Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
#1475 of 5443 Comparison to other cars
Sep 29, 2001 (5:12 am)
I am the owner of a 1993 ES 300 with 152,000 miles on it. I am in the market for a new car, and have "cross-shopped" the new ES 300 against the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C and E class. Having owned the same car for 9 years, I was predisposed to driving something different. Stated differently, I *really* wanted a Mercedes or BMW simply for the change. However, after weeks of reflection and researching and posting to these boards, I have decided to buy the new ES.
I drove the BMW 3 series. If you are an auto enthusiast, it's a great car. However, the majority of my driving is in a straight line 20 miles on a freeway in to downtown Los Angeles each day. On the weekend, I drive my kids to soccer, golf, tennis, baseball, etc. When I do so, I drive extremely conservatively, and am not trying to "push the envelope" of my cars specs. Also, I need more room in the back seat than the BMW has.
Put simply, when I bought my ES, I bought a car for my lifestyle. The Lexus is simply a more comfortable and quieter commuter/family car. If you want to set up orange cones and run a slalom, buy a BMW.
As for the Mercedes, the Mercedes has reliability problems. Go over to the C Class board here at Edmunds, and you'll read posts concerning all sorts of problems. I use my car alot for business, and I hate having to bring a car in to the shop. I have driven my ES 300 for 152,000 and it has never been towed, and has never had a problem which has prevented it from running. My father has put 215,000 miles on his SC 400. The alternator went out at 200,000, but he had had no other problems. In fact, I have never spoken with anyone who has ever complained about reliability problems on their Lexus. The reason is simple: Thye *never* break down.
The biggest problem I see with the series of posts comparing the ES 300 to various German cars is that you are comparing apples and oranges. The Germans make fine cars which need to be pampered. The ES is a reliable, comfortable car which will always have a niche with guys like me.
As for the Toyota Camry comparison: I am a partner in a large Los Angeles law firm. When I pick up clients, I simply can't show up in a Camry. In Los Angeles, as you are all probably aware, there is a certain amount of status associated with a car. Yet, I personally do not beleive in leasing or buying the most expensive car possible because, after all, they are depreciable assets. Although I could afford almost any car I choose, the ES 300 fits nicely in a niche where I am respectable enough that the clients don't subconsciously realize that you are using the $250 an hour they paid you to buy a fancy car. At the same time, they don't wonder why their lawyer is driving a Camry. I don't care what percentage of parts the two cars have in common -- a Lexus is a Lexus, and a Toyota is a Toyota.
I don't expect this post will change any one's mind. I just wanted to give everyone the benefit of my thinking and, at the same time, defend a car (and a car company) which has always treated me well.
#1476 of 5443 I totally agree with ceccon
Sep 29, 2001 (7:41 pm)
To some Lexus is always a Toyota and never be able to compete with German cars??? To me, Lexus is a pinnacle of modern car techonoly. Designing a new car is easy, but manufacturing with high quality consistancy is extremely difficult. Lexus has proven by winning JD power initial quality every year. That's a FINE ENGINEERING. MB, BMW, or AUDI can talk but Lexus walks on it. Even GM has to thank Toyota for improving its quality.
Sep 29, 2001 (8:03 pm)
I went to my local dealer today to look at the new ES. There were a total of a dozen or so sitting in the showroom or out on the lot, in various colors. However, every ES fell into one of three groups as far as options were concerned:
* Just the Premium package
* Premium package + wood + HID lights
* Every option available except chrome wheels
The sticker prices were roughly $34,300, $35,300, and $39,300, respectively, including destination, trunk mat, cargo net, and wheel locks.
A salesman told me that *all* ES 300s will be imported in one of these three configurations. Does anyone know differently?
Sep 29, 2001 (9:36 pm)
Hi Your info is accurate-I chose the third option-fully loaded--and i think the chrome wheels will be added at the dealership
#1479 of 5443 Me too, I totally agree with ceccon, but
Sep 29, 2001 (11:21 pm)
have you thought about the newly upgraded Infiniti I35? not I30.
I know Infiniti has been shadowed by Lexus all these years, but seems like they are seriousely trying hard to catch up.
