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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    2019 Buick Regal To Be Next Model Getting the Avenir Treatment

      And Regal makes for three

    As we reported earlier this week, Avenir has proven to be a success for Buick. The trim makes up about 25 percent of Enclaves sold and has raised the average transaction price by $5,000. It should come as a no surprise that the Buick is planning to expand Avenir to another model.

    The Truth About Cars stumbled across General Motors’ fleet order guide for 2019 and found that the Regal Sportback will be offered with the Avenir trim. It will only be available with the 2.0L turbo-four with front-wheel drive - meaning 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet (down 35 lb-ft when compared to the AWD variant), but coming with a nine-speed automatic.

    The Regal Avenir will come loaded with standard equipment. For the exterior, a set 19-inch wheels come finished in what Buick calls Pearl Nickel,  LED headlights, and a set of cornering lights The interior gets an 8-inch infotainment system with a Bose audio system. Also standard is the Driver Confidence Package 1 that brings four-way lumbar adjustment, heated mirrors, wireless charging pad, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change alert with blind spot monitoring. 

    Optional is the Driver Confidence Package 2 that brings adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist, automatic emergency braking, and front pedestrian braking.

    TTAC expects the Regal Avenir sometime towards the end of summer. We're expecting it sometime later in the year.

    Source: The Truth About CarsGM Fleet Order Guide



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    One thing Buick should do with the Regal: the Avenir should be the Denali (i.e. fully loaded) for the Regal, while the GS should be the spiritual successor to the GNX.  Both trim levels should be priced about the same.

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    Buicks packaging of the two Regals is so fucked up.  And this is not a car that benefits from an Avenir badge.  Wow, the dips at Buick corporate.

     

    Enclave Avenir?  SURE AS HELL.  

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    So the top trim is front drive only, and no AWD offered?   That makes no sense because most people buying the luxury model are going to want all wheel drive.

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    I think they are doing this for price considerations instead of actual product planning. They want the Avenir to be the same price as the GS maybe and then make it a choice of two sides.

     

    The problem with the Regal, is that it’s value proprositon is really bad as you add options and go up trims.

     

    the base model is a fantastic deal with the 2.0 litre and sport back hatch. And then the interior, other than leather seats really sees no changes between the $27,000 car and the $40,000 car. Now it’s quick to note many cars have that problem but here’s compounded because the Regal inteior is barely better than the Malibu’s

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    I don't think anything will move the needle on Regal sales unless they change the name to "Camry"

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    33 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't think anything will move the needle on Regal sales unless they change the name to "Camry"

    Camry or Accord.  A LOT of baby boomers still hate GM after 30-40 years.

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    Buick going 100% all wheel drive like Subaru but with a softer, cushy ride for suburbanites who are the opposite of “active lifestyle” could work for them.  

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    On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 9:02 PM, smk4565 said:

    I don't think anything will move the needle on Regal sales unless they change the name to "Camry"

    It'll only move the ATP needle. 

    On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 11:31 PM, smk4565 said:

    Buick going 100% all wheel drive like Subaru but with a softer, cushy ride for suburbanites who are the opposite of “active lifestyle” could work for them.  

    Subaru is not 100% AWD and neither is Buick.  Both are close though. 

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It'll only move the ATP needle. 

    Subaru is not 100% AWD and neither is Buick.  Both are close though. 

    But Subaru has an image and a brand message. Buick is a miso-mash of GM product from Europe, South Korea and China and a couple warmed over Chevrolets.  Buick doesn't really have a clear message or common trait.

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    26 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    But Subaru has an image and a brand message. Buick is a miso-mash of GM product from Europe, South Korea and China and a couple warmed over Chevrolets.  Buick doesn't really have a clear message or common trait.

    There are no warmed-over Chevys.  The Impala isn't even on the same generation platform as the Lacrosse. The Enclave shares a platform with the Traverse, but it is its own vehicle with unique sheet metal.   Everyone is a mix of product, including Subaru.  Toyota has American Camries, Mazda built Yarii, Japanese built Subaru, and a Corolla Hatch designed for Europe, built in Japan, and imported to the US.

     

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    There are no warmed-over Chevys.  The Impala isn't even on the same generation platform as the Lacrosse. The Enclave shares a platform with the Traverse, but it is its own vehicle with unique sheet metal.   Everyone is a mix of product, including Subaru.  Toyota has American Camries, Mazda built Yarii, Japanese built Subaru, and a Corolla Hatch designed for Europe, built in Japan, and imported to the US.

