Jump to content

  • Quick Drive: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport Q4

    • After having a bit of dessert (Quadrifoglio), we decide to have the veggies

    It seems a bit odd to be driving the Giulia Ti almost half a year on from spending a week high-performance Quadrifoglio. This felt like I had a nice slice of cake and was now facing a bowl of vegetables. Trying to keep an open mind on Ti was going to be difficult, considering the mixed opinions I had with the first Giulia. But I knew that I had to try.

    • I actually prefer the toned-down nature of Ti Sport compared to Quadrifoglio as lacks the aggressive bumper treatment and cloverleaf emblems on the fenders. Some items such as the uniquely styled wheels do carry over and add a small sporting touch.
    • The only item I would change is the color. Grey just makes the design somewhat boring. The blue I had on the Quadrifoglio works much better as it allows the design to stand out.
    • The interior is still very much a mixed affair. Most of the materials are what you would expect to find a luxury car of this caliber with soft-touch plastics, leather, and metal trim. But Alfa clearly cut some corners such as the cheap plastics used on the center console. The front sport seats provide excellent bolstering and comfort for any adventure you decide to take. Rear space is almost non-existent for most adults.
    • Alfa Romeo did address one of my complaints with that I had with 2017 Giulia. 2018 models now have the option of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is shame that it is an option, but it does make using infotainment system somewhat less frustrating.
    • Some of the issues I had with the system in both the Giulia Quadrifoglio and Stelvio Ti are present in this Giulia. Going through a number of menus to accomplish simple tasks, slow performance, and a small number of crashes during my weeklong test. I really hope Alfa Romeo is working on some updates to get this system in order.
    • Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder delivering 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and optional Q4 all-wheel drive.
    • I really liked this engine in the Stevlio as moved the compact crossover without breaking a sweat. In the Giulia, this engine makes this sedan fly away from stops. It is said the turbo-four can hit 60 mph in just over five seconds, which is fast for the class. One disappointment is the engine sounding like a diesel at idle, not something you want to have in an Italian sport sedan.
    • EPA says the Giulia Ti with AWD will return 23 City/31 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 23.6 in mostly city driving.
    • One trait that both the Ti Sport and Quadrifoglio share is the handling. The chassis underneath allows the Giulia to dart around in the corners and keep body motions well in check. Steering is another bright spot where the vehicle would instantly respond to any input, along with provide good feedback.
    • Ride quality is slightly better than the Quadrifoglio as only a small number of bumps come inside. Put the Giulia into Dynamic (sport mode) and the ride does become somewhat unbearable.
    • Unfortunately, my Giulia Ti tester had an issue with the brakes. Whenever the brakes were applied, there was a noticeable screeching noise coming the rear of the vehicle. At first, I thought something had gotten lodged in the brakes. But the noise would go away after I had been driving for a bit. Park the car for awhile and drive it once again, the noise would return. This likely hints at something being warped - a bit disappointing for a vehicle that only had a few thousand miles on the odometer.
    • The Giulia is one of those vehicles I really want to like a lot more than I currently do. Alfa Romeo still has a number of issues they need to address sooner than later. I only would recommend this model for those who understand what they’re getting into.

    Gallery: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport Q4

    Disclaimer: Alfa Romeo Provided the Giulia, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Alfa Romeo
    Model: Giulia
    Trim: Ti Sport Q4
    Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged MultiAir SOHC Inline-Four
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 5,200
    Torque @ RPM: 306 @ 2,000 - 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/31/26
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: Cassino, Italy
    Base Price: $41,995
    As Tested Price: $51,885 (Includes $1,295 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Ti Sport AWD Package 22S - $2,500.00
    Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package - $1,500.00
    Ti Leather Package - $995.00
    8.8-inch AM/FM Bluetooth Radio with 3D Nav - $950.00
    Harman/Kardon Premium Audio System - $900.00
    Driver Assistance Static Package - $650.00
    Vesuvio Gray Metallic - $600.00
    19-inch x 8-inch Bright 5-Hole Aluminum Wheels - $500.00

    Edited by William Maley




    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    This is a car that everyone seems to get excited about except me.  I liked the old 159, it had character, but these I find to be just so anonymous.  The interiors are nothing to write home about either. 

    • Thanks 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I like the sounds the Quadrifoglio makes.  The V6 on this is awesome.  Ferrari engine tuners really know how to make an engine sing. 

     The Guilia's silhouette has a lot in common with a BMW 3 Series.  And it does not help the situation when BMW 3 Series cars have looked the same since about 10 years now.  This might explain some of the blandness. 

    I do think the Guilia is sexy enough, but maybe the glorious sounds of its V6 have me blinded with how sexy it might really be in the looks department. 

