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William Maley

New York 2018: 2019 Cadillac XT4 Kicks Off A Product Renaissance: Comments

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It's encouraging that GM has developed a new motor here but the power specs are not as encouraging. If the torque band is lower and more punchy then I hope that bears it out. They could be releasing the all new engine in lower tune to make sure it doesn't self destruct, or it's the guinea pig for real world durability testing before it gets rolled out to other models within GM. The mpg doesn't look like it benefits from the detuning so we will just have to see what the deal is when the vehicle actually hits the street. Usually new motors match their old specs and even can improve on mpg and reliability without any detuning. 

Edited by regfootball

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1 hour ago, regfootball said:

It's encouraging that GM has developed a new motor here but the power specs are not as encouraging.  . 

GM already has a 2.0 turbo 4.  Isn't this the same thing already in many GM models ?  Odd that it would be 237hp in the XT4, since it is already 250-275 hp in other models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine#LTG

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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On 3/28/2018 at 11:55 AM, smk4565 said:

How can the CTS be 196 inches long and have a small back seat?

The exact same way the e-class has a small back seat.

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1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

GM already has a 2.0 turbo 4.  Isn't this the same thing already in many GM models ?  Odd that it would be 237hp in the XT4, since it is already 250-275 hp in other models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine#LTG

This 2.0t is all-new.

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3 hours ago, regfootball said:

It's encouraging that GM has developed a new motor here but the power specs are not as encouraging. If the torque band is lower and more punchy then I hope that bears it out. They could be releasing the all new engine in lower tune to make sure it doesn't self destruct, or it's the guinea pig for real world durability testing before it gets rolled out to other models within GM. The mpg doesn't look like it benefits from the detuning so we will just have to see what the deal is when the vehicle actually hits the street. Usually new motors match their old specs and even can improve on mpg and reliability without any detuning. 

We really need to dispense with the horsepower as a benchmark thing. It's not doing any of us any favors to be fixated on it. Lots of torque, way down low, is the best, way to go.

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True but the current 2.0 is rated as high as 295 lb ft in some applications.  The new mill doesn't crank that amount out either.  

2 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

GM already has a 2.0 turbo 4.  Isn't this the same thing already in many GM models ?  Odd that it would be 237hp in the XT4, since it is already 250-275 hp in other models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine#LTG

No I think this engine is new. 

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I wonder why they would do an all new 2.0. What would be the point.  

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27 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

I wonder why they would do an all new 2.0. What would be the point.  

Clean sheet redesign to improve a number of engineering aspects, in all likelihood. Cadillac's not wasting money here.

Ironically, they did the exact same thing in the '60s; the '63 390 was completely redesigned but came out with the same displacement. I believe there a major component of the redesign was to allow larger future displacements, but there were other criteria.

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I want to see lighter interior tones and better lighting. There was probably very little breathing room for this debut. 

 

I think the XT5 has a light brown interior option on some trims right? Where the dash, pillars, seats and doors are light brown. That is a good interior, I want to see the XT4 version of that.

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This will actually be the third all-new 2.0t from GM. This new one has AFM.

As we see displacements congeal around even numbers, we'll see this happen more often. 

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Plastic on the rear bumper yeah, not all over the place.  The Q5 has way less plastic on it than an XT4.  And if Cadillac has an exclusive 4 cylinder (which is sort of a waste of R&D dollars unless it runs super quiet or something) why does it make less power than an Chevy 4-cylinder?

Cadillac has 258 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm?

Mercedes GLC makes 273 lb-ft at 1,300 - 4,000 rpm

BMW X3 makes 258 lb- ft at 1,450 - 4,800 rpm

Audi Q5 273 lb-ft at 1,600 - 4,500 rpm

Not surprised by who has the most torque at the lowest RPM

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3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

We really need to dispense with the horsepower as a benchmark thing. It's not doing any of us any favors to be fixated on it. Lots of torque, way down low, is the best, way to go.

True, good thing someone is the BEST at doing that.

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9 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

True, good thing someone is the BEST at doing that.

Still GM?

ATS 2.0T -295 lb-ft

 

Will you ever stop being a troll? A tuning decision is not indicative of engineering ability.

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

This will actually be the third all-new 2.0t from GM. This new one has AFM.

As we see displacements congeal around even numbers, we'll see this happen more often. 

i believe i read where it said this the AFM allows it to run on two cylinders?

if an engine is redesigned, it can possibly be

-lighter or smaller to fit in engine bay easier

-simpler

-cheaper

-easier to manuf.

-incorporate new technologies

-more power

-better mpg

Edited by regfootball
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2 minutes ago, regfootball said:

i believe i read where it said this the AFM allows it to run on two cylinders?

