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Does Anyone Love Their Es350?


nelsjay
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I had a 2003 ES300 (and a '93 ES before that), my wife currently drives a 2000 RX. We have loved these cars and they have been extremely reliable. Unfortunately, my 2003 was just totaled (I'm fine, thanks for asking). I was interested in purchasing a 2008 ES350 with the ultra luxury package and Levinson, but have been discouraged reading all the complaints on these forums. Before I plop down 45K for a new car, I would like to know: Does anyone here love their ES350?

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One thing you have to keep in mind is that you're always going to have a hot or cold reaction on internet forums, people who LOVE their cars and people who HATE them. As the cars get older this tempers. Before I bought my 03 new the forums were the same way about the 02+ ES.

Drive it extensively first. I like the ES350 a lot, my only dislike comes from the interior vs the previous car and thats somewhat better with the UL...

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I had a 2003 ES300 (and a '93 ES before that), my wife currently drives a 2000 RX. We have loved these cars and they have been extremely reliable. Unfortunately, my 2003 was just totaled (I'm fine, thanks for asking). I was interested in purchasing a 2008 ES350 with the ultra luxury package and Levinson, but have been discouraged reading all the complaints on these forums. Before I plop down 45K for a new car, I would like to know: Does anyone here love their ES350?

Nelsjay -

I am a newcomer to the Lexus line, so not much history with the brand or the car (07 ES 350 w/ Ultra Lux Package purchased 1 week ago), but I have always been an admirer based on friends vehicles and their comments. So far I really enjoy and like the car - I would not go as far as to say I love the car quite yet (too new to the vehicle to bestow those feelings towards it).

I did what most other buyers of the ES line have done - due diligence and test drove the MB's and BMW's. The Lexus is truly in a class by itself, in my opinion, based on the options offered. As you have read on this site, Lexus has unfortunately reduced the overall quality of their vehicles, but in my opinion so has MB and BMW. So, it really comes down to a personal preference. I personally liked the elegance and extremely smooth ride vs. the sporty ride in the MB and BMW, given the fact that I will be entertaining clients. The Lexus also offers a roomier ride and the all glass top is a unique feature.

The NAV, in my opinion, is not as user friendly as an Acura and the back-up camera is nice, but not as nice as the Infinity. The Mark Levinson system definitely provides a luxury sound system. Also, as you have read, the OEM tires on the 07's are very poor and mine will most likely need to be replaced at or before 20K miles :( This was the biggest surprise to me, as I did not even think to check the tires on a 1 year old vehicle with only 13,500 miles on it.

With all that said, I just couldn't justify buying the 08 vs. saving $10K+ on a previously owned 07 :)

Good luck with your decision.

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I do like the ride and think I could live with the NAV issues (don't use it all that much and can always plug in my Garmin). We keep our cars for a while and what concerns me is the reliability problems (which were NOT an issue with my other three Lexus).

I guess the more appropriate question would be: "If you had it to do over again in this price range, would you still buy an ES350"?

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That is definately true of the ES, there's really not another car you can buy and compare it to. The 3 series and the C class are smaller and sportier. Its more like a 5 series or E class in size, but its so much cheaper.

Do you have an issue with used cars? You can pick up an '06 LS430 for a comparable cost to a new ES350 UL.

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Hi Nelsjay, well I don't know about LOVE but I just bought a 2008 ES350 UL with the Levinson system. I did about 6 months of research (yep, I am anal about when I pay $$ for a car). After looking at the German luxury cars (BMW and Mercedes), Japanese luxury cars (Acura RL, Infiniti M35x) and the US luxury market (Cadillac CTS and STS), I picked the Lexus ES350 (over the Lexs GS350). Price on the Lexus ES was the lowest. However, for the money and the reports of reliability (even though Lexus has slipped a little), I felt (and still feel) that the ES was the best buy for what I wanted. Now, what I wanted was a quiet interior and a luxurious interior with room to haul 2 sets of golf clubs (and I wanted a great sound system) with half decent gas mileage. I feel I got that. Now, here is my thoughts on the other cars (and I drove them all);

On the German cars, I found a much better suspension in these cars (probably could take a curve at 75 mph without any body roll....but that is not what I wanted). The insides were not as nice as the Lexus (in my opinion). The BMW 3 and 5 series that I drove had a "unique" (read "strange" to me) shifting mechanism (called Idrive if I remember correctly). The drive was GREAT! The handling was GREAT. For the size I wanted, I would have to go to the 5 series. On the MB C Class, driving was great but again, the size was not there. Plus, the German cars (BMW 5 series and the MB C and E Class) were at least $55K without tax, title, dealer prep (with what I wanted on them).

