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The Es 350 And The Camry Almost Identical


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I love her to death, but I have often wondered if she would still be driving a bird crap covered Isuzu I-Mark if I hadn't regularly urged her to look at new cars over the past twenty years. :lol:

Mine's the same way LOL

As for the Avalon, the interior LOOKS nice, but the wood is fake and the plastics are hard. Nothing like a Lexus.

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Not every car enthusiast is new at owning and driving a car. Believe it or not, there are a greater number of car enthusiasts who have passed that time of experience than those who still exist in thei

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Totally different cars, the G35 competes with the IS not the ES. The ES is far softer, larger, and more luxurious than the G35 which is smaller, sportier, RWD/AWD, more like the IS.

Infiniti really doesn't have a car that directly competes with the ES since they cancelled the I35.

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Totally different cars, the G35 competes with the IS not the ES.

I sort of figured that, but my copy of Consumer Guide provides some conflicting info. It lists the G35 as a competitive model for the IS as well as the ES. When you flip to the G35, it doesn't list any Lexus as a competitor. I made a quick visit to the Infiniti dealer a few weeks ago, but mostly I was looking at the coupe.

My wife told me that next week I should go buy that Scion tC I have had my eye on. :P I'm old enough to be the father of most people who drive Scions, but what the heck. It will be a fun little sport-econo-coupe to use for errands and stuff. The Miata is a little long-in-tooth, and sometimes I just don't want to drive around in a van. I told her I would only buy it if she promised to buy a Lexus some time in the near future. She agreed.

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Thats because of the price point. Lexus has two entry level models whereas most carmakers only have 1. When you drive the G35 and then drive the ES, its obvious that nobody would cross shop the two. Same is true of the 3 series.

As for the tC, the tC is a great car for the money. Good quality and tons of style, Lexus colors too.

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As for the tC, the tC is a great car for the money. Good quality and tons of style, Lexus colors too.

I think so! Before I looked at one, I would never have guessed that you could get that many standard features in a $16,300 car. Among other things, it has standard cruise, air, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, a theft deterrent system and a moonroof. Plus, it runs the Camry 2.4 engine. Toyota offers lots of bolt on goodies (the supercharger adds 40 horsepower). I had fun test driving the stock one (that I suppose I will buy next week).

I do wish that Toyota hadn't dumped all its sporty models. I would probably prefer a Celica GT-S... or even better, a Supra. I was even a fan of the MR2. It seems odd that there are no real sporty models between the tC and the IS. I guess they think the Generation Y kids will trade their Scions in for Camrys and RAV4s.

EDIT: But, I have to admit, there is a nagging part of me that says "give that 350Z and G35 another look." The tC would be a quick inexpensive gap-filler between now and when I start looking at premium sports cars in a year or two. But, the Nissans would be a nice compromise.... inexpensive enough to be within reach a bit sooner, but with a fun level approaching the Porsches. I'm so confused!

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The Avalon isn't nearly as nice a car as the ES. Bigger, but not as nice.

As for the LS being twice as expensive but not twice as good, that depends. If you never drive an LS, you will always be thrilled with the ES. I am a die hard LS guy, the LS is the car that got me into Lexus as a brand. Even I forget how special the LS is now that I go so long without driving one. However, the instant I drive one I realize how much truly better it is than the ES on every level. Don't get me wrong, getting back into the ES is not a let down and it is a teriffic car, but its no LS.

The LS just does everything a little bit better. Not one shard of expense saving plastic, soft touch leather everywhere your hand touces, the open of every door and compartment so precisely timed, no harshness anywhere in anything it does, every movement and every sound is so perfectly fluid and hushed. There is literally nothing the car does that hasn't been engineered, tested, retested, and retested again. It truly is one of the finest, if not the finest, built car under $150,000 on the road today. They get better as they get older too, like a pair of really high quality shoes.

The ES is a great car, but its not a replacement for an LS in any category but thriftiness. As soon as I can get into an LS without feeling guilty about not using the capital to do things that are more important I will, without hesitation. As a matter of fact, I'd go buy one today without ever driving the competition because I know the competition can't come close for the money.

