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2013 and earlier Lexus ES 350 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Tony was really cool with me throughout. Yeah, we had our back and forth interactions (Plenty of them, LOL) over a 6 week period starting from mid June and culminiating on a deal on July 29th. I'd recommend him in a hearbeat without thinking much on it. :shades:
  • I do appreciate your position but at the same time, if they (the car dealers) will try to schiest you like this without discounting their vehicle for sale enough to compensate, then that's where I'd have to say, "Who were you kidding?" The game in this scenario becomes completely one sided (i.e., the Salesmen at the Dealer make their money on both the sides). I'd like to think I'm way more intelligent than to fall for stupidity of this nature.

    Citing examples for what was said above, from all the dealerships that I've showed my vehicles to (1 Honda (Bankston), 2 Nissan (Avery Johnson North Texas Nissan and Bankston Nissan Dallas), 3 Lexus (Sewell Dallas and Fort Worth as well as Park Place Plano), a Used Car (European Motors) and CarMax (Plano and Irving), only Sewell (both locations), AJ North Texas Nissan and the European Motors Used Car dealership were trying to schiest me on the Trade-in Value. The remainder dealerships were in a respectable range (i.e., within a few hundred of what I sought for the Trade in Value) BUT two factors played in to my decision here:

    1. My wife wanted a Lexus; AND
    2. Coincidentally, Park Place Lexus DID work their tails to get my business.

    One and one eventually came together when the right car got here but otherwise, the numbers were in place and the only dealy was inventory related.

    Bottom line....and my point to all of the above: While your theory on the current economic environment playing its impact role on my prospects applies, it only has a PARTIAL TRUTH VALUE. All that stuff is a thing of the mind. If you can sell your car and make the presentation well enough while simultaneously knowing who to weed out, you'll get your target with due time and patience. This is the one tremedously stressful thing that is a part of the car purchasing experience.
  • Sunnfun,

    Congrats on the car purchase! How do you like the drive? Is it powerful enough for ya? :P

    One thing you said totally surprises me, especially considering the MSRP on your vehicle purchase. My car had an MSRP of $42535 but I ended up at $37800-Trade in +TT&L, which amounted to about $26,600 (after you figure in the trade in). Getting to the point, how is it that you have the Premium Plus Package and Nav but no Power Rear Sunshade? :shades: I was under the impression that this was part of the Premium Plus Package. If you got the Navigation with the car, then chances are high that you have the Voice Activated Navigation package with Additional Options (Especially if you bought an 08 recently). This has the Power Rear Sunshade and Rain Sensing wipers as part of the package to accompany the Nav, Park Assist Sensors and HID AFS Lights on the Front.

    Perhaps if you bought an 08 very recently and did not get this as part of the package, then their must be a regional code thing going on somewhere (e.g. - No heated Seats on cars sold in Florida).
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    This is my wifes car, so as soon as she let's me drive it, I'll write a review :) I can say that it does ride much quiter than my 08 accord.
    In response to your question on the accessories, this is what I remember (don't have the paperwork in front of me). We got the premium Plus Package and what comes standard with it. Also the rain sensing wipers, Park assist sensors, the HIDs, heated and cooled seats, full size spare, The Voice activated Nav (without the Mark L stereo upgrade) and everything that comes with it, leather and wood trimmed steering wheel, Rear side airbags, preferred accessory package, all weather floor mats, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something else. I was not in the car when the salesman and my wife went through the whole set-up/how everything works. I don't remember seeing the rear shade and we did talk about getting it installed a day or two later but decided against having someone tear the car apart to add one item. I am curious though and will check when I get home. It would not suprise me that there is a feature on the car that she does not know about. We bought it on 7/31.
    I have to admit that for the last 17 years, I have bought nothing but Honda/Acura. The "package" deals that Lexus uses can be somewhat confusing the first time. Just because it has something on the website does not mean that it comes in/on your car. Just as you said, there are regional items that are added/removed which made it confusing for us. I guess you could order exactly what you want, but with 2009's almost here, you might not have that option. We ended up at $36600 +TTL so we were OTD right around $38K.
  • sunnfun,

    Welcome to the club! Both our wives have the better wheels while we both drive something in the pack.

    What color did you all get by the way? Here, we go Smoky Granite Mica with the Grey Interior (and the very same package that you all did as well, WORD FOR WORD). Here is a way to identify whether you have the sunshade or not. On the driver's side of the vehicle between the sterring wheel and the driver's side door, located just below the side air vent are 4 buttons.

    1 is for the fuel filler door;
    1 for the trunk to open;
    1 for the Park Assist system;
    1 is for Power Rear Sunshade.