    Edited by oldshurst442
    adjusted my opinion
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I seldom like modern car's wheels, but I do like these a bunch.
    On the other hand, except for the Edsel-esque grille opening, the entire exterior is about an anonymous as they come. In profile or from the rear, it could be ANYTHING. Interior also feels dated to me.

    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    :puke: The bland styling of this auto and the terrible front nose just make it a puke fest for me. Pass, I see nothing inside or out that would make this an exciting auto to own.

    While I would never own a German auto, I would take a German auto over any of the over rated garbage Italians make.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 12/27/2018 at 11:22 PM, dfelt said:

    :puke: The bland styling of this auto and the terrible front nose just make it a puke fest for me. Pass, I see nothing inside or out that would make this an exciting auto to own.

    While I would never own a German auto, I would take a German auto over any of the over rated garbage Italians make.

    Please be more direct and let us know how you really feel.

    On 12/27/2018 at 8:40 PM, balthazar said:

    I seldom like modern car's wheels, but I do like these a bunch.
    On the other hand, except for the Edsel-esque grille opening, the entire exterior is about an anonymous as they come. In profile or from the rear, it could be ANYTHING. Interior also feels dated to me.

    I really kind of agree with you. Cadillac's designs seem much more fresh and vibrant.

    On 12/27/2018 at 11:46 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    This is a car that everyone seems to get excited about except me.  I liked the old 159, it had character, but these I find to be just so anonymous.  The interiors are nothing to write home about either. 

    I like elements of it, but overall I can do a lot better for the money. CPO CTS-V is calling my name....

    On 12/27/2018 at 8:12 PM, oldshurst442 said:

    I like the sounds the Quadrifoglio makes.  The V6 on this is awesome.  Ferrari engine tuners really know how to make an engine sing. 

     The Guilia's silhouette has a lot in common with a BMW 3 Series.  And it does not help the situation when BMW 3 Series cars have looked the same since about 10 years now.  This might explain some of the blandness. 

    I do think the Guilia is sexy enough, but maybe the glorious sounds of its V6 have me blinded with how sexy it might really be in the looks department. 

    The car in question is the four without the glorious six...you still feel a rise in your pants when you look at this, Skippy?

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

     

    The car in question is the four without the glorious six...you still feel a rise in your pants when you look at this, Skippy?

    LOL!!!

    Skippy?

    Ive been called and nicknamed many things over the course of my 45 years on this planet, Skippy was never one of them.  Its a first for me.

    Skippy...

    Image result for Skippy Family ties\ 
    Nerdy, yet cute, but invisible to Mallory because not Alpha male. He probably became a billionaire by creating a techie company start-up in Silicone Valley and is having the last laugh as Mallory probably is divorced with 2-3-4 kids living in a trailer park because she chose a Nick type  ignoramus...(Nick was lovable though)
     
    Yeah...Im not seeing Skippy in me. 
    Back to the Giulia.  Yeah, had I understood the 4 cylinder part a tad better and not been blinded and biased towards that Ferrari engineered and tuned V6 , I would have not referenced it in the first place.
    So I kinda feel like Nick at this point in time. 
    Related image
     
    Without the earring of course.  
     
    PS: I was always more like...no, not an Alex P. Keaton type, but another Michael J. Fox character.
    Like Marty McFly.
    Nerdy, yet cool.
    Cute, but not a hunky beef steak.
    Calm yet jumpy. 
    Sporty and athletic but clumsy at the same time. 
    Shy  and introverted yet rock-n-rolly and arrogantly loud. 
    laisser faire but aggressive
     
    That is why I love Oldsmobiles.  They capture me perfectly.  Sporty and classy.  Not  too sporty like Pontiac. Not everyday man's Chevy. Not 1%er Cadillac and not a Doctor's or Lawyer's professional job Buick.  But Oldsmobile. 
    A bottom end Olds could be bought by an everyday blue collar man if he was a hard working soul and played his cards right. 
    A muscle car 442 could be as sporty as a Pontiac.
    A high end 88/Delta 88/Super 88 and the like could be a professional's ride. It could also be bought by a 1%er that wanted to stay stealthy and not advertise. 
     
    The Giulia and BMW and Acura and Buick after Olds went away, want to play in that former Olds playground. 
    Apart from BMW, all others have failed. Even BMW is faltering somewhat.  Audi has success, but they too are becoming what Olds became in the late 1980s to early 1990s. 
    What is amazing with Oldsmobile, they kept that high image for a good 80 years straight. Lost it but kinda regained again just before GM pulled the plug on them. 
     
