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traditionally Camry was the default car, ES the car for status fiends and Avalon for rich folks in retirement communities ...

Camry and ES are still that and still sell ( sure they lost some to SUVs but they sell well for their class of vehicle )

Avalon though lost its way ... it is too expensive and not sporty enough to go after Nissan Maxima crowd and too cramped and not luxurious enough to convince the traditional Avalon buyer ...

it also doesn't help that Lexus ES is beautiful inside and out and has better lease deals than Avalon due to having better resale value ...

it also doesn't help that you can get much of what Avalon offers ( like Ventilated seats and a choice of performance or hybrid drivetrains ) in a Honda Accord Touring for a lot less money ...

between Camry, ES and Accord ( all excellent cars ) it's a tight squeeze ...

why is panoramic roof standard on Camry V6 but not available on Avalon in any trim ?

in my opinion it is NOT the grille that is driving people away ... it's that with the squashed roofline Avalon now competes not with LaCrosse but with Maxima and Accord and it's priced too high to compete with them ...

Toyota already realized their mistake and is offering steep discounts but without good lease offers the sales will remain low ...

perhaps Toyota is OK with this ... perhaps they want Avalon to remain the exclusive choice and anybody who wants value can go for the Camry ...

but i think it would have been smarter to take some sales from Maxima and Accord Touring by offering good leases on the Avalon ... but Toyota is afraid if they did this they would hurt the ES sales ...

or perhaps if you consider that current gen Camry is bigger than previous gen Avalon it shouldn't be surprising at all that there simply isn't as much space left ABOVE the Camry for the Avalon ...

finally advertisement is a factor - Camry ads on TV all the time and i seen ES ads on TV as well but not Avalon ads ... granted i haven't had a TV in over a decade but my gym has plenty of TVs ...
 

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Very interesting comments. I drove the Accord Touring and Camry XLS V6 back to back. What I didnt like about the Camry was interior room and the Panoramic roof that only goes back about 2/3 of the way and lots of wind noise when open.. Trans clunked when shifting, no cooled seats.. Did have a Good stereo and a real gear shifter. The Accord was bigger inside, horrible button shifter, very low stance, great 10 speed trans, and a big back seat and trunk. Going to look at an Avalon Touring W/ Safety package. Stereo should be good, Apple Car Play, and a regular Sun-roof which I like. Seems to check all the boxes, gotta see if its comfortable and not too low of a roof line. I had a 98 Avalon years ago and hated it. I'm thinking I will like the Touring a lot more. $ 3,000 factory rebate helps too...
 

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Avalon though lost its way ... it is too expensive and not sporty enough to go after Nissan Maxima crowd and too cramped and not luxurious enough to convince the traditional Avalon buyer
Interesting perspective, I am an ex-Maxima owner, had 2, a GLE from 1995, and a SE in 2000. Both went well over 200,000 miles with the great Nissan V-6 and a standard automatic transmission.

I wouldn't even consider a Maxima anymore once they went to the CVT transmission. Simply not sporty in any way (IMO). I also considered the Honda Accord Touring, but was scared away by the Turbo engine, and the obvious issues Honda is having with gasoline in their engine from the Turbos.

It's my opinion (I know I'm a dinosaur) that CVT's are only for the manufacturers to increase their MPG's by a couple, and as they are cheaper to build, and will cost the consumer a lot more to replace (generally not repairable) when they die.

With the average age of vehicles on the road being ~12 years old, these CVT's are going to be expensive.
 

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Interesting perspective, I am an ex-Maxima owner, had 2, a GLE from 1995, and a SE in 2000. Both went well over 200,000 miles with the great Nissan V-6 and a standard automatic transmission.

I wouldn't even consider a Maxima anymore once they went to the CVT transmission. Simply not sporty in any way (IMO). I also considered the Honda Accord Touring, but was scared away by the Turbo engine, and the obvious issues Honda is having with gasoline in their engine from the Turbos.