I think the best way to put it is, I could buy a new ES every 3-4 years and be happy for the most part. I could however buy one LS, and drive it for 10 years and still be happy...if that makes any sense? A 10 year old LS is still an LS, but a 10 year old ES is just an old car. So, in that mindset who'se to say the LS isn't more cost effective than the ES? Discuss ;)

I look at it like I look at suits (if you don't wear suits then this won't make any sense).

The ES is the Hart Shaffner & Marx of suits. Its stylish, looks expensive, its well made and it will do everything you want it to do and more, for $600. The value is unmistakable. The LS is more like a Hickey Freeman or Zegna suit. It looks similar, but all you have to do to tell the difference, and to understand why its $1500, is to put it on.

The ES is the ONLY FWD lexus sedan. The Avalon and Camry BOTH are FWD. Huge differences in cold, snowy weather performance compared to old, ancient RWD. (My opinion since I lioved in VT for 30 years) If you liver in a sunny clime you may not ever appreciate the FWD advantages. Not to mention gas mileage! I get 22 city 30+ mpg on the road. LS is a gas hog by comparison.

Alank22181, 2004 ES330, ruby red, with Nav premioum pkg.

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The Avalon isn't nearly as nice a car as the ES. Bigger, but not as nice.

As for the LS being twice as expensive but not twice as good, that depends. If you never drive an LS, you will always be thrilled with the ES. I am a die hard LS guy, the LS is the car that got me into Lexus as a brand. Even I forget how special the LS is now that I go so long without driving one. However, the instant I drive one I realize how much truly better it is than the ES on every level. Don't get me wrong, getting back into the ES is not a let down and it is a teriffic car, but its no LS.

The LS just does everything a little bit better. Not one shard of expense saving plastic, soft touch leather everywhere your hand touces, the open of every door and compartment so precisely timed, no harshness anywhere in anything it does, every movement and every sound is so perfectly fluid and hushed. There is literally nothing the car does that hasn't been engineered, tested, retested, and retested again. It truly is one of the finest, if not the finest, built car under $150,000 on the road today. They get better as they get older too, like a pair of really high quality shoes.

The ES is a great car, but its not a replacement for an LS in any category but thriftiness. As soon as I can get into an LS without feeling guilty about not using the capital to do things that are more important I will, without hesitation. As a matter of fact, I'd go buy one today without ever driving the competition because I know the competition can't come close for the money.

I think the best way to put it is, I could buy a new ES every 3-4 years and be happy for the most part. I could however buy one LS, and drive it for 10 years and still be happy...if that makes any sense? A 10 year old LS is still an LS, but a 10 year old ES is just an old car. So, in that mindset who'se to say the LS isn't more cost effective than the ES? Discuss ;)

I look at it like I look at suits (if you don't wear suits then this won't make any sense).

The ES is the Hart Shaffner & Marx of suits. Its stylish, looks expensive, its well made and it will do everything you want it to do and more, for $600. The value is unmistakable. The LS is more like a Hickey Freeman or Zegna suit. It looks similar, but all you have to do to tell the difference, and to understand why its $1500, is to put it on.

The ES is the ONLY FWD lexus sedan. The Avalon and Camry BOTH are FWD. Huge differences in cold, snowy weather performance compared to old, ancient RWD. (My opinion since I lioved in VT for 30 years) If you liver in a sunny clime you may not ever appreciate the FWD advantages. Not to mention gas mileage! I get 22 city 30+ mpg on the road. LS is a gas hog by comparison.

Alank22181, 2004 ES330, ruby red, with Nav premioum pkg.

RWD is world class, FWD is not as respected. There is a thread on this topic. You'll have to search it out.

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RWD is world class, FWD is not as respected. There is a thread on this topic. You'll have to search it out.

I don't need to look for some other thread to tell me that RWD is more sporty, and that FWD is better in snow. But, you're going to have a difficult time convincing me that I should worry if my drive-train is respected. :P

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was one of those Scion box wagons, dunno the model name

That would be the xB (easy to remember... "B" for box... I don't think Toyota had that in mind). The xB has quite a cult following. Not my cup of tea, however.

Scion has plans to terminate two of the three models. The xA, which looks a little like a Matrix to me, is also going away. I'm not sure what the replacements will look like.

