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Lexus ES 300/ES 330

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Comments

  • rollomanrolloman Posts: 64
    I have a 96 ES with 107K miles and have never had a problem with water/smells. I live down here in Houston where it's always sauna-like.

    I too believe that your HVAC drains are clogged.

    One time when I took my Lexus for an oil-change, the tech mistakenly hit something with the AC unit when replacing oil filter. 2 days later on a trip when stopping/going I kept hearing what sounded like water swirling inside the car. I also noticed that the radio/CD player kept shorting out.

    After investigation, there was about 2 inches of water puddled up in the rear right foot area. Water was pouring out of the foot AC vents and flooding the radio amp. Can you believe that?

    Lexus wanted to totally replace the carpet for $1000. I laughed and used my trusty Wet/Dry vac to remove the water, took the amp to my radio guy for new transistor...total cost of repair $60.

    Car's been running trouble-free since. You might keep an eye on those oil-change guys. Think I'll start doing that myself.

    Maybe your problem is related to something like that. Just a thought. I always seem to uncover the mysteries of the universe when it comes to cars and houses. Somebody's gotta do it, I guess.

    Hang on to your 96! Mine still drives and looks brand new. On my way to 200K and beyond!

    Regards.
  • dannyledannyle Posts: 43
    Is it me or has everyone notice that new cars nowaday esp. entry level luxury are scale down from their flagship model ..

    Not a bad thing, but I was just wondering if everyone notice that.

    New A4 is a scale down of A6
    New C class is scale down of S class
    New Jaguar X-type is a scale down of the S class
    And now New Es300 is a scale down of LS ..

    All very good for us consumer :)
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    There are no pictures that show that the new ES is going to look like a scaled down LS. It is just speculation.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    just got one today in Lubbock (just 350miles west of you)from Alderson Cadillac/BMW/Lexus from Glen Garnett (the head guy in their Lexus dealership) for invoice(actually 200 over according to Edmunds) Did the whole thing in about 45minutes. Believe me, I trade alot, and never had such a quick me-happy/them-happy deal. Got very fair money for my trade and it was a no hassle deal. White ES300 w/Lexus Value PKG(moonroof, 6disc changer, and leather), wood steering wheel, gold kit, wheel locks, and 16"wheels listing for $34700+ discounted $4000+. The lease deal (a Lexus lease perk) paid 5 of the 6.25% sales tax and I paid 1.25 of the sales tax (with my trade $140)....great deal (available til April 30) and even without a trade they do the same paying 80% of your sales tax). Glen, very straight with me, says he sells all over Texas because of his no-nonsense dealing. My buy was over Edmund's TMV (which seems a little ambitious to me), but heck....it was right on invoice and for a Lexus and I figured this guy deserved some money for not making me spend 2 weeks getting to the bottom line....lol....I shopped 3 weeks for a used one and the dang things are nearly as much as my new one. Lexus is cautious about blasting the media with discount prices, but they are definately giving the dealers plenty of room to discount this end-of-production car. My guy said Dallas was strong on ES300 but sales were weak out here in the high dessert. Good luck.
  • khidotkhidot Posts: 2
    I really appreciate your help. That information will give me a starting point to negotiate for a fair price. There is nothing worse than trying to negotiate when one has absolutely no idea what the fair price is. Thanks again
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    My family friend who owns a Lexus dealer said Lexus has told dealers the 2002 base price will drop from $31,505 (for a 2001) to around $30,000. Of course, dealers still know nothing in terms of what equipment will be standard/optional. If there are several options the price could go up quickly from there (the Mark Levenson stereo and navigation system will be options).

