An excellent car overall.
By Carlton on Friday, May 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Reliable, Decently Fun, Good Looking, Well Made"
Cons: "Some controls are hard to get to, low headroom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I've owned this car for about 2 years. My overall satisfaction is very high and I have not had any major mechanical issues. The seats are comfortable but supportive. You don't feel like you are sinking into an abyss, which allows you to have a more connected feel to the job of driving in my opinion. I am tall and headroom is a bit tight, but lowering the seat as far as it will go and leaning it back slightly was fine. I still have to clean my hair out of the headliner though. The seat cooler works but is not overpowering. At times it might not seem like it is even on, really. Lexus service is generally okay. I've put 100k of the 120k miles on my car and I can tell you maintenance by the mileage schedule for me has been terribly expensive. You really get a lot of car in a 2007, but try to look for a slightly newer model. The 2007 has a couple of frustrating "qualities" about it. For one, they redesigned the center console in later years. The one in the 2007 opens with a button on the top front of the console and it is easy to hit that accidentally. Additionally it does not open as wide as newer ones do. Driving a loaner car while mine was being serviced was eye opening in that regard. The seat heater/cooler switches are also located in a spot where I personally have to lean forward and bend my entire body while looking down and away from the road to see if they are turned on or not. After a while I got the hang of how the roller switches feel and it was okay, but this seems counterintuitive for a feature you should just be able to see. Also, the 2007 cruise control indicator is a little spartan. It doesn't indicate it is actually set, just that the system is on. That sounds small and simple but it is better on slightly newer versions of the ES. I've also had issues that have come and gone with the air conditioner blower. No idea what, but it stopped acting up on its own. I can't remember what they call the feature that makes the headlights move based on whether you are turning or going up/down hills, but that alone makes me hate driving any other car. I will definitely need that feature on whatever car I choose to buy in the future.
If you have never owned a Lexus before and wonder how it compares to other brands, I would first point out that you need to be aware of what you really want. The ES is not a race car and it is also not intended to be the most posh luxury sedan either. But if you are looking at optimizing the fully loaded cost of owning a car and getting something reliable, this one is not a bad choice for several reasons. Not to diminish any other brand, but the way I look at it, the quality of a 2007 ES 350 makes any Honda look and feel like a cheap toy and the reliability makes it seem foolish to pay for a BMW. You get style, comfort and quality for a fair price with no major repairs for a long, long time.
From a performance perspective, the 2007 ES 350 is okay. The engine pulls nice and strong but it is connected via a transmission that really just wants to take it easy. You can drop it into that pseudo manual mode and control it to some extent, but the fact is this is not a race car. Yeah, you can pull 100 on the freeway and not even know it, so it isn't completely inept. It is a front wheel drive car so you go into it knowing your steering control is affected by that. It's not like a Honda by any means, but it is still affected. In all, it is a smooth and comfortable ride with mild performance characteristics that will probably tone down your desire to get crazy. You won't get overly tired and might consider driving rather than flying on some of those long trips. I've been to Florida several times and trips to DC as well.
One last thing. Mine is black. It would be worth it to get one of those clear 3M paint protection coatings put on the front bumper and hood area. Mine looks like it has been sand blasted so it has nice white spots all over the front of it that I need to get repaired."
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