Question for those that own a '13 Avalon Limited - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
4th Generation (2013+) Specific discussion of the fourth generation Toyota Avalon

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#1 Old 02-06-2013, 08:22 PM
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Question for those that own a '13 Avalon Limited

We are narrowing down our car choices and the final 2 contestants are the 2013 Avalon Limited and the 2013 Hyundai Azera with Tech Package. I test drove the Avalon yesterday and nothing, as far as ride quality, jumped out as being a possible problem after purchase. One thing I didn't do was mess around with Entune. For those that have this feature, do you like it? Do you use it often and is it quick when you navigate to other functions? The MyFord Touch was extremely slow when going from one app to the next, or at least in the 2013 Taurus we tested it was. The leather seats in the Hyundai Azera are definitely a better grade than the Avalon, but the upgraded leather is part of the Tech package, along with the panoramic sunroof. The Avalon has blind spot and cross traffic alert, which the Azera didn't have. The Avalon also had a larger screen. Any input on the Entune features, or anything else, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 Old 02-06-2013, 08:44 PM
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Tech package features I like/use:

Bigger screen is great, makes controlling the info screens and radio easier, and nice for the map and DVD as well, and also super nice for the backup camera. Blows away the camera in the wife's '13 Highlander. The cross traffic sensor in reverse is also nice, it's alerted on me a few times (no worries I saw them coming), but I can easily imagine that saving a potential accident backing out of a blind parking space.

The blind spot monitoring is a great feature, I'll want it on my next car.

Stuff I haven't used/not sold on:

I can't speak to the distance based cruise control, haven't tried it yet, might have a chance this weekend on I-64 if traffic is light.

I turned off the PCS braking feature, I do a lot of local driving in heavy traffic, but I am thankful for the remaining features, and might turn braking on if I can convince myself it's safe for the type of driving I do, roads I travel, etc.

I don't think I have wireless charging included, but I don't have a Q device anyway. I'd definitely use that if equipped.

I don't use any of the Entune apps and probably never will, but I like the idea of I heart Radio, it's just a bit cumbersome to dig through all the channels and I don't think it can work with the six pages of pre-sets for the radio.

Other stuff:

I really like HiD bulbs, but I'm finding the auto-high beams are dumb, in that they turn off when they get enough of their own light reflected back at them, and turn on when I don't necessarily want them to.

I like the 18's. Alot. Ha. And I also like the wheels on the gas model. I think they are different from the Hybrid, (or maybe its just the difference between 17's and 18's) but in any case, I like the stock wheels on my gas model a lot, especially with the silver paint on mine.

I didn't particularly like the two tone scheme of the interior on the tan and grey interior schemes, so I got black, and like it very much. But wife like the grey. The tan really looks luxurious, tho.

Last edited by Avalon Pilot; 02-06-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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#3 Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 PM
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Thanks for the info! Can the auto-high beams feature be disabled?
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#4 Old 02-06-2013, 09:14 PM
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Yep! Right there on the left stick, with a dial.

Oh, also really like the LED DRL's...but I think the Audi drivers are hating that someone stole their look, heh.


And finally, I must mention those seats. I wish my 3 mile commute was closer to 5 or 10. There's not a chair in the house that feels as nice as that heated seat. Hoping the ventilation works equally as comfortably in the summer!

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#5 Old 02-06-2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow View Post
We are narrowing down our car choices and the final 2 contestants are the 2013 Avalon Limited and the 2013 Hyundai Azera with Tech Package. I test drove the Avalon yesterday and nothing, as far as ride quality, jumped out as being a possible problem after purchase. One thing I didn't do was mess around with Entune. For those that have this feature, do you like it? Do you use it often and is it quick when you navigate to other functions? The MyFord Touch was extremely slow when going from one app to the next, or at least in the 2013 Taurus we tested it was. The leather seats in the Hyundai Azera are definitely a better grade than the Avalon, but the upgraded leather is part of the Tech package, along with the panoramic sunroof. The Avalon has blind spot and cross traffic alert, which the Azera didn't have. The Avalon also had a larger screen. Any input on the Entune features, or anything else, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I have a 2013 Avalon Limited Hybrid. The car's entertainment options are multiple. I particularly like HD radio. It works well. Satellite radio works well too. You can also plug in a memory stick or iPod with your own playlists. Or just put a CD or DVD in the player. It will play DVD audio on the move, but video only if the car is parked. The car is very quick to accept driver input to switch between audio sources, the navigation system, bluetooth phone and the car's trip monitoring (and on the hybrid, energy management).

