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2013 and earlier Lexus ES 350 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Sales for ES350 in Jan 2008 was down by almost 18% compared to Jan 2007 but 37% less than last year's average (83,000 units were sold last year which is close to 6,900 units sold per month on an average).
    Are buyers less interested in buying ES350 or just the economy? I think it is the economy as most of the cars posted negative growth. Any comments?
  • The economy is bad and that would effect luxury cars across the board but I think the fact that Consumers Reports has said Lexus ES350 is below the industry average on reliability has to hurt sales too. Rock solid reliability has been a touchstone of the Lexus experience since day one. Comparing the current Lexus ES to the previous model it has undergone a truly precipitous drop in reliability. And this is everything from creaks and rattles to the transmission flaring that has lots filled with Certified Used ones. (Read: Former :lemon: )

    In my opinion, the bundling (some might say bungling) of the Mark Levinson audio exclusively with the Nav is another mistake by Toyota too. The Nav is weak and the ML is great, you shouldn't have to take them together. I will never buy another built in NAV again, given the pace at which the Garmin (et al) continue to improve. Nothing turns buyers, even "luxury buyers", off faster than getting force fed a pricey option with what should be a relatively inexpensive one. Remember when the Europeans used to put the Xenons into $4,000 bundles. And people paid it.

    Ultra Luxury is a cool package but I can't swallow taking the Nav as part of the the tune of ~$10,000. That is nuts. Try to find "ultra luxury w/ no nav" anywhere. I'm not even sure they make them.

    Aesthetically the current Lexus ES is a homerun, far and away more attractive than the two versions that preceded it. Performance wise it sets a new benchmark for the line as well. So I think economy, reliability and poorly thought out (or just downright greedy) option packaging would be my top three reasons for the ES's abysmal sales.
  • I've been a Toyota fan for over 20 years, but my two current Toyotas have been a disappointment. Currently we have a 05 Tundra limited and a 06 Highlander limited.
    I find that the Toyota dealers are getting downright obnoxious with their take it or leave it attitude and my current vehicles have not been problem free.
    The paint is just plain terrible-stone chips everywhere. Our third car, a 97 Caddy STS with 92,000 on the clock has much better paint, but has had some reliability issues. The Toyota navigation system was designed by a moron, or by somebody that thinks I am a moron. I turned my factory Highlander system off and use a Garmin 660-at least it will accept my address!
    I'd like your honest appraisal of the dealers: Do they treat you like a king and bill you accordingly? Is the Lexus paint quality and nav design better than the Toyota?
  • I am shopping for a ES350 with PM. What price should I offer to dealers? Is invoice price insulting? If yes, how much over invoice should I offer? Appreciate all feedbacks.
  • I just noticed that we became member on the same day - Apr 13, 2001.
  • jano2jano2 Posts: 141
    I do not like the navigation system at all - not worth the extra money you have to pay for it. I have not had problems with the paint on my car, but I just took delivery in August. I have seen other people complain on this board about the paint being 'thin' on their ES350.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,725
    Everyone that signed up previous to April 13, 2001, shows that as their join date...




    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    I have an 07 350 and the paint job is pathetic - in the right light near the front bumper on the hood, you can see where it drooled when they were spraying it along with some other uneven areas. While I don't have any pitting because I have a clear bra, the paint job is much worse than the 02 300 I had...when I bought that one the salesman pointed out that it had many many coats of paint (can't remember how many - maybe he was BS'ing me), but I do know that I never waxed it once and it always looked terrific.
    Quality of Lexus has diminished - fit & finish is quite poor compared to my G35X - I wouldn't buy another Lexus. For now my business goes to Infiniti.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I agree with Z. ES350 has it's share of issues like paint, rattles/squeaks, poor fit and finish. However, I recommend 2008 ES350 over G if you are looking for luxury vehicle and not sporty. G is fast and you will feel connected to the road while ES is quiet and more spacious. ES is also more fuel efficient and has some features that G does not have. Z has both G and ES350 and has outlined the pros and cons in his previous discussion, that might give you some info.
  • ekndyekndy Posts: 3
    Please send me an email to and let me know the salesperson that you dealt with at Lexus of Orlando. Thank you very much.
  • That is a strange coincidence. :) 13.04.2001 a day that will live in infamy.

    Paint durability (as opposed to the appearance which is (generally) very good, especially on the Lexus cars) is poor because the water soluble paints used (for environmental reasons) now don't hold up to chipping very well. Of course, all the steel is galvanized so at least it doesn't rust.

    Lexus paint chips just like Toyota paint and in most cases it is the very same paint with a different name. The chips are just part of the deal on modern cars and that fact has spawned the clear bra industry to the heights it currently enjoys.
  • It does not surprise me one bit that ES350 sales are declining. I have an 05 ES330 coming off lease next month. I'm paying $417 a month and I put down only $600 up front. That included tax, acq. etc.and it's well equipped. Looking at a comparable ES350, it's not anywhere close to that. Of course I would expect to pay a bit more due to higher MSRP etc, but we're not even talking the same league. Lexus doesn't seem to want to be competitive in leasing again. I just got a quote on an S80...MSRP $42,600...$2000 down, and $379 a month OTD. ES350 with a lower MSRP won't come close to that! Consider this, plus the problems we all know exist with this car (the transmission hesitation has annoyed me since I got this car) and it's no surprise sales of this vehicle are down.
  • I read an article that says the "Consumer Report baseline price" for this car is $29,311 that is over 600 lower than the invoice price. Consumer Report also says there is dealer holdback on this car. Does anyone here know how much the holdback is?