    If you see these four buttons in the exact location I've identified, it is confirmed that you have it and the dealer will not need to aftermarket install one. Please take a look and be sure and let me know what you find out.
  • I forgot to comment on the car I drive. I know you said you had a 2008 Honda Accord. By the way, which trim and 4 cylinder or V6?

    I have a 2007 Hyundai Sonata Limited V6. This is a great car in itself. Make no mistake, it's no Lexus by any stretch but in its own, it's been an all around great car. Great Fuel economy for a V6 if I may say so.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    Just checked and only 3 buttons - Park Assist, Fuel and Trunk button. Top right one is missing. I wonder if any of the others on the lot are like that? We have to go back to the dealer tomorrow for one thing so I may take a stroll around and look while we are there.

    My car is an 08 EXL 4Dr V6. I have posted my experience on the Honda board so no need to re-hash it here but it has not been good. My wife loves the ES 350 but it's not for me. The roof is to low. I do like the GS models though. If the sales person would "deal" a little more, I would consider pulling the trigger on one of those and trade mine off.
  • qkslvrqkslvr Posts: 34
    I paid 41450 (45225 MSRP) for the ultra luxury with ML and navigation. In addition they let me use a sales tax credit on my lease, saving me an additional $2600. I think with some more negotiations, I could have gotten the money factor down more, but I felt the sales tax credit more than offset the higher money factor. I worked the prices through 5 different dealers across the state over several weeks, and Northside gave me the best final deal.
  • bchoibchoi Posts: 3
    Hi, Hersh

    I believe it is against form policy to post the salesperson name... I purchased the vehicle from Lexus of Stevens Creek. I shopped around all dealerships: Oakland, Fremont, Pleasanton, Putnam, etc.

    All dealerships immediately quote under $1000 under their invoice price (note that the dealer accessories like the cargo mat, etc. are not listed at edmunds ... I believe the dealers leave a couple hundred dollar room this way). From there, you gotta negotiate.

    My final price was $1500 under dealer's quoted invoice.

    good luck,
  • I just bought a new 2008 Lexus ES350 from Lexus of Serramonte in Bay Area, California. It had Navigation, Premium Plus, Power Rear Sunshade, HID Headlamps, and Preferred Accessory Package. MSRP was $41,735. We payed $35,854, and got it for $39,000 out the door (OTD).

    I just want to know, did i get a good deal??

    About the buying experience, it was pretty standard and quick as far as car buying goes, mostly because I negotiated 39K OTD on the phone. My suggestion is to find exactly the car you want, phone around to see what dealers have it, and start negotiating about $2000 under invoice, and see what they can do from there.
  • koppsuzkoppsuz Posts: 13
    What is the tax in California? 39K out the door with all of that equipment would be a great price in Maryland. The tax in Md is 6%. I think you got a good deal.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    We just got the same car for 38K OTD (Va tax is 3%). I think since new models are coming, I would bet there will be GREAT deals over the labor Day weekend.
  • Tax in the bay area is 7.75%, its pretty high, so i guess i got a good deal
  • I noticed many of you are getting below invoice. I have a 08 ES350 quote out there now, sticker is 42,535 - invoice 37,790 - Dealer is offering $300 above invoice firm. This is in the chicagoland area. Anyone have any experience with a dealership willing to undercut this?

  • bboy007bboy007 Posts: 4
    I have a similar jumping off point. Is anyone aware of a price increase in '08? Not sure what position of power the dealers are coming with since sales were off 28% in July over last year. Here is what one dealer in ATL is quoting:

    "The ES 350 is $42,595 with Navigation. XM Satellite Radio is an additional $795. My price to you on this car is $38,350 + $795 = $39,145, plus applicable taxes/fees.
    I do have a car that is $42,721 that includes XM satellite radio already. Reason for this price on an identical car is that the cars were priced at $42,235 (without XM) but all cars were price increased to $42,595. This one was pre the increase and had a lower labor rate in the XM job. This car is Silver/Black and I can sell it to you for $38,408, plus applicable taxes/fees."