    Supposedly the interior is where the ES will stand apart from its competitors. The materials, look and feel of the interior are reported to be a huge step up from the current model (which is very good) and mimic the LS 430.
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    I spoke with an editor of one of the well known car magazines and he said that the car is slated to be shown to the press in late may and they cannot release articles and pictures about it till August 1. The car will be available in October.
  • fx991fx991 Posts: 1
    Will any internal engine damage result if the timing belt breaks on an ES 300? Is there enough valve clearance to prevent the valves from either bending or punching a hole in the top of the piston?
  • r3ficor3fico Posts: 11
    Was at the local Lexus dealer a couple of weekends ago and the salesman I was talking to was honest enough to tell me that it would be "really stupid" for anyone to buy an ES 300 now.

    According to him changes for 2002 are :

    *Rounder lines on the exterior

    *Improved interior dashboard layout

    *The same engine will be used, maybe tweaked for a few more horses. The '02 will NOT get the inline 6 unfortunately

    * The '02 will remain a FWD

    * The transmission will be upgraded from 4 speed to 5 speed

    * The suspension may be tightened up a little

    * Navigation & Mark Levinson will be offered as options. Btw, the Mark Levinsoon system in the 430 is the best I've heard by miles, PERIOD. Honestly, nothing comes close.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    http://www.mag-x.com/scoop/previs0104/01.jpg


    It looks vaguely like a scaled down LS (as some have rumoured the new ES would look).

    I don't know that it would be "real stupid" to buy a 2001 ES if you got one very heavily discounted. The new ES will probably be very hard to get in the first few months. This will mean they will be selling for sticker price. The price difference between a 2001 near invoice (or maybe below in some places) and a 2002 at full sticker will be significant.
    I have heard you can get a 36 month/15K mi lease on 2001 ES with the Lexus Value Package for below $500 per month with zero cap reduction until April 30th if you lease through Lexus Financial.

    So far, the only major differences other than new cosmetic styling and minimal power increase are, 5 speed automatic, optional navigation system and optional Mark L stereo as opposed to optional Nakamichi.
    Buyers who choose not to order the navigation system are getting little of significance that they can't get on a 2001.

  • If that is the new ES300, I doubt that any one would buy the GS300 one it comes out. Now I'm sure some of you are going to say the difference is that one is a luxury/sport and one is a luxury sedan. But I think any die hard sport sedan fans are getting beamers any way, not saying that it isn't the new ES300, or that they would cancel the GS300, but looks like the market segments are going to mesh with Lexus, and they will draw buyers from their own cars.
  • this is what the new ES300 will look more like, the previous photo was of the upcoming previs.


    http://www.mag-x.com/scoop/camry0103/01.jpg

  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    No one knows for sure. You are assuming that the ES has to be styled to look similar to a Camry. There has been a lot of complaints about how the ES300 is a gussied up Camry even though each generation of the ES has been a little further away from the Camry than before.

    Maybe, to end the comparisons, Lexus may decide to suprise everyone and go to a different platform, like the Previs, that US buyers are not aware of.
    The supposed Previs drawing does look a little like an LS (both Lexus LS*** and Lincoln LS) and people have speculated that the new ES might be made to look more like a scaled-down LS430, so it might fit.
    I suppose Lexus could also drop the GS300 and keep the GS400 for people who want something a step up from the ES.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    had a 2000 Solara XLEV6 with every option but tractions control. Loved the car and smooth as butta....but, hated the two door.....decided to trade it for either a 2001 Camry XLE or an ES300....knew both cars were mechanically very similar sharing many components....heard all the stories that they were the same car and the only difference being the Lexus had a few more bells and whistles. Truth is, Camry is a great car but the ES300 is a great car plus 10... a Camry on steroids. Everything that is very good on a Camry is terrific on the ES300 and more than worth the higher price. Love my new Lexus.
  • Just bought our first Lexus - ES300 Coach Edition, Black with Ivory interior. After much research on-line and price comparisons, we got the dealer to match the price at carsdirect.com of $29,996. We thought this was a great price considering the MSRP is $35,500++. The dealers are really trying to unload these cars right now. Any thoughts on the price?
  • jamrock4jamrock4 Posts: 53
    Just wanted to express my appreciation for those who posted the images of what the 2002 ES300 may look like. It amazes me that all the other automobile manufactures have formally displayed what their 2002 models will look like except for Toyota.

