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Toyota Avalon Limited vs Lexus ES 350

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Comments

  • Man, this man's in a mission!

    Loved the way you made your point. You're damn good.

    Amaury
    '08 Limited
  • If I wanted power tilt and telescope that badly, I would just spend the extra 25 grand and buy the Lexus! Why be uncomfortable while you are driving down the road.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Toyota... Are you listening......?.... :)
  • I wonder how someone could preach the virtues of the Avalon Limited to a Lexus forum, it's funny by stuff happens. The Avi and 350 are targeted at two different types of buyers. The Avi is a nice vehicle and I considered buying one myself and I know about all the features trust me, but what sold me on the 350 was its size and looks AND features. I simply don't want a big car. If I considered anything other than the 350 it would probably be a 08 or 09 CTS. The 350 looks better and I like how it drives. Now that is subjective, because someone else may come along and say, "Hey the Avi is the greatest car since the Model T" So, lets appreciate that no matter what, some folks will relish vanilla ice cream while others will relish strawberry and move on. Most of the folks who buy the 350 have already considered the Avi so you're preaching to the converted (converted to 350), Go to a Chrysler 300 forum and try to convert them..... :shades:
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I am in mid-30's and never considered Avalon. With 350, Lexus has targeted mid-30's while Avalon still tagets at 50+, my opinion. I don't think people will shop Avalon after driving ES, totally different car.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Actually, this discussion is part of the ES 350 group and the Avalon group. It's not specifically a "Lexus forum." ;)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I don't think people will shop Avalon after driving ES, totally different car

    Really? Same engine, same frame, mostly the same suspension...... They drive similar, the size is the biggest difference. IMO if you need the size go for the Avalon, if you like the smaller vehicle go for the ES at a small price premium.

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

  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Camry, Avalon, ES, Highlander, Venza, RX share same engine, transmission(next model year for crossover's), etc. Are they all the same, no, it all depends on need, taste and $$$. ES stands out and is much better than the Camry or Avalon, go figure. Also, if the customer is less than 50 years and choose Avalon over ES for size than they have serious health issues called obesity.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,573
    "Also, if the customer is less than 50 years and choose Avalon over ES for size than they have serious health issues called obesity. "

    Nice gratuitous insult. Not needed. I've looked at both, currently drive an ES300, and the ES350 is not acceptible because of the compromises made to styling. The rear door opening has been squashed to go after the 4-door coupe look. I want to take friends and clients out without apolgizing for the accomodations.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I am sorry if my comments has offended anyone, I did not intend to do that.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Also, if the customer is less than 50 years and choose Avalon over ES for size than they have serious health issues called obesity.

    Wow... I certainly hope you are the mecca of physical fitness to make that statement. I am just 30 and picked the Avalon for its size because yes I am on the bigger side and 2) when I do take people out I (they) appreciate the extra room. For the driver the front seating area is very similar in the two cars and even though I guess I "have serious health issues" would fit into the ES just fine.

    As for the ES "standing out" I have driven the ES and a fully decked out Camry XLE V6 and can tell you they drive the same. The Lexus has better materials inside and may be a touch quieter, but there isn't all that much difference other than equipment levels and in all fairness the ES is a better looking car (10K better looking.. debatable).

    As for comparing it to the Avalon... IMO they are equal with the Lexus having the advantage of more available equipment and a better dealership experience/service and warranty. All at the expense of interior room and a few thousand on the sticker.

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

  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Actually this is the most differentiated ES ever from the Camry platform, with only 18% of the car's components being derived from the Camry. People who say that the ES is just like a Camry needs to go drive an ES and a Camry, back to back. The engine is the same as are some of the suspension components and the basic design of the frame. EVERYTHING else is unique to the two cars.

    For extra $$$ you get a car that is:

    1. More prestigious

    2. Built in Japan

    3. Has better quality paint and build materials

    4. Has more luxury content

    5. Has a smoother quieter ride

    6. Has more technology

    7. Has a longer warranty

    7. And is attached to a company that has a MUCH higher service and vehicle satisfaction rating.

    The ES is Lexus best selling vehicle besides the RX and they sell nearly 80,000 units per year. They must be doing something right for past two decades.

