Have you sat in the new Avalon and ES to support to that claim?
I was down in the Georgetown factory when they first started building them if that qualifies for anything. I've being around Toyotas for along time and pound for pound Japanese Lexus are a higher grade build. In this case, if one can do without NAV, an ES350 is a better way to go IMO than a similarly equipped Avalon.
The Avalon is a real improvement over the past version. But so is the 2012 Camry over the last gen. Toyota is making an effort this time to try and distinguish the Avalon and they did that with the exterior, but underneath it's a Camry. When they follow each other down the line it's the same CV axles, motors, brakes, fuel pumps, wiring looms, etc., that get installed. The Avalon gets better insulation and things of that nature. But the vehicles are closely linked. More more closely linked than with an ES350 that is receiving parts from different suppliers than the Camry/Avalon.
That CD article was just a first drive. No testing down. You don't even know if the writer was refefring to a 2013 ES. It was a pretty fluffy piece. The reviewer simply refers to "Camry". Is he talking about a V6 SE or a V6 XLE? Big diff in ride and handling between those two.