Entune is just another feature, but I don't value it too much and I don't have any need to use it. It is not an overall controller for the car's electronics like I think MyFordTouch may be. Basically, it's one corner of the electronics suite. Via Bluetooth, Entune uses your phone to access the internet. Entune has six apps at this time:

Bing
Saved Bing Destinations
Movie Tickets
Open Table
I Heart Radio
Pandora

The first four apps do nothing for me. In fact, Bing is there to do location searches, but it's results are questionable in my testing of it in my neck of the woods. My lifestyle doesn't involve making movie ticket purchases or making restaurant reservations from my car.

I Heart Radio works on Toyota Entune pretty much like it does on your computer or phone. So does Pandora. Both sound good but are limited by the robustness of your cell phone's data connection.

Entune wouldn't be a reason to choose the Avalon over a different model. But the the blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert should be. I love those features. They really work as advertised and offer a safety advancement.

Also, I like the navigation system on the new Avalon. It has a very robust set of points of interest in the system.

Between voice commands, steering wheel controls and dashboard controls, I find it easy to control the car's electronics.

There has been discussion about the car's ride quality. I like it as have all but one commenter on this forum who actually bought the new Avalon. Be sure you take a bona fide test drive of any car you are going to buy.

I can't compare quality of leather in seats, but I can say the seat heater and cooler works. And the back seats in the Limited have heaters too.

I traded my 2006 Avalon for the new Limited Hybrid. The 2013 V6 with improvements is the same engine I had in the '06. That was a great engine with lots of power and for me 30+ highway MPG. Now I'm finding the hybrid factor to be a whole new dimension in rolling entertainment. I like watching the MPG readouts. Seeing the car kick into electric vehicle mode puts a smile on my face.

Good luck with your buying decision.
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#6 Old 02-06-2013, 09:36 PM
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I have a 40 mile (round trip) commute, so I definitely appreciate a comfortable seat. Then again, I'd want to be comfortable on a trip to the end of my driveway.
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#7 Old 02-06-2013, 09:58 PM
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Nilnoc: thanks for setting me straight on Entune. I thought that was indeed like the MyFord Touch system, which is a huge component of the telematics system. My wife's minivan has all the bells and whistles and she barely uses most of it. The voice controls were cool to show people back in 2007, but we really haven't use them since. It's MUCH quicker to just manually change the temp or radio station rather than using the voice command.

My current daily driver is a '01 Avalon with 215k miles I'm just ready for something with new tech and better handling, while being able to comfortably haul around 4 adults without the rear occupants feeling cramped.
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#8 Old 02-06-2013, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow View Post
Nilnoc: thanks for setting me straight on Entune. I thought that was indeed like the MyFord Touch system, which is a huge component of the telematics system.
If you don't have a smart phone, you can't use Entune. And you'd never miss it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow View Post
My wife's minivan has all the bells and whistles and she barely uses most of it. The voice controls were cool to show people back in 2007, but we really haven't use them since. It's MUCH quicker to just manually change the temp or radio station rather than using the voice command.
I would agree. The best use of voice control, though is telling the car to bring up a phone number from your phone's contacts list. Or telling the Nav system to "Go Home".

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow View Post
My current daily driver is a '01 Avalon with 215k miles I'm just ready for something with new tech and better handling, while being able to comfortably haul around 4 adults without the rear occupants feeling cramped.
The new Avalon should do that. When I traded my '06 Avalon, I wanted better electronics and better safety features. And only once, when I bought a minivan, did I replace a car with another that got worse MPG.

When we car shopped, it was a critical factor for me that the car put a smile on my wife's face. Only the Avalon and, believe it or not, the Ford Flex did that.
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#9 Old 02-07-2013, 07:23 AM
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As with the others, I too, own a 13 Hybrid (non Tech).

I have to agree with everything they have stated. The seats heat and cool QUICKLY!!! Entune is a waste of time and energy...I was already streaming I heart and Pandora on my previous vehicle...and the other apps I cannot see anyone EVER using!!!

As I sure you have read about the nay sayers in that the ride is horrible and is smaller inside....well...EVERYONE who has ridden in this vehicle has commented first on just how quiet the ride is as well as how smooth it is on the road.