    If ES is exactly same as Camry, than Lexus wouldn't be selling more cars than TL and G35 combined. When someone compares two cars they need to drive and spend some time with those two cars instead of relying on forums or magazines, be a judge for yourself.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    The engine is the same as are some of the suspension components and the basic design of the frame. EVERYTHING else is unique to the two cars.

    Wait a sec here.... everything you mentioned is everything that ties into the driving dynamics of the car. I have driven them both and own an '06 Avalon, so I think I am informed here. Just talking about driving and handling the ES and Camry are essentially the same. Everything else you mention is purely the reason why people will spend (including even me) the extra money over Camry. However, at the end of the day the ES and Camry (Avalon too) are very much related.

    If ES is exactly same as Camry, than Lexus wouldn't be selling more cars than TL and G35 combined

    NO doubt the ES sells well because it is entry level luxury with a smooth quiet ride. Exactly what most people in this segment are looking for. The TL and G are much more sporty than the ES will ever be. The ES is no sport sedan. Keep in mind here I never said Lexus wasn't doing things right, however, the Toyotas they are based on aren't too bad either ;)

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

  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    TL(based on Accord) is a sporty looking car but not a sport sedan as it is a FWD car. G35 is a sport sedan as well as 3-series and C-class as they are based on RWD. ES, Camry and Avalon may be related but not twins or triplets. They are not the SAME and one cannot say that as they share only approx 20% of components. If one cannot afford to buy ES and say that I have bought a ES without the price tag, than I have no words for him. Having said that, all 3 cars are good in their respective segments and hence are sales leader but each car caters to different people hence cannot be compared. If one wants to compare Camry than do that with Altima, Malibu, Accord, Sonata, Mazda 6, Passat 2.0, etc but definitely not the ES or Avalon.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    That engine has to undergo serious mods in order to increase the horsepower output even by a few digets
    Huh? Like what? The 2 GR is one of the most sophisticated, efficient, and flexible engines currently available. the 2GR (as well as many other engines) can easily compensate for fuel octane differences thru predetonation detection and the corrresponding timing changes necessary to avoid that predetonation. When pre detonation is detected the spark timing is simply retarded (delayed) thereby costing some HP and likewise the timing can be advanced when no predetonation is detected thereby creating a bit more power. Simple really and certainly not requiring 'serious mods', only some technology and a computer program to apply it.

    Having run both premium and regular in my Avalon, I can tell you that there are negligible power and FE differences using premium vs. regular. My 05 Avalon actually was rated at 280 hp reflecting the use of not only premium but also less some engine driven accessories (like a power steering pump). It was rerated to the 268 effective in 06 and in compliance to SAE testing standards changes and with no engine changes whatsoever. Many mfgrs. were effected (Honda, for example) Since the 'FS' (non direct injected) 2GR engine variant is identical in all respects in the Avalon, the Camry and the ES it also follows that the Avalon engine puts out 272 hp using premium just like the ES does, or for that matter that the ES puts out 268hp on regular. It's no big deal, but I believe any statement that there is any real differences in the engines, power- wise or otherwise, is plainly wrong.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    FWIW is the TL is one of the best handling FWD cars on the road (especially in "Type S" form.

    I know what you are saying about the ES only sharing 20% of parts with the Camry, sure the body panels, interior and controls are different, however those things do little about how the vehicle drives. The ES and Camry are no different than say a Cadillac DTS/Lucerne or Town Car/Grand Marquis.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    generally agree with your contention that any car with with 60% (or more) of its weight over the front (driven) wheels cannot be a sports sedan BUT I really don't think that you'll find too many TL owners that don't at least think it is one. Honda has a done a remarkable job in that particular car engineering out some of the nasty behavior that comes with a lot of HP and FWD.
    Things like Camry XLEs vs ESs, however, 6 of one half dozen of the other - except, of course for that sometimes quite important badge. The Avalon? Simply a larger - and different - car.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the median age for the Avalon buyer used to be 63 before the 05 MY. ANY larger 4 door sedan will necessarily appeal to an older demographic (even the ES) for no other reason than how practical they all tend to be relative to some of those swoopy smaller (and often cheaper) sedans that tend to do better with the younger folks. The younger buyer I would contend is generally more concerned with a 'badge' compared to that older guy that's been around long enough not to care anymore about what others might think. The demographic for the ES buyer is younger - as it logically should be.