    Back to the Giulia.  The a ONLY redeeming quality it has is that V6. And the suspension set-up on it that out does BMW. But Im not so sure people care for an ultimate driving BMW-like experience anymore.  
    In the 1990s, this car would most have definitely have dethroned BMW and would have stolen market share from BMW 3 series buyers.  Not so much in 2018.  
    OOPSIES.  2019.  Another Nick moment. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Edited by oldshurst442
    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The problem I see with the Giulia is that FCA, if they truly want Alfa Romeo to build on this.... will have to keep this car fresh every 5-6 years. They won't get away with letting cars get old like the LX's, or the long in tooth (but worth it) product cycle of the RAM's...

     

    I also think that Alfa Romeo with its new focus for luxury and sport, like most Italian brands of sports cars and exotics.... is incompatible with electric power-trains.

    Hybrids maybe, but full electric... There's no point.  Imagine a world many years from now... where the electric version is the regular model and the high performance model still has an internal combustion engine, and you'll pay a gas guzzler tax on top of that... 

    • Haha 1
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    54 minutes ago, Suaviloquent said:

    The problem I see with the Giulia is that FCA, if they truly want Alfa Romeo to build on this.... will have to keep this car fresh every 5-6 years. They won't get away with letting cars get old like the LX's, or the long in tooth (but worth it) product cycle of the RAM's...

     

    I also think that Alfa Romeo with its new focus for luxury and sport, like most Italian brands of sports cars and exotics.... is incompatible with electric power-trains.

    Hybrids maybe, but full electric... There's no point.  Imagine a world many years from now... where the electric version is the regular model and the high performance model still has an internal combustion engine, and you'll pay a gas guzzler tax on top of that... 

    I think the day of full electrics is a good bit off.

    And yes...in many ways FCA is their own worst enemy.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The market has a 'sporty Italian' brand with Maserati- doesn't seem to find many takers.
    It remains to be seen if A-R brings enough fresh to the table to sustain itself. I think they should take a risk with their designs and try & stand out some.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    11 hours ago, balthazar said:

    The market has a 'sporty Italian' brand with Maserati- doesn't seem to find many takers.
    It remains to be seen if A-R brings enough fresh to the table to sustain itself. I think they should take a risk with their designs and try & stand out some.

    I agree. Although I like this design better than say the sport sedans of Acura and infinity...taking risks for them did not pay off at all.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I would still be worried about the issues they keep having...simply not a good thing!

    Still not a the Luxo level to play with the others.....

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    2 hours ago, daves87rs said:

    I would still be worried about the issues they keep having...simply not a good thing!

    Still not a the Luxo level to play with the others.....

    They are being consistent with the long-established Italian luxury or sporty image, though...looks great, drives great, but poor reliability and quality.  

    Edited by Robert Hall
    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    13 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    They are being consistent with the long-established Italian luxury or sporty image, though...looks great, drives great, but poor reliability and quality.  

    Very true...and fun to drive is what will help them out.

    Catch is they can’t enjoy it while it’s being worked on....

    That said, I hope they do improve them for us to enjoy....