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RWD is world class, FWD is not as respected. There is a thread on this topic. You'll have to search it out.

I don't need to look for some other thread to tell me that RWD is more sporty, and that FWD is better in snow. But, you're going to have a difficult time convincing me that I should worry if my drive-train is respected. :P

Sorry for the poor choice of the word :blushing: , But you get what info I was conveying :P

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The ES is the ONLY FWD lexus sedan. The Avalon and Camry BOTH are FWD. Huge differences in cold, snowy weather performance compared to old, ancient RWD. (My opinion since I lioved in VT for 30 years) If you liver in a sunny clime you may not ever appreciate the FWD advantages. Not to mention gas mileage! I get 22 city 30+ mpg on the road. LS is a gas hog by comparison.

This is full of non-truths. First of all, yes the ES is FWD. That is, however, a negative for the car competing with other import luxury sedans since the market overwhelmingly prefers RWD (outside of Acuras, the ES is the last FWD luxury sedan left. To me, the dynamic benefits of RWD outweigh the snow benefits of FWD. In fact, with snow tires a RWD car will leave a FWD car in the dust in the snow. I've driven both my ES and the LS in the snow, the ES is better at getting up to speed due to the FWD, but not much. I wouldn't choose to drive either of them in the snow.

As for FWD being "new and innovative" over "old ancient" RWD. FWD is hardly new, and it was developed by carmakers because its cheaper to produce, it has nothing to do with being better at doing anything. In fact, on the whole FWD powertrains have far more components to break and cost more to maintain over the long run than RWD.

The LS is also not a gas hog, and the ES does not get much better mileage. If you're getting 25 in town and 30 on the highway, you either drive EXTREMELY conservatively or your computer is malfunctioning. I get 19 or so in town and 25 on the highway, about the same as the LS. In my experience the LS actually gets a little better mileage, 20 or so city and 27-28 highway. A small price to pay for the huge increase in power and the effortless driving experience.

I don't need to look for some other thread to tell me that RWD is more sporty, and that FWD is better in snow. But, you're going to have a difficult time convincing me that I should worry if my drive-train is respected.

dcfish is right though, FWD is not respected within the performance driving community. Its better meant for Buicks (even they are going to RWD) than it is for dynamic sedans. The FWD drivetrain is the ES' biggest fault IMHO.

As for FWD being better in the snow, I think thats a common misconception people who don't truly understand the dynamics of snow driving make. FWD has advantages in the snow, RWD has advantages in the snow. The big advantage of FWD is that its easier to accelerate, the big downside of FWD is that the drive wheels are the steering wheels which dramatically impairs handling in the snow. It may be harder to get a RWD car up to speed in the snow, but when its there it will be safer and easier to control. People who truly know how to drive in the snow realize that slipping or sliding is something to be controlled, not avoided. You can steer a RWD car through a turn with the throttle, you can't do that with a FWD car.

Give me RWD with snow tires over FWD anyday in the snow.

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Who gives a *BLEEP*? Regardless of what drive system is Lexus doesn't make a single steering system, or suspension package that doesn't manuver like relative !Removed!.

It's how things are... Discussing if FWD >/< RWD on a Lexus is like discussing how closely you should shave your balls. Factory anything sucks hind tit. If you put engineering effort behind either system. That system is better than the other. If you put equal effort into both systems, they're equal.

Enough with it already....

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Who gives a *BLEEP*? Regardless of what drive system is Lexus doesn't make a single steering system, or suspension package that doesn't manuver like relative !Removed!.

It's how things are... Discussing if FWD >/< RWD on a Lexus is like discussing how closely you should shave your balls. Factory anything sucks hind tit. If you put engineering effort behind either system. That system is better than the other. If you put equal effort into both systems, they're equal.

Enough with it already....

Well said Toys! ;)

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dcfish is right though, FWD is not respected within the performance driving community.

It's true that the performance driving community mostly prefers RWD. I don't agree that these are the same people that make up the luxury driving community. I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to drink the cool-aid about hoping my drive-train is respected.

the big downside of FWD is that the drive wheels are the steering wheels which dramatically impairs handling in the snow.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this. I consider myself to be a talented driver, and I would prefer to have the drive wheels up front and pointing in the direction I want. With RWD, the front tires are sometimes just along for the ride. I'd rather be pulled than pushed.

