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Toyota Avalon Limited vs Lexus ES 350



  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,666
    I am 27 and my '06 XLS is my second Avalon. No one has ever said that I drive an "old mans car" This is especially true with my '06. To each his own I guess. Quite honestly, I see plenty of 60+ people is ES's too.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    Just my opinion, but what difference does it make how old you are with respect to the kind of car you drive...???? The way I look at it is, if you're secure with yourself, why should you care if you drive an Avalon, 350 or Corvette? To say, "I'm not going to buy an Avalon because old people drive them and I'm only 30" is rather shallow, don't you think?
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Posts: 120
    Agree with post 33,sounds like some of the above posters
    want the "L" on their hood.If you look at the back of a es350 and the back of a Avalon they are similiar looking.
    To post 31,I think the Lexus is a bit quicker than the Avalon,check the specs.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    Motor Trend puts the 2005 Avalon at zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds; Edmunds lists the ES 350 at zero to 60 in 7.2 seconds. The edge goes to the Avalon.
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    Like I said.... I wasn't out to offend anyone? Seems like I did though, I apologize. Just a matter of opinion. Around the DC/VA/MD area.... the trend of Avalon drivers are older, but I guess it could be different elsewhere.

    I really was going to buy the 2006 Avalon, but once I the ES350 was introduced, I totally had a chance of heart. I pretty much like everything about ES350... except the price, which is about 5-7K more than the Avalon. As far as the Avalon goes.... I still see it on the road and think it would be my second choice.
  • rocketdanrocketdan Posts: 28
    You should really find a different Lexus dealer. If you are just trying to support your already made decision, quote $44K for a stripped ES. But that isn't reality. My '07 ES w/nav, BU cam,Premium Plus and more was $39K. Granted, the Avalon is less expensive, but the content is different. Judge the cars for their fundamental difference, which is mainly size. If I needed a family car I would have gladly bought the Avalon and settled for lesser content (little things like the BU cam, rain sensing wipers, electric steering column controls, etc.) lesser style (my opinion) and lesser warranty. But I drive alone or with my wife. A smaller, more personal car was for us.

    Either choice can be a good one if it is right for you. But please, don't make stuff up!
  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Honolulu, HawaiiPosts: 84
    What if the Avalon Limited had been branded & marketed as a Lexus, rather than a Toyota model? And you found it there on the Lexus showroom floor, side by side with the ES 350, with exactly the same price and size and content differentials that we are aware of & that we've all been discussing. (To keep this fair, let's assume, for the sake of this theoretical argument, that the Avalon still only came with a 3 year/36K mi. warranty vs. the 4 yr/48K mi. warranty on the ES 350, but you could choose to purchase the dealer's extended warranty as an option on either car.) Would any of the current or prospective ES 350 buyers opt for the larger, less expensive "Lexus Avalon" instead, under those circumstances?
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    I think I would still go with the ES350. The interior and exterior on the ES350 is much more stylish, however it does come with the hight price tag.

    I think there is improvement on the front end of the Avalon. I think the ES350 has more of a strong and sporty front end.
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    No, I wouldn't, basically because I like the
    looks of the ES better than the Avalon.
    I mean, let's face it. These are two very
    compelling cars that have some great features
    on them. Do I think the Avalon is a nice car
    for what it offers? Yes. Do I like the
    styling? Not particularly. This may sound
    trite to some people, but you've also got to
    like the exterior and interior style of the
    car that you're going to drive for anywhere
    from three to five, or maybe even longer in
    the years to come.
    This may also explain why some people prefer
    the Lexus over the Avalon, not because it's
    a Lexus. (Sure, it doesn't help that you get
    the A-1 treatment from Lexus either).
    I believe in the end, it comes down to which
    body style you prefer. I have a feeling
    this thread is gonna go back and forth and
    back and forth. The people that prefer the
    Avalon are not going to change their mind and
    the people that prefer the Lexus are not
    going to change their mind either.
    Just my two cents!
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    You sure as hell didn't offend me. I have one of each. I was just observing how some people seem to buy cars based on the age of the person they see most often driving them; you're certainly not the first person who has made that statement...the Avalon board is full of similar observations and in my personal opinion it's a rather shallow reason NOT to buy a car (regardless of make) if it has features and is of the quality you feel it has.
  • oilcan2oilcan2 Posts: 120
    I posted this question before but may have been on different board,has anyone researched what the difference is
    in the Avalon's rating of 31 hwy mpg and the ES350's 30,is it gearing ? It will be interesting to see if the 07 Avalon
    has the 6 speed trans,then we will have a better comparison.
  • rwb2rwb2 Posts: 85
    I want nobody to take offense (there are more serious issues out there than comparing Toyotas). But I've owned the ES and 2 Avy's and multiple Camrys. If we're going to compare we need to compare the V6 Camry (leather, moonroof, etc.)and the ES, which is a gussied up Camry that Toyota decided to add all the bells and whistles (and looks) and brand it as a Lexus (compare the specs). Its all about branding and marketing. If you got the bucks, Toyota will gladly take your money. At the end of the day its all about how important the branding is to you. ( I bet this is the first time the phrase "gussied up" has appeared on a Edmund website).
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    LOL! Bet if you go over to the Avalon board you could probably find it...I think "gussied up" is aged terminology (remember my grandfather used to use it). Since Avalon is allegedly driven by the mature crowd, you'll probably find it sprinkled throughout the postings there. ;)
  • rwb2rwb2 Posts: 85
    You've still got it Zekeman- a great sense of humor- Have a great evening
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Um, these kinds of implications are neither accurate nor necessary - sense of humor aside.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Optioning out and rebranding is something that is certainly not unique to Toyota - how about the Caddy DTS/Lucerne at a $15k premium, the Accord/TL, the Passat/A6, the 500/S80 etc. etc. One of the things that has allowed Nissan/Infiniti to make such a dramatic comeback, the multiple uses of a strong V6 and a common platform that started life in the 02 Altima. The previous generations of the Avalon certainly 'gussied up' (and slightly stretched) Camrys. The ES, IMO, a much better looking Camry with option levels that certainly rival/exceed the top trim Avalons and at a $10k premium vs. the Camry. Can't imagine that Toyota doesn't do a whole lot better selling that "L' nameplate and there are a number of distinctions between the ES and the Camry XLE. Is it worth the $10 grand? To ES buyers, obviously.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,942
    I have to agree with maximafan that the ES350 exterior and interior styling is much more aesthetically pleasing than the 2006 Avalon.

