Toyota positions the Avalon in a strange place.
With a bottom-line price of about $39,000 for the top Limited model with a few options like the nav system, the Avalon costs more than the Lexus ES 350.
Although Toyota doesn't want to think you’d also cross-shop the Lexus, there’s no reason not to.
Compared to the Avalon, the ES has a similar feel, with a very quiet interior and smooth, sophisticated powertrain character.
The Lucerne and the Azera favor comfort over performance, and both have 3.8-liter V-6 engines that aren't as responsive as the Taurus.
The Lucerne is also available in Super trim, which adds a 292-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8.
The Taurus offers a slightly more performance feel (an SHO performance version is available), but its real strength is safety—it’s probably the top-rated large sedan, all considering, for safety.
Some shoppers might like the redesign the Taurus received for 2010, but the seating position and backseat room take a turn for the worse according to some.
Another alternative is the Chrysler 300, which comes in an economical rear-wheel-drive base model or with all-wheel drive in upscale Touring trim.
The 300 might not be as appealing to the crowd that favors ride comfort and space above all else; it's less roomy inside and not nearly as refined and quiet, though there’s a powerful HEMI V-8 offered.
|2010 Toyota AvalonBrowse Used Listings||2010 Buick LucerneBrowse Used Listings||2010 Ford TaurusBrowse Used Listings||2010 Hyundai AzeraBrowse Used Listings||2010 Lexus ES 350Browse Used Listings|
|19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas V6 FlexFuel||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|Large||Large Car||Large Cars||Large||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan XL (Natl)||4-Door Sedan CX||4-Door Sedan SE FWD||4-Door Sedan GLS||4-Door Sedan|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Dr Sedan CX||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Automatic w/OD||Automatic||Automatic w/OD||NA||Automatic|