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Toyota Avalon Limited vs Lexus ES 350



  • So let me understand this. You spend the extra money to buy a "luxury" Lexus, and although the owners manual recommends premium fuel (obviously put in the manual for a reason), you buy regular gas to save a few cents per gallon, allowing maximum performance and economy to be compromised.

    It is indeed a strange conundrum!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    edited January 2011
    I would also be wary of taking the word "recommended" too lightly. They can't force you to follow instructions printed in the owner's manual. There are bound to be other "recommendations" in there, like belt changes, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. So, sure... they recommend that you change the oil, say, every 5,000 miles. Can you wait & change it only every 8,000 miles, just because the 5,000 miles is only a recommendation? Sure. Have at it. It's your car.

    Not sure I get this one either - If my math is correct, a person driving the average 12,000 per year with a $0.20 charge per gallon for premium (over regular) gas would incur a total annual additional cost of $120.00, assuming the vehicle gets only 20 MPG.
    12,000 miles / 20 MPG = 600 gallons per year x $0.20 = $120.00

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    edited January 2011
    I'll explain in more detail: Toyota uses identical V6s in the Camry, Avalon, and ES models. This includes compression ratio, the key determinant in fuel requirements. IN THIS SITUATION, using premium might slightly increase fuel economy or add a couple of hp. I tested this by comparing economy with premium and regular, found no noticable difference, so I use regular.

    In fuel requirements, manufacturers have for years used "required" for those engines that must have premium.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I know we have discussed this elsewhere in the forums, but here it goes. The Avalon and the Lexus ES350 use the exact same engine (Toyota 2GR V6) the Avalon is rated at 268HP and specs regular gas and notes in the manual "for exhanced performance" to use premium.

    The Lexus OTOH is rated at 272HP and specs out using premium gas to obtain that number.

    I ran plain old 87 in my 06 Avalon and never had any problem whatsoever. If I had an ES350 I wouldn't hesitate to put in regular. The computer will adjust for it anyway.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • loucapriloucapri Posts: 214
    I don't think day to day driving will show the different between premium or regular. Unless you have a dino test which might show a few HP gain with premium.

    Just use whatever you are comfortable with :)
  • I usually put premium gas in the 2000 Avalon. There doesn't seem to be any problem with regular, but it *feels* more powerful and, more to the point, seems to get slightly better mileage, with premium. Of course, I can't measure the psychological factor, so, IMO, it's a wash as far as cost goes.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "The Avalon and the Lexus ES350 use the exact same engine"

    Ummm, I think they call that marketing. The customer needs to feel that they are getting something more with the Lexus.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "it *feels* more powerful and, more to the point, seems to get slightly better mileage, with premium"

    Anyone want to calculate the feel good factor? Twenty cents more per gallon for premium vs 2-3 more MPG? I'm thinkin it doesn't balance out. I burn regular unless mid grade with ethanol is the same price, but then you get less MPG with ethanol. Another wash?
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    Nah, common sense. He pays extra for the luxury, then regains a smidgen of that on fuel and still has the luxury. OK, so it probably doesn't calculate, but of course resale would also have to be part of the calculation, and if you go that far, then include the costs for insurance, license, shop rate etc.

    Bottom line, buy what's a fit for you and forget it.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    edited January 2011
    Now on my third Avalon, one from each generation... Here is a repost on mileage, etc: All Avalons will run on regular 87 octane, or better, gas. Ethanol at 10% added means nothing. They run just fine if they are an otherwise good engine.

    That said, my experience has been that gas mileage will improve 5% or more by moving up to mid-grade 89 octane from 87. That's 15 cents you can spend if 87 octane is 3 bucks a gallon and you enjoy a little better overall performance from the engine. Moving up to premium adds nothing to the mileage and would appear to be a waste of money. This has been true of all generations of Avalon, all engines, I have done this repeatedly, city and highway, and always get similar results.

    As for power production, premium will actually feel different if you usually burn 87 octane. Empty the tank and fill up with 91 or higher. There is a slight difference in straight line maximum acceleration. Not enough for me to pay the extra, 89 is ok, but if you want to pay for's there.