     

    Toyota is a full line brand though so there is going to be more there.  But all their products focus on reliability and fuel efficiency is a theme that runs through the brand with the number of hybrids they offer.  Even though they have a few guzzlers with old engines like the 4Runner and Tundra.  

    Buick wants to be like a discount Lexus with cushy ride and soft seats with sound deadening, but then you a european sports sedan in the Regal and the Cascada. 

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    Right: different models & intents for different buyers. Same thing everyone other than extremely limited exotics do. Same thing any brand with a 'performance division' does.

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    You're making excuses. You're saying Toyota has a theme except when they don't have a theme. It's okay for Toyota but not for Buick?

    And for Buick the theme is "attainable luxury".

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    If there is a Buick that deserves a real sporting flavored drive (and not an expensive trim package) it would be the Regal.  A 4 cylinder Regal without so much fluff but tuned for Euro ride and handling, while still be being fairly quiet.  The Regal would be the one car in the Buick lineup that should be it.  Notice here I am making the distinction of not having to go up to a 45,000 dollar MSRP GS to get something that rises above sedate.

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    8 hours ago, regfootball said:

    If there is a Buick that deserves a real sporting flavored drive (and not an expensive trim package) it would be the Regal.  A 4 cylinder Regal without so much fluff but tuned for Euro ride and handling, while still be being fairly quiet.  The Regal would be the one car in the Buick lineup that should be it.  Notice here I am making the distinction of not having to go up to a 45,000 dollar MSRP GS to get something that rises above sedate.

    So a 4-cylinder Regal with electronically controlled shocks.

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    I don't necessarily think better more responsive handling means it has to have the electronic shocks.

    Just a better suspension and handling for livelier driving than the base / cruiser setup.  That's suspension 'tuning' and some possibly upgraded components.

    And the electronic version of suspension control is still reserved for top of the line.

    I don't think Buick needs to target every single vehicle in its lineup to be fluffy

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    I think an Avenir Regal will need a seriously plush interior to make sense. Otherwise it’s not that much of premium to get a loaded Lacrosse with a better engine, better interior even in a non-Avenir model and more of the Cushyness that this Regal lacks.

     

    while the Regal needed a new hen, this is not the European car of the year equivalent that the last Insignia was in 2008. The fact the previous gen was comparable to previous gen C-Class and Audi A4 like priced was special. This car besides the Notchback has serious competition from family sedans that are getting more stylish and more top trims.

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    17 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I don't necessarily think better more responsive handling means it has to have the electronic shocks.

    Just a better suspension and handling for livelier driving than the base / cruiser setup.  That's suspension 'tuning' and some possibly upgraded components.

    And the electronic version of suspension control is still reserved for top of the line.

    I don't think Buick needs to target every single vehicle in its lineup to be fluffy

    No, but the Avenirs should be fluffy.

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    I would rather they invested in their other models at this point given this is built in Europe by Opel for GM.

     

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    On 7/31/2018 at 10:22 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    No, but the Avenirs should be fluffy.

    Hence, no need for an Avenir on a Regal.

     

    Not every Buick needs to be fluffy, Regal is to lure young buyers and entry buyers to brand.  Those buyers don't want floaty I don't think.  Comfy sure, floaty, no.

     

    Edited by regfootball

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    13 hours ago, regfootball said:

    Hence, no need for an Avenir on a Regal.

     

    Not every Buick needs to be fluffy, Regal is to lure young buyers and entry buyers to brand.  Those buyers don't want floaty I don't think.  Comfy sure, floaty, no.

     

    Sporty is the GS. So the Regal is the only one with both.