I had blind spot monitors on my previous vehicle and would NEVER buy another one without it!!!

You would not make a mistake if you bought one.


Just my opinion...

Good luck!
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#10 Old 02-07-2013, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gparr View Post
As with the others, I too, own a 13 Hybrid (non Tech).

I have to agree with everything they have stated. The seats heat and cool QUICKLY!!! Entune is a waste of time and energy...I was already streaming I heart and Pandora on my previous vehicle...and the other apps I cannot see anyone EVER using!!!

As I sure you have read about the nay sayers in that the ride is horrible and is smaller inside....well...EVERYONE who has ridden in this vehicle has commented first on just how quiet the ride is as well as how smooth it is on the road.

I had blind spot monitors on my previous vehicle and would NEVER buy another one without it!!!

You would not make a mistake if you bought one.


Just my opinion...

Good luck!
I own a TAH Limited with Tech PKG.

I agree with everything here 100%!!! One thing not mentioned is the fit and finish of the Toyotas. This is a big reason to give the nod to the 'Tri-Oval' over the other choice(s).
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#11 Old 02-07-2013, 11:17 AM
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What is killing me is that I still think of Hyundai as a "throw away" car brand, with a horrible resale value down the road. According the infamous ALG rankings, Hyundai now ranks #2 behind Honda, a far cry from when they were at the bottom just a few years back. I really like the Avalon and Azera. It sounds like the informatics in both vehicles are gimmicky. Yes, the Azera offers the ability to remote-start your car with your phone, but there's also a yearly charge for that and other features. The Avalon wins the back seat award hands down. Back seat riders not only have their own a/c controls, but a third adult can sit in the middle seat. My head was dragging along the top when I sat in the back middle seat of the Azera.

Yes, I've seen a few posters commenting on the ride quality, or lack thereof. To me, the ride felt great. Obviously, it depends on what you are used to. I'd much rather sacrifice some ride quality to improve handling.

I know one thing, the internet is the best and worse thing when it comes to reseaching a major purchase. Lots of information out there, both good and bad.
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#12 Old 02-07-2013, 11:28 AM
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The last generation Avalon went 8 years with minor updates. We are on year 1 of the 4th Gen Avalon. Something to consider.
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#13 Old 02-07-2013, 12:07 PM
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I like the Azera, too, and the Sonata and Genesis for that matter. The R-spec Genesis sedan is a beast. In the end I went with Toyota out of brand loyalty more than anything else I suppose. My in-laws drive a Hyundai GX350 that's several years old and it hasn't held up so great, but yes I also understand they have seemingly improved their build quality dramatically in recent years. Tough choice for sure.

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#14 Old 02-07-2013, 12:10 PM
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I personally use Entune a lot more than I thought I would. Having said that I do hope the expand it beyond the somewhat crappy apps that are there (BING). I would think they could easily do that. I also hate that I can only browse 2 pages of Bing results while in motion. Why is 3 less safe than 2???

I like that in Pandora I can see the album covers in a bigger size (than my phone) and easily vote the song up or down so it doesn't show up later.

All in all the response times are not bad. I did have a real PITA time getting it setup to work the first time as it had to download an update. It took me about 15 tries of partial downloads to get to 100% but at least it saved its progress each time. I would have been highly PO'd if I had to start from 0% each time.

While it isn't the best execution of infotainment out there for the car it is better than most. Toyota really should work on expanding the content which could easily be done through a software update I would think. I'd also like to be able to have the entune app work for my tablet, not just my phone (Android on both).

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#15 Old 02-07-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilnoc View Post
The last generation Avalon went 8 years with minor updates. We are on year 1 of the 4th Gen Avalon. Something to consider.

right! we've certainly ignored the old axiom of never buying a first-gen or 1st edition of a major redesign. but in this day and age I'm not so sure how well that axiom still applies. I certainly expect the Avalon to hold up, but it *is* a complete overhaul. I told the salesman I'd see him in a year if an AWD version comes out in 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Day Trippin View Post
I did have a real PITA time getting it setup to work the first time as it had to download an update. It took me about 15 tries of partial downloads to get to 100% but at least it saved its progress each time. I would have been highly PO'd if I had to start from 0% each time
Yes, this was my experience to a tee.

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Last edited by Avalon Pilot; 02-07-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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