"I discovered this car in 2000 by leaning on it while the salesman was trying to sell me a 1997 Avalon. I took a ride and was astounded at the difference between the two supposedly similar cars; the Lexus was at least a class above the Avalon. It had 57,000 miles and I can't believe it was any better when it was new.
I used it mainly to drive the 60 miles each way to work, and it cruised comfortably on the highway. The ride was smooth and silent, and the acceleraion was immediate. I got 25-30 mpg.
So where do we stand now? It's my wife's car and she prefers it to the 2000 Avalon I have. But she's concerned that a 200K car won't be reliable, so we're selling it. I'll be sorry to see it go.
So what's gone wrong? Nothing much. The worst thing that happened was that our local friendly garage mechanic put (I believe) the wrong shocks on it at around 120K and the ride was never the same again. We had to replace an emissions sensor at aound 150K and the whole display for the stereo fails to work, though the sound system itself is fine. The quality of the whole car is such that you feel nothing can go wrong, so you get annoyed when it does.
I bought it at 57K for $20,000. There are tiouches on it that you wouldn't notice, because the Camry does without them, like a shock absorber for the engine sub-mount and thicker glass all round. The extra money for the Lexus has gone into many improvents like this - it's not just a Camry with wood inside.
The salesman when I bought it said, "Be careful, once you own a Lexus you won't be satisfied with anything less." I know just what he meant, and although my budget has never allowed me to buy another one, it's the best car I've ever owned."
Pros: "The most reliable car ever!!, Smooth drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased this car used with over 170,000 miles and after it was in a accident. I fixed the cosmetic issues and this baby drove smoother than any car I have ever driven. And it kept on driving that way at 243,000 miles but I ended up selling it to get a newer car. If your looking for the most reliable car, go for this car."
Pros: "Highly Reliable Family Car; Low Maintenance. Fun to Drive"
Cons: "Caalytic Converters; need to replace every 2 years."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have this car at 200K ; wow, year 2011, still runs brand new; only changes are catalytic converter for emission inspection; other than that, just regular maintenance. btw, I bought at 83K miles in 2005. Never worried about long distance; several trips to Miami, Florida Keys, Pittsburgh, West Virginia,Chicago, Detroit...No problems at all. I highly recommend this. Planning to add another 50K-80K miles and sell."
"I am a college student and I have always had my eye on the Lexus brand. Having owned a '98 Mercedes ES320 and an '02 Acura TL in the past I was hoping Lexus wouldn't let me down. I have owned the car for 2 years now and the only thing I have had to do was replace the battery and bought new tires. Two years ago I purchased the car (I got a great deal) for $4,500 from a private party, flash ahead 2 years...and the trade in value is about that much. It amazes me how much these vehicles retain there used car value, and you can often ask $3,000 for a Lexus with over 250,000 miles on it because people know they run like a charm past 300,000 miles if well taken care of.
After 13 years I started getting rust around the back wheels (this is a MN car after all). Leather seats are still in great shape, road noise is at a minimum, nice fuel economy (averaging 24) in the summer months around town, highway is about 28. The only thing I can't stand are the cup holders...unless it's a can of soda, it will tip over.
I kept my Mercedes for less than a year...if things could go wrong...they did, and none of it was covered under the $4,600 extended warrantee I purchased. My Acura I kept for 5 years, great car but started to have transmission problems and it only had 89,000 miles on it.
I am sure there are bad Lexus cars out there...but just like everything else you have to do your research before buying a car. My car came with a CarFax as well as all maintenance paperwork completed since day 1.
My graduation gift to myself will be the 2015 Lexus IS C or the 2015 Lexus GS. I love my car and am already looking forward to having 2 Lexus vehicles in my driveway!!!"
"I bought this vehicle in the year 2000 with 23,000 miles on it (Certified), I now have 155,600 miles on it and the car still runs perfect. Now when I say perfect, i mean the engine is still so smooth, the car shifts gears (auto) smoothly, acceleration and turning and breaking is still so very good!
Between the years 2000-2008, the major mechanical services performed on my ES300 were: The timing belt-$450. 2 Cylinders failed at different times-$225 each--This was after 130,000 miles on the car though. And the reason they failed is because at pointsi like to force the cars power and its' ability to perform under tough situations. Other regular maintenance requirements have been made such as: Tune up, tire balance, and wheel alignment every 20,000 miles. 4-New tires every 1.5 years. Oil change (synthetic) every 3,500 miles. Cooling system is excellent, car never over-heated even under the hot extreme conditions i have put it through. Oil warms up well enough to drive in less then 4 minutes. Over all this car is excellent, from the engine side, to the comfort side. Very safe and affordable luxury vehicle.
