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Hi All!

I will be in the market for a new (or new to me) car by the end of the year. Need your opinions so I can prepare myself better.

Background - I am a Toyota guy. All my immediate family members have a Toyota/Lexus. I am currently driving a 2000 Lexus ES300 (a cousin of the Camry :) )

Here are my options for ~$26k excluding tax.
1. 2018 Camry SE/XSE I4 - I like this due to: safety features, my first true NEW car, resale value, warranty, low insurance premium, low profile (for getting tickets :) ), reliability.
2. 2015 Lexus ES350 - I like this due to luxury features, performance, brand image :), most things are standard on a Lexus. Dislike - 20% higher ins premium, very difficult to find used one with safety features that are standard on the 18 Camry, low MPG (I know, it is a trade off for a V6).
3. 2016 Infiniti Q50 3.0t premium - It is my dream car - RWD, 300+ WHP, sport sedan class. However, it is going to cost more in the long term: twin turbo reliability, resale value, 30% more ins premium that the 18 Camry, high profile for getting a ticket - road rage - vandalize. Difficult to resale.

I am good with most DIY and very familiar with Toyota repairs. Will never consider a Honda product due to their corporate's ethical practice.

My concerns are : safety, reliability, economical (long term cost). Being in insurance field, I got to see many horrific accidents. ES350 and Q50 are among the safest sedan. Think of a 2015 Q50 T-bone a 2016 F150 crew cab at 50mph and fold it into a V shape -> no compartment intrusion for the Q50. The front windshield did not even crack.
 

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If you can afford the Infinity and it's your "dream car" then go for it. Driving a fast sporty car is a lot more fun than driving a Camry, even if it is more expensive. You'll enjoy it every day!
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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I can compare the Q50 to a XLE or XSE V6 Camry, but the ES350 is a very different, much more mature and upscale car and imo the 2018 Camry has nothing on the ES350.
Also thanks to discounts and fleet sales the Camry's resale value is way down vs 5-10 years ago level and based on what I know I doubt 20% difference in ins. premium. I had a Camry XLE V-6 and was shooing for a 2016 ES or 2015 GS and compared to a Camry the quoted ins. premium difference was something like $80-100.
But first you need to drive them all and see if you even like them.
 

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You need to rent them all. I rented a 2017 Avalon (same basic car as 2015 ES350) on the day I test drove a 4 cylinder 2018 Camry LE. Night and day difference between the two cars. Avalon drove like a dated, heavy, ponderous old Buick whereas the Camry felt like a small, nimble sports car even though it's only slightly shorter than an Avalon or ES350. Camry still had adequate rear seat legroom for 6 footers. Camry seats are more comfortable - a softer grade of foam used. Camry driving position is more commanding. Highway ride quality and quietess of both cars is similar.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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Avalon drove like a dated, heavy, ponderous old Buick whereas the Camry felt like a small, nimble sports car even though it's only slightly shorter than an Avalon or ES350. Camry still had adequate rear seat legroom for 6 footers. Camry seats are more comfortable - a softer grade of foam used. Camry driving position is more commanding. Highway ride quality and quietess of both cars is similar.
I was actually renting a 2017 base V6 Avalon XLE on the same day I went to test drive a 2018 Camry LE in order to be able to directly compare both cars.
^ IDK what you rented, but it wasn't an Avalon. :)
Also the LE is far far away from being nimble and sport and "Camry driving position is more commanding" is just ...:)
 

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1. 2018 Camry SE/XSE I4 - I like this due to: safety features, my first true NEW car, resale value, warranty, low insurance premium, low profile (for getting tickets :) ), reliability.
'
Can't go wrong here, definitely a more compelling choice since its redesign.

2. 2015 Lexus ES350 - I like this due to luxury features, performance, brand image :), most things are standard on a Lexus. Dislike - 20% higher ins premium, very difficult to find used one with safety features that are standard on the 18 Camry, low MPG (I know, it is a trade off for a V6).
As others have said, completely different character than the SE/XSE, more luxurious, you'd be more isolated from the road.

3. 2016 Infiniti Q50 3.0t premium - It is my dream car - RWD, 300+ WHP, sport sedan class. However, it is going to cost more in the long term: twin turbo reliability, resale value, 30% more ins premium that the 18 Camry, high profile for getting a ticket - road rage - vandalize. Difficult to resale.
Go for your dream car. While I'm not an Infiniti fan, this car wins based on the fact that it's RWD. Despite what anyone says, there's no substitute for RWD balance, and handling (Audi's quattro system is about the only exception, but that's a different price class). Turbo reliability is much better than it used to be. Turbos are now water-cooled (no longer oil) so there's no risk of having the oil coking the turbo. There's also no need for idling the car before shutdown after you've been out driving (no need to do so, but it definitely doesn't hurt), or a turbo-timer.