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Who gives a *BLEEP*? Regardless of what drive system is Lexus doesn't make a single steering system, or suspension package that doesn't manuver like relative !Removed!.

It's how things are... Discussing if FWD >/< RWD on a Lexus is like discussing how closely you should shave your balls. Factory anything sucks hind tit. If you put engineering effort behind either system. That system is better than the other. If you put equal effort into both systems, they're equal.

Enough with it already....

Drive a GS and drive an ES on a road course, stock. It makes a difference.

It's true that the performance driving community mostly prefers RWD. I don't agree that these are the same people that make up the luxury driving community. I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to drink the cool-aid about hoping my drive-train is respected.

Then why has every maker of luxury automobiles either maintained or switched to an almost entirely RWD lineup? Even Cadillac? Luxury car buyers absolutely prefer RWD to FWD. Building exclusively FWD cars almost put Cadillac out of business and its kept Acura from being take seriously as a luxury car marque.

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this. I consider myself to be a talented driver, and I would prefer to have the drive wheels up front and pointing in the direction I want. With RWD, the front tires are sometimes just along for the ride. I'd rather be pulled than pushed.

There is no agreeing to disagree on this. I've taken precision driving courses, ask any driving instructor which has more stable handling in adverse roadbed conditions FWD or RWD. You have it totally backwards. When the steering wheels are also the drive wheels you have no ability to turn when the drive wheels loose traction. When the drive wheels loose traction in a RWD car, you can still point the car in the direction you want to go and use the throttle to bring the rear around. You can control a RWD car when its sideways, the same is not true of a FWD car. FWD cars are also front heavy making them MUCH more prone to understeer. Understeer is the #1 reason people wind up off the road or in guardrails in the snow. RWD cars, on the whole, are much more balanced. If you take a precision driving course in a skid car it becomes obvious real quick.

Everybody thinks they're a talented driver, but it has nothing to do with ability. It has to do with understanding the dynamics and physics behind the operation of a car under different conditions.

Its a common misconception that FWD cars are better in the snow than RWD cars because the driving public judges a vehicle's prowess in the snow on only one variable, how easily one can accelerate. The same ios true of 4WD vehicles. BUT, you still have to turn once you GET moving. When it comes to being able to control the car once you're at speed RWD has an advantage over even AWD or 4WD, and certainly FWD.

Read on in this article:

FWD vs RWD – what’s the better system?

We are regularly asked this question so we thought it would make a good FAQ topic. The following has been copied from the most recent question and answer posted to our discussion group.

Is there a distinct advantage of one or the other when talking about Camry, Commodore sized cars....does one tow better, does one handle better etc etc or is it fundamentally down to setup.

What a great question, a good way for us to get into some serious trouble. Anyway, here goes…..

To answer this properly, it pays to first get a bit of industry background from the last 20 years. FWD was developed as a cost saving measure for vehicle manufacturers. Its cheaper to build a car with FWD for obvious reasons but also because the complete package can be lighter, smaller for a given target load volume capacity and will use less fuel. A FWD is also inherently more "Wally" friendly for the average driver as the natural balance is toward understeer. Panic reactions by the driver will result in more benign behaviour than you'd get from a RWD and it’s easier to keep it that way.

So, the manufacturers drive the demand by telling us all its a great thing, and in a big picture sense it is because cars a cheaper now than ever, they use less fuel and they're safer in both passive and active terms. But, WE enthusiasts all know something's just not right.

Early last decade the motorsport players were faced with a 2.0 litre FWD platform for developing a racing series with. They were quick to realise that the format created some fairly major technical hurdles in terms of chassis tuning etc. The most significant being that the same wheels that steer the car, now have to deliver drive torque as well. I've mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning again. A tyre has a finite amount of grip available to deliver albeit proportionate to its load. Grip increases with load but at a diminishing rate, but then falls away dramatically when it reaches the limit of adhesion. With the same given load, a FWD front tyre has to proportion grip between lateral (cornering) and longtitudunal modes. That is, the harder you accelerate, the less grip you have left to corner with (this should start to really ring some bells in your head if you drive a FWD or a WRX with out a front anti-lift kit).

