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Camry vs. Avalon

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kirk Gunn, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    What is the difference ? Seems to be the same platform, why have 3 different vehicles (Camry, Avalon, Highlander) based on it ? The cheaper Camry seems to have more interior and trunk footage.

    Inquiring minds need to know....
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I thought the Avalon was the biggest of the two sedans?

    The Avalon seems to compete well with the Ford Crown Victoria for the over-65 market. I don't think anyone else buys either car.

    I think sales were bad for the Camry wagon so they jacked up the suspension, put "SUV" looking clothes on it, a nice AWD system, and there you go. Nice market segment.
     
  3. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    You forget the Solaro, the Lexus ES330, and the Lexus RX330.

    Toyota is going after the older customer base....it axed the Celica and the MR2 Spyder.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Well, the new Scion brand definitelyis looking to younger buyers. And the Celica has a counterpart Scion I believe.
     
  5. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    In reviewing the specs, they appear almost identical in width/length, etc...

    Is Scion a subsidiary of Toyota ? (guess I'm an old fart..)
     
  6. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Yes, Scion is a new brand from Toyota aimed at the younger buyers. Their latest offering is the tc coupe....it's very nice....170 horses at under $17K.
     
  7. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    My wife's parents who are in their 80's drive an Avalon. It is very smooth,(can't feel it shift) quiet, roomy and comfortable. In fact it has a bench seat in the front. The dealer looked in five states to find it. After driving it it totally made me wish that more car manufactures would go back to having the bench front seat as an option.
    I don't think the Camry is on the same level of luxury.

    Toyota does, IMHO, have way to many SUV's around too close a price bracket which are overpriced too.
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I work in a Toyota dealership service dept, have for 33 years.

    The current Avalon is based on the 97-01 generation Camry.
    The current Camry is actually a new body shell vs that generation, so the current Camry is one generation ahead of the current Avalon.

    The current Camry V6 comes with a 5 speed auto, Avalon is still 4 speed auto.

    Camrys are available with side curtain airbags, Avalons only with front seat-mounted side impact bags--no side curtain bags.

    Toyota has pretty much stopped adding new features or upgrades to the Avalon as it's due for a major revision soon.

    Camry body structure is stiffer than Avalon. There is a Camry model called the SE with somewhat sportier suspension, bigger tires, and some other trim changes and such that improves on the LE and XLE models as far as firm handling but still isn't quite a sports sedan.

    Major advantage to Avalon is more rear seat legroom, that's about it.

    Avalon is aimed at Buick LeSabre market. It's softly sprung, very quiet, very senior citizen oriented. They are purchased almost exclusively by elderly folk in search of a good "last car".

    We should be seeing a new generation Avalon for 05 or as an early 06 model next spring.

    Those who want a "larger than Camry" Japanese branded car not specifically aimed at the geriatric crowd would be better off shopping Nissan Maximas.

    Highlander is indeed a Camry wagon with increased ground clearance and AWD available as an option. It is actually a very roomy and comfortable long-distance touring vehicle, with very decent handling for an "SUV", will probably actually outcorner the Avalon. Major drivetrain components (read "the heavy stuff") are mounted low in the chassis so they are much less tippy than most SUVs. If you don't really need the AWD or towing capability the 4 cylinder Highlander is a very viable proposition and is not outrageously expensive. A little louder than the V6 on hard acceleration but does move out adequately and is serene at cruising speeds.

    IMHO, Toyota SUVs are only overpriced when compared with Korean brands, none of which offer the quality or longevity of a Toyota (or Nissan or Honda for that matter) 10 year warranty notwithstanding.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I don't think so IMHO. They are a stellar value for the $$.

    The Avalon is due for a new redesign this year I believe. Buick has a new Lacrosse which should be interesting as well for the older crowd.
     
  10. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    Or you could spring for a Lexus LS.
     
  11. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Certainly not a new one. They are almost double the price. A Lexus ES would be close though but those are a more luxurious Camry.
     
  12. Phil_L

    Phil_L Second Unit

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    Skip the Lexus ES and get the Acura TL......yum
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I say skip both and find an off-lease used Q45. They have terrible value retention, which makes them an outstanding value on the used market.
     
  14. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    more than one of my co-workers have picked up early-90s Lexus LS-400s for under 15k, done the timing belts and such which are usuallly overdue on these at that vintage, and have creditable luxury cars for cheap. They really will go 300k with no major problems if you avoid the air suspension.

    I've always thought the Q45 was grossly underappreciated and undervalued by the public. There are such things as excellent automobiles with lousy resale value, and this is a prime example.

    On the flip side of the coin there are more than a few cars with great resale and horrendously expensive maintenance and repair costs once they get out of warranty.

    On the subject of Scion, they are actually quite good cars and excellent value for money. The marketing is Saturn style, no haggle msrp is it, but msrp is quite good for the level of equipment and quality of the car.

    The new TC coupe's 17" wheels and 4 wheel discs would lead one to expect a sports coupe, but it's really more of a sporty boulevard cruiser, sort of a junior Toyota Solara.
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I agree. All of the late 90's infinitys can be had for a song, very nice cars.
     
  16. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    I use this style for work reasons, and have just been shopping them.
    The Avalon bench is an option, other bench seat possibilities are the late Olds 88, Mercury Grand Marquis, Buick Park Avenue, and my new LeSabre Limited. [​IMG]
     
  17. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the feedback. I've been waffling between a Highlander and a sedan for some time. Now that Toyota just dropped their 750.00 rebate, I've got more time in the "waffle iron" to debate my decision.

    A dealer a couple towns over just got a huge influx of late model cars for a weekend clearance (I love how they call these "factory authorized clearances" - what the heck does that mean ????). A few Infinity's and Lexus GS' in the batch, so I'll probably check them out.

    Thanks again !
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Kirk,

    Look for Infinity I30s as well, they are undervalued on the used market, though not nearly as bad as Q45s compared to original MSRP.
     
  19. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    My local Infiniti dealer has the 2004 I35 for under $27K brand new and loaded. This is with almost everything (leather, the 250 horsepower Nissan V6, etc...) except for side-curtain airbags or navigation system. It's a discontinued model so discounts are deep. For just a tiny bit more than a loaded Honda Accord, I think the I35 is a better buy.
     

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