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Toyota Avalon Limited vs Lexus ES 350



  • Hi Lou: I think your decision on the Navi in the Avalon is wise, it is not worth the cost. I have never tried either the XM or Sirius radio service, so it is not a big deal for me, even though my XLS is wired for satellite radio. The traction control is a must for me, but I did not get the parking sensors. I did trade in a 2006 Honda Ridgeline for this Avalon, mainly because the Ridgeline was hard to park in the city and hard to see to change lanes. Based on what I have read in other posts, I am leaning towards getting the body side moldings. I kept the regular sized wheels and am not in favor of changing the wheel sizes, unless the vehicle is designed to handle those changes. I did purchase an extended warranty at dealer cost for 5 years and 120,000 kms. Cheers, Roger.
  • bobwileybobwiley Posts: 241
    Roger & Lou: I have the XM Radio and love it--NO COMMERCIALS and the choices of music/nesw/weather and sports is awesome! Best of all--I never lose a station!
  • wbb56wbb56 Posts: 38
    After driving an Avalon for the first time this weekend--I am almost ready to put a deposit on a fully loaded Limited (Nav, Bluetooth, etc..). I've owned and driven a lot of cars over 30 years--and the Avalon is one of the best, if not the best cars I've ever driven. The added bonus of limo-like interior space and a trunk that swallows up 2+ golf bags and push carts make it incredibly practical too.

    However, I am intrigued by the new '07 Lexus ES350 and would love to hear more from ES 350 owners about their experience with the car before I make my final decision to purchase. The price of the fully loaded Avalon LImited is $38k+ (before negotiation)--the Lexus ES 350-depending on options--seems close.

    Important features for me: Quality, comfort, performance, sound system, interior space, practicality (luggage space/trunk size), value, resale value. My wife drives a Volvo XC-90-so we have a large people hauler if necessary. But I routinely carry lots of "stuff", plus my 14 year old, and my new 5 week old (with huge car seat!), golf clubs, etc..etc.. And have been driving an SUV for years.

    I like the looks of both cars--and am driving the '07 ES later this week.

  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Dunno if you've already made your decision, but based on your comments I'd say you should go w/ the Avalon--it is a bit more roomier than the ES 350, and price-wise is a relatively-better overall bargain when compared to the ES. The ES has the advantage over the Avalon in regards to some of the features you listed as being important to you, but it seems that interior space is a very important factor to you...hence my suggestion that you go w/ the Avalon.
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    Just one note of caution. The Toyota Avalon (all styles/trim levels) cannot be factory equiped with Bluetooth despite having navigation.

  • Funny, I just picked up my new 2007 Avalon Limited with bluetooth installed. I ordered it with bluetooth. The dealer didn't have to do anything to it. It arrived from the port with it installed.
  • No offense, but according to Toyota, they don't offer Bluetooth. Are you talking about voice activation of the Nav system?
  • wbb56wbb56 Posts: 38
    They may say they don't offer it--but if you do a search for vehicles from their website--one of the options you can choose is Bluetooth. Not sure if this a regional thing or not-I'm searching the Southeast region. Could be an option that's installed at the Distribution center. I have spec'd several that include Bluetooth.
  • Yes, those options are added by SouthEast Toyota distributors.
  • dubldocdubldoc Posts: 15
    Both good cars, but size and price seem to be the most important factor to the Grandpa and Luggage crowd. Personally, I dont mind shelling out a few more bucks for a higher ranked brand with better customer service ratings, especially considering resale down the road and a better warranty. And did I mention the 350 is made in Japan while the Avalon is not? Could this be why Consumer Reports listed it as a higher preferance? If a few bucks means that much, try a Kia... ;) If size matters, don't give up your Crown Vic....
  • My wife and I test drove an ES 350 and decided to trade in our Avalon XLS. We have loved it for 2 years but it has been in the shop too many times. Ours has the tranny hesitation and we have been through 2 steering column assemblies (waiting 3 months the first time for an available part. The steering column started clunking again and we decided to get rid of it.

    The avalon has far more space in the rear but the ES (prem/plus NAV) was much quieter. I would call it "hushed". It rode smoother through the bumps of Minnesota and the steering was silky smooth. It did cost significantly more. Value $ wise, a good Avalon would be the winner in my mind.