    Am curious as to why the Toyota Previs has a Lincoln LS grill? If the Toyota Previs is the new ES300 I hope surely hope they rework that grill.

    As for the comment on whether the new look might inspire potential GS300 buyers to consider the new ES300. My thought on that is GS300 buyers are basically looking for a BMW alternative that is more reliable and comes with superior customer service. It is doubtful that they would substitute a front wheel drive ES for a GS. Just my 2 cents...
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    If the ES is taken upscale, the GS300 could easily be dropped. The people who really want a GS would then step up to the V8-powered GS430.

    If the 2002 ES is based on the Previs, then I think Lexus would still tweak the styling somewhat so it would not look exactly like a Previs. They would at least add a unique Lexus grill and tail lights. It was just a drawing. There is no gaurantee that even the Previs will look exactly like that drawing. However, it does fit the rumors of the ES having LS430-like looks and "rounder" lines.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    don't see how you coulda done much better
  • ecafecaf Posts: 44
    That new Previs (?) looks awfully boring and conservative. Please, Toyota. Don't let our sleek Windom/ES300 turn into a shrunken Celsior/LS430. Update the Windom, but keep it more aggressive than the Celsior. Throw in the NAV, offer a TRD supercharger, perhaps AWD to steal some Audi sales... We haven't gotten that old. Yet.
  • jamrock4jamrock4 Posts: 53
    I also would like to see a sleek 02 ES300. I do not think we will ever see a TRD supercharger, but I am hopeful for a significant bump in power. Given the fact that both the Acura TL and the new 02 Infiniti I35 come with 260 hp engines, I hope Lexus will also provide a similar type engine. It might not have been in the original plan but to keep up with the competition it makes logical sense.

    I hope Lexus officials monitor this site and are listening to our requests...
  • maw1982maw1982 Posts: 62
    Hi,

    I am looking at a '92 ES300 fully loaded with only 65k miles

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=585586795

    I wanted anyone's opinion on problem areas, what I should bid on it if I decide to, and any general comments or opinions on the vehicle. I don't mind the condition of the exterior since I will driving this car primarily on weekends and the car will be parked in a large, unshaded parking lot during the week. Thanks in advance for any feedbafck.
  • inca98inca98 Posts: 1
    Carbargain where did you get this pricing? I'm in NJ and looking at the Coach version too.
  • denise51denise51 Posts: 6
    My lease on my BMW 528i is up in a few weeks and I am looking for suggestions. Can't afford another BMW at this time, so I need to find something a little more reasonable. I haven't seen the ES yet but I'm wondering how roomy it is. Would you consider it similar to a Camry or Accord in terms of interior space? I thought about the Avalon or the Volvo S60 but reading the chat sites isn't very encouraging. The Avalon seems to be nothing but trouble and the S60 has squeaks and rattles that don't seem to disappear with a back seat that only accomodates small kids. I also want a FWD car this time around, I don't think I want another RWD in Chicago winters. Is the ES a winner? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • maw1982maw1982 Posts: 62
    The ES is a very good car (see my post about looking at a used one)and has the dimension as a camry. However, there are many other good cars in this class and price range such as MB C-class, Cadilac Catera, and Volvo S60 (I won't list all of them but can easily be found through edmunds). I would recomend that you also look at the acura 3.2 TL (based on the acord but stretched a few inches for more interior space). They sticker much lower than the ES300 and are FWD with traction control. Also, if you're willing to take a risk, I'd look at the new Hyundai XG300. It offers the same level of features of a 3.2 TL for a couple thousand less. If you absolutely have to have new and want a reliable car and don't care about prestige, I would look at an Accord EX V6 sedan or a Camry XLE V6. These "plebian" models can stick for 5-10 thousand less than their luxury counterparts (TL and ES300 respectfully). Also look into a low-milage used vehicle (especially certified used cars and lease returns). You may be suprised at how more car you can get for the money.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I have found the ES300's backseat a little tight for a car of its size. Maybe there is a little less knee room than a Camry because of slightly thicker front seats in the ES300.
    The TL is more cramped than an Accord because the roofline is lower to give it a sleek look.
    Plenty of people complain about lack of headroom in Acura TLs.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    do yourself a favor....go drive an ES300...Lexus makes magic with cars. Since 1985 I've had 3 MB's, 2 Cadillac, 2 Volvos, and a BMW. Never had anything any better than my '01 ES300. No, it's not exactly roomy and the back seat is just big enough for two adults to feel fairly comfortable; but if you love absolutely smooth, mighty quiet, and plenty quick cars that feel luxurious, you'll love the thing. And at the moment, due to the end-of-body-style, Lexus is discounting them so you can get into a nicely appointed one for $30k. It's the deal of the day to get into a terrific car at not much more than a loaded Camry.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    first off, the Previs design is classy but it
    looks a bit like a buick up front. not a great
    design. I hope Lexus will not abandon the
    sleek sporty design of the ES. I think it's the
    most elegant in its family. would be kinda
    disappointing to see lexus copy other makes and
    have the ES styled after the LS430 like MB did
    with C- class per S-class.

