Tips for a first-time car buyer: 2014 Avalon vs. 2014 Lexus ES 350

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 6th, 2013 12:55 pm
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May 8, 2005
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rooneytunes wrote:
Dec 5th, 2013 1:01 pm
My 2001 Corolla is on its last legs. I drive for work, so reliability and affordability are both key. I know absolutely nothing about cars so it must be reliable & easy to maintain. I really like the 2014 Avalon & 2014 Lexus ES 350, good size for when I have kids (looks good for fitting 2 car seats). My budget is between $40,000-$60,000 no more. We just bought a condo so I'm not looking to spend much more...

What do you think? Thanks!
If you haven't even got kids yet, don't look at an Avalon or Lexus. Those are great cars to ' cruise ' around in ....once the kids have left home. :lol:

If you want to move up to a mid size sedan and are partial to Toyota and or Asian makes ...look at a Camry or Accord or Sonata instead.
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Aug 30, 2005
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Disclaimer: I owned a 2008 Mazda3 in the past and currently own a 2009 Lexus ES350.

The 2013 Lexus ES350 and 2014 Toyota Avalon are built on the same platform, so they are essentially very similar in terms of size and performance. Most of these cars now have back-up camera and back-up sensors so parking them are made easier. Having said that, coming from a smaller Mazda3 to a ES350 it does take getting used to (i.e. much easier to reverse park in Mazda, but parallel parking is easier with sensors). So you may want to give your girlfriend some driving time to adjust after getting a sedan car.

In terms of reliability, my Mazda3 in the first 4 years had no big problems but did go in for various interior rattle fixes (OCD here), back quarter panel rusting (known Mazda issue), powersteering recall, blown passenger engine mount, blown rear driver side shock, and tensioner pulley squeal. In my one year ownership of my 2009 Lexus ES350, I had the driver side headlights replaced because of Adaptive Frontlight System (AFS) motor, AFS computer module replaced, new car battery, internal trunk emergency latch recall, and a timely transmission flush only. Based on my experience, I would say that the Lexus is more reliable than Mazda. No car manufacturer is perfect but Toyota is more reliable.

Between Avalon and ES350, same engine size (non-hybrid) and same platform so very similar cars. I would personally compare pricing and features between the two car models and pick what works best for you. That was the main reason why I picked a Lexus over Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, etc.
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Feb 26, 2004
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Get a minivan. Sienna or Odyssey.

If you want something smaller - like a mini SUV - Forester, RAV4 or CR-V.