I'm sure this vehicle won't be as good anymore in the upcoming years because of it's many years on the road, and you obviously will never find a new '99 ES300 anymore, but the similar vehicles made by Lexus or any vehicles made by Lexus, 99% of the time will get the same ratings reviews. EXCELLENT RELIABLE PRODUCTION -Thank You Lexus. :)"
"When I purchased my 2002 Lexus two years ago it had 73000 miles on it. Alot of research went into buying a car with that many miles. Being from the old school, when cars would fall apart after 50000 miles, I discided to bite the bullet and purchased this car for $18000. I have taken this car to Florida twice and never thought about it. I would recommend a Lexus to anyone. I will be a loyal Lexus customer from now on!"
"I've never experienced a car that is 13 years old and still drives like it is new! From the engine to the paint to the interior, everything holds up and stands the test of time! My '97 ES300 with 193k miles has more features and drives smoother than some of the current domestic models on the road today! My only gripe is the gas mileage--Combined city/highway driving is 17 MPG and from what I hear this is pretty standard. Other than that, if you want a stylish, quality and well built car that still looks new 10+ years later, get an ES300 today!"
"I would also like to add my two cents about my 1998 Lexus Es300. It's the 4th car that I've driven, and I am the 3rd owner. I am in love with the car. I bought it at 103k miles in 8-2007 and I have 166k on it now. It still runs and looks great. The audio system is very good being the Nakamichi system. It has a good amount of power that is not hindered by it's 3700lb weight. Gas mileage is good too! I have gotten 32mpg on highway trips, and I usually get an average of 28mpg with combined highway and city driving. The only thing that I have had to do to it besides regular maintenance is replace the rear struts- which is an age related thing. Other than that, just brakes, tires and battery. If you are looking for a used car- even if it's over 10 years old, you will NOT be disappointed! The styling is a bit boring- but that's classic Lexus. These cars will easily go to 250k-300k miles. I hope I can keep it that long; the only thing that would stop me is my husband wanting a different or newer car. I've owned 3 11+ year old american cars before this, and not one of them can hold a candle to this one. I love it!!!!"
"This Lexus is highly practical but also rather luxurious. It has a very definitively smooth ride that can be compared to riding on a cloud or even ice skating. The same suspension that makes this car very comfortable also makes it dispirited and at times dull, for a young guy like me anyway. The chassis absorbs even the harshest bumps well and the speed of the vehicle has no reflection on the quietness of the cabin. Know that you will be hard pressed to find a smoother running sedan.
The luxurious features of the this car are top of the line (for 2001) heated electric adjustable seats are extremely comfortable. I have owned this car from 60k-80k miles and reliability has been excellent absolutely no mechanical issues whatsoever. The electronic components match the superb quality of the engine and suspension. Everything is extremely well put together resulting in an extremely quiet ride.
The only gripes I have with this car is its, engine which while being of an outstanding reliability (the mk2), manages to obtain poor city gas mileage but only demands regular fuel. Sort of a mixed bag really. The more up to date engines of today surpass the mk2 in every category except, again, unparalleled reliability.
But the mk2 is not overly slow,being a 3.0 V6. It can give you a rush if you put your foot down, but don't expect to win any drag races.
This would be an excellent car for a person who wants an extra smooth ride, reliability, and a luxurious experience at a cheap price.If your are above the age of 25 this car is heaven. But id like to feel the road and get the adrenaline pumping when i drive so this car isn't best suited for someone like me. For young enthusiastic drivers, please look elsewhere.
An added bonus is the car is amazing on the snow (as long as you have decent all season tires), due to the design most of the weight falls on the front wheels. I live in Chicago so I know how it handles in bad weather.
Other cars I have owned and would recommend:
-Lexus LS 430 2001
-Toyota Sienna 1998
-Honda Civic EX 2006
-Acura TL 2004"
"I bought my car Sept 12, 2001 - very sad day in US history, but it has been the absolute best car. I am not looking forward to giving up this fine beauty when the time comes. It's a Coach Edition with onyx emblems. I must get 2 offers a month from strangers asking me if I would like to sell.
The only complaint I have is squeaky brakes, which I have had since day one. The maintenance has been regular so I have not experienced any horror stories yet. I will be replacing a timing belt next week, but that is me not wanting to wait until the last moment - the repairs all have been minimal (oil changes, brakes, a battery, tires).
If Lexus still builds a car like this one, I'll buy another one! It's been such a good car."
"High reliability, great for a used car. Maintaining basic service care will result in 300,000 plus miles of driving.
Maintain regular oil and filter changes every 3,000-4,000 miles (not 5,000 miles due to sludge problems with other "rare" Lexus flaws ). Check engine light is common past 150,000 miles. Use fuel injector cleaner, spark plugs should be less than 80,000 miles old.
More comfortable than some new $40,000 luxury cars."