    for those of you who've just spoiled yourselves
    with a new ES buy, welcome to the lexus experience. I made the jump and now couldn't be
    happier with the car.

    Denise,
    most of us here are proud ES owners so most
    of the responses will be favorable for ES.
    so I agree with Dardson, test drive one and decide
    for yourself.
    I personally think the ES, because I experience it
    everyday, gives you the ride that's as close to
    a magic carpet ride as you can get in today's
    market. its ride quality rivals those of other
    luxury cars costing thousands of $$$ more. and
    its reliability is unmatched. roominess: I
    don't think the ES is same size as the Camry.
    it's the same size as the Avalon which is slightly
    larger than a camry. good luck whatever you decide
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    An ES300 is certainly NOT as roomy as an Avalon.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    The poster who stated that the ES300 is as roomy as an Avalon, might need to check his glasses once again (or may need to change his contacts).....

    The ES300 is classified as a COMPACT car by the Government while the Toyota Camry on which it is based, is classified as a MID-SIZE car, which is a notch higher in interior space.

    Incidentally, the competitors of the ES300 like the Infiniti I-30 and the Acura 3.2TL are classified as MID-SIZE cars, which is a notch above in classification when compared to the COMPACT sized ES300...

    The Toyota Avalon, which is also based on the Toyota Camry platform, is a very large and roomy car, and is classified by the EPA as a FULL-SIZE car...

    Check your facts before making definitive assertions....

    Later...AH
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I cannot disagree that my ES300 feels tight. It's not uncomfortably small but I'm a little confused how the Camry on which it is based qualifies as mid-size and the Lexus as a compact. Where'd those few inches go?
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    this is like a soap opera.
    ok I knowingly went overboard with the ES roominess. didn't think people would be so
    touchy about it. what I should have said was that it feels as roomy as an Avalon. but by no means is it compact, don't care what the EPA is trying
    to propagate. and my glasses are fine. thanks for
    your concern.