    Although it hasn't been mentioned on this thread but I believe there is a gender gap between these two cars. For women, the ES350 is the right size, it comes in brighter colors and it has many of the creature comforts that make driving it a pleasure and a status symbol. I am sure that is probably part of Toyota's marketing strategy as they send a lot of promotional materials to my wife and her female friends.

    Also, the ES350 conveys an aura of youthfulness where the Avalon rightly or wrongly suggests grandpa's wheels. The stats will bear out on this as the average age of an Avalon owner is 62. I don't know what it is for the ES350 but I am willing to bet it is younger than that.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    So . . . the ES is a young chick car like all VW's; and the Avalon is for the more discerning and mature adults of either sex.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    To you and bwia (and anyone else appropriate): Gross generalizations like that aren't a good idea and don't advance this conversation in any productive direction. You'll find men and women, young and old, interested in both the ES 350 and the Avalon. And besides being another silly gross generalization, "young chick car like all VWs" is out of place here.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,666
    I can't see how average age for a car is a generalization. There are people at Toyota and all other car makers that do nothing but study it. Think Scion, a brand made just for younger buyers. The manufacturers know who buys their cars and who to tailor them for. The people here are generally right that the Avalon draws an older crowd, as does almost ANY full size car. Think Grand Marquis, Town Car, Le Sabre. There just aren't that many options any more for a full size car with a real trunk (at a sane price). Three years ago when I bought my '03 I was told that I was the youngest person (24) ever to buy an Avalon at a fairly high volume dealer. When I bought my '06 I asked and they said from what they can remember I am still the youngest buyer. The Avalon's image has gotten better with the '05 redesign and can't be called an "old man's car" anymore (IMO) but the numbers don't lie.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • I do not know at this point what the Avalon has for a timing device. The Lexus ES-350 for 2007 went to a chain instead of the belt, so for major maintenence this should help the overall cost and extend the changing of this item
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,666
    "I do not know at this point what the Avalon has for a timing device"

    It's the same engine. All 3.5's use a chain.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    did have an opportunity to drive the new ES, the Avalon/Camry V6 sure does transform the car into something that it never has been - quick. It is, however, Avalon XLS/Ltd soft - much more so than the Av Touring or Camry XLE/SE. Not that this is bad, but it does skew that age demographic. The ES is really a luxoed Camry; the Avalon, primarily because of its size, more relative to the LS at a $25k savings. The 'L' premium for the ES, $15k over that Camry XLE. Will folks cross shop the Avalon and ES, sure - but if those potential ES buyers prefer the smaller car they also need to look at the 'full boat' Camrys.

