Honda, Toyota, or Lexus?

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I currently own a 2000 Toyota Avalon XLS and am looking for new wheels (and the rest of the car to go with it). I have been happy with Ava and looked at the new Toyota Avalon, Camry, and the Honda Accord. I
haven't looked at the Lexus ES350 yet because the dealership is about a 2 hour drive from here. The reviews look good.
My initial conclusion is they all look good. The Toyota / Lexus are somewhat quieter and smoother, the Honda probably more reliable.
I hear that Toyota quality and reliability is slipping and the 6 speed transmission used in all the cars that I am considering has problems. How serious are they? The Lexus seems nice but I am being told that it must be taken to the Lexus dealer for warranty repairs, a 4 hour drive round trip. Is this true, or can the local Toyota dealer handle it?
I considered the Acura TL, but it does not come with cloth seats. The Honda dealer was pushing the Nissan Altima. I don't think they are as reliable as the Toyota. I recently rented Nissan Sentra for 2 months in Hawaii. In 2 months due to failures we drove 3 different ones and were not impressed. Any other suggestions for a nicer car that comes with cloth seats?
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 17:27:03 -0700, ray wrote:

Forget all that crap and just get a BMW 5-series.
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Feh... I've had three of them. The 95 and 98 540, I liked. The 01 530 was a piece of crap. Constant problems with the computer and electrical system. Glad it was a lease and I could get rid of it after 36 months.
With the possible exception of cornering, the Acura TL is a much better car and about $15,000 less.
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A German car?
Better he should just buy a GM car and keep the money somewhat in this country. He gets the same build quality, anyway.
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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 08:52:18 -0400, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:



Yeah. They're the best at making cars. Simple as that.

Oh, but buying a Toyota or Honda is just fine, eh? Did you not know that those are Japanese-owned car companies? You think the money stays here in this country when you buy a Toyota or a Honda?
The build quality is NOT the same either, by the way.
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Hardly.
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IMO, the 2008 Avalon comes out better than the Honda. Big surprise is that it's gas mileage is up in the 26-28 mpg range. MLD

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MLD wrote:

HIghway? City? With a 6 or a 4?
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V6 and around the city. On a 3000 mi trip averaged 27/28 and at times did between 30/31. On the trip just about all highway and anywhere between 75-80 mph
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MLD wrote:

This is what I usually get with my V6 Accord ('04).
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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 21:33:55 -0500, Dan C

Mercedes used to be one of the most reliable cars on the road (we're talking 30 years ago now.) Now it is one of the least reliable. VW/Audi are just about as bad. Compared to them the BMW is stellar, but really not in the same league as Honda or Toyota.
BMWs are fun to drive, but you pay a lot for it when you buy it and as you go down the road.
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On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 20:34:54 -0500, Gordon McGrew

This is very true. I was looking at a used 2005 325i and being used to Hondas/Hyundai's and how reliable they have been, I was shocked to see some common issues that the 325's all had.
1) Transmissions failing at under 100k miles and BMW doing nothing about it.(This was the dealbreaker) 2) Thermostats failing at 60k and then again at 80k 3) Balljoints failing at 80k 4) VANOS problems (BMW's Variable Timing) 5) Radiator expansion tank
And the list went on and on...If I wanted a car that had all of these problems I would get a Ford. The Germans tried following the Japanese way of doing things and they have failed miserably.
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Dan C wrote:

BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota have factories in the US and employ US citizens and pay US taxes.
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On Sat, 05 Apr 2008 11:13:41 +0000, L Alpert wrote:


Right. You're as clueless as the other dumbass.
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Why is he clueless?
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bearman wrote:

Probably because I'm right.
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On Sat, 05 Apr 2008 10:42:14 -0600, bearman wrote:


Because he seems to think these Japanese cars are entirely made here in the US, and all the money from their sales stays here in the US. Neither of those statements is true.
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Dan C wrote:

But that's not what he said at all. You may have inferred it but he didn't say (write) it...
He wrote "BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota have factories in the US and employ US citizens and pay US taxes.", which is all true. Nowhere does it say "Japanese cars are entirely made here in the US, and all the money from their sales stays here in the US".
FWIW, I think Mercedes also has a factory in the U.S.
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On 4/5/2008 8:44 PM M.M. spake these words of knowledge:

In fact, Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai all have factories in Alabama.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
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Dan C wrote:

I never stated that all of the money stays here, that is an assumption on your part.
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