"All cars need maintenance but repairs are almost never with this car!!! I did replace the engine and the tranny at 200,000 miles but it is well worth it! spend 3000 for another 70.000 or more miles, Never had to pay for anything else over $100.00! Super confertable and easy on the eyes! will be buying another one!!!!!"
"It is the very best car out there, I mean there is nothing even close to this one. You cant go wrong with it very reliable. Fun to drive on long trips, I avg 200 plus miles everyday, no issues with this car at all, gets great gas mileage for a car this size I avg 31.25 mpg, with a full size car that rides like a car twice its wieght, very quick to pass just push the gas and, your moving 85-90 in no time flat. I will own nothing else but a lexus from here on out. Nice solid cars clean lines timeless great cars."
"Mine has 208K on it now and I still have yet to have any problems. This vehicle is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I will definitely look to Lexus the next time I'm ready to purchase another vehicle. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!"
"I had the GS 300 for 14 years and enjoyed every minute of it. It was the most dependable and comfortable car I have had ever had. Don't know why anyone would want any other make of car. Over 240,000 miles and I only changed plugs twice and regular oil changes it ran as good as it did from day one."
"I got my 2002 Lexus ES300 certified used, the first luxury car I ever owned, two years ago with 35,000 miles on it. It looked like brand new, and still does. This is the most comfortable car I've ever owned or driven in. I've had to do nothing to it except gas and oil (except now at 60K I guess I need to give her some scheduled maintenance). I alternate this car between her and her new little sister Corolla, and look forward to driving my Lexus every time. Everyone that comes in my car comments how nice it is. I recommend this car to anyone."
"Bought new with chrome wheels and adjustable suspension. Everything has worked perfectly since I have owned the car. Only put new tires and brakes on the car. I did install a new timing belt at 100k per dealer recommendation. Never had any issues because everything just works. Many people have tried to buy it from me but since it works so well I think I will keep it for a long time."
Pros: "Very reliable; only routine maintenance - no prob."
Cons: "back cup holders are week."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my '97 Lexus ES300 new. I have always provided regular maintenance on the car (oil changes, tire rotations, major "check ups" at recommended intervals i.e. 60k, 90k, etc) but otherwise this car has been the most trouble free car ever.
At 180,000 miles, I just replaced the rear brake pads for the 2nd time (yes you read that correctly). The front brake pads were replaced at 90k and are still going strong! I recently had to have a new spark plug at 175k (the first and only one). Otherwise a few other items have had to be replaced in the past couple of years (items that for other cars would have gone much sooner - muffler/exhaust (due to rust), and I also put new shock absorbers on the car.
Each of these items were required above 150k and really are just maintenance items that any other car would have needed much sooner.
The car still drives as smooth and quiet as it did 15 years ago, in fact, I have to really pay attention too the speedometer because you can find yourself going too fast without realizing it b/c the engine doesn't rev even at high speeds despite its age and # of miles.
I have always used premium gas and the car gets 26 MPG on avg.
As you can tell, I love this car despite the fact that I also own a 2006 Lexus RX350, 2006 BMW 330 ci (hate BMW - not reliable and certainly not "ultimate driving machine" - but convertible is fun; and 2011 Infiniti G37x - also highly recommended."
"This is my 2nd ES300. I've always been extremely pleased with both. I've had my 1999 for 9 years now and still love driving it and still find myself looking back to admire it when I'm walking away from it."
"bought my 2000 ES 7 years ago, used. WOW what a great car it is and still is. I have put 180,000 miles on it with only 2 problems. Gas cap needed to be replaced that was scary because the "check engine" light came on while I was on the freeway ($75) and the driver's side window rolled down and wouldn't go up ($350) 1 day before Thanksgiving. I test drove a brand new Toyota Solara several months ago and did not buy it because my 8 year old car still rode better than a brand new car."
"I upgraded to this 2004 after driving a 1999 Lexus ES300. I've been very disappointed with its responsiveness - huge hesitation when accelerating. I also despise the automatic windshield wipers, which are NEVER at the speed that I'd like them to be. (Give me my old intermittent wipers any day.) It is great on long trips, though, and very quiet and smooth on the highway."
Pros: "reliability, comfortable ride. very high miles."
Cons: "High initial cost"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This 1997 Lexus ES with 284,000 miles has been fantastic. It is still going stung and I would keep it but my son needs a car. I wanted to drive it to at least 300,000 but will pass it on to him. The only thing other than regular maintenance and oil changes every 3 months or 3,000 miles has been some work on the air conditioning that cost $300 part of the muffler system. It has been serviced by a local mechanic after initial servicing by the Lexus dealer. I have always used Lexus parts.
I am considering the new Lexus 200CT or a Prius for my next car."
"We bought this car as pre-owned with 42k miles on it and had it for the last ten years. It is an outstandingly reliable car which actually gets decent gas mileage (we are getting about 28mpg ).
Anyway, we are moving toward a newer model, but with a heavy heart!"