Last post on Oct 01, 2013 at 8:18 PM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES 350
#189 of 268 Re: Preaching to the converted 
Apr 15, 2009 (8:29 pm)
"Perception" is the most important thing which makes a commodoity (Lexus ES in this case) more desirable and hence worthy to own by the ones who can afford it. What makes us percieve things in a particular way is a complex interaction of prestige/styling/worthiness/reliability/fit/finish/after sales service etc.
Whether the ES shares 20% or 100% parts with avalon really doesn't matter as their personalities and the statement they made are completely different.
Trying to debate and rationalize why you didn't get the ES but instead got the avalon or camry is like saying that the 30 dollar shoe that you got from K Mart last weekend is almost as good as the expensive Allen Ed. or johnston murphy. Heck! both are made in China too
Obviously, each of us have a very different perception of cars which keeps the forums like this alive but in general and for the most part a Lexus is a Lexus, whereas a toyota is a toyota nationally and globally! Which concludes my point that an average car buyer doesn't really care how many parts or attributes these cars share but more importantly how each of this car is percieved by them and others who see them in their rides.
Sounds very superficial! Well unfortunately that is how it is. Enjoy your ride whatever you drive or whatever you can afford to drive.
#190 of 268 Re: Preaching to the converted [a1s1a1]
Apr 15, 2009 (9:14 pm)
Yes, to each his own. I can afford to buy about any car I want, but I bought my Avalon strictly on price and the fact that it was a good car and a Toyota. Then proceeded to make it what I wanted. Drives and looks much better now. We prefer sporty. Loved the new/old VW CC, but the ES350 should be coming off lease soon and I will be in line. The CC may be next, but don't trust European reliability.
I passed on an 07 ES350 with low miles and loaded. Asking price was $24k with a list in the mid 40's. I'm thinkin I screwed up. No sales tax either. A Boxster is still in my heart though. I have a 90 Lexus LS400 with under 60k that drives like new, but rarely gets driven. I keep thinking I should sell it and get my Boxster, but then again, I think "Where could I ever get this much car again for that price?" Can't keep em both as both garages are full now. Decisions, decisions. I usually let the $$ decide. A big new fancy piece of depreciation just isn't worth it to me. Personal choice. Rather see an investment grow, but then, that ain't happenin either.
#191 of 268 Re: Preaching to the converted [a1s1a1]
Apr 16, 2009 (9:42 pm)
I guess I couldn't have expressed my feeling any better than you. You summed it up for me really well. Perception is indeed the key issue here, but IMO and I drove the Avalon Limited before deciding on the ES 350 Level III, is that Lexus is a better built car and it does come with a more should I say prestigious, luxurious and upscale demeanor. Lexus carries a well earned badge of a high value car.
The overall experience of owning a Lexus from dealership pampering and high grade/quality fit and finish places the car in a different class than the Avalon. I know I'm saying the same things you are but maybe in a different 'way'. I do believe you get what you pay for most of the time.
However, the Avalon was rated the best large size car in its class by US News Car Rankings and I believe its a great car but just not in the same class as a Lexus and I have never seen it rated in the same category/class as a Lexus. And that's my 'perception'....
#192 of 268 Cross shopped all 3
Apr 23, 2009 (10:39 am)
I recently cross shopped Avalon, ES350, Camry, and several other competitors and settled on Avalon Limited. All are very nice but, compared to ES350, Avalon is a true 5 passenger car with a flat floor in the back seat. It also has way more head room in back. I am 6'2'' and was unable sit in any of the back seat positions in the ES350. The rear center position in the ES350 is of little value for most situations. For the cars I tested, the Avalon had considerably less vibration, too. I also like that Avalon's manual calls for 87 octane. I ruled out Camry because even the top line leather interior had a short driver's seat that lacked thigh support for me.
#193 of 268 Re: Cross shopped all 3 [1lotlizard]
Apr 23, 2009 (11:35 am)
No regular for the ES350? Or is it that they don't state it? I thought that they used the same engine. At any rate, the computer should adjust to the lower octane. I burn regular in our 03 AV when out of the ethanol states. No problem, and get up to 31 MPG running 80. I just saw a Kia ad crowing about 32 MPG for a cracker box. Big deal. Unless that was a combined number.
#194 of 268 Perception vs. Reality
Apr 24, 2009 (3:24 am)
The issue of perception is both on the money and off target as it specifically relates to the Avalon Lexus 350 issue.
Perception may or may not have a basis in reality. In this matter, the reality is that the Avalon and the 350 have a lot in common, starting with the engine. My next door neighbor has a 2008 350 and I'm surprised at the similarities between it and my 2007 Avalon Ltd. Surprisingly, my car has perforated/heated/cooled front seats and hers doesn't, but that's because she didn't order that with hers.
