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Best Year Es?


tom10167

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Hi, I'm new to this forum, but not new to cars or forums...

I've done my fair share of homework on this car and am coming close to the purschase of a used ES300. My stepmom has a 95 and has served fairly well for the 140k or so. While the leather is completely worn and the needles are 100% gone, It's done well, though I would like to get more out of the car.

I'm looking at a budget of approximately $15,000, I can not go much higher, certainly not $20,000.

I've decided to not get an 02+ because of the drive by wire issues, and I've seen them allude to odd transmission issues in the reviews I've read as well, it sounds like every Lexus is having this problem, and well, I don't want to have to give the keys to someone and properly educate them on how to operate the gas pedal -- "DON'T FLOOR IT."

This will be the third car I've owned, and it's going to be a second car for me, but used for hauling light stuff around occasionally. I know from past experience that newer != better(as so obviously indicated by the 02+ models) so I'm trying to avoid the first year of anything. I have seen that you can buy DIN plates so I guess having a CD player isn't critical, though I really would like a sun/moonroof(difference?) as well as the leather. I don't care about wheels, this is going to be a winter car.

So, with that said, what would you say is the most reliable/ least quirky ES of them all?

i.e. when did that silly cupholder placement get changed? :) Yes, I read the stickies.

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Most reliable? You could argue it, but I'd say the older ones are. All of them are reliable.

Snatch a '99-01.

Personally, you've got enough money to buy an LS400. Buy one of those. Not that we have any underlying reliability issues, but the 1uz-fe is the strongest factory mass produced car engine... Probably ever.

I'd drop a year or two for a newer ES & get an LS.

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Most reliable? You could argue it, but I'd say the older ones are. All of them are reliable.

Snatch a '99-01.

Personally, you've got enough money to buy an LS400. Buy one of those. Not that we have any underlying reliability issues, but the 1uz-fe is the strongest factory mass produced car engine... Probably ever.

I'd drop a year or two for a newer ES & get an LS.

2 things

I look at gas mileage the way most people look at horsepower, I'm a HUGE MPG fanatic. I realize the ES300 at 20/28 is nothing stellar, but for what you're getting it's pretty good. A 4L engine would not be cool for me. :(

Other: RWD. My main car is a Mazda Miata and it's horrible in the snow. I want either AWD or FWD. Ideally I'd be getting an AWD Sportcross in pearl white. But they don't exist and good luck affording one anyways. This is a snow/rain car, and I really want to go FWD. I'd be more interested in a low mileage ES then an 80k LS. Thanks though. 99-01? How are 97s and 98s? Quirky?

...Was 02 the first year of navigation? :(

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I have a black/ivory 98' ES300. It drives like a beauty, feels like a new car and looks great but personally if I could start over I would purchase an 00' or 01' with HID's, Navigation and black/black. The only significant differences between the 98' and 01' is the rear tailights and front bumper. If thats not a big deal for you then shoot for the 98'. My car gets great city/highway mileage. I believe navigation was also offered as an option on the 97'-98' models.

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No not quirky, but they have no vvt-i. You might as well get vvt-i if you're buying one.

The MPG difference really isn't much between the 1uz-fe, 2jz-ge & the v6's. The v6's normally get 22-25mpg, the 2jz-ge & 1uz-fe's normally get 18-22. Really depends on how you drive. (To me the MPG difference between them falls under the Prius syndrom. Tho I love the new prius's, you have to ask yourself the question, "why the hell would someone buy one just for mileage?" It takes way too long to pay for itself & start saving money, while you can just turn around & buy a diesel, or nearly any late model M/T Civic if it's just *that* important to get MPG & save a boatload of money all around!)

Wierd, Miatas have a good snow reputation with most owners.

'01 had the option for NAV. I'm not sure about years before that, somebody else can chime in.

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Yes, after searching AFTER(sigh) speaking, I see that the 4L(I do not know any engine codes ;) ) does not get much different gas mileage, though it is still RWD.

Yes, the snow situation surprised me as well, everyone said they were fine, but with 4 Blizzaks mounted to a 14" tire, it took me driving, my little sister sitting on the trunk, and my mom and older sister pushing just to get the car out of the 4" snow in the driveway, let alone driving it.

As you can see, I'm a bit jaded about RWD in the snow. :) I'm glad navi was offered earlier, though I haven't seen many, and probably can't afford it anyways, it's nice to know it's a possibility.

Exterior is not important to me, in fact I like the look of my stepmom's 95 where the grill goes all the way to the headlights. HIDs would definitely be nice, are they self-leveling?

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I would never buy a used 97-01 without good oil change records because of the sludging problem.

I agree with Toysrme, the gas mileage isn't much different (actually in my experience my ES gets LESS mileage than an LS) and if snow traction is an issue, RWD with snow tires is going to be better than FWD with or without snow tires.

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