With a RWD, drive and steer are largely separated so there is greater inherent balance though poor chassis weight distribution can easily cancel out these benefits. This load/grip relationship becomes a bigger problem when you consider that a FWD can have up to 62% of its weight over the front wheels! Just think back to the last time you came into a corner too hot, under brakes and turned the wheel. What hapenned? Very little as far as cornering goes, right?

All this would suggest that RWD wins and FWD looses, but this is not the case because the racing industry responded to the reality of FWD being the dominant passenger car platform and started on a hugely steep and expensive development curve based around these problems. The result is the British Touring Car series as we know it, and the fact that a Super Tourer will run faster across the top of Mt Panorama than a V8 even with a huge power deficit, an impressive acheivement.

It's poignant to also point out at this stage that in World class rally terms, tarmac stages are generally won by the FWD's not the 4WD's. That's because grip is no substitute for good handling, something which the FWD developers have elevated to a science. This is not to say that a RWD would not ultimately be faster than a FWD but only if you could deliver the power to the rear with a similar overall power to weight ratio as the FWD, and that's highly unlikely. The most effective example showing the pinnacle of what is acheivable can be found in F1, but these cars use a mid engine RWD layout which delivers a good compromise between total weight and its distribution.

A guy said that FWD is more expensive to repair, but given the new RWD IRS systems use nearly twice as many joints, surely this must be a suspect comment. Might have been true with the old rigid axles, however tail-shaft vibration was and still is a problem .

This is a difficult one. My personal suspicion is that FWD would be marginally dearer due to the use of CV joints in the drive-shafts. These things are a relative marvel in engineering terms as they do a huge amount of work and still manage to last a reasonable period of time. But this would also apply to 4WD and IRS RWD. The counter to this is the extra cost of maintenance resulting from the extra weight of a RWD.

Volvo & SAAB actively promote fwd as safer in mud, snow & ice, certainly Scandinavian rally and f1 drivers are amongst the best !

Yes, this is probably true, but not as safe as AWD or 4WD. But, given a choice between RWD or FWD and forced to make a generalisation I would have to agree with that due to the issues raised earlier.

What about for towing?

As far as towing goes, FWD is definitely a looser as the extra weight over the rear axle acts to raise the front, taking load off the wheels that need it the most. Even when using towing aids and weight distribution couplings, it’s always a compromise. Being a trailer boat owner, I often see a FWD madly spinning its front wheels while trying to drag a boat out of the ramp. If you do own a FWD and choose to tow a reasonable load, it would pay to invest in a weight distribution hitch system as they work very well and allow for safe enthusiastic driving even when towing.

The science of FWD suspension and chassis tuning in sedans is in many cases more advanced than RWD but it has a very short development history. FWD lap times have only come down dramatically in the last 5-10 years so the technology is still very young and fresh. I am proud to say that Whiteline jumped on this wagon over 5 years ago recognising the inevitable and started investing time and research into following international motorsport trends and the technical solutions employed to address these problems. I do not mean to boast as we still have a great deal to learn, but it took Subaru till '98 to increase the size of the rear swaybar of the WRX, something we and many others have been advocating since '95

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Then why has every maker of luxury automobiles either maintained or switched to an almost entirely RWD lineup? Even Cadillac? Luxury car buyers absolutely prefer RWD to FWD.

Well, I can't speak to the motivations of all luxury car makers, but I do know a bit about why Lexus has done what they do. To be blunt, they were mimicking German luxury car makers. And, German luxury cars have a very strong sporting essence. Sporty = RWD. Read chapter two of Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit.

There is no agreeing to disagree on this.

Steve, I hope you're not getting excited about this. I'm genuinely not interested in an internet brawl. You can't force someone to agree with you.

When the steering wheels are also the drive wheels you have no ability to turn when the drive wheels loose traction.

When the front wheels lose traction, you have limited control regardless of where you are laying down power. Throttle steering with a RWD car on snow/ice is, at best, 75% luck. When you lose front traction in a FWD car, the slip will often stay on the previous vector. In a RWD car, there is more of a tendency to swap ends... particularly as the centrifugal forces increase as your 911 slides butt-first over an embankment. Also, placing the mass of the drivetrain over the driven wheels improves stand-still traction.