It's my opinion (I know I'm a dinosaur) that CVT's are only for the manufacturers to increase their MPG's by a couple, and as they are cheaper to build, and will cost the consumer a lot more to replace (generally not repairable) when they die.

With the average age of vehicles on the road being ~12 years old, these CVT's are going to be expensive.
Time marches on. I’m old enough to remember the arguments from the contrarians/naysayers about automatic transmissions, seatbelts, DRLs, I-4s, V6s, diesels (in the US), radial tires, non-leaded gas, turbos, gasohol, ABS, halogen/HID/LED/Laser upcoming headlights, hybrids, CVTs, EVs, fuel cells, and self-driving vehicles. Everyone has an opinion, which they are entitled to in this country, at least for now.
 

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Sorry, but I have to laugh when someone mentions “trade-in” value of automobiles. Anyone in the auto business knows deprecation is: 20% the 1st year, and then 15% a year thereafter until the car is worthless as a trade. This rule of thumb applies to any mass produced automobile. BTW, that extra 5% the first year is the profit the dealership made, regardless of the “great deal” you got. That is why the salesperson will always ask what you think your car is worth. Your answer tells him or her how much extra profit they’re going to make. You can’t beat the house at their own game.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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Avalon though lost its way ... it is too expensive and not sporty enough to go after Nissan Maxima crowd and too cramped and not luxurious enough to convince the traditional Avalon buyer ...
it also doesn't help that you can get much of what Avalon offers ( like Ventilated seats and a choice of performance or hybrid drivetrains ) in a Honda Accord Touring for a lot less money ...
between Camry, ES and Accord ( all excellent cars ) it's a tight squeeze ...
I'm not the new Avalon fan, not even a bit and not trying to glorify it, but the Maxima is not that sporty and hasn't been sporty since 2004. Same like with the Accord, the CVT takes away anything good ans sporty. A Maxima and Accord with CVT are biggest and most overrated appliances on the market. And the Accord is not in the same league with the Avalon. To me the new Accord feels like a stretched Civic and there is nothing extraordinary or luxury about even a 37K Accord Touring. It just a mass market family car, while Avalon has more room, much more comfort and something royal about how it drives.

or perhaps if you consider that current gen Camry is bigger than previous gen Avalon it shouldn't be surprising at all that there simply isn't as much space left ABOVE the Camry for the Avalon ...
The 2018+ Camry is not bigger than the gen 4 Avalon. Exterior dimensions are the same, but inside the gen 4 Avalon feels like a limo compared to a cramped Camry. Some how Toyota engineers managed to built the first Camry that smaller than it looks.
 

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I had a 2013 and a 2016 Lexus ES300h, and with the exception of a few doodads there is nothing more luxurious in the ES than in the Avalon. In fact, the interior is a minuscule amount more roomy in the Avalon. I was looking at the 2019 ES, but I did not like the redesigned interior. Some placements of knobs, etc., just don't make sense.


The Lexus costs about $8-9,000 more over an Avalon Limited Hybrid, and I didn't see any benefit going with the Lexus. I will state that I have had the car for 2 1/2 weeks, and I have not seen another on the road. I plan on driving the Avalon until it dies, so I am less concerned with resale than some on this thread are. I did note that the Avalon had a higher lease payment than the Lexus did, but the cash rebate from Toyota clinched the deal for me.



Consumer Reports gave the Avalon Hybrid 98 points out of a 100 while the ES300h received much less.


Also, US News and World Report rated the Avalon best large sedan.


Just my two cents.
 

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Had my Celestial Silver Metalic Limited for nearly a year nowand have only seen 2 XSE's, both parked in a parking lot. Granted, I'm in Toronto, Canada and we sell far fewer Avalons as a percentage of population vs the USA.
 

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I wouldn't even consider a Maxima anymore once they went to the CVT transmission. Simply not sporty in any way (IMO). I also considered the Honda Accord Touring, but was scared away by the Turbo engine, and the obvious issues Honda is having with gasoline in their engine from the Turbos.