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      I’ll admit that I have an unabashed love for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This plucky roadster proves you don’t need gobs of power to provide a big grin when driving. A combination of well-sorted chassis, steering, and slick gearbox does the trick. But Mazda has decided to add a bit more power for the 2019 model, along with including a more powerful four-cylinder and a hardtop option. I’m curious to see if these changes can make the Miata better or worse.
      The model seen here is the RF - short for retractable fastback. Press the switch and the roof panels begin an origami folding exercise into the trunk. The result is a targa that provides the open-air feeling, minus a large amount of wind noise. It doesn’t hurt that roof pillars are styled in such a way that gives off a rakish look, no matter whether the top is up or down. Under the hood lies a revised 2.0L Skyactiv four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A six-speed manual is standard, while an automatic is optional. The small bump makes for a huge improvement in overall acceleration. Just leaving a stop, I was surprised how much pull the engine had as it got to 45 about a half-second quicker than the last Miata.   A key change is Mazda bumping the redline to 7,500 rpm, which allows the engine to fully flex its muscle. This became apparent when I needed to pass a vehicle and found that I didn’t need to drop down a gear to get the power needed.  The six-speed manual is still a joy to work with short and precise throws and a direct feeling clutch pedal. Even when stuck in traffic, doing the motions didn’t feel like a hassle. Average fuel economy for the week landed around 32 mpg, even though I was winding the engine out and playing through the gears just because it is so much fun. My tester was the Club model that adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a front shock tower brace. This firms up the suspension and provides improve handling on the limit. But out on the backroads, I couldn’t tell there was any real difference in handling between this and the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring I drove a few years back. Maybe there was slightly less body roll in the RF, but both vehicles had similar characteristics when going into a turn. If I drove both of them on a track, then I think the differences would become more apparent. There is a downside to the Club’s suspension, a very harsh ride. Just making a quick trip to the store was a bit much as the suspension would transmit every little bump and imperfection to the backside of those sitting inside. Another item fitted to my tester was a set of Recaro bucket seats. They come as part of an option package that also adds Brembo Brakes and some cool-looking BBS wheels finished in black. The seats have increased bolstering to hold you in during an enthusiastic drive. But the lack of padding makes them uncomfortable for longer trips. On paper, the RF is an expensive proposition when put against the soft-top: $32,345 vs. $25,730. That massive difference is due to Mazda not offering the base Sport model on the RF. But put the soft-top Club against the RF and the difference shrinks to just over $2,000. Be forewarned that the RF can get expensive. That package I mentioned earlier with the Recaro seats? That will set you back $4,670, bringing the as-tested price to just over $38,000. Mazda’s improvements for the 2019 MX-5 Miata for the most part help, allowing it to become more fun to drive and somewhat easier to live with. That said, the additional cost of the hardtop will depend on whether or not you think it is worth the benefits of possibly being an all-seasons car. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata RF, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX-5 Miata RF
      Trim: Club
      Engine: 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 16-Valve with VVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,453 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $32,345
      As Tested Price: $38,335 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Brembo with Black Roof - $4,670.00
      Interior Package for M/T - $425.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’ll admit that I have an unabashed love for the Mazda MX-5 Miata. This plucky roadster proves you don’t need gobs of power to provide a big grin when driving. A combination of well-sorted chassis, steering, and slick gearbox does the trick. But Mazda has decided to add a bit more power for the 2019 model, along with including a more powerful four-cylinder and a hardtop option. I’m curious to see if these changes can make the Miata better or worse.
      The model seen here is the RF - short for retractable fastback. Press the switch and the roof panels begin an origami folding exercise into the trunk. The result is a targa that provides the open-air feeling, minus a large amount of wind noise. It doesn’t hurt that roof pillars are styled in such a way that gives off a rakish look, no matter whether the top is up or down. Under the hood lies a revised 2.0L Skyactiv four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque - up 26 and 3 respectively. A six-speed manual is standard, while an automatic is optional. The small bump makes for a huge improvement in overall acceleration. Just leaving a stop, I was surprised how much pull the engine had as it got to 45 about a half-second quicker than the last Miata.   A key change is Mazda bumping the redline to 7,500 rpm, which allows the engine to fully flex its muscle. This became apparent when I needed to pass a vehicle and found that I didn’t need to drop down a gear to get the power needed.  The six-speed manual is still a joy to work with short and precise throws and a direct feeling clutch pedal. Even when stuck in traffic, doing the motions didn’t feel like a hassle. Average fuel economy for the week landed around 32 mpg, even though I was winding the engine out and playing through the gears just because it is so much fun. My tester was the Club model that adds a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, and a front shock tower brace. This firms up the suspension and provides improve handling on the limit. But out on the backroads, I couldn’t tell there was any real difference in handling between this and the 2016 MX-5 Grand Touring I drove a few years back. Maybe there was slightly less body roll in the RF, but both vehicles had similar characteristics when going into a turn. If I drove both of them on a track, then I think the differences would become more apparent. There is a downside to the Club’s suspension, a very harsh ride. Just making a quick trip to the store was a bit much as the suspension would transmit every little bump and imperfection to the backside of those sitting inside. Another item fitted to my tester was a set of Recaro bucket seats. They come as part of an option package that also adds Brembo Brakes and some cool-looking BBS wheels finished in black. The seats have increased bolstering to hold you in during an enthusiastic drive. But the lack of padding makes them uncomfortable for longer trips. On paper, the RF is an expensive proposition when put against the soft-top: $32,345 vs. $25,730. That massive difference is due to Mazda not offering the base Sport model on the RF. But put the soft-top Club against the RF and the difference shrinks to just over $2,000. Be forewarned that the RF can get expensive. That package I mentioned earlier with the Recaro seats? That will set you back $4,670, bringing the as-tested price to just over $38,000. Mazda’s improvements for the 2019 MX-5 Miata for the most part help, allowing it to become more fun to drive and somewhat easier to live with. That said, the additional cost of the hardtop will depend on whether or not you think it is worth the benefits of possibly being an all-seasons car. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the MX-5 Miata RF, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mazda
      Model: MX-5 Miata RF
      Trim: Club
      Engine: 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 16-Valve with VVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,453 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $32,345
      As Tested Price: $38,335 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Brembo with Black Roof - $4,670.00
      Interior Package for M/T - $425.00
    • 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

      View full article
  • Posts

  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. lauren
      lauren
      (35 years old)
    2. The Burg
      The Burg
      (55 years old)
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...