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I would normally tend to agree with you, but if you look at the record more recently from Toyota, they've done pretty well. The Scion Xd and Toyota Yaris both had much better than average reliability numbers for their first model year releases.

Ken

Never buy new vehicles that are introduced -- they are usually riddled with problems. This is the lesson I learnt the hard way.

I always buy the last yr model of the current generation to be sure it has the least problems. But I was terribly wrong in buying the 2006 Highlander -- thought 2001 - 2006 would have taught Toyota to fix its numerous issues. But they didn't and I am stuck with a tranny that is so f..cked up, I am beginning to think this is my last Toyota.
 

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With the Venza due to hit dealership lots within the next week or so, most of your opinions will be either confirmed or debunked shortly, but I can give you my impressions from the "ride and drive" event that we had about 2 weeks ago for the sales and management at the dealerships to get a feel for the vehicles. Per Toyota, this is not a "crossover" or a wagon. They stressed that their marketing is that this is a "Sedan with suprising versatility". That being said, overall impressions are that it is an Avalon in quality of materials and feel and size, a bit sportier (I think the 20in. wheels lend to that feeling) and easier to get in and out of, with a slightly higher stance.

Quality was good. Yes they are going with more harder plastics on the door panels, but a large part of that is for durability. With larger swaths of cloth or leather surfaces on door panels, they don't tend to hold up long-term as well. That being said, the two-tone look is very upscale. The center console design is the most innovative and thoughtful I've seen in any vehicle in 15yrs of working in the industry. Separate spot for MP3 or IPOD right next to the shift lever with a pass-through into the console to charge and plug into the aux. input. Separate slot for your cell-phone to sit in on the left side of the cup-holders with another pass-through into the console for your charging cord or aux cord if your phone is an MP3 player as well.

It doesn't have the height of the cargo area of the Highlander but about the length. The front and rear seats are comfortable and supportive, the one disappointment being that the only way to get a power passenger seat is in the premium package with the factory leather. Otherwise I didn't see significant signs of "decontenting" as I've seen in previous generations of the Camry and other models. Nice attention to detail and good quality materials.

Hope this helps.

Ken
 
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