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
#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.
#199 of 268 Avalon vs ES, old and new
Jan 03, 2011 (3:13 pm)
Ah yes, the same suspension upgrade we did on our 03. Love it. Purrs like a kitten, handles great and fun to drive. Someone who had had the various said the 03 are the best. Can't argue with that. We too considered upgrading. We too thought the newer AV is too big. I'm thinkin a target of 200k or until something falls into my lap.
We're at 96k and just made the trip from MN to AZ. Dust and wind really bad. We had 60 MPH headwind gusts way before we hit Tucumcari NM, then a dust storm around Deming and a snowstorm on I-10. Full load, 80+ MPH, still got 26 MPG. Car handled it just fine with the heavy duty suspension I had put on it.
Dust and wind really bad. We had 60 MPH headwind gusts way before we hit Tucumcari NM the day before and it had not subsided. Full load, 80+ MPH, still got 26 MPG. Car handled it just fine with the heavy duty suspension I had put on it.
If you consider your tax, license, insurance, depreciation etc. you can pay for anything that may go wrong.
I agree on the Hyundai. Suspension not refined yet. Prefer to drive the AV, as is the case with most I try out. Kinda fits like an old glove.
Jan 03, 2011 (8:51 pm)
Here is my comparison of the two vehicles. the ES-350 costs considerably more, has considerably less interior room, and premium fuel is recommended for the ES-350.
How much is "I drive a Lexus" worth? Not very much to me!
#201 of 268 Re: Comparison [popsavalon]
Jan 03, 2011 (10:39 pm)
So, what is the difference between the Avalon and ES350 engines? Any more power in the Lexus? If not, why must you burn premium? I burn regular in my 03 AV.
#202 of 268 Re: Avalon vs ES, old and new [gringoviejo]
Jan 04, 2011 (9:34 am)
Before the holiday, I went car shopping. We have an 06 Limited and my wife loves it. So I first looked at older Avalon (for lower cost). Checked out a couple 2000, they drove ok (XLS) but felt a little dated. However, the disappointment came from "closing the door". I noticed once I closed the driver side door, the roof "pop", "move" whatever you called. I went outside, closed the door again, I could still see the roof "pop" a little.
Once I got back to the 06, I checked the roof, didn't "pop". Seems more solid. Not to mention the nice solid sound on closing the door (any door).
So last week I went to Lexus, checked out some older (2002-2004) ES. High quality inside, well built. You can tell, great leather, feel solid when closing the door. BUT they are smaller We have 2 kids with car seat and booster so back seat is important. The ES just doesn't have good backseat space.
Then I saw an 05 Limited on the same lot. The ES has 45K miles and the Avalon has 78K and both priced very close. I picked the Avalon instead
In term of feature, Limited has DVD NAV, start button, heated/cooled seat, real sunshade, HID, use regular fuel, has more HP. And more space from the rear seat. So the choice is easy and now we have a silver 06 and dark red 05 both limited
You really can't go wrong with the Avalon
#203 of 268 Re: Avalon vs ES, old and new [gringoviejo]
Jan 04, 2011 (11:28 am)
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."
If you like the Avalon/ES350 ride do not buy the Genesis. I went from an Avalon to the Genesis and hate the ride, it is very "unsettled" and firm.
As for comparing the Avalon to the ES. They are both so similar IMO if you like the extra room go for the Avalon , if you want something smaller the ES is a hell of a car too.
#204 of 268 Re: Comparison 
Jan 04, 2011 (4:52 pm)
You are asking questions I do not have answers for. I drive an Avalon also.
The ES-350 owners manual says 93 octane recommended. That is premium.
#205 of 268 Re: Comparison [popsavalon]
Jan 04, 2011 (5:38 pm)
"Recommended" means there's some drop in performance or economy or both, but you can use it. Same words in my ES300's manual, I've used regular for 15 years with no problems. The Av and ES350 engines are practically identical, the ES might have mapping allowing more hp with premium, or it may just be identical.
#206 of 268 Re: Comparison [texases]
Jan 04, 2011 (10:05 pm)
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!
#207 of 268 Re: Comparison [popsavalon]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Jan 05, 2011 (7:50 am)
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