If you're open to one more suggestion - the Lexus IS. RWD, Toyota reliability, sporty handling, luxury, and a number of good motors from the 2.0T, and the 3.5 V6.
 

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TN の がしょう
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Infiniti/Nissan has the worse reliability within Japanese makers.

I've owned both Nissans and Infinitis, and every single one of them gave me headaches with constant repairs.

Don't do it unless you're leasing it. I rather lease an Infiniti but I will definitely buy a Lexus in the same price range. Lexus is the only luxury brand I would actually purchase.
 

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straight cash homie
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^ IDK what you rented, but it wasn't an Avalon. :)
Also the LE is far far away from being nimble and sport and "Camry driving position is more commanding" is just ...:)
http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2017/9/3/The-Toyota-Avalon-Rides-Like-A-Cloud-Just-Don-t-Expect-A-Driver-s-Car-7740740/
Carbuzz said:
It may sound like we are bashing the Avalon for having zero driving dynamics, but that is only because we are enthusiasts. If we take a sensible approach when looking at this car, all of these "drawbacks" start to become stand-out features. The Avalon will do little to make a S-Class owner jealous visually, but when comparing ride comfort it's hard to see why the Mercedes costs more than twice as much. There are plenty of consumers that would love to own one of the most comfortable cars on the planet, but don't want the attention and image that an expensive car offers. The Avalon is just as comfortable as cars that cost well over six-figures, but doesn't draw attention to the owner.
 

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straight cash homie
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Don't do it unless you're leasing it. I rather lease an Infiniti but I will definitely buy a Lexus in the same price range. Lexus is the only luxury brand I would actually purchase.
And...luxury cars tend to depreciate more than regular cars do, but yeah, Lexus is the only brand that you can buy used without too much hesitation. And with the way luxury cars are, there are tons of used Lexuses on the market because of lease returns :grin:
 

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It may sound like we are bashing the Avalon for having zero driving dynamics, but that is only because we are enthusiasts. If we take a sensible approach when looking at this car, all of these "drawbacks" start to become stand-out features. The Avalon will do little to make a S-Class owner jealous visually, but when comparing ride comfort it's hard to see why the Mercedes costs more than twice as much. There are plenty of consumers that would love to own one of the most comfortable cars on the planet, but don't want the attention and image that an expensive car offers. The Avalon is just as comfortable as cars that cost well over six-figures, but doesn't draw attention to the owner.
Truly spoken like someone who's never driven, less yet been inside, an S-Class. On the contrary - it's not hard to see why an S-Class costs what it does.
 

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TN の がしょう
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Truly spoken like someone who's never driven, less yet been inside, an S-Class. On the contrary - it's not hard to see why an S-Class costs what it does.
I agree. I haven't sat in one but I've seen the Maybach S650 on the freeway before. When every car goes over a bump on the road, the cars will "lift up" over it but when I saw the Maybach go over, it looked like it was going on a smooth surface. It blew my mind when I saw that and thought I was going crazy but I realized that's how M-Benz engineered those cars.

The cost of the car really does show on the road. There's a reason why there's a saying, "Float like a Cadillac."

You can't really compare an Avalon with a 6 figure car. They're in totally different class.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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These days every schmuck that has access to the internet wanna review something. :)
Right from the beginning you can tell that for them it's not serious.
but when comparing ride comfort it's hard to see why the Mercedes costs more than twice as much. The Avalon is just as comfortable as cars that cost well over six-figures, but doesn't draw attention to the owner.
:) right. I own an Avalon and drove the older S-mercs and rode in a brand new S550 an sS65 and to me there is no question why the S cost double, well actually more likely like triple (for a base model) of what the Avalon cost and no matter how unreasonable you are, you simply can not not to notice the difference in comfort and that puts the whole review under question imo.
First of all they tested a hybrid model and of course that extra weight changes handling the same way as TCH feels heavier and bulkier around corners. Also 0-60 in 7.4 sec seems questionable as well. Edmund's tested a TAH and clocked 7.9 sec, which is more reasonable time considering the 2.5 Camry does 0-60 in 7.8-8 sec and TCH just a few tens quicker. Edmund's tested the 2015 TCH and clocked 7.8 sec, so even if theoretically TCH can do 0-60 in 7.5-7.6 sec, the heavier TAH should be slower.
I'm not saying the Avalon is a sport car with Miata sharp steering or handling, but it definitely not a "ponderous old Buick", the same as the 2018 Camry LE that kathy rented is not a "small, nimble sports car". I drove an LE ans SE and the biggest handling limitation these cars have are the OEM tires and all of these cars nose slide if taken to a corner more or less aggressively, so "Buick" and "nimble" is a huge overstatement, same as there is a difference in comfort the 2018 vs the Avalon and there is no such thing as "more commanding" driving position. Of course if some one wants sportier handling and willing to sacrifice the comfort, there is the Camry XSE.

