2002 Toyota Avalon XLS Top. 3.0 from North America


Not what we expected. Problem central. Lemon???


We purchased a new 02 Avalon. We bought the car because of Toyota's reputation for high satisfaction along with previous Toyota experience. We got the fully loaded XLS.

Less than 1000-miles the dual zone climate control froze up on high heat setting. Fixed under warranty.

3000-miles, air bag light came on. Dealership fixed this under warranty. A faulty connection they said.

7000-miles at first oil change they found a code for ABS fault. They told me that they took care of it. After this I noticed that the ABS light would not come on like it did.

Called Toyota and they said to bring it back. They replaced some circuitry under warranty. Now it works fine. No ABS problems since. Light does not stay on all the time now. They siad that it is not designed to stay on and that the ABS is on with out light on. OK..

9000-miles, transmission starts to jerk sometimes when it is under a load around 40mph.

Taken in and they checked for codes and found nothing.

12,000-miles, Calendar function on drivers center will not move to next day. Stuck. Toyota replaced the whole assembly. I had to sign the warranty bill. It was $885. They paid it.

16,000-miles the transmission still jerks more and more. Toyota drove and checked out the car, but found nothing. It just does it like 1-time on a 10-mile trip.

20,000-Battery in airbag system fails. Air bag light came on. Toyota replaced for free.

40,000-miles transmission still jerks. Had transmission fully serviced. Still didn't help.

54,000-miles the compass is now showing that every direction is N. Also the instant fuel economy computer is showing that the car is getting 88.8mpg. Frozen up.

Not sure what to do. Toyota will no longer pay for repairs due to it being not covered now.

In college in 1988 I got a used Toyota 87 Cressida with only 8,000-miles on it. It had the strong 2.8 L engine. I drove this car to almost 200,000-miles with the only problems being the A/C loosing freon at 100,000-miles and 2-alternators. Maybe Toyota has lost its touch for building excellent trouble free cars.

I can say that our LHS has had many more problems than any other car we have owned.

62000-miles I took the car to Ammco Transmission to have them drive it because the jerking is getting worse. They diagnosed the car as having internal transmission clutch failure. Caused from overheating the transmission and or manufacturing defects. They ask me if we use the car to pull a trailer. I said no and we never have. They want to rebuild the transmission for $2,600 and I am going back to Toyota to see what they have to say about this. With papers from Ammco.

Ammco also told us that our Engine is knocking as well. We can't hear it, but we have an appointment to take it to them to have them check it all out again.

I hope for the best. We will not put a new transmission in it, we plan on trading it off, maybe another Toyota, depends on what Toyota says and if they are willing to fix this one. If so we will trade it in on the spot if they say yes. If not we will go else where. Not Chrysler or Toyota again. We'll see.

Not Chrysler again no matter what.

General Comments:

The car looks odd at first, but you will grow to like the looks.

The car needs more power.

The car never got the MPG that Toyota said it would. city avg is 14mpg and highway is 22mpg. Disappointment.

The car is super smooth, when working right.

The car is easy to wash and clean. Nothing sticks to the paint.

People who ride in the car think it is a Lexus.

Maybe toyota didn't spend the needed time to make the 02 Avalon what the older toyotas were.

We will see.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th February, 2004

27th Jun 2004, 17:32

It is unfortunate that you had a poor experience with Toyota. I find your comments very credible and also understand your anger. Who wouldn't be?

I suspect that you simply got a lemon. I think that Toyota generally makes a good product, but with thousands of cars manufactured each year, some of them are no good. In effect, you won the "reverse lottery".

I own a Corolla and am very happy with it. Perhaps the Avalon, which has not been around as long as the Corolla, does not have the usual Toyota quality. It seems that when manufacturers put out a new model, there are often problems in the first few years and then the product improves. Look at the Ford Focus. It was a disaster in the first few years and now it is getting good reviews.

Good luck in resolving your issues.

2002 Toyota Avalon XLS from North America


Don't buy you will not be pleased, believe me


Air didn't work well from beginning.

Car doors hard to shut, hard to open.

Automatic window drivers side failed (to open or close properly).

Currently shifting hard - jerking at shifts. Doggy.

Paint chips easily.

Lots of road noise.

Tires wore out in less than 20,000 miles.

General Comments:

Some nice stuff, but WAY too expensive to be noisy, tinny little hard to open doors, cheap paint, doggy in traffic, feel like you are pushing it down the road car.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th August, 2003

22nd Feb 2008, 15:11

It's the way you drive it. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.

15th Nov 2009, 05:02

The Avalon has an excellent 24 valve quad cam all alloy V6 as per the Lexus, excellent transmission, is extremely quiet and Toyota reliability. I don't understand how yours is so bad, if you purchased it second hand it may have missed services or may have been neglected... I have owned four Camry's, currently have a 1999 Camry Vienta VXI with 20,000k's from new, excellent vehicle, can't fault it.

21st Sep 2010, 18:18

I always wanted a dream car, I had a 'classic' BMW at one stage, it was rubbish, terrible brakes, would not climb hills, the driver's seat broke when I was driving it. Then I bought a Toyota Camry and had that for four years, it started to deteriorate, so I traded it in and bought a Toyota Avalon Sorrento!... Buying this smooth beast of a car, it was like buying a Rolls Royce or Jaguar. Being a retired motor mechanic, I have dealt with the world's cars, but this Toyota is a dream car to me, and never thought I would be able to afford such sweet-running, comfortable, safe, roomy, pleasant to look at car... For the year I have had it, I could not fault it in any way, just admire it to bits.

21st Oct 2010, 18:35

I bought a 2002 Avalon in Feb 2010. The car rides excellent, inside is nice and roomy (feels like a very expensive luxury car), and love the body style. Only complaint is squeaking noise when I brake. Took to the dealer 3 times already, and no one can figure out what is wrong. Anyone out there with a similar problem?

2002 Toyota Avalon XLS 3.0L Six from North America


An excellent value for the refinement you get


The brakes did not have a good feel when I picked up the new car, so I took it back to the dealer. They did something to the brakes, because now they are perfect. I have owned about ten Toyotas and this is the first time I have ever had an issue with a brand new car. This car is made in the U.S.

General Comments:

I needed a car with some room and the Avalon certainly fills that requirement.

The ride is as good as the Lexus I test drove and it is a very quiet running car.

I started out wanting a Lexus ES 300 or an Infiniti I35, but the sales people were not wanting to deal. The Toyota dealer had cars and did deal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2002