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Car For Momma


clovis
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I am looking to replace my mom's '91 Accord. It only has 180k on it, but someone decided they needed her lane more than she did, so it has some damage now. The insurance paid her $2,500 to fix it, so I told her instead of sinking $2,500 into it, we would sell it and take all the funds and go shopping.

I have been looking at putting her in a Lexus. I have been looking at ES300 and LS400's. I like the front wheel drive of the ES for when she gets winter weather which is far and few between in Kentucky. Plus I am assuming the gas mileage is a little better with the V-6 vs. LS's V-8. My budget is $7k.

I have found a very well cared for '91 LS400, but is does have 225k on it. For me I would not bat an eye at 225k, but for her I want to ensure she does not have any problems, because one there isn't a Lexus dealer for over 100 miles and second I don't want to shell out the big bucks for repairs. I live about an hour from her, so I would have to pay for repairs, I do work on my own.

Part of me feels like she will be just as safe and have just as much reliability in a 225k LS400 as she would a 130k Camry. The prices of the Camry's and Accord's have me looking at Lexus and Acura, I mean $7k for a 100k mile '97 Camry come on. I consider myself a good shopper. It usually takes me a couple of months to buy a car, I look alot and take cash. I can probably buy the car for $4,800.

Are the ES's as reliable as the LS's. I did a search and it seems that expecting over 300k from the LS is not far fetched, which for her would equate to five or six years of driving, which means I would get my money out of it. I use a grand a year as a guideline. Any help from the been there done that is much appreciated.

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$7K for a 225,000 mile car is a little too high. Try Autotrader.com and cars.com and expand your search are by 50-100miles. This way you'll get more of them.

We have a couple of Lexi on our dealers lot. Don't know what they're going for, but maybe a little higher than $7k.

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I am looking to replace my mom's '91 Accord.  It only has 180k on it, but someone decided they needed her lane more than she did, so it has some damage now.  The insurance paid her $2,500 to fix it, so I told her instead of sinking $2,500 into it, we would sell it and take all the funds and go shopping.

I have been looking at putting her in a Lexus.  I have been looking at ES300 and LS400's.  I like the front wheel drive of the ES for when she gets winter weather which is far and few between in Kentucky.  Plus I am assuming the gas mileage is a little better with the V-6 vs. LS's V-8.  My budget is $7k. 

I have found a very well cared for '91 LS400, but is does have 225k on it.  For me I would not bat an eye at 225k, but for her I want to ensure she does not have any problems, because one there isn't a Lexus dealer for over 100 miles and second I don't want to shell out the big bucks for repairs.  I live about an hour from her, so I would have to pay for repairs, I do work on my own. 

Part of me feels like she will be just as safe and have just as much reliability in a 225k LS400 as she would a 130k Camry.  The prices of the Camry's and Accord's have me looking at Lexus and Acura, I mean $7k for a 100k mile '97 Camry come on.  I consider myself a good shopper.  It usually takes me a couple of months to buy a car, I look alot and take cash.  I can probably buy the car for $4,800.

Are the ES's as reliable as the LS's.  I did a search and it seems that expecting over 300k from the LS is not far fetched, which for her would equate to five or six years of driving, which means I would get my money out of it.  I use a grand a year as a guideline.  Any help from the been there done that is much appreciated.

Welcome Clovis to the boards. I paid $3995 for my 90 LS400 and it had 223K when I bought it. Now it has nearly 230K and still running fine (except for an annoying vibration). The LS400s have very poor traction in winter weather. Like Kentucky- we do not get much snow here- even in the northeast Tennessee hills, but I have been caught out in a couple of "snow laying on the roads" snows and it is not a pleasant experience. In the rain however (which we do get a lot of), my car is fine. Overall- they are fine cars- even at 200K+ miles. Keep in mind that the Lexus ES300 is basically a Camry, as it is built on the Camry platform. Not saying it is a bad car because of this, because the Camry is a fine automobile. I have had several- most recently a 93 Camry LE V6 (same engine that is in the Lexus ES) and it had 212K and was absolutely LIKE BRAND NEW- inside/out and running. I now regret selling it. $7K is steep for a 97' Camry with 100K. Around here- a 97 w/100K can be bought for about $5000-$6000. I am actually considering a 98' Camry LE w/84K for $6995. The Lexus ES is also a very nice, well built car- just like its Camry twin. Also- as you already know- the Accords are also fine automobiles as well. I have also had several of those- several with over 200K and still running perfectly. Around here- a 98 Accord (6th generation) can be bought for around $6000-$7000. Not sure about where you are. Cars seem to be priced differently throughout the country. Does you mother like the larger LS400, or the smaller ES300? Good luck.

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Plus I am assuming the gas mileage is a little better with the V-6 vs. LS's V-8.  My budget is $7k.

Not really actually, the ES doesn't get very good mileage for a V6 sedan, its quite heavy for its power.

In that model year span you're definately going to get more car in the LS (moreso than if you were comparing 04 LS' and ES') BUT there are some things that make me steer you towards an ES:

1. Its cheaper to maintain. That generation ES shares a LOT of its components with the Camry and parts and service will be much cheaper. LS parts are very expensive, even for the old ones.