    Maw,
    I think you can get some info on trouble spots
    for 92 ES at intellichoice.com consumer reports
    also provide price info on used ones. the general
    theme is that there aren't a lot of major problems
    with the ES, very few, so you should be fine
    with that used one. I would hire an independent
    mechanic to do inspection on it before buying it.
    somebody you trust. good luck whatever you decide.
  • yupyupyupyupyupyup Posts: 16
    Test drive both the ES and the TL and you will clearly see that the ES is a better car. Might not be a better bang for the buck but then again the resale value and customer service of Lexus dealers are far better than the Acura's. A TL is simply a souped up Accord. Something that TL owners will never admit yet they always say that an ES is an upgrade Camry.
  • jji7363jji7363 Posts: 33
    I am considering the ES300 (will wait to see the 2002 due to lack of headroom in the current version though). I was speaking with my boss the other day who owned a GS300. He had several experiences with the car accelerating suddenly (ala Audis in the late 1980s). Lexus checked it out and didn't replace anything - car still did it after he got it back. Dealer threw up their hands, so he traded and got a MB. Have any ES300 owners had a similar problem with this? I checked all the previous posts and haven't seen anything.
  • texplorertexplorer Posts: 9
    Hey dardson, looks like you got your new Lexus? Congrats!

    I'm also in the process this week of getting mine--and Edmunds TMV also sounded so low to be believable. How did you (or anyone else) do, price wise? I'm going to start the faxblast technique Monday to several Texas dealers to try to dicker down the price here in Austin with no trade-in (if not, then drive to another city).
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    The Toyota Camry has 111 cu ft total room, which takes it to the Mid-size class (110-119cu.ft)

    The ES300 has 105 cubic Ft of total room, which takes it to the compact class (100-109cu.ft). If the ES300 has the moonroof, then the interior volume decreases further, since the EPA tests the cars as they come standard from the factory (ES300 does not have moonroof standard). For an ES300 with the moonroof, decrease the interior volume further by an additional 2-3 cubic feet.

    The Toyota Avalon has 122 Cubic Ft of room, which takes it to the "Large" class (120cu.ft or more). Thus the Avalon has almost 20cubic feet (ALMOST TWENTY CUBIC FEET) of additional room when compared to the ES300 (without a moonroof). 20 cubic feet of additional room, is not chump change when comparing sizes between cars.

    Later...AH
  • dannyledannyle Posts: 43
    yupyupyup:
    I don't think the resale value is higher in when comparing the TL to the ES300. TL, ES300 and I30 is all soup up from Accord, Camry and Maxima ..
    Also dealer services varies as well, some Acura dealer does not treat their consumers that great but some are very very good and vice versa with Lexus and infinite.

    Denise:
    The question is why should you want to buy the current ES300 when the new one is just around the corner. I would suggest that you want until the new one comes out and then I know that the current ES300 is have even heavier discount. Either car you choose would be a great car you would not regret purchasing either one
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    There's no such thing as sudden acceleration! Your boss didn't want to admit that he stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

    FYI, modern car brake is powerful! The car is not moving when you hit brake and at the same time you press the gas to the max.

    Sudden acceleration occurs because of incompetent driver!!!
  • jji7363jji7363 Posts: 33
    I was thinking along these lines too. Just wanted to be sure that others weren't experiencing this. I'm not going to strike the ES300 from my short list (ES300, I35, Saab 9-5, Jag X-type). Besides, there is a new Lexus dealership opening a stone's throw from my house, so it'll be easy to drop the car off and pick up a loaner if need be!

    BTW, saw a just-released survey that Caddy has knocked off Lexus for owner satisfaction. Hard to believe that it's not just due to sampling error.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    hunter,
    stop playing the numbers game. I've sat in the
    LS400 backseat. comparing it to the ES suggests
    to me that ES is not compact. infact despite
    its relatively limited exterior, it's interior
    is quite roomy. is it a "miracle or simply
    design ingenuity? so do yourself a favor and
    don't just live by the numbers on paper but
    actually experience the LS or Avalon backseat,
    then the ES and you will realize that the
    difference on paper, in this case, does not amount
    to much in real life. ....this is not an insult
    like you've insulted me so please don't take it
    that way. and please don't keep trying you and
    the EPA won't convince me that the ES is compact.
    that's it. take care everybody.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I have sat in the back seat of an ES300 and it is tight. "Compact" is very believable. It does not remotely compare to the back seat on an Avalon or LS400 which are very roomy.
    I can even sit in the back of an Accord EX without my head or knees touching anything and I cannot do that with an ES300.
    For people below 6ft tall, it is probably quite adequate. If you fit comfortably in the back of an ES300 with moonroof, good for you.
    I am not worrying about it since I cannot see any reason why I would need to sit in the back seat of my own car and most of the people I know who might ever ride in the rear seat of my car are below 6 ft tall. People above 6 ft tall can fit in the back seat, but it is a little tight.
  • gbpk2000gbpk2000 Posts: 2
    I've had my first ES 300 now for about 6 months and absolutely love it. All except for the cup holders which are so bad it is absurd for a Lexus.

