short test drive with Limited V6 and I noticed the suspension doesn't quite absorb the smaller bumps so you feel small vibrations at times but wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. I yet have to drive the hybrid since dealer didn't have one but in theory should have smoother ride. Also in curves there's little bit more lean than I expected and seats could use more side support.
I also drove MKZ hybrid and overall better in curves and suspension feels also sporty but absorbs smaller bumps better. The cargo is smaller but at least you can fold the rear seats. Seems also quieter. But there are downsides with MKZ:
- (too) small tank (13.2 cu ft compared to 17)
- smaller cargo area with seats up
- less spacious (less rear seat leg room).
- Real world highway mpg is bit lower according to CR
#582 of 716 Re: ride v6 vs hybrid [lucien4]
Jul 08, 2013 (4:23 pm)
Do not forget Toyota has been using the same basic battery design in its hybrids since day one. Ford/Lincoln has just embraced its current batteries used in all it's hybrids and when you buy their cars you will be taking a leap of faith. CR retested a Toyota Prius owned by a staffer with over 200,000 miles on the original battery and it had lost little if any performance. I still think the 18" wheel with 55 aspect Michlins or some other quality tire known for good riding characteristics might be the way to go. Looks like it will fit to me but all Avalon Hybrids come with 17's but the trick is to not get "Stones".