    Toyota and Lexus have never really had an engine that would compete with the Nissan VQ that appears in multiple Nissan/Infinti vehicles, or the Honda/Acura V6. Until now, of course - and it may prove to be the best engine of them all as it continues to find its way into multiple Toyota/Lexus products!
    And yes, the 2GR Toyota engines are all chain driven cams, use multiple injectors (per cylinder), and have continuous variable valve timings on both the intake and exhaust sides - this is where all the power (and efficiency) comes from. A real departure from those belt driven 3 and 3.3 liter engines of the past.
  • ocimocim Posts: 45
    I think what 'gohawaiian' was trying to say is that Lexus has figured out that there is a certain price premium (obviously through market studies) that buyers are willing to pay for a Lexus badge, at least in the US. These buyers don't necessarily have to be wealthy, nor misinformed; They simply want the Lexus badge and ES350 is the lowest cost of entry into the perceived elite group. After all, keeping up with the Jones' is still a favorite pastime of many, if not all. The fact is both cars are very good, and they represent decent value in their respective segments. They both share the same engine, they are both very quiet. Lexus offers slightly nicer furniture while Avalon offers a lot more room since it rides on a longer wheelbase. From a purely engineering perspective, Toyota's actual production costs is very similar for both models. In other words, Lexus is not selling for more money because it costs more to build. Therefore, the per unit profit margin on a Lexus is higher. As long as you recognize that fact and still want to purchase a Lexus that is your decision and I applaud you for it.
  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Honolulu, HawaiiPosts: 84
    Might be helpful (& interesting) to quantify the approximate OTD additional amount one will likely pay for an ES 350 with the Premium Plus package over the OTD cost of the Avalon Limited model (omitting tax, license, doc fees & any other similar local add-on charges). For example, my OTD price for a 2005 Avalon Limited, including VSC and Laser Cruise Control options, was $29.3K. Neither the Avalon nor the ES 350 includes Laser Cruise Control as standard equipment, but the Lexus does include VSC as standard equipment - so to make this an apples-to-apples comparison, I think it's reasonable to estimate that I would likely have paid approx. $29K for my car without the Laser Cruise Control (and before tax, license, etc.)
    Can anyone supply comparable OTD numbers for recent purchase of an Avalon Limited or ES 350 with the Premium Plus package, that will quantify how wide the gap is between these comparably equipped cars? (It's true that the Avalon Ltd. has HID headlights as standard equipment, but the ES 350 comes with Bluetooth, power tilt & telescope column, etc. - so let's call these fairly minor equipment differences basically a "wash" cost-wise.) If you have Nav, break out the additional OTD cost for that option, so people can compare apples-to-apples, as much as possible. I'd be curious to learn whether the OTD gap is around $5K or, in fact, significantly more than that.
  • Hi GoHawaiian,
    In answer to your question, here are the figures I used last May when I was down to choosing between the 2006 Avalon Limited and 2007 Lexus ES 350. Both had nav and similar equipment. Since I had previously bought a Lexus from this dealer, he offered me a $2K discount even before they hit the showrooms that following week. Even so, I went for the Avalon and haven't regretted it since. The $5K savings didn't hurt, either. Incidentally, both dealers are in Oregon.


    2006 Avalon Limited MSRP $37,294
    Avalon Invoice $33,247
    Profit over invoice $300
    Avalon Cost $33,547

    2007 Lexus ES350 MSRP $40,749
    Discount ($2,000)
    Lexus Cost $38,749

    Net Savings With Avalon $5,202
  • gohawaiiangohawaiian Honolulu, HawaiiPosts: 84
    That's a great comparison, since you had figures for both cars, and was right in line with my $5K "guess-timate". I wonder if other buyers will report finding an even wider price gap between these two models. I think it's quite helpful to quantify the price gap, because when buyers ask themselves "Am I getting my money's worth for the extra cost?" (which is certainly a subjective question) they should know exactly what that extra cost is.
  • Pat, your level of Political Correctness is impressive.

  • One thing that hasn't been mentioned when comparing the 2 is that the Avalon is built in Kentucky while the ES is built in Japan. At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, IMO the Japan-built cars are of better quality with fewer defects.

    I bought an 05 Avalon in Feb05 and have had nothing but trouble with it. So much so that I am going to look at a new ES this weekend.

    This car is in fact one of the biggest lemons I've ever had. Considering my previous cars were MB E320, MB C280 and a 95 Corvette that's really saying something.

    Since I've had it it has had a new axle, a new steering column, new Rear strut and now the sunroof is rattling like crazy.

    So if you ask me the extra $5K is well worth it to get a good quality vehicle.
  • Okay, having read all the comments I must agree the Lexus is a better car than the Avalon Limited. I have owned four Avalons ..twenty one Toyota's. The reason I bought another Avalon is is unbeatable by anyones standards at my dealership in Maryland . Both cars are great, each will give you satisfaction, both have same problems, the price is about the same. The major problem as I see it is once Toyota began building in USA the quality control has dropped significantly. The last great Toyota I owned was the 1991 Cressida. However I will continue buying from my Toyota dealership...Because the care about me.
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