    Does anyone know of any accessories available that can be used to make them useable. Thanks
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    couldn't agree with you more. i hate the cup holders in the es300. it's should be made deeper.
  • nickm1nickm1 Posts: 2
    I would like to know where and whom is selling a 2001 es300 coach edition for under 30K because that is about $1300 under invoice as posted in 816. Thanks
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Log on to carsdirect.com. Click on Lexus, click on ES300, zip code 91311 (LosAngeles area). Next screen, click on Coach Edition, click on options. $29996 includes freight.
  • cglovercglover Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 ES 300. The light needles on the speedometer and gas gauge have gone off. In addition, the light need on the RPM gauge is blinking. I've been told that the whole odometer panel would need to be replaced(part cost $500 not including labor). Is there a way to fix the existing odometer panel or is there a company that can refurbish this part?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    If you don't want to pay the price for a new gauge panel, then you can probably find a used one from a auto recylcing yard.
  • skyleaderskyleader Posts: 5
    Can't decide between the Aura TL-S or the Lexus ES300? Save $5,000 plus and go with the Acura. Here's why...
    The Acura has a more powerful and reliable engine. The Acura has better engine sound. The Acura handles much better. Toyota uses cheaper leather on their ES300, which is not as durable as the leather used in Acuras. The Acura owner has a choice of more dealers nationwide to service the vehicle. And, finally, the Acura TL-S can wax the Lexus in both speed, acceleration, and handling.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Drove an Acura TL in early '99 while shopping for a car for my wife. Drive train was 1st rate, handling was better than average (for a FWD Japanese car, in any case) but interior trim was distinctly shoddy. I'm a longtime Honda loyalist & wanted to like the TL, but couldn't get past the poor trim quality. My wife agreed & decided to buy the ES300. 2+ years & nearly 30,000 miles later, the Lexus has been a faultless performer. Bland, to be sure, but smooth, quiet, comfortable & absolutely trouble-free.

    I recently checked out an '02 TL-S. Trim quality has improved enormously - it's nearly as good as my wife's '99 ES in this respect - & the TL-S is certainly a more entertaining car to drive. But there's no reason to believe that the Acura's leather upholstery is more durable & even less reason to think that the Acura's engine is more reliable.

    It's my turn to pick out a car. If I wanted another FWD Japanese car with an automatic transmission, I'd probably pick the TL-S. It's a good car & an outstanding value. But it's also just another FWD Japanese automatic, & I just can't get excited about those anymore.

    After I drove the Acura, I crossed the street & drove a BMW. God willing & the creek don't rise, I'll take delivery of a 5-speed manual (3 pedals on the floor, boys & girls) 330i in mid-July. It ain't Japanese, it ain't FWD & it sure ain't automatic. And I couldn't be more excited.
  • ecafecaf Posts: 44
    Glad you're happy with your TL, Skyleader. But, to each his/her own... Yes, the TL is much roomier. Yes, the TL is more powerful. And yes, the TL has the ES absolutely beat in the value department. However, your claims of the TL's superior reliability are largely unsubstantiated (read: peep Consumers Union* and JD Power reports, my friend). Further, my recent test drives of both the TL and CL reveal the following...

