Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I've been posting about some annoying sounds coming from my Avalon and now I feel the need to politely vent (since the dealer and Toyota corporate haven't really been that helpful or responsive). The Avalon should really be a great car- a big, comfortable near-luxury car with good power and great reliability. This reputation drew me to the model and my test drive didn't contradict this impression, but now that I have driven the vehicle for a 2 weeks, I am really disappointed in it. The car gives you the initial impression of those aforementioned qualities, but the details make it feel like a large Corolla rather than a near-luxury cruiser. Here are a few things that bother me:


  • If the wind noise I posted about is indeed normal, then this is one of the loudest cars I have ever driven. The constant drone is maddening and it forces me to turn up the radio to enjoy talk or music. Tire noise is also pronounced. My last three cars were a VW Tiguan, Mercury Sable, and Mercury Grand Marquis. All were quieter. If they wind up fixing the noise, then the Avalon will just be average.

  • There are little fit-and-finish issues that I would expect to find in a car that costs a few bucks under $40K retail. The fake chrome dash creaks when pushed, as do the door panels. Harsh plastic sounds emanate from deeper in the dash when traveling over rough pavement, and my right front speaker has begun to rattle when playing speech sources.

  • For a big car aimed at a discerning demographic that cares about comfort, the front seats aren't all that comfortable and they don't heat up evenly. My old Tiguan had much more comfortable seats and they were warm all over.

  • The standard sound system is odd. A lot of the sound is shifted to the front of the vehicle and it is painfully bass-heavy. It is hard to find the sweet spot for general listening. This is not a deal-breaker, because I don't often listen to music, but I was just expecting better.

  • The front storage space is way too small.

  • The car has a tremendous amount of torque steer. Now, I admit to having a heavy foot and that most drivers probably don't encounter this too often, but hard acceleration can really make the car jittery at times. Again, not a deal breaker. It kind of reminds me of my old, mid-90s Maxima, but I just assumed the tech would have improved and eliminated extreme torque steer between then and now.
As I said, I got an excellent deal on this car and that kind of mitigates the disappointment a bit. It is still a nice car with a smooth powertrain and a good tech package, but I think I would be bitterly disappointed if I had paid anywhere near what they had the car listed at. I also suspect that the Touring version is giving me a harsher ride. Maybe that is why they were so eager to sell it. Still, I a good friend of mine had a 2001 Avalon and it was a great car-smooth, plush, powerful, quiet. It lasted him 200K miles. This car feels totally different to drive than that one. Kind of a let down. The impression I now have is: "Okay, I'll probably keep this for three years or so and move on to something else." Not the feeling you want during the first two weeks of car ownership.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
Wind noise definitely shouldn't be normal. I'm not an Avalon fan boy by any stretch, but it's very quiet in terms of wind and road noise. I'm comparing to luxury cars we own.

What tires do you have? The Bridgestones that came on mine sucked in every way. Very noisy and excessive torque steer. The Pirellis have been 1,000% better. I do high-speed passes regularly and noticed immediate improvement in torque-steer with the Pirellis. Sport mode makes a difference too.

The rest of your points I pretty much agree with. I'd never pay anywhere near $40k for one of these but I bought it slighly used for about half that so to me it's just a big cheap car with above average features. That being said, I would have never bought the previous gen as it was far too soft for my taste. The handling on this one is quite reasonable and the eco/normal/sport setting makes it livable. Without that option I'd have never bought it because the steering is far too soft in anything but sport mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
I'll add to the pile! I have my Avalon for 5 months now and can't wait to get rid of it. Uncomfortable front seats and definitely not as quiet as a car at this price point should be. My Venza seats are more comfortable and the ride is similar. I blame myself - I should have road tested the Avalon more thoroughly. Live and learn, I guess.
 

·
2016 Avalon Limited
Joined
·
256 Posts
I'll add to the pile! I have my Avalon for 5 months now and can't wait to get rid of it. Uncomfortable front seats and definitely not as quiet as a car at this price point should be. My Venza seats are more comfortable and the ride is similar. I blame myself - I should have road tested the Avalon more thoroughly. Live and learn, I guess.
I will be road testing a 2016 Limited Saturday. If you had it to do differently, what would you have done on the road test?
 

·
Registered
5 toyotas,
Joined
·
528 Posts
I will be road testing a 2016 Limited Saturday. If you had it to do differently, what would you have done on the road test?
#1 - road test the actual car not "one like it", that matters. Insist on re-road testing if the dealer has to bring it in! before signing anything. if dealer hassles or rushes you find a new dealer. bounce around, test drive multiple cars at multiple dealers dont be in a rush to jump into a new car and then complain how you hate it, right?

