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(Hey, it's all relative of course. ;)) Seems like I've read this in several places: the 1st Gen is generally considered the best handling and most responsive of all the Avalons that have come since, and that later versions have placed more emphasis on luxury and a smooth, soft ride. Opinions?
 

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I do think so myself :) my dad has a 2000 avalon(2nd gen) and mines a 96(1st gen) and i think the 1st Gen has a way better design inside and out and i think your right the later models where more of a luxury class car. but again opinions are like @#!holes everyone has one
 

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now avalon, and even lexus, is a TRIM PACKAGE... on the same basic camry car.

i've driven later avalon cars but, of course, they were in dubious condition (as they were for sale) and far from new. the reason i like the 1st gen is because it has a minimum of visible doo-dads... nice, big and in your face clocks - a very functional, if leather-coated, interior. the leather is a coating... the velvet, covers steel!

the ride experience on my avalon is not exactly soft. she dances over the bumps, just like a car with a high-performance suspension... but maybe that will cease, as the new springs break in. i hope not!

i'm about to sell the car the avalon replaced - a '99 mazda 626. in my mind, that car really is a sports car... in drag, perhaps - lol - but born to run and take radical turns, which it does amazingly well.

the avalon can do almost as well as the 626... but it's funny - you don't think it can. somehow the mazda flaunts it, while the avalon doesn't. that seems to be the best way i can express it. walk softly, but carry a big six?

took a friend to the airport in indy last night. on the way home - 4am - i let it roll. cruising 100 in the hammer lane of i-70 it occurred to me that, upon rare occasions, life is good :) the road really was empty. even the bugs, for the most part, seemed to be sleeping!

the trans kept leaving torque converter lockup on the hills. you had to listen and watch the tach, to know that. if you press that button you go down two "gears," but the trans can lose just one. the steering was like thinking. all i had to do was want to be over there, and i was. it was not real quiet (as i've yet to fix those damned wind leaks in the door gaskets) but other than that i could have easily been at this desk, watching it on the monitor. it flew over the bumps, seeming to lack the time, and motivation to announce them. bob welch was doing "outskirts" on the box... i had to use the cruise, in order to keep from getting silly!

oh, and don't open the moon roof at 100. painful, on the ears!

the avalon is whatever you want it to be. it's just a perception (choice) away.
 

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Black 95 Avalon XLS
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to be honest, the sunroof can be painful on the ears when opening or closing at any speed over 40(if all other windows are closed). I prefer 90+ with all windows opened... and then it works perfectly.
 

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1999 Avalon XLS
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I think the 3rd gens seem a little sportier from the factory, the 2nd gens are the boring grandpa cars (with very nice interiors) and 1st gens have more of the classic luxury look. 1st gens also have more potential (TRD supercharger, and swappable aftermarket from other 1MZ's) and that very solid 1MZ-FE :)

I personally don't like the handling of the 1st gens though. I have to take speed bumps REALLY slow, it has really bad body roll through corners, and the suspension just seems so damn soft. But the quiet power of the V-6 makes up for it :thumbsup:

Once I have enough money, I'll probably do a suspension upgrade for some better handling.

Overall, the Avalon is a great car. :chug:
 

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I think the 3rd gens seem a little sportier from the factory, the 2nd gens are the boring grandpa cars (with very nice interiors) and 1st gens have more of the classic luxury look. 1st gens also have more potential (TRD supercharger, and swappable aftermarket from other 1MZ's) and that very solid 1MZ-FE :)

I personally don't like the handling of the 1st gens though. I have to take speed bumps REALLY slow, it has really bad body roll through corners, and the suspension just seems so damn soft. But the quiet power of the V-6 makes up for it :thumbsup:

Once I have enough money, I'll probably do a suspension upgrade for some better handling.

Overall, the Avalon is a great car. :chug:
i think you hit the nail on the head. totally agree
 

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welll... yes and no. i bought gabriel "safety struts" for mine - they're an all-new strut/spring assembly. but no parts that are intentional mods... still, grbriel are high-performance shocks...
 

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I think the 3rd gens seem a little sportier from the factory, the 2nd gens are the boring grandpa cars (with very nice interiors) and 1st gens have more of the classic luxury look. 1st gens also have more potential (TRD supercharger, and swappable aftermarket from other 1MZ's) and that very solid 1MZ-FE :)

I personally don't like the handling of the 1st gens though. I have to take speed bumps REALLY slow, it has really bad body roll through corners, and the suspension just seems so damn soft. But the quiet power of the V-6 makes up for it :thumbsup:

Once I have enough money, I'll probably do a suspension upgrade for some better handling.

Overall, the Avalon is a great car. :chug:
Yeah, our 07 Avalon is the touring edition and the suspension is more stiffer than the other trims. It feels more solid and is less floaty. Only thing I don't like is the transmission, it is not as responsive as my avalon and not as smooth.
 
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