On the Infiniti M35x, nice interior! Drive was ok but not quiet at all. The engine was noisy (but some car driving enthusiasts would say that is what is needed in a sports car).....again, not what I wanted. Plus, the trunk space and gas mileage were not that great. On the Acura RL, again nice interior but it was over $52K.....my bottom line here is I would rather get a Lexus for less money than an Acura RL.

The Cadillac CTS did not have bluetooth (which I had to have) so I didn't get the CTS (plus the color I wanted was not in stock anywhere I went and the demand for these were high). It drove nice though and with 303 hp, had great acceleration. The interior was nice also (but not as nice as the ES). The STS was a little bigger, but Cadillac's reliability isn't that great. Plus, the STS was about $48K compared to the Lexus which was about $41K.

Now, I was going to buy the GS 350 but the AWD took space from the trunk and had this wierd bump in the driver's floor that was ackward for me. I liked the external and internal styling better but the AWD bump/trunk space with the extra $8K sold me on the ES350.

Phew, sorry I went on so long. Bottom line: Price, Quiet ride, internal luxury, and gas mileage (I just got 33 mph on a 200 mile trip...not bad) "drove me" to the Lexus ES350 UL (sorry about the pun there). By the way, I got the obsidian exterior with the black interior. Hope this helps.

Phew, probably gave you way too much info; but the bottom line;

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I do like the ride and think I could live with the NAV issues (don't use it all that much and can always plug in my Garmin). We keep our cars for a while and what concerns me is the reliability problems (which were NOT an issue with my other three Lexus).

I guess the more appropriate question would be: "If you had it to do over again in this price range, would you still buy an ES350"?

Nelsjay -

Yes, I would; however, I will probably never again purchase a brand new luxury automobile. If you do not have an issue buying a previously owned car, I have found that you can save yourself a lot of money and still get a very nice car.

From what I can tell, Lexus has corrected the transmission issue with the 07's (mine was fixed and I have not experienced any of the issues). The NAV system is a HUGE nusiance to me personally, and I am hopeful that Lexus will eventually come to their senses and give their clients what they are demanding.

Good luck and let us know what you chose.

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I'm also a huge fan of buying pre-owned. I personally would not have been able to afford either of my 2 ES's if I wanted to buy brand new......but I was able to find the exact vehicles I would have chosen brand new (equipment packages, colour & all) & pay about half price for each, got all service history with factory warranty remaining. :)

:cheers:

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Badboi and Lexusfreak, I think you guys hit it right! Even though, one of my "nuances" is that I like a new car (the smell, the resale, the latest technology, etc). But from an investment perspective and "value for the money", you hit the nail on the head. I just wish I would get a bump in my head to get me to buy a used vs. new car. I had an opportunity to buy an 04 LS460 with 63K....it was listed for $24K....Probably could have got it for less. But I needed (needed is a relative term) bluetooth technology and the v7 Nav system...and of course the Mark Levinson stereo. Oh well, I graduated my last kid from college in December and I had to buy myself a graduation gift..ha ha! Thanks again for your insights!

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The 04 LS430 has bluetooth technology ;)

I've always felt the same way. Back before I got my ES in '03 I was deciding between an 00 LS400 and the 03 ES300. The better and upgradable nav system in the ES was the real seller, but one of the big things was I wanted a NEW car.

I still feel that way, in many many ways I like an 05 or 06 LS430 better than a new ES350...but every time I sit in one it just feels...used. I even sat in a lightly used 07 LS460 the other day...just felt used.

Plus I like to lease for business, and I've never been able to make a lease on a used car work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love my car. I've had it for over a year and a half with 41,000 miles with no problems. It is not perfect, but I've never had a car that it. And that includes the BMW's, Audi's and a mixture of Japanese and American made. (Maybe my '97 300Z was perfect above 3500 RPM) Overall, when the entire package is considered nd for the price, I love it.

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Hello,

I'm new here, but not new to Lexus cars. I have driven Toyota and Lexus for more than half of my life. Great cars and trucks. Bought 08 ES350 a couple of weeks back and like it so far. I have a 2000 platnum edition blk/blk that is still a fine ride. The new ES is blk sapphire/cashmire UL,ML ect. I hope this new one is as good to us as the 2000.