#2 - go as long as they will let you 30-45 min at least & take it up to or past legal interstate speeds with radio off. pay attention to seat comfort, position of wheel, radio, controls, all the stuff you will use day to day. windnoise, tire noise, road feel, do you like it? nit picking issues will certainly never get better.

#3 - rent one at the dealer , most Toyota dealers have brand new TRAC (toyota renta cars) rentals available, rent one and spend a weekend really driving it, give it a good workout.

#4 read reviews and research the crap out of this model. see if others complaints bother you.................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
#3 - rent one at the dealer , most Toyota dealers have brand new TRAC (toyota renta cars) rentals available, rent one and spend a weekend really driving it, give it a good workout.
This is great advice. I wish I had known about this rental program. You never really get to know a car on a test drive. You can tell if you truly hate the car (too small, not powerful enough, bad visibility, etc.) but you never really get to know the little things about the car that really affect the driving experience. I suspect if I had rented the Avalon, I wouldn't have bought it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
No one tests drives a car prior to purchase anymore? I guess that my 5-8 trips to 5-8 dealers with 15-30 minute test drives helped me not complain about my new vehicle purchases. I know what I'm getting and many times notice differences in identical cars with different manufacturing dates.

I've noticed many cars have excessive wind noise, and even worse wind buffeting with any window down. I'm guessing that trying to make the car as light as possible will make cars feel tinny. Obviously would need to step up to a bloated luxo brand in order to get the excessive sound proofing. I just don't care for BMW/Mercedes/Cadillac.... but pretty sure Lexus does the NVH better than Toyota.

OE tires suck. Of the past 1/2 dozen new Toyota's that I've own, only 1 came with tolerable tires. And, some made it to the used tire shop only half worn.

All Toyotas that I've owned have used a bass heavy front dominant sound system. I'm perfectly happy with it.

I don't have all the rattles and complaints that some have. But, a good stereo shop can add a layer of sound proofing to the doors/trunk/under the carpet/firewall.... and upgrade the speakers if you want quality sound and soundproofing.

Problem with the sound proofing that we have is that it brings out stuff that you probably wouldn't hear over other noises. So, when I changed the tires, I found a new noise. When I eliminated that noise, another drone was noticeable...... I gave up and simply keep the stereo volume annoying to neighbors.

Comfort in seats depends on height/weight of occupant. What is comfortable for one is miserable for another. But, I'll state that Toyota's in general need more seat padding.

I don't store anything in my vehicles. Even my owners manual is tossed into a closet or attic/basement box somewhere. Door pockets/glovebox/centerconsole... are empty. Much noise comes from stuff left in them. Trunk is empty too.

3.5L and FWD do not mix. Have to drive like a little ol' lady in a church parking lot. Traction control and wheel hop are horrible if I use the gas pedal. Too much compliance in the suspension bushings, not enough tire, and obviously no limited slip differential. Never bothered with the tape measure but wonder if the half-shafts are supported or possibly similar equalish lengths, but definitely doesn't feel like equals. Not much better than a 1980's FWD compact when it comes to FWD driving/steering/traction. Reminds me driving the Dodge GLH or GLHS FWD white knuckle death grip on the steering wheel turbo'd classics!

Good ol' poly bushings on the control arms go a long way in taming FWD shenanigans. Not sure if the newer Avalons can use the common Toyota sized bushings from earlier years. Have even used poly steering rack bushings on a couple older Camrys and Tundras for real feedback/control.

If you keep the Avalon, be smart when picking the next tire brand/size.
If you keep the Avalon, find an auto upholstery shop that can tweak the padding/heating elements.

I don't care for or use EMF producing seat heating elements near the family jewels. And, you wonder why society has turned into a bunch of snowflakes needing safe spaces???
 

·
Registered
2014 AHXLE TOURING
Joined
·
466 Posts
I will be road testing a 2016 Limited Saturday. If you had it to do differently, what would you have done on the road test?
If the car has Bridgestone tires on it I would not buy it. The dealer would have to take them off and replace them with Michelins. Bridgestone tires are nothing but junk.
 

·
Registered
5 toyotas,
Joined
·
528 Posts
If the car has Bridgestone tires on it I would not buy it. The dealer would have to take them off and replace them with Michelins. Bridgestone tires are nothing but junk.
My 2015 4runner had oem Bridgestones and they were OK, quiet and great in all weather. But maybe on a low profile tire different ? One thing I will guarantee is michelins will transform any car to its highest potential, tires really will make a car its smoothest and best performing. My main complaint with OE tires is 20-30k tread life. but hey their designed to ride Ok and hold up just to 3/36 approximately.