  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Posts: 76
    Curious to hear other opinions on this: where do you feel that car manufacturers currently draw that important psychological line between cars priced for the average middle class family versus a "more upscale" car with a more upscale price? In other words, at what price point do the manufacturers knowingly "freeze out" the average middle class buyer: $30K, $35K, $40K - higher than that? I think of the Avalon as a solid middle-class family car (like a Buick). Yet a fully equipped Avalon Limited can now sticker close to $40K (as does a Lexus ES 350), whereas a well-equipped Camry would likely still sticker for under $30K. So where would you put that dividing line currently between the middle-class family sedan (think Buick) vs something that is definitely meant to be more "upscale" by comparison? Might be interesting to see if everyone has different views about where that dividing line currently is.
  • sll64sll64 Posts: 1
    After a love affair with Toyotas since the 1973 going from my dear Corona station wagon to my all time favorite car, a Cressida, I am sad to say that our Sienna van will probably be our last Toyota. The quality is just not there any more. Nor is the commitment to customer service. Either the Toyota division has ceded customer service to their luxury sibling Lexus or it is no longer a priority. I am shopping for a new car and compared the Avalon to ES 350. Yes, the ES is a little smaller and costs a little more but it has the quality that the Avalon does not. Apparently the past reliablity is also much better for the ES than for the Avalon. I am wondering if Honda will go the way of Toyota and be just another so-so car? I certainly hope not because that my Accord is currently my workhorse car with the best dealer service I've ever experienced.
  • crazymacrazyma Posts: 20
    I also carefully compared the Avalon before purchasing my ES last month. I was dissapointed giving up the interior room, but the ES is more than ample. I just found the ES to be supperior in just about every other way. I felt like the Avalon needed to be updated. You couldn't really compare any trim lines other than the Limited, and even there, some areas are a stretch. In driving the Avalon, I felt like the car was heavy. It may be great for cruising, but wasn't much fun at all in traffic. The ES, on the other hand, compromises the two types of driving much better. The interior quality, particularly with regard to the dash, is much better in the ES (just my opinion of course). I found that the interior trim in the Avalon, on the center consol and such, was easily marked by anything (buttons on your shirt, fingernails, etc) and not easily buffed. In the end, I gave up a little size and money (not that much money though (perhaps 3K) and ended up with a car that seems to have more synergy. Good luck.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    One also needs to keep in mind that you can't quite compare the ES 350 directly against the Avalon, given the fact that the Avalon--for lack of a more accurate description--is essentially a "stretched" Camry. Okay, it doesn't quite look like a Camry but other than that, it is pretty much best described as a Camry that's a bit more roomier and longer (both share the same engine and tranny; ES tranny is slightly-different from the one in Camry/Avalon).
  • bigmike2bigmike2 Posts: 96
    No, you can't compare the ES 350 to the Avalon. It really compares to the Camry, with whose dimensions and wheelbase it is almost identical. Use the comparator on either the Lexus or Toyota sites.

    It does have a better engine, etc.
    I'm not the only one who has noticed this:
  • I have found the car of my dreams. I go to buy it and it has 6 little yellow crayon circles on the hood and trunk. "Yes it recieved hail damage".. Dealer acts like this is no big deal he will just fix it and sell it as new car?? Is this ok? Damage is very minor.. but I always thought hail damage even if repaired meant long term increased risk for rust?? Is this car of my dreams now damaged goods or do I pay for it like it's a new car?? I live in MN in case different states have different laws.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    "It does have a better engine, etc"

    The Engine and trans are the exact same models. The only reason that the ES shows 4 more HP is the requirement of premium gas. Put the good stuff in a Camry (or Avalon) and you'll get the 4 HP improvement too.

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

  • crazymacrazyma Posts: 20
    I would definitely not pay full price for that. You should run it by your insurance too. The only reason you even saw the car with damage on it is probably because it is an 07 and they don't have time to repair it before th 08's arrive. You should get a significant discount if you buy that, even if they bring it back to perfect. You say he is going to see it as new. Will it show up later in a Carfax report when you go to sell it or trade it in? If it is a new car, it is insured. The dealer has already been or will be paid for the loss of value...don't pay him again! What is so special about this car? Was the "car of your dreams" a limited eddition of 1?
  • mndudemndude Posts: 1
    I've test driven both '07 models and am inclined toward getting an '08 Avalon. Although the ES350 seems a bit higher in quality and more fun to drive, I just can't get over its smaller size and a couple other factors -- I get mixed messages when I inquire about the Premium vs. Regular fuel issue (maybe $150 per year additional cost) and the projected maintenance/repair costs (vs. the Avalon). I'm looking forward to the 6-speed tranny also.
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