"I have a 2003 model, but everyone thinks that it is newer than that. For a 10 year old car, it drives better than most new cars on the market today. Styling on the outside and inside are classy and timeless, perfect entry-level luxury car. Soft blue head lights are a nice feature. Minor touches throughout like a chrome tipped exhaust make it look more expensive than it is.
Inside, there is plenty of room up front although rear seat room can be tight if the seats are pushed all the way back. Charcoal leather and light gray roof/pillars are an appealing combo. Best part is the California Redwood trim, very high quality. All the amenities you'd expect in a luxury car.
The only drawback is the acceleration.. although its flawless and very reliable, it is a bit under-powered. Lexus corrected this for 2004 by putting a 3.3 liter engine in instead of a 3.0 liter. Pedal to the floor if merging on highways on an incline. Otherwise there's sufficient power.
Overall, if you want a car that looks good, retains its value, is comfortable and reliable to the point you'll never have to think about it, this is the car. Lexus cars are the best"
"I bought this car used and have put 160,000 miles on it in 5 years. I spend a lot of time driving on the highway, and this car has the pickup and comfort that make my commute bearable. I average around 26-28 mpg, but the handling and comfort I gain make it a worthwhile compromise."
"By far the best in its class, when it came out it was more spacious, more elegant and a much better value than its competitors. In this case the ES300 would be a better choice to defeat the E class and the 5 series in terms or comfort and value but because the Lexus was over 6 grand cheaper they were not even in the same price categories. Only concerns are of course the lack of any "performance" features, acceleration is electronically balanced, so no racing starts, braking is also regulated so as not to make passengers ill, and cornering is best done at a low speed. This car is really like the old American cars in terms of comfort, but with reliability that defies belief, for 6 years now I have never had any mechanical or electric problems. Takes regular fuel too, truly an amazing car."
Pros: "Reliable, quiet, with 4 cyl mpg when needed."
Cons: "No smart phone hook up, bluetooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The 5 speed automatic will hunt if you use anything other than Premium fuel. Remember you are driving a Lexus not a Camry! I use a K&N air filter and this helped the throttle response also, every eight tanks of gas I put in a bottle of Seafoam or Slick 50 fuel treatment. Throttle response is tremendous when using the above products. Running synthetic oil will give you better mileage and performance too. I have the transmission fluid changed at the Valvoline Instant Oil Change every 30K miles which results in silky smooth operation. The Navigation is a bit tricky but I got a class when I was out of town at the Lexus dealer after an oil change for free. On pure highway driving I get 28 to 32 mpg. Just depends on altitude, summer or winter blend gas, running the A/C and if I'm going over 80 mph. The reliability is unmatched, comfort, good power when needed and I've driven this in every type of weather with no issues. I've got the old Michelin X All Season tires that have got me thru everything but I know my MPG has suffered a bit due to the attained traction. I a prefer traction and a quiet ride. It is not a 5 series, E Class or A6 so it will not stop as soon, get up to speed as fast, corner tighter than the Germans but the bottom line "NEVER BREAKS" and maintenance is cheap! I know I've owned them all and when you get to my age I rather spend my money on other things than on German unscheduled maintenance. Learned my lesson and I will only buy Japanese luxury which is superior to "my" wallet."