It's my opinion (I know I'm a dinosaur) that CVT's are only for the manufacturers to increase their MPG's by a couple, and as they are cheaper to build, and will cost the consumer a lot more to replace (generally not repairable) when they die.

With the average age of vehicles on the road being ~12 years old, these CVT's are going to be expensive.
you pretty much summarized why i only look at Toyota Hybrids. it's the only drivetrain done right. I don't like the Toyota 8 speed trans ( abrupt shifts ) or Honda's turbo engines ( peaky torque ). Toyota 2.5L Hybrid is magic - smooth, reliable, efficient. Only downside is the sound but you can't have it all.

Even though the Hybrid is only 4 cylinders it's just 1 second slower to 60 mph and in real world driving is actually more responsive than V6 or Turbo because you never wait for transmission to shift or turbo to spool up.

before this new 2.5L that debuted in 2018 Camry the Hybrids were a bit lacking on power, but the new 2.5L hybrid is so good the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will go from 6 cyl to 4 and it's a big car !

people think Hybrid = Prius. but the new 2.5L in Camry / Avalon hybrid has almost double the torque of the old 1.8L engine in the Prius and the overall system power is almost double as well.

you will only notice that Hybrid has less power than V6 when passing on the highway or when trying to deliberately peel the tires ( not gonna happen ). in normal driving as i said it is actually more responsive.
 

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I'm not the new Avalon fan, not even a bit and not trying to glorify it, but the Maxima is not that sporty and hasn't been sporty since 2004. Same like with the Accord, the CVT takes away anything good ans sporty. A Maxima and Accord with CVT are biggest and most overrated appliances on the market. And the Accord is not in the same league with the Avalon. To me the new Accord feels like a stretched Civic and there is nothing extraordinary or luxury about even a 37K Accord Touring. It just a mass market family car, while Avalon has more room, much more comfort and something royal about how it drives.
i'll give you the Maxima. Nissan as a company just ins't on the same level as Toyota or Honda. Nissan to me is more Hyundai level. Yes i know GT-R and Genesis are pretty good but on the whole Toyota > Honda > Nissan and Hyundai.

I haven't driven the Maxima for that reason - the CVT alone would not be a reason for me to not consider it. every CVT i drove felt different. you can't say CVT automatically equals garbage - that is not necessarily the case - the best CVTs are better than worst automatics - but of course a CVT would never be the first logical choice to test drive for an enthusiast.

as for Avalon driving more royally than Accord etc ... i test drove the Civic, the Accord, the Camry ( i drive it now ) and the Avalon and while you are certainly right that is not a positive for many people !

the Accord feels 500 lbs lighter than Avalon and to most young people ( and 90% of car reviewers ) the Accord will drive better. Mototrend i think said Accord had "impressive chassis tuning" and gave it North American Car of the Year for that reason.

basically the Accord drives like Accord and Avalon drives like Avalon - both are good - it's a matter of preference.

i did notice that interior materials in the Accord were thinner on the padding. everything felt more cardboardish than in the Avalon. this is a general theme with Honda sedans of course - they are tin cans - but they have great handling. Toyotas feel more substantial - both in materials and ride.

The 2018+ Camry is not bigger than the gen 4 Avalon. Exterior dimensions are the same, but inside the gen 4 Avalon feels like a limo compared to a cramped Camry. Some how Toyota engineers managed to built the first Camry that smaller than it looks.
most people buy on style and care about exterior dimensions not interior dimensions. they want the car to LOOK big. 9 out of 10 people will fit in every car made by Toyota from Yaris to Land Cruiser. it is only taller, bigger and older people who actually MIGHT care about ergonomics.