Could be. The new V8 can run on as few as one cylinder in a revolution.

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i remember when the GM 4 cyl DOHC's that followed the ill fated Quad 4's put out less power

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There were engineering reasons for that. They added balance shafts to smooth out the previously rough engine.  Once they got that sorted out they started increasing hp again.

Also, about 10 years ago...

"In December 2008, GM released a Turbo Upgrade Kit for the LNF engine which increases horsepower to 290 hp (220 kW) and torque to up to 340 ft⋅lb (460 N⋅m), depending on the model. The kit retails for $650 and includes remapped engine calibration and upgraded MAP sensors. The kit is covered by the cars' existing GM warranties."

And before you try to play the CLA/GLA43 card SMK... It took MB 10 years to catch up to and exceed the power output of a 2008 Cobalt SS.

A tuning decision is a tuning decision. It is not a indicator of engineering ability when a company has already proven itself able. 

Power delivery also matters and nearly every review of the CLA complains of turbo lag. So a fat lot of good that extra lb-ft is doing when it takes an extra 3 clicks of the mouse to get it.

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11 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Still GM?

ATS 2.0T -295 lb-ft

 

Will you ever stop being a troll? A tuning decision is not indicative of engineering ability.

CLA45? 355hp/332 lb-ft. 

11 hours ago, regfootball said:

i believe i read where it said this the AFM allows it to run on two cylinders?

if an engine is redesigned, it can possibly be

-simpler

Everything else you said is probably spot on but there is no simpler engines being made anymore. Everything is more and more complex.. you even mentioned the ability to run on 2cyl..lol 

Edited by ccap41

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I know you can tune an engine to any power level (within reason) but reliability and NVH go out the window if you extract more power than you should from an engine.

I have never driven a CLA, so I don't know what the turbo lag is like, but the M270 has a twin scroll turbo and makes 258 lb-ft @ 1,200 rpm so I can't imagine it is that bad.  And the M274 which is the sister engine to the CLA used in the C-class and GLC has very little lag and you don't really notice the turbo at all plus it won a Ward's 10 best engine award in 2017.  

18 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

CLA45? 355hp/332 lb-ft. 

 

375 hp/350 lb-ft now.  And that is probably going up in 2019 with the new A-class line.  Although I think it pointless to increase it.  If you want more power buy an AMG C-class.  Interesting thing is they are planning an A35 with like 300 hp which could be a sweet spot for that car.

Edited by smk4565

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23 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

CLA45? 355hp/332 lb-ft. 

 

Read my post after that.  GM was doing 340 lb-ft from a 2.0T 10 years ago. 

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13 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Read my post after that.  GM was doing 340 lb-ft from a 2.0T 10 years ago. 

With a post-purchase modification. From GM or not. That's like saying the EcoBoost Mustangs are 335hp and 390 lb-ft with the Ford Performance tune for only $699. 

Depending what you want to believe from Ford...

 

2.3.PNG

30 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

 

375 hp/350 lb-ft now.  And that is probably going up in 2019 with the new A-class line.  Although I think it pointless to increase it.  If you want more power buy an AMG C-class.  Interesting thing is they are planning an A35 with like 300 hp which could be a sweet spot for that car.

They're still only FWD, right?  

They already probably have some trick system to get power down but upping that more they're going to have to re-configure that out too. 

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10 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I know you can tune an engine to any power level (within reason) but reliability and NVH go out the window if you extract more power than you should from an engine.

I have never driven a CLA, so I don't know what the turbo lag is like, but the M270 has a twin scroll turbo and makes 258 lb-ft @ 1,200 rpm so I can't imagine it is that bad.  And the M274 which is the sister engine to the CLA used in the C-class and GLC has very little lag and you don't really notice the turbo at all plus it won a Ward's 10 best engine award in 2017.  

375 hp/350 lb-ft now.  And that is probably going up in 2019 with the new A-class line.  Although I think it pointless to increase it.  If you want more power buy an AMG C-class.  Interesting thing is they are planning an A35 with like 300 hp which could be a sweet spot for that car.

The NVH of the old 2.0T in the Cobalt was actually pretty good for its day. 

Again, you don't need to take my word for it... look at all the articles regarding the turbo lag in that car

AutoWeek - CLA Turbo Lag - Whether sport or economy mode is selected, the Mercedes always seemed to be a half-gear shy of where it should have been, and the combination of turbo lag and wonky clutch take-up makes smooth low-speed driving difficult. Once on the road there's plenty of power to get into trouble, so it's not a fundamental output issue -- rather it's a lack of refinement between the engine and transmission. 