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      Both vehicles come with the choice of either a 3.5L V6 or hybrid system using a 2.5L four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic is teamed with the V6. The hybrid uses a CVT.
      The 3.5 V6 has been given a bit more power for 2019, now producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This bump makes for a noticeable improvement in overall acceleration, feeling slightly quicker than the last ES 350 I drove. Power builds on a smooth and linear fashion. The engine is also noticeably refined, with barely a rumble coming from underneath the hood. 
      With only a total output of 215 horsepower, the hybrid system in the Toyota Avalon may seem underpowered. This is only an issue when climbing a steep hill or needing to make an immediate pass. Otherwise, the hybrid system provides plenty of oomph for the daily drive. I like how the system seamless transitioned from electric to hybrid power with only a minimal buzz coming from the engine bay. Like other Toyota hybrids, the Avalon Hybrid can travel on electric power alone - albeit a short distance and at speeds below 25 mph.
      In EPA testing, the ES 350 returns 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined and the Avalon Hybrid returns 43 City/43 Highway/43 Combined. I clocked averages of 25 in the ES 350 and 40 in the Avalon Hybrid.
      Ride and Handling
      Aside from engines, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 share another vital component. Under the skin of both models is a version of Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA) known as GA-K. This variant provides the stiffer structure and lower-center of gravity found on other TGNA models, but allows both Toyota and Lexus to build larger front-wheel drive vehicles.
      In the Avalon Hybrid, the move to GA-K doesn’t change much. The last-generation model showed that you could have good driving dynamics and retain a mission of comfort. The new model continues that with slightly improved handling and sharper steering response. The ES 350 is a different story. Changing over to GA-K transforms the model from a creampuff on wheels to a luxury sedan with that can take corners without embarrassing itself. Body roll is significantly reduced and the steering responds to inputs without fuss. Neither one of these sedans will challenge the likes of the Germans or the Kia Stinger GT, but they will not fall over and cry uncle when pushed.
      Ride quality is still one of the impressive points for both models. On some of roughest, pothole-ladened streets that the Metro Detroit has on offer, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 made it feel like mere ripples. Not much outside noise comes inside the cabin of either model, making them a perfect place to decompress after a long day.
      Verdict
      Let’s begin with the 2020 Avalon Hybrid. This updated sedan didn’t surprise me and that’s fine. Aside from the styling, Toyota made small changes to address certain issues of the previous-generation and build upon its strengths. Getting 40 MPG is still an impressive trait for such a big sedan. With a starting price tag of $35,560 for the gas version and $36,650 for the hybrid, the Avalon is still the one to buy if you want the luxuries of the ES without the luxury tax.
      The ES 350, on the other hand, is the more impressive of the two. You have to wonder if Lexus was motivated by what Toyota was able to pull off with last-generation Avalon. In a lot of ways, the ES 350 looks and feels like a proper luxury car. Add in a new platform that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to tip over and Lexus is very close to that idea of “Experience Amazing”. The only fault is Remote Touch which sours many of the dramatic improvements. If Lexus can get that new touchscreen into the ES ASAP, I would gladly give it my “Most Improved Car of the Year” award. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Lexus ES 350 or Toyota Avalon Hybrid
      Starting with the ES 350, I would skip the base model and go with the Luxury trim. This adds such items as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and ambient lighting. On top of this, I would add Blind Spot Monitoring package and a power rear sunshade. With destination, I'm out the door with a final price of $45,540.
      For the Avalon Hybrid, I would pick the XSE. This is positioned as the sporty model with various exterior treatments including a mesh insert for the grille. Other standard equipment includes a moonroof, leatherette and suede upholstery, and wireless phone charging. The only two options I would tick are the Ruby Flare Pearl paint and 14-Speaker JBL Audio System. Add destination and the final price comes to $41,480.
      Alternatives
      Genesis G80: A perennial favorite, the G80 slots between the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 in terms of price - $41,750. It comes showered with loads of standard equipment and an excellent engine lineup. It cannot match the ES and Avalon in terms of interior design, but provides a more modern and easier to understand infotainment system. Ride quality is similar in all three vehicles, but the ES and Avalon have a slight edge in handling. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2019
      Make: Lexus
      Model: ES 350
      Trim: Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,755
      As Tested Price: $45,955 (Includes $1,025 Destination Charge)*
      Options:
      Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking - $1,065.00
      18-Inch Split Five-Spoke Alloy Noise Reduction Wheels - $950.00
      Wood and Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel - $300.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      *No window sticker was provided for the ES 350. This is me taking a guess as to final price and options.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Avalon Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, 650V Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5,700 (Gas);  118 (88 kW) (Electric); 215 (Total Output)