It does not take a lawyer to appreciate the difference between a Lexus and a Toyota, especially after you have owned both before. The service and the prestige are the big reasons to pay the extra, not to mention the refinement you can only find inside a Lexus. However, for a change, I would seriously look into the Infiniti.
I have also tried out the MB C-class, BMW and even the Jag X-type. My conclusion is still a Lexus, but..., with the 'value for money' and 'for a change' plus 'similar dealer service' in my mind, I am kind of fall for the Infiniti I35. What do you think, Ceccon?
#1480 of 5443 2002 ES Options
Sep 30, 2001 (4:02 am)
I think the posts are right and that the car is being configured in three different ways with options. You can order one with the options you want but you have to wait three months. I am doing it that way because I want the Mark Levinson stereo but not the Nav and none are being delivered that way.
Sep 30, 2001 (7:18 am)
I also agree with Ceccon's comments. I've owned Honda, Acura, Lexus, and Mercedes autos. Right now, I am very close to trading a Mercedes E320 for a new ES300 or possibly the Infiniti I35.
I like the Mercedes, but have been hit with some maintenance surprises that I'd just as soon not worry about. Last summer, the sunroof locked open right as I parked for a Broncos Football game. I couldn't get it closed, period. I worried all game about rain and/or someone stealing my radio.
I visited our Lexus dealer earlier this week and saw the 2002 ES300. I wanted to love it, but didn't.
I like the front, but think Lexus could have been much more creative with the rear of the car. Personally, I think the design is too boring. I/m also not a big fan of chrome door handles, so that doesn't help.
The color of the ES300 was gold, I hope to see a dark blue ES300 and hope that will help. I own two Lexus autos and am sold on the quality and reliability.
Has anyone looked at the Infiniti I35? I'd like to see one up close.
#1482 of 5443 brian42smith
Sep 30, 2001 (8:35 am)
Yes. I had see the I35 and test drove it. The engine is quick and responsive. But starting the 2002 there is less difference between the Maxima and the I35. They now both have Xenon headlights as standard equipment, and navigation system available. Both above features are not available to the Maxima before the 2002 model. The only things I saw is the I35 offers longer warranty and the rear sunshade.
And since the Maxima is selling at invocie now and the I35 is still selling at either MSRP or $1500 off.
Hope this help.
#1483 of 5443 Maxima or I35? Camry or Lexus?
Sep 30, 2001 (1:08 pm)
As mentioned by Ceccon, they are definitely different. For some professional, he/she may not want to be seen in a Toyota or Nissan or to pick up a big client in either. So, Lexus/Infiniti is a no brainer.
For me, I have owned both Toyota and Lexus before, I'd pay the extra any time, just for the service. Besides, the interior refinement and workmanship in a Lexus is worth every extra in my opinion. The same logic as to why people choose to eat in a restaurant with good service instead of a self-serve fast food one.
Do not forget the resale value too. Every one knows an used ES300 is always worth more than a similar used Camry because the Lexus depreciates less.
#1484 of 5443 camry/I35/maxima/es300
Sep 30, 2001 (9:39 pm)
Wifey and I went through the exact selection process as some of you have gone through for the camry/I35/maxima/es300 (this is going to be my car). Test drove the camry and Maxima. I love the power of the maxima and wifey like the camry but both of us want this car to be a little bit more upscale. Saw the picture of Es300 and I35 and wifey again like Es and I like the I35. The debate went on for about a month until a week ago. We bought a 01 Deville DTS instead. The sticker price is about $51K but the dealer went down to $44K+ and then we have a rebate coupon and GM credit card rebate and drove the final total to $42K+. When you factor into the 0% finance for 5 years, it is equivalent to buying a car in the $38k range using a discount rate of 5% (our cost of money if we were to finance the purchase ourselves). The current climate of 0% finance and special lease deal will make more cars available in this price range (35K -39K). Hope that our experience can help some of you in your shopping.
By the way, wifey and I really like the DTS. She actually let me drive her SC430 now that she can take the kids to school in the DTS (Heh Heh!)