    1) more cabin noise and a coarser engine note (probably the reason why you think the TL's engine has better sound is because the ES' V6 is smoother and quieter).
    2) squeaks and rattles in the dash (TL) and sunroof (CL), leading me to believe that the folks in Ohio aren't quite up to snuff when it comes to building luxury cars.
    3) outrageously fake wood trim (particularly the "ebony" trim in the CL-S) that's better suited to a $19K Buick, not a luxo Honda. Heck, it wouldn't even look good in a Civic!
    4) a sound system that's OK, but doesn't sound nearly as "live".
    5) leather not as supple as in the ES (I have no clue as to which is more durable, though).
    6) added weight and length that make those (admittedly grippier) Acuras less nimble and a bit more difficult to park.
    7) more dealers, but customer service is much less consistent than Lexus (again, read the JD Power customer satisfaction reports).
    8) much less brand name prestige, curb appeal. That's right, much as even I hate to admitt, that snob factor! Bling bling!

    Oh, that's where Toyota put my extra five grand! C'mon, folks. Ya get what ya pay for!

    *CU's used car guide show that the Acura and Lexus are both exceptional in reliability. But if you want to be picky, the Lexus scores higher with its electrical system and body/trim assembly.
  • jasonkureejiijasonkureejii Posts: 210
    I've yet to REALLY look deep into an ES300 (until this Saturday) with a fine-tooth comb, but the ES300 is still on my list. I sat in both at the Dallas Auto Show and was trying to remember the appeal of both. I can only READ about reliablity...stats and reviews from every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Auto Industry. Both seem to have the reliability, as you would expect from two industries as Toyota and Honda. Hey, if Lexus has any edge, it can't be my that much! If I can recall, the ES300's interior did seem a bit more luxurious...probably moreso because of the fake wood that the Acura seems to think consumer's enjoy (I mean, what consumer surveys were they reading to come up with that?). Also, the sound system in the Acura is not as great as I thought it would be. The back headroom in the TL is very short (I had only another 1-2 inches, and I'm 5'8") and the back headcushions are too low.

    Otherwise, the interior of the TL was very nice...and simple. The leather in the perforated seats seemed of good quality, not too soft (hell, it IS supposed to be a sports sedan, right?) and very durable. If you're really picky about the leather/leatherette combo, I didn't find it too bad at all. I mean, sure I wouldn't had minded an option for more, but it's not like the seats are cheap either. The fit and finish for the TL is definitely above par, stitching, alignments, symmetry, etc.

    If anything, the appeal of the TL however came in it's more sportier and aggressive exterior (I love the new grill), including the front and back end, the rims, and the overall shape. No, it doesn't have the appeal of some BMWs or Benzs, but I like the look for a mid-size sedan. The test drive was, well, incredible for a FWD...more power than I really need here in the confines of Dallas traffic. A 3-series BMW would be more fun to drive and handle, but that's another topic (I love manuals, too!).

    Overall, I see the ES300 as the smart, conservative, luxuriously fit mid-size (how the hell is this rated as a compact?) cruiser, the "I'm going for a nice leaisurely ride to the golf course, and want to feel like I'm still at home in my best leather recliner". It has just enough class and sophistication with the reviews and ratings to back it up. The TL-S I see as the raw, aggressive, nearly-luxuriously fit mid-size pace-setter, the "I'm as close to Mario Andretti as I can be with a FWD in the city streets but I want some comfort along with it". I agree that Lexus definitely has an edge on Dealership service, however, I'd like to stay far enough away from them as long as I have to also, except for the required scheduled maintenance. Sure, I'd like to be treated well while I'm waiting, but it's not high on my priority. We'll see how the new ES300 stacks up (although I won't be able to wait that long)...Acura has put up ALOT of sales, and may not have quite the prestige of Lexus, but I think Acura is leaning in the right direction...they just need to listen to their customers more...damn, get rid of the fake wood! I'll definitely see if the current ES300's prestige, interior, and customer service outway the extra 4 grand and whether I want a cruiser or a pace-setter...
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