      Torque @ RPM: 163 @ 3,600-5,200 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/43/43
      Curb Weight: 3,715 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,800
      As Tested Price: $45,118 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Safety Package - $1,150.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $248.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When Toyota introduced the last-generation Avalon for the 2014 model year, I was shocked by how Toyota had built the better Lexus ES. On the surface, this seems a bit crazy. But Toyota had put a lot of effort into shedding the image of Avalon of an old person’s car by bringing a modern and sleek look; luxurious interior, and a balance between a relaxing ride and sporty dynamics. This became more apparent when compared to the ES launched a couple of years earlier, looking very dated in terms of looks and driving like a cream puff.
      The times are a changing and the two brands have launched new versions of their respective sedans within the past year. I find myself wondering if Toyota still builds the better Lexus or if the ES has finally stepped up and can give the Avalon a real challenge.
      Exterior
      Toyota stuck with the shape of the previous Avalon but gave it some refinement. The low roofline and sloping rear glass shape are paired with more aggressive rear end featuring a full-length taillight. Where the new design falls apart is in the front. Toyota must have taken some of the pages out of Lexus’ design book on grille design as the Avalon has a massive grille. Lower trim models make do with black slats for the insert, but my Hybrid Limited tester features chrome slats that make it more polarizing. I understand Toyota wants to give the Avalon a bit more presence on the road, but this new grille design is a bit much.
      The ES 350 is a different story as Lexus’ designers pulled off an extensive transformation. Wearing a toned-down version of the brand’s current design language, the new ES has an overall look of something formidable and elegant. The spindle grille is front and center, but Lexus has made it slightly smaller to have fit in with the flowing lines. Other design traits include a sloping roofline and shortened rear deck.
      Interior
      Like the exterior, the ES’ interior is completely unrecognizable from the outgoing model. Gone are the cheap feeling and mismatch plastics. In their places is a combination of leather, soft-touch plastics, and wood trim that brings forth a sense of premium uniformity. Ergonomics are also top of the class with such touches as control knobs sitting on either side of the instrument panel, and controls for the climate and audio being in easy reach for driver and passenger.
      Those sitting in the front are treated to leather-covered seats that provide an excellent balance between support and coddle. Those sitting in the back seat might complain about the low position, but will like the ample amount of head and legroom.
      Stepping inside the Avalon Hybrid, Toyota has given it a major makeover. Gone is the flowing and rounded center stack with capacitive touch controls. Instead, the Avalon uses a narrower and blocky center stack with actual buttons. I’m sad to see the touch controls go away as I found them to be quite responsive. Toyota likely dropped them as buyers complained there was no feedback - a click sound or pulsation - to whoever was using it. Other changes include a slim chrome bar running along the dash vents and more color choices.
      Finding a comfortable position in the Avalon was no problem due to the numerous amount of power adjustments available on the Limited. Like the ES, the Avalon’s seats strike the balance of comfort and support just right. In the back, there is an abundance of legroom that allows passengers to stretch out. Headroom is fine for most adults.
      Infotainment
      Toyota has installed the latest version of Entune for the 2019 Avalon. While looking somewhat dated with a muted color palette and dull screen, Entune retains its ease of use. The menus with large touchscreen buttons make it very easy to move around the system, along with clearly marked buttons and knobs sitting on either side. Toyota has also got with times and made the Avalon the first model to feature CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto will need to wait until 2020.
      If there is an Achilles heel to the ES 350, that would be Lexus’ Remote Touch. I have written numerously about how using this system is not only a pain, but very distracting when driving. Take for example changing an XMSirius station.
      Look at the screen to see where the cursor is. Use the touchpad to move the cursor to the station you want, making sure to keep an eye on the screen. Press down on the touchpad to make the selection, hoping you’re finger doesn’t slip and causes something else to happen. This whole routine plays out time and time again whenever you want to do something. Even Apple CarPlay which was introduced for 2019 is a pain to use with Remote Touch. There is salvation on the horizon. Earlier this year, Lexus unveiled an updated RX crossover with a touchscreen for the infotainment system. The automaker said that it will be available on other models in the coming years. Here’s to hoping the ES is one of the first recipients. 
      Performance
      Both vehicles come with the choice of either a 3.5L V6 or hybrid system using a 2.5L four-cylinder. An eight-speed automatic is teamed with the V6. The hybrid uses a CVT.
      The 3.5 V6 has been given a bit more power for 2019, now producing 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This bump makes for a noticeable improvement in overall acceleration, feeling slightly quicker than the last ES 350 I drove. Power builds on a smooth and linear fashion. The engine is also noticeably refined, with barely a rumble coming from underneath the hood. 