    However true it may be that the Avalon still appeals to an older buyer it really is because of its size (as you note) - and styling to some degree - because it certainly has nothing to do with the 6 sec. 0-60s it is capable of - or FTM how 'large' that buyer might be!
  • captain2,

    Since you know your stuff, I’m gonna get technical: I’m fully aware that the tendency to knock is higher when spark advance is increased – and vice versa. The fact is, you can lower/increase an engine’s octane requirement by just playing with the ignition timing.

    The words you noted in italics were said because I believed no do-it-yourselfer or high-tech mechanic (including the dealer) can effectively and efficiently implement even the change you explained (yes, it only requires a bit of know-how and a piece of software); but I think that only the engine designer can tell the computer (the ECM and any related ECU) when the perfect balance between the flame front, power delivery by the pistons and end gases have been achieved. And I said this because if your flame front starts earlier then your end gases (product of combustion) will also start to form earlier within the cylinders, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you gonna end up having incipient knock all over the place before the pistons fully deliver all their potential energy to the crankshaft. Sure, just about anyone with the right tool can do this; what I’m questioning is how efficient the balance can be achieved.

    Yes, using premium will give you a bit more of a push using the approach you explained. Originally I was thinking of a different approach. But I will clarify this NOT to you since, as I said it earlier, I’m sure you know your stuff (and I appreciate you made me look at a different direction regarding this issue): many folks believe premium gasoline is “better” than non-premium, and because it is better, the engine ought to give you more power. Not so. Octane 87 gasoline delivers the same amount of energy per unit volume as octane 93 does. In the case of the 2GR-FE, is the procedure explained above which I think makes the difference and not the “premium” in the gasoline.

    Amaury
    ’08 Limited
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The words you noted in italics were said because I believed no do-it-yourselfer or high-tech mechanic
    no actually this is your original statement obviously with which I have the issue - it can be (and often is) for that 'do-it-yourselfer' to easily and sometimes quite inexpensively get even more than just a few extra HP out of an engine - even one as sophisticated as the 2GR. Ever hear of K&N Air filters? Something like ECU chips are also commonly replaced yielding sometimes very large HP gains although usually at the expense of mfgr. warranties. The point was that is quite easy to get a few extra HP out of almost any engine and that it doesn't necessarily require 'serious' engine modifications as you suggest. The whole explanantion that I went into about the valve and spark timing adjustments that the 2GR can and does make in response to fuel octane ( as well as other things) was only to substantiate that the Avalon engine at 268hp and the ES engine at 272 are indeed exactly the same and it is simply a rating difference because of the fuel octane recommendations.
    In truth it all has to do with marketing - apparently Toyota believes (probably correctly) that the buyer of a Toyota labelled product is more likely to be concerned with the $.40/gallon fuel premium than the Lexus buyer. I, for one, would likely never buy the ES (over the Camry XLE) and/or I would certainly run 87 octane in both if I did - the 4hp is plainly not enough of a difference to justify an extra $7.00 a tank IMO. Not that the ES doesn't offer something extra for the money or that it isn't a very fine automobile just like the Camry and Avalon - it's just not worth it TO ME!
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    As mentioned before, one should not compare ES to Camry or Avalon. That said, a person might cross shop between Camry, Avalon and ES depending on his needs, affordability, taste and above all value for the money in his perspective. I still think that most of them considering Camry will not cross shop with ES as it is a big jump from family to luxury segment. The approximate price between Camry XLE/Avalon Limited/ES equally equipped is $33,000/$38,000/$43,000 after 5 years (w/o maintenance costs) while considering $1,000 below invoice for Toyota and at invoice for ES, better financing rate on Toyota than Lexus. The numbers are just approximations with zero down and OTD price with 8% sales tax and TTL. My 2 cents, if you are planning to keep the vehicle for 10 years, don't intend to put lot of miles and can afford to pay premium, than go for Lexus. Luxury, dealer/service experience and resale value is amongst the best in the industry.
    I also don't think that the engine used in Rav4/Highlander/Venza/Camry/Avalon/ES/RX are different.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the only difference I have with this is that it is logical to compare the ES with the Camry XLE - despite differences in badge perception, dealer service, and even fit and finish - there is still very little from the bling dept. that can't be had with the cheaper Camry. And it remains true that they are identical in size and certainly mechanically. It is the physically larger Avalon that makes the suspect comparison.
    It is kinda like tjc78 mentioned, if you can accept a DTS buyer shopping the Lucerne, or the Town Car buyer shopping the Marquis why is that really any different than what we have here?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I also don't think that the engine used in Rav4/Highlander/Venza/Camry/Avalon/ES/RX are different.