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So far, my 08 ES350 UL (black on black) is doing ok after 2000 miles (bought it in Dec). Glad to hear others like the black on black.........I think that is a great combo!!!! By the way, I have had some minor issues (internal "creaking" when it is cold outside and some transmission surge at about 20mph during decel)...but nothing major.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I had a 2003 ES300 (and a '93 ES before that), my wife currently drives a 2000 RX. We have loved these cars and they have been extremely reliable. Unfortunately, my 2003 was just totaled (I'm fine, thanks for asking). I was interested in purchasing a 2008 ES350 with the ultra luxury package and Levinson, but have been discouraged reading all the complaints on these forums. Before I plop down 45K for a new car, I would like to know: Does anyone here love their ES350?

We have had our 350 for 4 months and have 4300 miles on it. It has the ultra luxury package. The ride is very quiet and smooth. The navigation system is nice. I have a Garmin also and both have their positives and negatives - like all other electronic devices. We are getting a bit over 26 miles per gallon, and that is both city and country driving. The Mark Levison system is by far the best sound system I ever had in a car. The Bluetooth works very nicely - assuming you have a compatible phone, which we do. I would not hesitate in recommending the fully loaded 350. My wife is not as much into "gadgets" as I am but we simply see the useability of some things differently - such as the navigation system. We have had cars that drive more like a sports car but I find no fault with how the 350 handles. I like the dual moonroofs. There is a bit different look to the car with the front one back. I also like the sunshade for the rear window. I would strongly recommend that if you don't go for the ultra luxury that you do get the Bluetooth and the back up camera. Vision to the rear is limited. We also have an RX350 without navigation, Bluetooth, and the backup camera features and I wish I had gotten them on the RX.

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6 months and 5K mile and I really like my ES. No major problems to report.

5K in 6 months? Man, that's awesome! I just broke the 9K mark and I'm on the 7th month... I have to stop driving so much!

I just got my windows tinted, it's starting to get hot in Arizona, 80s today and quite comfortable! The car looks great!

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I had a 2003 ES300 (and a '93 ES before that), my wife currently drives a 2000 RX. We have loved these cars and they have been extremely reliable. Unfortunately, my 2003 was just totaled (I'm fine, thanks for asking). I was interested in purchasing a 2008 ES350 with the ultra luxury package and Levinson, but have been discouraged reading all the complaints on these forums. Before I plop down 45K for a new car, I would like to know: Does anyone here love their ES350?

An additional item on the luxury package that is very nice is the cooling factor on the heated/cooled seats. My wife and I have different preferences with respect to temperature. Also, the heater is fantastic.

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I had a 2003 ES300 (and a '93 ES before that), my wife currently drives a 2000 RX. We have loved these cars and they have been extremely reliable. Unfortunately, my 2003 was just totaled (I'm fine, thanks for asking). I was interested in purchasing a 2008 ES350 with the ultra luxury package and Levinson, but have been discouraged reading all the complaints on these forums. Before I plop down 45K for a new car, I would like to know: Does anyone here love their ES350?

We have had our 350 for 4 months and have 4300 miles on it. It has the ultra luxury package. The ride is very quiet and smooth. The navigation system is nice. I have a Garmin also and both have their positives and negatives - like all other electronic devices. We are getting a bit over 26 miles per gallon, and that is both city and country driving. The Mark Levison system is by far the best sound system I ever had in a car. The Bluetooth works very nicely - assuming you have a compatible phone, which we do. I would not hesitate in recommending the fully loaded 350. My wife is not as much into "gadgets" as I am but we simply see the useability of some things differently - such as the navigation system. We have had cars that drive more like a sports car but I find no fault with how the 350 handles. I like the dual moonroofs. There is a bit different look to the car with the front one back. I also like the sunshade for the rear window. I would strongly recommend that if you don't go for the ultra luxury that you do get the Bluetooth and the back up camera. Vision to the rear is limited. We also have an RX350 without navigation, Bluetooth, and the backup camera features and I wish I had gotten them on the RX.

As a reminder, I got the UL 08 ES350 with everything but the adaptive cruise control. Panoramic roof, ML, bluetooth, etc. I agree with Manchester that the camera is a "must". The visibility in the rear is limited. Also, the bluetooth works great! In about 3000 miles, I have probably averaged 28mph combined. I have taken several 200 mile trips lately and averaged over 33 mpg everytime! Handling is great. The Nav system is ok....the Garmin just seems to be better than any car system I have looked at (and I looked and played with alot of them)....but I still would get the built-in nav. I don't know if you can get the bluetooth without the nav system though! Better check!

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Update: I got a great deal on a new smoky mica ES350/UL/ML at the very end of February and I am really enjoying this car. I'm still figuring out much of the technology, but loaded up the changer with DVD-audio discs and the sound is to die for.

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