    This is from Hennessy Lexus in Atlanta, GA.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    My personal opinion on both of these prices is that the dealers are crazy. My sales guy told me July was the slowest month they have ever had. We got the car at invoice minus the holdback, etc. which put us about $1000 under invoice on the same car (minus the XM radio) I think you both could do alot better, especially since the 2009's are almost here. Labor Day weekend seems to always have good deals. I would spend the money and get the Consumer reports info on this car and get the exact invoice pricing and work from there. That's how we worked it and it saved us a lot of $$.
  • I'm in the market for a 2008 Lexus ES 350 and live in the northern part of Florida. Has anyone found a good price for the ES equipped with nav, premium plus, etc. in Florida. What should I expect to pay and can you recommend a dealer? Thanks.
    Also, does anyone have any idea of any changes for 2009? I realize it's only a month or so away, so perhaps I should wait.
  • Thinking of buying a 2008 ES350 in the DC area. I know there is a dealer in Rockville, Silver Spring and Alexandria. Cananyone share some info for me on your ecperiences at any of these dealerships and what you got for the money in the last few months or so. I plan to purchase in the next 2-3 weeks and pay cash. Hope I can get a deal.
  • Hello everyone and I'd like to thank everyone for the great information that has lead me to change my opinion about how I should go about negotiating a good price. I was aiming to get an invoice price deal but have seen several of you have managed to score deals $1500 below invoice in various parts of the country. I have the option to purchase in California, Washington, or Oregon for a car that will live in Seattle... so I would prefer to purchase up in Seattle. My wife is moving up there and I'm staying down here. This is a temporary thing. We already have a car so we both need a car and it doesn't matter who gets the Lexus. So the determining factor is where I can get the best bottom line price. We're leaning to purchase in Seattle, but if we save more than $500-$1000 in SoCal, we'll buy it down here and ship up the other car.

    Here are the numbers which was agreed to sell at invoice:

    Description: MSRP / Dealer
    Base: 33820 / 28973
    Options: 7650 / 6260
    Rear Seat Airbags: 250 / 200
    Full Size Spare: 205 / 164
    HID Headlights: 815 / 168
    Nav System: 2650 / 2230
    Premium Plus: 2480 / 2058
    Parking Assist: 500 / 400
    Wood & Leather Steering Wheel: 330 / 264
    Preferred Accessorie Pkg: 210 / 124
    Other Charges: 2286
    Destination Charge: 765
    TDA: 507
    Dealer Holdback: 676
    Whsl Financial Reserve: 338
    Sale Price: $37,519 (at invoice)

    Extra Fees for Out the Door: 2286
    Doc Fee: 50
    License Fee: 195.75
    Taxes: 3489.27
    Out the door price: $41,245

    Now I haven't gone back yet, but I know I can do a lot better, as people are getting similarly equipped cars for $38k-$39k out the door (those quotes didn't have the parking assist which is $400+tax more). So I'll say 38.5-39k should be my goal.

    So my thoughts on these fees:
    Don't pay holdback
    Don't pay Whsl Financial Reserve
    According to Edmunds, Doc fee is a max of $35 in Washington. That's a $15 difference, but perhaps it's old list and the fees have gone up? Can anyone confirm?
    Also average license fee is $57 but they are quoting $195... I do realize it's a lot more expensive than the average car, so I wonder if this fee is based on a percentage of the sale price? Anyone know how to calculate this?
    The sales tax is higher than the 8.9% for that state, even when I add in all OTD fees before calculating it. My assumption was that I should pay $37519 * 8.9% = $3339. There seems to be an ominous $150 overcharge here which works out to another 0.4%... is there a regional tax added to that for Bellevue?

    The holdback and reserve adds up to $1010. If that reduces the price to $36509, the taxes would go down to $3395 (assuming 9.4%). And tack in the unmodified prices ($245)... new total would be $40149... $1100 cheaper than the current bid.

    So I know I have a lot of questions, but I'm struggling with what is considered invoice price. My guess is that it is in fact, $36509 (base invoice + option invoice + destination charges + TDA). Last thing I want is to negotiate invoice minus $1500 and then they try to charge me destination and TDA on top of that. If I can get the car for $35009, that would make the OTD price $38500...

    Do you guys have any thoughts on tactics on how realistic this deal (invoice - $1500 without charging holdback or wholesale financial reserve) is and how I would make the approach? I'm also talking to Tustin -- which seems to be quite a good dealer to buy cars from (with lower taxes but higher license fees). I am assuming due to slow sales and other people being able to make similar deals that these guys must be facing some kickbacks clearly exceeding $1500 per car otherwise they would be losing money on those deals. This leads me to believe they are receiving hidden kickbacks exceeding $2500-$3000 on these cars right now to make those deals worth doing.

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated. I have so many questions! I'll definitely share my results.
  • madd66madd66 Posts: 26
    Hi, does anyone know the current MF for Texas? I'm interested in a 36mo 12K lease and I was quoted .00175 (Tier 1) with a 52% residual. The MF seems high but inline with what I've been reading. I've asked them to tell me their buy rate so I can see how much they've marked it up. The initial gross cap cost they quoted was around $38918 (I know this is high...I'm shooting for invoice or a little over invoice) and net cap is around $40100 (this includes $182. for doc and fees and $600 acquisition fee + $469 tax).

    There is a tax incentive right now so the tax rate is 1.25% which for us Texans is good since we have to pay tax on the entire purchase.