Nevertheless, my perception is that her Lexus is a luxury car and my Toyota is not. To me, Toyota is not a luxury car maker, but Lexus is, even though the Avalon Ltd. has some luxury engineering and details. My perception is that her car is more quiet and has a more luxury feel. The reality that the Avalon has so much in common with the Lexus gives me a greater sense of perceived value. Yet, I can see why Lexus charges and gets a premium for their cars.
a1s1a1, I'm a shoe guy. Allen Edmonds is made in the USA and is a very well crafted shoe. Johnston Murphy is made in various places overseas, but is also well made, albeit not up the the AE standards. There's no comparison between either and a KMart shoe, which is poorly made, regardless of where it's made.
#195 of 268 XM Satelite Radio for 2009 Toyota Avalon
Mar 22, 2010 (8:54 pm)
Can a XM radio kit be safely purchase on Ebay ?
if so does it have to be instal by the Dealer who charges a arm and a leg or can a regular radio shop instal it as well
will appreciate a answer to my question
thanks JSIER 29
#196 of 268 Re: Preaching to the converted [a1s1a1]
Nov 19, 2010 (10:28 pm)
I perceive you as yuppie scum and an idiot.
#197 of 268 Re: Preaching to the converted [digdug2]
Nov 20, 2010 (11:14 am)
"I perceive you as yuppie scum and an idiot."
Now that wasn't nice was it? The man was just stating an opinion. He is entitled to that. We all go through different phases in life. Sometimes we put too much value on how others perceive us. I always told our kids that if someone judges you by what brand clothes you wear, you probably don't want to know them anyway. How many jocks end up being quite average with a big beer gut? How many nerds end up being big successes?
I always felt that if one needs to be pampered and catered to, there may be something else of major importance missing. Do we all feel some inferiority deep inside as we try to find out who we are and where real value lies? There is a book titled The Millionaire Next Door that describes those who are self made millionaires. They live a modest life and know who they are. Most would never know what they have.
Others need to flaunt it so everyone can see. But far too many do it with credit, leased cars and finances stretched to the limit. Apparently, they feel the need for approval from others. Some need the image for their job, or feel that they do. We all eventually settle into a 'comfort zone'. Maybe it depends how we got to where are. If you grew up with everything, that's probably where you think you should be. If you had to work your way up to that level, you may see things quite differently.
Now, about them shoes. Kmart sells $30 shoes? Wow, I gotta save up and git me some of those. I paid $7 for mine. They have these neat little velcro straps that make them easy to slip on and off. I wear them almost daily around home as my 'work' shoes and treat them with no respect. They are a flimsy piece of crap. They are also over 5 years old and my toes peek out the holes in the front. I'm proud of them lil buggers. They have no right to still be around. The point is, even products like this can serve their purpose. Would they fit at the country club. Oh heavens no. But on the other hand, I never go there. My cars never go to the dealer either. I don't need his prices or pampering, and they rarely fail. I have never been treated disrespectfully for wearing my grub clothes and shoes into a store as most people can see past that. No, I don't live in Beverly Hills where they probably would look down their noses, but I guess I would never feel comfortable there anyway. My value is in my friends who accept me for who I am and not where I have membership or by what I drive. Nothing to prove and no one wants proof. I like it that way. But it's all personal choice. If you choose to pay the price to be pampered, go for it. It's your dollar.
#198 of 268 Avalon vs ES, old and new
Jan 03, 2011 (2:26 pm)
When I bought my 2000 Avalon XLS, in December 1999, it was because the new Acura TL I ordered didn't allow me to get comfortable in the front seat (6'2", 200 lb at the time). I went across the street to buy a new ES 300 and found the cabin similarly tight, but there was/is a *lot* more room in the front seat of the Avalon. It just turned 120,000 miles, and I'll be replacing it soon. (BTW, to overcome the marshmallow ride and sloppy handling, I replaced the original shocks with KYB's, upgraded the tires to 225/55 x 16 W-rated Conti's, and upgraded the brake pads and suspension bushings: *big* difference: the ride is still smooth but handling is much improved.)
Put a bid on a very low mileage 2007 Avalon Limited yesterday. My $0.02: The exterior dimensions are larger than I'd like, but again: more room in all seats. With all the extra equipment, the new Avalon also seems nearly as, well, "fru-fru" as the ES, but the ride and routine handling are really good, and the only option lacking is the backup camera.
Also, I do like the exterior design of the ES better, and the quality of interior materials is higher, as is the build quality. On the other hand, I seem to do better if my clients don't think they're paying for my Lexus.
As for old people, I've seen plenty of blue hairs driving ES350's, and I did have that concern when I bought the 2000 XLS; however, now I'm 12 years older and don't care anymore.
PS: I also drove a new Hyndai Genesis yesterday. Nice car, lots of features, great warranty, good value... but my wife and I got into the old Avalon to go home and wondered, "Why are we getting rid of this car? It rides a lot better than the Genesis." The answer, of course, is that at this mileage point, a lot of components (like O2 sensors) need to be replaced, and the law of diminishing returns set in last year or the year before.