1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited September 2014 in Lexus

image1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

A few little issues had us thinking the 1996 Lexus ES 300 was on its last legs. But it's back in action and seems to be running fine

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  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150
    I'm driving a 2003 Mazda Protege and this describes my relationship with the old thing to a tee.

    Some days I feel like maybe it's on its way out, but others I feel like it's never going to die and give me the excuse I need to replace it.
  • smudge12smudge12 Member Posts: 19
    ^Haha, I'm the same with my '02 Protege.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    Yep. And then there is the fear that if you wait something bigger than you'd want to pay for might break and leave you with a very large paperweight.... or you could sell it today and not have to worry.
    Because if you fix the transmission or engine head or other costly item it will still have all the little things failing. And in reality most cars I've driven into the ground ended up there because of numerous small (yet expensive) things going and not a major component.
  • zhangrenhouzhangrenhou Member Posts: 79
    In my experience, 1980's and 1990's Honda and Acura products can be driven for years with the light on. I've done so when my mechanic could not pinpoint any problem(s). Not sure if the same holds true for Lexus products.
  • mslaffmslaff Member Posts: 3
    This car is an excellent argument for just going ahead with a new car lease at the lowest possible payment. Surely a 2013 Impreza, or something similar, would be about as cost effective and absolutely more reliable. How much time could the average person afford to spend chasing down repairs on this car, honestly? Time to part this one out!
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    I know none of us would want an unreliable car for our (future) kids, but I think that this is the perfect car for a teen. It's cheap, and I wouldn't mind paying for all these little repairs so that the rascals can learn about how cars work and how to fix them. My first two cars never left me stranded, but had continuous little things going wrong. That's how I came to be interested in how cars work.... Maybe I'm just romanticizing the past though.
  • lincolnman3lincolnman3 Member Posts: 0
    I'd put money this car has plenty of life left in it. As a retired military member working now as a civilian on a military base here in Japan, I see lots of these..... Most US military members are here in Japan on an assignment for three years, so everyone purchases cheap wheels. This model, called "Windom" in JDM form, is very popular - for the same reasons yours is; very reliable, parts are mostly cheap, and it has Lexus cache and refinement.

    Don't give up on her yet........
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