    Enjoy the Avalons all...great cars.... :)
  • kenb757kenb757 Posts: 149
    The 2011 ES 350 recommends 87 octane, same as the Avalon. Same engine, same output now. In both cars, you might gain about six hp by using premium, if you want to spend the money.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    That sounds like a similar approach Ford is now taking with their latest V6 and V8 engines: list hp for regular, and indicate that premium will net a few more hp.
  • I recently purchased a 2011 Avalon Limited, soon I discovered the seat was very uncomfortable after 15-20 minutes of driving. I kept feeling lumps in my drivers seat.
    I brought it back to the dealer and they advised it was caused by the cooling fan(s) in the seat. That it is a known issue by Toyota and has NO FIX.
    I then drove a new Avalon (w/cooled seats) and it had the same problem. My friend and the Toyota dealer also feel the fan lumps.
    I have set-up a case file with Toyota.
    Has anyone heard of this problem?
    Please advise. Thanks
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    Input from a friend:

    It really depends on the fuel table coding. In most cars you will only have a single fuel table that supports 87 octane and therefore anything else is a waste of money. But, if you have DUAL fuel table that is properly calibrated you will see a difference. This one of the changes we add to the GM ECM tune I install it in the 8.1L V8 used in RV's.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 160
    Haven't noticed this on our 2011 Ltd. I wonder if it is variable, vehicle to vehicle? Ours is quite comfortable on long trips....
  • snowypinessnowypines Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    Yes, my 2008 Avalon Limited is the same with the cooling fan motor poking me on the right side. I finally had to buy a seat cushion, which defeats the purpose of the cooled and heated seats. It is quite uncomfortable without the cushion. But to be fair, my wife does NOT feel it when driving. Therefore, the weight of the person may affect how much they feel it, and since I weight quite a bit more than my wife, that could be it. But couldn't they design a better seat on such a nice car?
  • Lumps in seat are real. This is a "Known Issue" to Toyota.
    It is not the cooling fan, the single fan is located center front by your crotch.
    After my consistent complaint the Toyota Rep meet me at dealer and dealer (I was present) took apart the drivers seat. The problem is the spring(s) are felt by anyone over approx. 200lb. Our weight compresses the foam to the point the bottom springs are contacted & your feel them.
    The fix (done on my 2011') is to add a layer of padding.
    The seat cover comes off fairly easy, after the seat is removed.
    The added padding is not put over the fan area; so both the heat (a heater pad) & fan will fuction properly. Being a known issue, why doesn't Toyota correct this, I ask? It's simply based on # of complaints, I was advised.
  • cathyouelcathyouel Posts: 4
    edited March 2011
    Just bought a 2011 Avalon and my husband and I have noticed the exact same driver's seat discomfort!!! Frustrating! We did a LOT of research and test drives, and decided on Avalon as the rest of the car is gorgeous and exactly what we wanted! Did not know exactly what was causing the discomfort ( my husband especially notices it after driving 30 minutes or more, as he is 6'4" tall and 225lbs), and was talking to the service manager at our dealership this evening about what to do next to fix this( ...we really don't want another car!!!). Reading this post was incredibly helpful....sounds like we need to get the Toyota rep to our dealership and work it out ASAP.

    Question: Do you have any more details on the fix that we can describe to our dealership/Toyota rep??? Is there a "standard" fix, or was this a custom solution to your problem? Toyota says there is no Service campaign or bulletin on this as of this writing. How much additional padding did you add? My husband is tall and wants more padding, but not too much or headroom will become an issue! Any help/details/insight appreciated!!!! Thanks!
  • Get your Toyota factory Rep. involved. They may try to blow you off. Your husband will be very happy with the fix. It was a custom fix that the Orland Park, IL. Toyota rep can explain to your area rep. They can talk. This is a "Known Issue" to Toyota. Once fixed you & husband will love it.
    Best Luck,
  • This is great info and very timely! I am speaking to the dealership's GM today. He gave us another 2011 Avalon to try out for a couple of days to see if that car was any better. Guess what? It too had the exact same driver's side discomfort in the seat bottom. I am going to try to convince him to get the Toyota Rep involved. By any chance do you have any contact info (Name, number, etc) of who you dealt with at Toyota Orland Park IL so I can connect them???? Once again thanks for your've given me hope that this can get resolved the right way!!!
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