    BTW - remarchcs, while I'm not familiar with the west coast, the license fee in my area of TX was quoted at $68.80 - far less than your quote...but then again I, too, don't know how this is calculated.
  • Okay, so I just bought the above car at Tustin Lexus -- but without the parking sensors which would have been $400 invoice more. We agreed to go there based on him selling the car OTD for $38.5k. He stated verbally that he'll make the deal happen but wasn't permitted to ever quote under invoice in writing. But I warned him, don't waste my time because I'll just walk out. He acknowledged and we scheduled an appointment for the next day. It was a 1 hour drive for us to get there, with wife and baby in tow. We showed up, test drove the exact car, then went inside to do the deal. I saw it coming though... as we went through all this paper work, investing all this time before getting to the price. Then it came... what is your offer? I immediately answered, we previously agreed to $38.5k out the door. He didn't remember that, and I started getting ready to leave. My wife didn't want to leave, so we started haggling and going back and forth about prices and showing me the invoice. Their invoice was $37119 for this exact car which included holdback and wholesale reserve ($1003). I told them I wouldn't pay for that, so they took off $1000. I still didn't want to play that game as he wanted me to make an offer base price rather than OTD price... giving him more numbers to play with. He kept "going to his manager" and coming back with different numbers and went on like this for quite some time. I offered $35600 + TTL (no holdback/no wholesale) and said I'd walk out if I didn't get it. And they wouldn't go down below $36119, so we walked out. My wife was telling me, I hope you know what your doing. I was basing my prices largely on this forum. Other dealers weren't getting down to these kinds of numbers. As we were loading up the baby, they approached us and said the salesguy would take a smaller commission and give it to us for $36000 + T&L. I almost had a single tear.

    I told him to run the numbers, and we'll see where we get. I already knew we were around $39.5... and it came out to $39,346. However they botched the county tax seeing we were in LA county instead of Orange county, so they attempted to add the 0.5% tax difference. I said no... that's the price, so they agreed to eat the taxes. When I saw the final breakdown, it appears they took the difference out of the "estimated" license fees.

    We did qualify for their tier 1 credit and financed at 3.9% over 5 years. One last annoyance, was that the car we purchased had $1995 chrome upgraded wheels which we didn't want. They didn't have anyone there to change them as it was 6pm, so we had to drive back the next morning to pick up the car.

    So basically we paid $846 more than what we considered to be a great deal and it came down to us having limited time and energy to deal for that price. Hopefully we don't get haunted by DMV for underpayment of license fees. But the car is going to Washington state so I'm not too worried, but not sure how that's going to work.

    But I did feel like we were bait & switched and not too happy about that. If I could do things differently, I would simply give the dealer an ultimatum and say, quote me this price out the door or I won't show up. That was my mistake. I hope someone else can take my experience and do better!
  • madd66madd66 Posts: 26
    Hey, that sounds like a great deal (even though you had to go through hoops to get it)!

    I'm in the process now of getting all the numbers via email and having some success. This is of course after they try to get me to come in and discuss the car but I usually write back saying something like "to help maximize your time and mine, obtaining all the numbers up front ensures the process is quick and efficient when/if I buy the car. I'm sure you'll agree time is an important commodity in this day and age and I'm certain if we can get the basics out of the way, we can do business together"...or something to that effect. Since I lease I always ask for the buy rate too. It's down to Lexus and BMW at this moment.
  • Good luck! Btw, we used to have BMWs, and this ES350 is the size of a 5 series. So far we are very happy with the ES350 because the options are so superior as you get so much more for you money. But nothing drives like a BMW, but as new parents, performance and aggressive agility isn't important for us anymore (okay me...). The nav system is industry best. I really like the subtle details like showing me in advance which of the six lanes is valid to be in rather than "keep left" or "keep right".
  • ganjaganja Posts: 16
    Its a great price. Did you deal with the internet sales manager there?
    Let me know
  • Hi,
    Did you buy it in Virginia? Which dealership? I am in the market to get one, please help. Thanks,
  • I am in a similar boat, please let me know if you find any good deal in DC/VA area. Thanks,
  • No one has responded at all to my request for info so if you hear something plse share it me also.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    We bought at Rockville Lexus. Got it for about $1000 under invoice at the end of July. I emailed all of the Lexus dealers in this area, even as far as Baltimore. No one would deal except Rockville and Alexandria, and Rockville made more sense location wise. Using VA tax rates, and getting the ES350 with Nav and Premium Plus, you should be OTD around $38 or just over $38. I would not pay more than that since 2009's are almost here.

    FYI - I don't have my papers in front of me but I believe invoice was around $36500 once you subtracted holdback, etc.. and then add TTL.
  • kchang88 - Thanks for that info. When did you make your purchase?
  • From what I have read elsewhere the only change for 2009 is the Royal Ruby Metallic color is being changed to the Matador Red color. One would think there would be some other minor tweaks but perhaps not.
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