Cars.com - CLA Turbo LagDespite the turbocharged four-cylinder engine's stout 208 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque, excessive drivetrain lag sullies the CLA250. A sustained toe on the gas can induce gratifying low-end punch, where the little Benz surges ahead even at 2,000 rpm. The problem, however, is getting to all that.

MercedesBlog.com CLA AMG45 Turbo Lag - To obtain the high power of 381 HP and the high torque of 475 Nm, relatively small Mercedes turbo engine operates with a big turbo which delivers a maximum pressure of 1.8 bar. But a big turbo means a high inertia and a big turbo lag which you feel at full throttle.

Car and Driver - GLA Turbo Lag - In its default Comfort mode, sluggish shifts accentuate the engine’s turbo lag

Consumer Reports - GLA Turbo LagBut the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is unrefined and, combined with the engine's turbo lag, makes the GLA feel lethargic despite its quick acceleration times.

So yea, you could use sport mode all the time, but that will kill your fuel economy.  The reviews above tell me that Mercedes is still a long way off from perfecting this engine into something that is satisfying to drive on a daily basis.  I would be disappointed in Cadillac if the XT4 came out with reviews like what you see above on the GLA/CLA. 

All Cadillac needs to do is tune it similar to the GMC Terrain and they have already beaten Mercedes.

Car and Driver - GMC Terrain Turbo LagOur all-wheel-drive turbocharged 2.0-liter test vehicle achieved the top acceleration figures among its competitive set. Credit the Terrain’s minimal turbo lag and plentiful power, as well as the nine-speed automatic transmission’s ability to drop down a couple of gears quickly with a simple boot of the throttle.

TruckTrend - GMC Terrain Turbo LagWith 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, its output lags behind the 3.6L V-6 that was optional in the previous Terrain, but you’d never know it from behind the wheel, thanks in part to that nine-speed auto. With fleet off-the-line reflexes, minimal turbo lag, and excellent passing power, the 2.0 is a surprising engine to find in the competent—but rarely fun—compact SUV segment. 

 

Mercedes-Benz... the best or is there a GMC in the comparison?

 

 

5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

With a post-purchase modification. From GM or not. That's like saying the EcoBoost Mustangs are 335hp and 390 lb-ft with the Ford Performance tune for only $699. 

Depending what you want to believe from Ford...

 

2.3.PNG

Who cares? It is a dealer installed option fully supported by GM and covered by warranty.  It allows the buyer to choose a higher performance model that would require 92 octane or the more standard SS that can run on regular.  Same goes for the Mustang.   It is functionally the same choice as a CLA 250 or a CLA 43... Benz just makes two models out of it while GM lets you upgrade an existing model. (yes I know there are other upgrades on the 43 over the 250.)

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The CLA/GLA problem sounds more from the DCT transmission which I don’t know why they use in the first place rather than the fried and true 7-speed auto that they used from 2003 - 2018, and the 9-speed has replaced it in most cars now.

The GLC and C-class don’t have the lag and acceleration problems, a GLC300 can out accelerate a Terrain, not like it matters in that segment.  

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33 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

The CLA/GLA problem sounds more from the DCT transmission which I don’t know why they use in the first place rather than the fried and true 7-speed auto that they used from 2003 - 2018, and the 9-speed has replaced it in most cars now.

The GLC and C-class don’t have the lag and acceleration problems, a GLC300 can out accelerate a Terrain, not like it matters in that segment.  

Really? You don't know why they didn't use the automatic from the 2003-2018 era?

Put on your deerstalker cap there Sherlock..... maybe you'll figure it out. 

The question was never and is never about raw performance in these crossovers. It is about drivability around town the way 99.9999999% of people use them.  A jumpy, laggy engine transmission combo is not going to be as satisfying as one with low lag and no jumpiness.  

The XT4 will do better than the GLA there and still have plenty of scoot. 

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18 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The XT4 will do better than the GLA there and still have plenty of scoot. 

I'd assume you're correct but those are just guesses at this point as we're talking transmissions now and nobody has driven this XT4 matched to the brand new engine. 

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      CT4-V:
      Limited Slip Rear Differential
      Magnetic Ride Control (RWD Only) or ZF MVS Passive Dampers (AWD)
      Available SuperCruise (later in 2020)
       Power wise, the CT4 has a choice of 3 power configurations.  The 2.0-liter turbo has 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission.  The 2.7-liter turbo in the Premium Luxury produces 309 horsepower and 348 lb.-ft of torque or in the V gets 325 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft of torque.  Both 2.7 liters route power through a 10-speed automatic.  Both the 2.0 and 2.7 have a three-step sliding camshaft design, active fuel management, and automatic start-stop.
      The Cadillac CT4 will be available for ordering later this year with pricing announced closer to production.
       
       
    • 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
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