Last post on Jun 22, 2011 at 5:56 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 350
#2134 of 2769 97-01 VS. 2007
Sep 18, 2006 (7:40 pm)
I am considering purchasing an ES 350 UL by the end of the year. I have a 1997 lexus ES 300 that I have owned for ten years this month. The vehicle has performed incredibly and has been a wonderful pleasure to own and drive. I have 150K on the vehicle and have had no signficant problems. The vehicle still drives tight clean and has relatively no road noise. I test drove the new 07 ES 350 UL this weekend I was disappointed. I thought that the vehicle drove like a Camry with a bit of extra power when pressing on the accelator. The vehicle did not seem to handle as tightly as mine and the ride did not feel like a 'Lexus' ride. I like the new styling and the interior is nice but appears to be 'cheaply' engineered compared to mine. I have a lot of friends who purchased ES 300's from 97 to 01 and are passing on buying this year's model because of the ride and general feel of the car. The salesman told me that the 97 to 01 models were viewed by the buying public as the most attractive ones engineered. I am going to drive another one next weekend...I am hoping that is was just a singular experience because I was really looking forward to purchasing this car. I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has bought or looked at buying the new one and who previously owned a ES300 97 to 2001 model. Does anyone feel the same way? My 97 just seems to float on the road, very little road noise, and an absolute pleasurable driving experience. I did not feel the same way about the new one. Thanks in advance for any information.
#2135 of 2769 Re: Interesting discovery [ncdaydreamer]
Sep 20, 2006 (6:40 am)
If given the choice I'd only reluctantly go for an "all season" only because I live in NYC and we get a fair amount of snow. Ideally, I'd opt for the "200 rated" treadwear summer tires in a heartbeat if it weren't for the snow factor.
And as for what A/S I'd opt for, it sure wouldn't be the mediocre Michelin MXV's, that's for sure.
Chect this out and tell me what you think about the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. And guess what? They're substantially cheaper too!
#2136 of 2769 Re: 97-01 VS. 2007 [jkoss]
Sep 20, 2006 (7:36 am)
I had a '98 ES-300 that I really liked and replaced it with an ES-350 in May. You're right, the 350 does not ride or handle as well as the 300. I'm going round and round with the dealer and Lexus re a transmission problem. If Lexus can work out the bugs, there is a lot of value in the 350 compared to comparable BMWs and M-Bs.
#2137 of 2769 Re: garsarno --a few pics of blue onyx pearl [ryguy1]
Sep 20, 2006 (7:38 am)
Wow, I'm in love with your wheels!!! I recently bought the Ultra Luxury Package in Blue Onyx Pearl/Cashmere interior--very similar to yours, and I initially loved the upgraded wheels that came with the UL package...But I'm really loving how yours look! Did you get the wheels from Lexus?
Sep 20, 2006 (9:29 am)
The Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S is a very good choice for an all season tire. The only catch is that it does not come in a size 215/55R17 for the ES350.
I think all of us are going to find that the optimum tire in most all the categories is not going to be available to us, given the wheel and tire size that Lexus has chosen for this vehicle. I don't understand the reason behind the decision, but given that it is a luxury vehicle and not so much a sports sedan, they would have stayed with a 16-inch wheel and tire.
Here is a good alternative to the tire you have chosen, that is available for the ES350:
This is an Avon tire made by Cooper Tire and Rubber, best known for Avon racing tires. The specs are not as good but close and our size is available. You can pick an optional tire height, but you are altering the specifications of the vehicle from what Lexus delivered to you.
It would be nice to pick and choose which tires come on the vehicles, but I don't believe we have that option. From what I've seen, Premium packages come with summer tires and ULs come with all season. The all season tires are a bit of a compromise, the handling is not as good and probably the ride comfort is not the same as a summer tire and the snow traction is definitely not equal to a winter tire but the treadlife of the Michelin MXV4 Plus will probably exceed any summer tire. For those drivers that travel in between climates, it should prove to be a good compromise. Lexus probably has a range of tires that are put on the ULs, but the Michelin MXV4 Plus is usually not considered to be an "OEM" tire.
If you don't plan to keep your vehicle but a few years and you have all season tires, exchange them with whatever tire from Tirerack makes you happy and store the original tires until you get ready to sell or trade the ES350 and then remount the original tires.
Incidentally, if you have a Discount Tire store in your area, they will match any price offered on tirerack.com
#2139 of 2769 Re: 97-01 VS. 2007 [garmo]
Sep 21, 2006 (9:42 am)
Thanks for the reply. I believe there is a lot of value in the 350 compared to the BMW and MB as well but they definetely missed the mark in general ride and feel of the car. I have a personal relationship with the Lexus salesperson and he told me that they have had many people test drive the new ES and not move forward with the purchase of the vehicle...most of these buyers were owners of ES 97 to 01 models. He also told me that the general consensus among the sales managers and salespeople was that the new vehicle missed as well but that sales would be strong since it is a 'lexus'. There were high expectations on this vehicle since the 02 to 06 models were considered bland. I would buy this vehicle immediately if it had a ride and feel that was even remotely similar to the 97 to 01 version...I am surprised that the engineers did not concentrate on delivering it.
#2140 of 2769 Re: 97-01 VS. 2007 [jkoss]
Sep 21, 2006 (10:47 am)
From what I can tell Lexus seems to be dividing the line by luxury/sport. I own an SC 430 and my wife just ordered an ES 350. Seems like the sport side is being handled by the IS/GS while luxury side by LS/ES. Not to say they all aren't luxurious but I think you know what I mean. The IS is trying to take on the 3 series, while the GS the 5 series. I suppose the LS/ES is taking on Mercedes. I found the ES to be quite a nice car for the price point. Power is good and while the handling isn't exactly sport sedan like I don't think they were trying to get that buyer. I beg ignorance to the previous version of the car since I never drove one, but the 350 seems to be quite improved in many ways over the previous generations, and I really like the styling of the car as well as the ride. Of course it's all personal choice. Just my $.02
#2141 of 2769 Re: 97-01 VS. 2007 [jtmav]
Sep 21, 2006 (11:41 am)
Excellent post. As proof to what you have stated, the new ES no longer offers the choice of selecting the kind of ride desired (sport or normal) with the turn of a dial. My son owns a 1999. He's trying to convince me into buying the new ES. Nice car (new and old).
#2142 of 2769 Cold start engine noise level
Sep 21, 2006 (6:49 pm)
I found my ES350 a bit noisy with clicking sounds compared to 2003 ES300 during the engine start in the morning. It does quiet down after a couple minutes. This noise only happens when it starts first time in the morning, not during the day or while it is moving. I wonder if any of you have similar experience. Probably most people may have previously owned another lexus. I would like to hear your experience with ES350 cold start in the morning.
#2143 of 2769 Re: Prices [cc2010]
Sep 21, 2006 (11:10 pm)
I bought my ES350 thru fleetrates.com during the last month. For Lexus, I think they said they sourced from 3 different areas - one in California, one in Florida and I think one in northeast. I wanted the one sourced in Florida (JM Lexus in Margate FL) that was premium package and was for the price listed on Fleetrates specials for $33,975 (think the MSRP was about $36.2k). They did not charge a documentation fee, as many dealers do. Only other charge I had to add on was to pay for transport to Illinois and for state taxes when I registered car. Car was delivered basically to my doorstep. Pretty happy with transaction as only ones available here were about $1000 more MSRP and dealer said max amount off would only be $500 off MSRP with no negotiation.