Everybody thinks they're a talented driver, but it has nothing to do with ability. It has to do with understanding the dynamics and physics behind the operation of a car under different conditions.

I am talented and I understand the dynamics of the car. I have owned a few sports cars, and I'm no stranger to the track. I won a PCA rally two months ago.

Think about offroad rally cars. If FWD cars are so much better in loose and slippery conditions, why are offroad rally cars RWD?

They're AWD. http://www.wrc.com/page/Cars/0,,10111,00.html

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Well, I can't speak to the motivations of all luxury car makers, but I do know a bit about why Lexus has done what they do. To be blunt, they were mimicking German luxury car makers. And, German luxury cars have a very strong sporting essence. Sporty = RWD. Read chapter two of Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit.

Doesn't change the fact that the consumer wants RWD, thats why all the major luxury carmakers have embraced a RWD format. The reason Lexus chose to emulate BMW and Mercedes is that they were making what the consumer wanted.

Steve, I hope you're not getting excited about this. I'm genuinely not interested in an internet brawl. You can't force someone to agree with you.

An internet brawl is not my intention, however you are wrong. My point was that you can't agree to disagree about the sky being blue or the law of gravity, these things are what they are. FWD cars do havehandling drawbacks when compared to RWD cars in the snow, thats a fact its not an opinion.

When the front wheels lose traction, you have limited control regardless of where you are laying down power. Throttle steering with a RWD car on snow/ice is, at best, 75% luck. When you lose front traction in a FWD car, the slip will often stay on the previous vector. In a RWD car, there is more of a tendency to swap ends... particularly as the centrifugal forces increase as your 911 slides butt-first over an embankment. Also, placing the mass of the drivetrain over the driven wheels improves stand-still traction.

That is absolutely untrue. Throttle steering is skill, not luck. I know this because I was trained how to do it by professional drivers. Again, I'm not talking about a 911. A 911 is rear engine and rear drive, a disasterous combination for snow as the car will oversteer like a slingshot. A neutrally balanced front or mid engines RWD car does not have that issue, ESPECIALLY with appropriate snowtires.

Also again, I'm not talking about standstill traction. I've said numerous times that FWD cars have advantages when it comes to standstill traction. Contrary to what most people believe though, standstill traction is not the most important aspect of the safety of a car in the snow by far.

Thats why I removed that statement, you must have quoted it before I did that.

Look, stock for stock I'd rather be in a FWD car in the snow only because its impossible to get RWD cars going from a stop. If you outfit both cars with snowtires though, I'd take the RWD car any day of the week.

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My personal experience has not been the same. I won my second rallye yesterday in St Louis. I was in my Miata, a RWD vehicle. The area had a major snow/ice storm about a week ago and the roads were pretty much clear. I still managed to find a way to get stuck. My navigator had to jump out and give the car a shove. I would not have gotten stuck if I had been in a FWD car. The rallye was a joint competition between our Miata club and the local Mini Cooper club. The Mini that was directly behind me at the time had no problem with the snow/ice.

My issue with the turn this conversation took is with this statement... "There is no agreeing to disagree on this." You can't force someone to concede that your opinion is right; no matter how passionately you hold it to be true. It's just an infinitely silly remark to make. When you hit an impasse, there is no other choice. If someone tells you that Elvis is alive, or that everyone in Roswell is a space-person, you just have to agree to disagree. I've driven lots of RWD, FWD and AWD vehicles; and in all sorts of conditions. My opinions are based on what I observed, not things I read on the internet or heard from some "expert." If you guys want to drink the RWD cool aid, wonderful.

You guys can talk about "sucking donkey balls" all you want, these are my final comments on this.

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Theres also differences in the bushings and the sound deadening etc that contribute a great deal to the smooth quiet ride. I assure you replacing the struts with the Lexus struts will not make a Camry ride like an ES.

Remember, if you have enough money you could make a Yugo ride like a Lexus...

Have you driven a Buick Lucerne. Much better than any Lexus in steering, handling and general appearance..

Pickup between 50 and 70 is terrible on the 6 cylynder Lexi.

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