    not only that but Toyota planned it that way. Back in 2004 Toyota was 'saddled' with a perfectly good group of V6s (despite 'sludging') that were short about 50hp. So they spent literally hundreds of millions to develop the 2GR series actually from the existing 4 liter truck engine and put it first in the 05 Avalon. Turned out to be a helluva good decision, an engine easily good enough for a multitude of uses, plenty good enough to be fitted in any Lexus, and still save the companies a bunch of money. I would even go one step further and include the FSE variant that's in the IS and GS, direct injection while it may make for 40 or 50 more HP does not in itself change what the 2GR is - simply one of THE best V6 engines ever made!.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    tjc78 was talking about driving dynamics and both cars are pretty close, otherwise they are different. They might share the same engine, transmission and wheelbase which are most important part of the car but other than that, they don't share anything. If some or most of them are happy that they bought cheaper ES or ES w/4 cylinder than they are SOMETHING.
    Camry sells the best in it's class so they want to carry the same size, engine and transmission to ES to reduce cost and be competitive. This will also help to keep the maintenance costs low. I would suggest you or any other person who strongly feel that Camry and ES are same to spend a day with both the cars back to back. I have come across more posts about these two cars than Accord/TL, Toureg/Q7/Cayenne, MDX/Pilot, Highlander/RX, etc. and it might be because they looked almost the same until 2007 model year.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I guess the thing is that this is a discussion specifically for the purpose of comparing the top of the line Avalon with the ES 350. I think those who do not feel that is an appropriate comparison should feel free not to participate. ;)

    Other comparison topics are welcome. Check out the model listings to see if something suitable is already underway and if you don't see what you'd like, feel free to create it.

    Thanks!
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Pat,
    I agree that this is a discussion for comparison between ES and Avalon but still I do not understand that if someone does not feel right about comparing two should not participate. To understand your message better, can I disagree for comparison between Avalon and ES?
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Captain, you know about Toyota pretty well, impressed. I think, I am barred from this discussion or for any car comparison, I suppose, so good luck to all Camry buyers.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You have already made your feelings well known. Thank you for that. But there is no reason to hang around here to keep repeating them.

    Let those who want to discuss how these cars compare do so.

    Thank you.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Turned out to be a helluva good decision, an engine easily good enough for a multitude of uses, plenty good enough to be fitted in any Lexus,

    Don't forget the fact that not only does the 2GR produce more power it does so with better FE than the 3.0/3.3.

    the 2GR is - simply one of THE best V6 engines ever made!.

    After 28K miles on my Avalon I can't agree more.

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

  • I lease a 2005 Limited and love the car. I Test drove an ES before deciding on the Avalon. The limited has an upscale feel and look, although the ES was a bit more refined. My decision to go with the Avalon was based on the size comparasion between the two. Avalon matches up to an LS430 size wise, while the ES comapres to the Camry. Other than the trunk, Avy has more interior room, period. However, now that my lease is about to run out, I am going back to the ES as Toyota has not updated the Avy Nav system and does not offer a back up camera. It appears to me the a fully loaded ES offers considerably more than Avalon. I can live with the slightly smalled ES interior, but had Toyota updated some of the Avy features, I would have stayed with them. Ride wise I rate them very close to the same with respects to quiet, smooth and power.
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