Jump to content

Soon To Be Lexus Owner


Recommended Posts

I've been doing alot of research regarding the Lexus brand. After viewing this club for a few months and gathering information from mechanics as well ad Lexus owners in my area, I've decited to purchase a 1st generation Lexus. My budget is $5,200 My 4 interests are in order of importance.

1) 90-94 ls400

2)94-96 es300

3)92-95 sc300/400

4)91-95 Acura Legend

It's hard for me to find a ls400 in my area (New Jersey) that has extensive service records. My 3 questions are.

1)Is the sc300/400 more reliable than the above mentioned es300 and acura legend?? my mechanic has suggested that I buy an acura Legend instead of the es300 because of the es300 transmission problems.

2)I know that the ls400 is much better than the other 3 cars but in what order do you guys rate the other three cars?

3)Should I get the sc300/400 instead of the es300 if I can't find a good ls400?

any advice would seriously be appreciated. Please keep up the good work guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) I'm not sure what your mechanic is talking about when he says tranny problems on the early ES300's. I believe there have been very, very few isolated tranny issues in this club-most likely from abuse and/or neglect, but that's about as much as I know. Mine is silky smooth at 11years and 130k miles.

2)It's hard to rate the three. It all depends on your needs. If you are over 6 feet, the LS will be suitable for you with a non sporty, soft ride. The ES has similar characteristics but with fwd, a V6, less floaty ride, and slightly less quality since it's not in the same class as the LS4. I'm not saying it's a bad car in the least; it's just one is a $30k car and the other is a $60k car. ;) The SC is the sporty one of your selections, so it's got an aftermarket where as the ES and LS don't. I'm not familiar with the SC, so I can't make any comments there.

3) Again, this is up to your needs/wants. I can talk some about the ES since I have one-a '94...the ES is a great car...too small for me but a great car none the less. Common ES problems: leaky valve cover gaskets(not a wide speread issue, but some do experience it), flickery speedo needles(you will see this on any first generation Lexus at some point or another), tired motor mounts, dead hood support struts, and clunky suspension sounds caused by either strut mounts or bushings. The cool looking pilarless windows will haunt you. Many owners use the window to slam the doors shut, so over 9-11 years, it knocks the windows out of alignment causing pronounced wind noise. The moonroofs make a similar sound; they don't leak, but they make wind noise because they need to be adjusted/shimmed--easily cured by closing the shade. The cupholders suck, and the trunk has a very high opening which is also kind of inconvienent. On the plus side, they ride great, the interior is first rate, the seats are very comfy, decent sound for a stock stereo, they look nowhere near 10 years old on the outside, and the powertrain is outstanding. They come with projector headlights, so real hid's are always a nice addition. I think the 3.0 V6 that is in that car is one of the best engines, but it is slow as molasses. It looks like you've done some hw on the ES since you stated the 94-96(ES's with the new, alum. V6)! ;)

I looked at several 90-94 LS's, but the trampoline seats turned me off. I bought a 95 instead, and it's the best car I've had! 239,4xx miles and counting. :D My LS had no service records except for a recent brake job and new p/s pump, and she's been a ok with me. The service history is nice but I wouldn't pass on a car because of the lack of it. You can easily tell a good LS so long as you print the pinned post about used LS's at the top of the LS page and do a thorough test drive. The pinned used LS topic goes into great detail about what problems to expect. ;)

Parts and labor on Lexi will empty your wallet very quickly. Dealers want north of $85 an hour, and parts are extremely expensive. If you diy, many things are a PITA; I wouldn't rate these cars as the easiest to work on...especially the LS. Though, oil, tranny fluid, and brakes are very easy to do. These cars rarely break, but when they do, be prepared to shell out some duckets!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahahaha blake definitely has it down. Since both of us own a LS and an ES. As for me, i just left you a post in the ES forum so i'll just repost it here just in case. What i wrote in the ES forum is basically what blake wrote... but he went into more details. But either way, it all boils down to personal choice. The LS400 is definitely PITA (Pain In The A$$) since everything is sooooo TIGHT. Unlike the ES everything is sooo nicely spread out.

ok this is wut i wrote in the ES forum:

Hey and welcome to the club. This decision is all about personal choice. If you can, see if you can test drive all of them.

I am a little biased. I love my 92 LS400. :P My g/f just drove my LS for the first time 20 min's ago... n she was yelling @ me saying how much different it is from her 92 ES300 n she likes how it handles.:whistles:

However, to her, my LS is a BOAT :pirate: . It's pretty big for her.

Every one of those cars will have their pro's and cons. I know for a fact that i pay a LOT more in gas money for my LS400. Even mechanic bills are more expensive than my g/f's. There are a lot of factors you have to weigh in. The luxury factor is different in all the cars. My car feels a lot more lighter in the steering wheel and the shocks seem to feel like it floats. However, my LS400 SUXS big time in the winter since its rear wheel drive whereas my g/f's is Front i believe.

I love the power i feel in my car. My lil sister's b/f just bought a 92 SC400... so turkey day i can tell u how they all feel. The SC is probably more of a sportier feel to it.

I've yet driven a legend, but i've been in a 92 legend before... but i forgot how the ride was since it was a while ago... hahaha sorrie :chairshot:

Since you live in NJ, i'm sure you can find a great LS in NYC or the surrounding cities in NJ. I'm sure there's bound to be a great LS with all its service records. O and just to note something, if you find a car in NYC, you might want to find out if the ball joint is still ok... cause there r sooo many potholes there and its expen$ive to change it. :angry: Hahaha most likely you won't have to worrie about it.

Good luck B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guys above have great advice for you......

I only have driven 95,97 and 99 LS's so here's my point of view:

If you're fairly tall 6-1 +................you'lll love the LS - although headroom isn't the best (like Blake says :D ), and if you like feeling good about interior room for your friends....the LS will be impressive.

You won't hear the engine as you drive :D

The wheelbase is 112 inches to get a good ride and suspension is nice.

Be aware:

Your PS system is suspect to leaks and failure, the front suspension should have been serviced/replaced by now, the LCD's on the interior are shot. Otherwise, look for everything else just like you would for a 11+ year old car. If you don't DIY, you could have a tremendous $$$ sign awaiting you for repairs.

I think you can find a solid LS with good service records for $5K :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Legend sucks. I hate ours. Not only because ours is our official beater car and has a funny smelling interior (yeah, thats credited to the leaky sunroof), but because it is FWD. It whole car has a terrible feel to it, IMO. I hate driving it; it handles like a bowl of oatmeal. The LS400 is WAY better. NO comparison. Although, the Acura has been decently reliable for us.

Maybe you should consider a BMW :D

Oh, and the Legend is INCREDIBLY hard to park. I thought the Lexus would be the same way, but in parking lots, it is almost as manuverable as my little 5-speed BMW 3'er was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...