Truly spoken like someone who's never driven, less yet been inside, an S-Class. On the contrary - it's not hard to see why an S-Class costs what it does.
I agree. I haven't sat in one but I've seen the Maybach S650 on the freeway before. When every car goes over a bump on the road, the cars will "lift up" over it but when I saw the Maybach go over, it looked like it was going on a smooth surface. It blew my mind when I saw that and thought I was going crazy but I realized that's how M-Benz engineered those cars.

The cost of the car really does show on the road. There's a reason why there's a saying, "Float like a Cadillac."

You can't really compare an Avalon with a 6 figure car. They're in totally different class.
+1000
The Avalon has a great balance of comfort and price, but it ain't the S-class.
 

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I vote for the 2018 Camry. For many auto reviewers have given much praise for the new TGNA chassis and the updated exterior/interior styling. Even Car & Driver gave 4 stars (out of 5) to the new Camry; they are usually critical of Toyotas. I would go with the XSE, as you get the full suite of modern safety features (which should help with your insurance premiums). If you can wait 3-months, Toyota does their annual year-end Toyotathon in December to push YTD sales. You will get a better deal on incentives, financing, etc. at that time. Best to go to a dealer mid-Dec or better yet late-Dec.

Nissan products, while initially nice, are junk over the long haul.
 

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Downgrade?

Hi

You want to downgrade from Lexus to Toyota? From Lexus 300 to Camry? That is a huge difference. Back-rear drive versus Front wheel-drive.

Stick with Lexus.
 

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TN の がしょう
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Hi

You want to downgrade from Lexus to Toyota? From Lexus 300 to Camry? That is a huge difference. Back-rear drive versus Front wheel-drive.

Stick with Lexus.
The ES series has always been FWD. It is the only front-wheel drive car offered by Lexus now that the CT200H is discontinued. Not considering the CUV (NX, RX) and SUVs (GX, LX), the only RWD Lexus models that are available is the LS, LC, IS, GS, RC. The SC was also RWD but was discontinued since 2010.

A Lexus ES350 is a highly-glorified Camry. Not much of a downgrade if you were comparing it to a fully loaded XLE V6.

The OP has an 2000 ES300 so it will actually be an upgrade coming since they were last built in early 2000s.
 

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TN の がしょう
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And...luxury cars tend to depreciate more than regular cars do, but yeah, Lexus is the only brand that you can buy used without too much hesitation. And with the way luxury cars are, there are tons of used Lexuses on the market because of lease returns :grin:
When people buy luxury cars, depreciation is something they don't really worry about.

I would buy a GS350 without a second thought in depreciation because 1.) It's a Lexus with great reliability and quality, and 2.) I'm planning to drive it until it dies so reselling and trying to get as much money back is not in my mind.

People who buy luxury cars and expect it to retain over 55% value should not be buying one.

There are exceptions though, Porsche, some Lexus, and Acura actually depreciates slower than other luxury brands. Porsche Macan retains over 57% of its value over 5 years. That's insane.
http://www.motortrend.com/cars/porsche/macan/2017/
 

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by the way ES350 or Avalon is for mature people or classic drive.if you want more aggressive then drive with GS350 you will see the different between those two
 

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Given that the OP would be buying the Lexus and Infiniti used, part of the depreciation hit would have already been taken by the first owner. If you were to sell a 2018 Camry, 2015 ES, or 2016 Q50 one year from now, which would be furthest away from the $26K purchase price? It might not be the luxury cars.

I had a Q50 as rental. It drove well and I liked the Bose audio, but I really wasn't too keen on the 2-screen infotainment interface.
 

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straight cash homie
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These days every schmuck that has access to the internet wanna review something. :)
Even schmucks have access to Toyota's press cars. I think you would also be qualified to check one out and do a review too. What's your Youtube channel Dave? >:D
 

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A GS is what I am looking at since an IS is to small for me and a LS is to big, that makes the GS just right. I am tired of FWD after 35 years of owning them.
W95c
 
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