So to the OP, - if you dont have michelins you need them. If the dealer simply wont swap the tires dont give up - You could certainly call toyota customer experience center and ask for goodwill tire swap and let the dealer and manufacturer fight over who will pay (not you)
 

·
PJSMITH
Joined
·
1,518 Posts
My 2015 4runner had oem Bridgestones and they were OK, quiet and great in all weather. But maybe on a low profile tire different ? One thing I will guarantee is michelins will transform any car to its highest potential, tires really will make a car its smoothest and best performing. My main complaint with OE tires is 20-30k tread life. but hey their designed to ride Ok and hold up just to 3/36 approximately.

So to the OP, - if you dont have michelins you need them. If the dealer simply wont swap the tires dont give up - You could certainly call toyota customer experience center and ask for goodwill tire swap and let the dealer and manufacturer fight over who will pay (not you)
The local tire shop (discount tire) contacted manufacturer (Michelin) directly and got 60-70% credit from their retail price for replacement tires when the OEM's wore out at 22K.
Replacements are wearing well after 20K miles
 

·
2016 Avalon Limited
Joined
·
256 Posts
Driving Impressions

Be sure to let us know your impressions of the Avalon!
So I did the test drive on a 2016 Limited. I am probably not the one to be giving my impression of how the car drives based on what I currently own. My current cars are a 1994 Civic with 316,000 miles, 2002 Odyssey, 2015 Rav 4 and a 2010 Corvette. All these cars are loud and ride rough (although the Corvette with new tires is pretty good)! But here goes:
1.This Limited does have 18" Michelins and I was surprised at how quiet it is. Not whisper quiet like my neighbors Lexus but quiet enough to hear the JBL system. (The JBL system is a little better than average). If you are thinking Limited just for the JBL you are better off upgrading a lesser system) in my opinion.
2. The seats are also better than I expected. Almost as comfortable as the Vettes. Lots of adjustments which is good for some like me who has had two back surgeries. The Rav 4 we have has seats I swear are 2x4's covered with fabric. The Avalon's seats are firm but not terrible. I had planned on taking the car and front seats to have more foam added. I will hold off and see after a few months. (Those of you who have owned luxury cars may think they are to firm).
3. The ride and noise were acceptable. I really think this is more or a result of the brand of tires on the car and not so much the car. I hit 84 MPH.
a. Wind noise was much quieter than the RAV but louder than the Vette which is understandable.
4. The V6 is strong and smooth. I like it for what is does. It's not a race car and never will be. But it is great for city driving as well and going across country.

Would I buy one. I did! Blizzard Pearl with gray interior. Thats it guys.
Happy Holidays!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I'll add to the pile! I have my Avalon for 5 months now and can't wait to get rid of it. Uncomfortable front seats and definitely not as quiet as a car at this price point should be. My Venza seats are more comfortable and the ride is similar. I blame myself - I should have road tested the Avalon more thoroughly. Live and learn, I guess.
Couldn't agree more. The seats on my wife's 2010 Venza are way more comfortable that they are on my Avalon. That car also cost me 7k less. :frown: The lack of cup holders also baffles me. My regular cab truck has more cup holders than what the Avalon has. I have the 18" Bridgestone's on my car and they seem pretty quiet. My last car was a 2007 CR-V, so I am comparing apples to oranges too. Other than that, I am pretty happy.

Scott
 

·
2016 Avalon Limited
Joined
·
256 Posts
Couldn't agree more. The seats on my wife's 2010 Venza are way more comfortable that they are on my Avalon. That car also cost me 7k less. :frown: The lack of cup holders also baffles me. My regular cab truck has more cup holders than what the Avalon has. I have the 18" Bridgestone's on my car and they seem pretty quiet. My last car was a 2007 CR-V, so I am comparing apples to oranges too. Other than that, I am pretty happy.

Scott
Cup holders? Really? Mine has 4 that I remember counting. If we have 5 passengers I guess we will have to cancel the.:panic:
 

·
Registered
2019 Avalon Ltd
Joined
·
1,299 Posts
I'll take a cup holder in the door over a map pocket anyday of the week. :wink:
My 2012 Camry XLE has both map and cup holders in both doors. That leaves the cup holders in the center console free for cell phones and receipts. I miss that in the Avalon.
 

·
Registered
2016 Avalon LTD
Joined
·
641 Posts
While the Touring Model is very nice looking, it is part of the issue.

My LTD, while not a Lincoln, Cadillac, Park Avenue of Olde, it is MUCH better then my 2013 was.

- No Rattles
- Wind noise, very little
- 17" Wheels (made a big difference)
- Check air pressure (was 42, 43, 42, 41, and should be 32?)
- Seats, damn, not as comfortable as I'd like, but not to bad.
- Sound System is fine, but then again, I don't play it loud
- Fit and finish, while not Mercedes like, is fine (at this time)
- No squeaks or rattles (yet)

I rode in a 2013 Highlander, damn, those are nice seats

I trade every 1.5 - 2 years, and I must admit, I'm not sure what I'll get next time. 5 Avalons later, and I just might take a Highlander out for a long test drive.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top