  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I forgot to mention that the insurance for G is more than the ES and G has it's own share of problems as the ES.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    I disagree in my case - my new, completely loaded G35X was actually $35 less per 6 mos than the same coverage on my 350. No accidents/tickets and credit ratings are also part of insurance costs in my state.
  • Lexus "holds back" 2% of the base MSRP and another 1% of the base MSRP called "wholsale financial reserve". Basically 3%, so roughly $1k to work with if you want to try and negotiate into their holdback & wfr.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I agree, it depends on state, insurance company guidelines, credit scores, tickets, etc. but what I have read in various websites (different states) and in my personal experience, G costs more to insure than ES. Also, there was an article few months back on yahoo and other websites that the expense to repair a G will be very high if the car is rear ended. May be this all ties into the insurance cost, I don't know.
  • ocautoseeker,

    Thanks for the info. I guessed it's 2% because I see the difference betwee CR baseline price and Edmunds dealer invoice price is about 656. Does Lexus dealer has TDA fee (Toyota Dealer Advertise) on their invoice? Some dealer told me yes. Some told me no. I live in NJ. Any idea. anybody?
  • eights38eights38 Posts: 137
    charlieliu - Holdback on a Lexus is 2% of Base MSRP ( What dealer in NJ are you working with? If you need more help, please feel free to email me.
  • 2008 ES 350 Premium Package, Rear Air Bags, Heated vent seats, full size spare tire, bluetooth, wood/leather steering wheel, preferred accessory package. Southern California.

    Quoted: $33,700 w/ destination only. not including tax,dmv,doc fees

    I think this is pretty high. I should be easily able to shave off another $700 to make it $33,000 in my opinion. Especially when sales are failling...

    I know someone was able to get the same car in san rafael, ca for $31,500 because of dealer year end sales.

    What do you guys think? Should I push for $31,500 or 32,000?
  • Here's a copy of the bottom of an ES350 invoice:

    DCV920 TIME: 08:26
    Model Number: 9000A SERIAL # :82161842 Check Code: 7

    Model Description: ES350 4-DR SEDAN Category ..........: G
    Year ............: 2008 Current Dealer ....:
    Vehicle Base Model ....................: Base MSRP$ 33720.00 $ 28888.00

    Total Accessories ...........................: $11876.00 $ 9380.00 $11876.00
    Destination Charge ..........................: $ 765.00 $ 765.00
    TDA .........................................: $ 422.00
    Dealer Holdback .............................: $ 674.00
    Whsl. Financial Reserve .....................: $ 337.00

    --------- ---------
    Total .......................................: $ 40466.00 $ 46361.00

    As you can see, there is a Dealer Holdback which is 2% of the base MSRP, and another 1% called Wholesale Financial Reserve. The TDA is roughly 1.25% and that will very by region, state, and type of vehicle.

    Hope this helps.
  • Your info is great. Thanks a lot for sharing it.
  • According to Edmunds the dealer invoice for this car would be 33,300+. Is that possible the get 1000 under invoice? keep me posted.
  • Thanks for the info. I've been talking to Prestige, Bridgewater, Edison, Momonth and Lawrenceville. So far, the best I got is invoice price. But their invoice seems 400 more than Edmunds not including hold-backs. If including hold-back, their price would be over 1000 more than their cost. Should push more, say 300 under Edmunds's invoice price? That price would leave dealer with about 350 profit. I know they, NJ dealers, have to make some profit. But how much? Any ideas?
  • I was just at a dealership in Rochester Ny. The exact same vehicle with your options was previously quoted to me at $34,500 the Rochester Dealer said the absolute lowest they would go is $33695.00.(just the car no registration or tax or title) This was 2 days ago. I thought that was a pretty good deal and didn't even question asking lower. Now I am curious to hear how you made out. I am amazed someone else got it for 31500 since that would be like dealer invoice plus destination with out any options. Let me know if you got them any lower.
  • Has anyone had to pay for a Lexus dealer prep fee. We were all set on numbers on a 2008 ES 350 and the sales person mentioned a prep fee of $99.00 extra which included full tank of gas and wash wax and detail. Not sure if this is common or just a way of making extra money..Any info .????
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Never heard of such a thing.
  • jano2jano2 Posts: 141
    Sounds like garbage to me! I thought getting a clean car with a full tank of gas was a standard practice. I would not pay for it.
  • Bought the car today. Paid under $34K plus tax, title and registration. Has options: PM, HL, HH, WU, DC, BE, FS and Z1. This board is a great help. Got a lot of information here. The deal went very smoothly. Will pick up the car next week. Pretty happy so far.
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