IMHO that is ...
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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This car, the 2019 VW Arteon, has a similar prominent grill to the Avalon, although some would argue it to be better. It is called “gorgeous”.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-passenger/the-gorgeous-2019-volkswagen-arteon-reaches-into-luxury-territory/ar-AAARcAe?li=BBnb4R5&fullscreen=true#image=1
IDK about gorgeous, but the Arteon sure looks better than the Avalon. However...
It's not a luxury car, just stop by a VW dealer and take a look on the Arteon. Standard and very dated looking VW interior design, lots of cheap materials, hard plastic in a $35-45K car. Only one 2.0t engine option, and less than luxury ride. It comes in 4motion, but I bet it wont be a huge selling point.
VW PR dept. can call it whatever they want, it's an EU spec Passat with a coup roof line, nothing less, nothing more. The Arteon is a new Passat CC, that back in his days was positioned as the ES350 killer and went to the land of the dead pretty quick and very quiet.
If VW would've bring cheaper Arteon trims to the US they would chip away some Camry and Accord sales, but it wont do anything to the Avalon or ES350 sales.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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And those customers would be back after they experience VW's typical reliability.
VW's less that average reliability is the thing of the past.
I know 2 ppl that were long time Toyota owners and owned an older like 97 and 2003 Camry and 2009 Venza and newer 2010, 2014 Camry and 15 Highlander and switched to a 2012 and 2015 VW Passat and 2018 Tiguan and so far none of them had any issues. My good buddy had a 97 Camry, 2009 Venza, 2012 Camry and 2015 Camry and switched to a 2015 1.8t Passat and he still praising the Passat above the Camry after 3 years of ownership. The Passat is quieter, more comfortable, has much nicer seats and overall much better built. When he purchased his Passat VW wasn't offering 6/72 warranty yet, so just to be on the safe side he got an extended warranty, but so far he never had even a small issue and 3 years and 40K miles later he don't have any rattles or squeaks and very few rock chips and we all know how rock resistant Toyota paint is.

Around 2016 VW started talking about building the next gen American Passat on the new MBQ platform. Unfortunately later VW scrapped this idea and simply refreshed the 2012 Passat instead of making a new generation for the US market or bringing the new EU Passat to the US. I had a 2007 Passat and it sure wasn't the most reliable car I had, but is was nicely built, had comfy seats, etc, and even though I had not the best experience with that car, I would put my money on another VW. I've seen the nwe MBQ Passat in Europe and was very impressed, despite a less than modern interior and I would've bough a MBQ Passat instead of Avalon, cuz the way German cars are built and drive, 6/72 warranty and much better VW service.
 

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I saw it in person ( it was locked ) last time i was going around dealerships looking at Avalons ... it maybe looks better than Avalon but to my eye not much better than Honda Accord ...

when it first came out in Europe i thought WOW that looks Amazing but so much time has passed that it already looks played out to me - i don't think this look will age well at all - it already looks dated

the reason to buy Arteon is the hatch if you want it - because your only other option in this class is the Buick Regal Sportback and i would definitely get a VW over a Buick ( even though the Buick in question is actually made in Germany )

in the end though i would rather get Toyota D4S Hybrid than VW TSI ... reliability is not close

from Doug's video the interior does look like cheap plastic ... still if you can get a good lease and want a hatch - get it

but i wouldn't buy a VW with a direct injection turbo engine - that is just asking for trouble

i had the current Passat when it just came out and i enjoyed it - it was a lease - i would have no issue leasing a VW again - they are great cars when new - just don't keep them too long
 

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I had a 2011 VW CC and loved the car, tight as a drum, fun to drive and no trouble with it. I probably got the most compliments on it than just about any other car I owned. I would not hesitate to buy another VW.
 

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6 months of 2019 Avalon Limited ownership here.
Yes, the front end is a love/hate thing. It’s kinda grown on me, if you know what I mean. For me, the Avalon is about 95% of what I need.
In some ways the new cars in this price range just aren’t what they used to be... But I’ve had several Toyota’s in my nearly 50 years of driving and they have always been reliable.
I just couldn’t justify a Lexus for what they are asking, just like the Camry. I know, the price can vary due to the options but spending 38k on a maxed-out Camry vs an Avalon for a few thousand more just made a lot of sense. To me, it seemed like a lot more bang for the buck.
...just my humble opinion.
 
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