      With only a total output of 215 horsepower, the hybrid system in the Toyota Avalon may seem underpowered. This is only an issue when climbing a steep hill or needing to make an immediate pass. Otherwise, the hybrid system provides plenty of oomph for the daily drive. I like how the system seamless transitioned from electric to hybrid power with only a minimal buzz coming from the engine bay. Like other Toyota hybrids, the Avalon Hybrid can travel on electric power alone - albeit a short distance and at speeds below 25 mph.
      In EPA testing, the ES 350 returns 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined and the Avalon Hybrid returns 43 City/43 Highway/43 Combined. I clocked averages of 25 in the ES 350 and 40 in the Avalon Hybrid.
      Ride and Handling
      Aside from engines, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 share another vital component. Under the skin of both models is a version of Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA) known as GA-K. This variant provides the stiffer structure and lower-center of gravity found on other TGNA models, but allows both Toyota and Lexus to build larger front-wheel drive vehicles.
      In the Avalon Hybrid, the move to GA-K doesn’t change much. The last-generation model showed that you could have good driving dynamics and retain a mission of comfort. The new model continues that with slightly improved handling and sharper steering response. The ES 350 is a different story. Changing over to GA-K transforms the model from a creampuff on wheels to a luxury sedan with that can take corners without embarrassing itself. Body roll is significantly reduced and the steering responds to inputs without fuss. Neither one of these sedans will challenge the likes of the Germans or the Kia Stinger GT, but they will not fall over and cry uncle when pushed.
      Ride quality is still one of the impressive points for both models. On some of roughest, pothole-ladened streets that the Metro Detroit has on offer, the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 made it feel like mere ripples. Not much outside noise comes inside the cabin of either model, making them a perfect place to decompress after a long day.
      Verdict
      Let’s begin with the 2020 Avalon Hybrid. This updated sedan didn’t surprise me and that’s fine. Aside from the styling, Toyota made small changes to address certain issues of the previous-generation and build upon its strengths. Getting 40 MPG is still an impressive trait for such a big sedan. With a starting price tag of $35,560 for the gas version and $36,650 for the hybrid, the Avalon is still the one to buy if you want the luxuries of the ES without the luxury tax.
      The ES 350, on the other hand, is the more impressive of the two. You have to wonder if Lexus was motivated by what Toyota was able to pull off with last-generation Avalon. In a lot of ways, the ES 350 looks and feels like a proper luxury car. Add in a new platform that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to tip over and Lexus is very close to that idea of “Experience Amazing”. The only fault is Remote Touch which sours many of the dramatic improvements. If Lexus can get that new touchscreen into the ES ASAP, I would gladly give it my “Most Improved Car of the Year” award. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Lexus ES 350 or Toyota Avalon Hybrid
      Starting with the ES 350, I would skip the base model and go with the Luxury trim. This adds such items as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and ambient lighting. On top of this, I would add Blind Spot Monitoring package and a power rear sunshade. With destination, I'm out the door with a final price of $45,540.
      For the Avalon Hybrid, I would pick the XSE. This is positioned as the sporty model with various exterior treatments including a mesh insert for the grille. Other standard equipment includes a moonroof, leatherette and suede upholstery, and wireless phone charging. The only two options I would tick are the Ruby Flare Pearl paint and 14-Speaker JBL Audio System. Add destination and the final price comes to $41,480.
      Alternatives
      Genesis G80: A perennial favorite, the G80 slots between the Avalon Hybrid and ES 350 in terms of price - $41,750. It comes showered with loads of standard equipment and an excellent engine lineup. It cannot match the ES and Avalon in terms of interior design, but provides a more modern and easier to understand infotainment system. Ride quality is similar in all three vehicles, but the ES and Avalon have a slight edge in handling. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 
      Year: 2019
      Make: Lexus
      Model: ES 350
      Trim: Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 302 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,755
      As Tested Price: $45,955 (Includes $1,025 Destination Charge)*
      Options:
      Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking - $1,065.00
      18-Inch Split Five-Spoke Alloy Noise Reduction Wheels - $950.00
      Wood and Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel - $300.00
      Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
      *No window sticker was provided for the ES 350. This is me taking a guess as to final price and options.
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Avalon Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.5L 16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, 650V Electric Motor
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5,700 (Gas);  118 (88 kW) (Electric); 215 (Total Output)
      Torque @ RPM: 163 @ 3,600-5,200 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 43/43/43
      Curb Weight: 3,715 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, Kentucky
      Base Price: $42,800
      As Tested Price: $45,118 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Safety Package - $1,150.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $248.00
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