2. You can get a newer car with less miles for the same money. These cars (both the ES and the LS) are built for miles and can last well beyond 250k if maintained properly. The LS is a little more robust but robust also = more expensive parts should something go wrong.

3. ES are more widely availiable (at least here) and seem to be driven by an older driver than the LS.

My dad has a friend that has 3 ES, an ES250 a 94 ES and a 96 ES. All of them (except maybe the 96) have well over 200k with no issues at all. Look for a car that has had regular oil changes done! I fully expect to put 200,000 miles on my ES then it'll go in on trade for an LS.

Can't go wrong with either car really, but since its for your mom I'd suggest the ES.

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Well, first of all I have a 94 LS with almost 170k on the clock and its absolutley amazing how good the condition of my car is. mechanically, my car is outstanding also. I bought it about 6 months ago with 155k miles for $10,900. Some may say that i payed a steep price but like i said, great, great condition. Also, the car has an extensive service history at the local lexus dealer. Every single time the car needed ANYTHING the original owner brought the car in for sevice, even every oil change at no more than 4k mile intervals. I also bought it from a dealer who probably bought it at an auction for really cheap and jacked up the price a little. Anyway, I would say go for the LS but i think that im just in love with my car too much to even consider another car (exept a Porsche GT3)! I think the biggest thing is what 90LS400Lexus said: what does your mother like better? Does she like a smaller car like her honda or does she like a larger (much much larger) car that weighs 2 tons and drives like a tank on steriods. Speaking of weight, since the LS is quite heavier than the ES, she would probably like the fact that the next time someone wants to take up more than their fare share of lanes, she can just use the weight of her car to her advantage and be confident that the extra weight will help her stay in control and decrease the chance of her getting run off the road. Also, since the LS is larger and heavier than the ES, should she get in a more serious accident, she is better protected by more metal around her and the extra weight that will just push an accord or camry aside.

About the matter of snow, this past winter North Carolina revieved 1 rather heavy snow storm. This system left something like 3-6 inches of ice on the roads for many days after the snow stopped. I drove my car every day there was snow or ice on the ground and only got stuck once but that was because of my own stupidity (trying to see if i could make it up a really steep hill). As long as the car has fairly new tires or snow tires, a full tank of gas, and if need be, a few cinder blocks or sand bags in the trunk, she should be fine.

Hope this helps

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Thanks for all the input.

I like the GS's but they are not plentiful in this area. In the last two months I have had only one come up on AutoTrader within 100 miles of me and it belonged to a kid that didn't seem to know much about the car.

She likes the Camry, her sister's family has three Camry's, and an Acura. Well, she actually like the Acura also. That is what I actually started out looking for but after driving a couple I cooled my heels. I like the styling of the '97 up Camry, which seems to be the same styling on the ES even for years prior to '97. Most of the ES's are priced almost the same as the Camry's. The Accord runs about a grand higher for a similar year and mileage, which means you would pay more for a '97 Accord than a '97 ES.

I work for a Japanese automotive company, and we supply electrical components (wire harness, fuse boxes, navi systems) to both Honda and Toyota. We also supply parts for Lexus primiarily the RX-330 (navi systems), so I am pretty familiar with the platforms. I prefer Toyota products over Honda. I have a '95 T100 extended cab 4x4 and if she ever lays down I'll go get a Tundra (we make all the harness for them too). I am a second generation gear head though. My other two cars are Mustangs. I have '93 hatch (last year for the fox), and my wife drives a '96 GT convertible. Great, cheap and extremely fun little cars. I tried to put my mom in a Mustang, but with two grandchildren, and another on way, courteous of my wife and in December (our first) the room is a little on the short side. So yes I will be looking for a four door soon. I have decided to sell my Mustang now, and we will sell my wifes next spring.

So what kind of price should the 225k mile LS go for? He is the type that gave it the the Lexus dealer anytime it had a hickup, so he says, but actually I beleive him.

What should I look to pay for a '93-'97 ES? I have found '93's for under $5k and '97 for a little over $6k.

I may concentrate on the ES for now. Thanks again for all the help.

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So what kind of price should the 225k mile LS go for? He is the type that gave it the the Lexus dealer anytime it had a hickup, so he says, but actually I beleive him.

Well, that should not be a problem to find out. Just give any Lexus dealer the VIN number of the car and they can pull up everything done to it by any Lexus dealer.

What should I look to pay for a '93-'97 ES? I have found '93's for under $5k and '97 for a little over $6k.

Miles? The prices seem to be great, if the miles are near 100k.

http://www.cars.com/search/used/cc/standar...ml?aff=national

Good Luck. Hope you find what your looking for.

:cheers:

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"Moms" should have a good solid car. Much better in an accident :-). That's my opinion after having driven Honda's for many many years (p.s. no accidents personally since age 16), but as a 63 yr old, my wife loves our 96 LS and wouldn't be comfortable in anything else.

About 9 months ago, I replaced my 225,000 mi Accord which overheated, with a 91 LS. It was time. Fabulous cars.

Treat your mom to the best :-).

Earl B.

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