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Trying To Buy A New Es 350


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I currently own, and absolutely love, a 2004 ES 330. It has 162k miles on it and rides as good as the day I got it. I drive it 85 miles per day, and am starting to get nervous that it may fail, though I do have my doubts about that. I was told the exhaust system has a small hole, and it is starting to make a bit of noise, and the normal maintenance at this mileage level is going to get expensive, so I thought it about time to look.

My god... the salespeople are all nuts... all they want to do is lease you a car. I want to buy it... as in with dollars. I don't want to finance. I'm looking at a 2016.

In any event, in looking, there does not seem to be a car configured as I would like it. They are all either base models with some options or fully loaded models with the Levison stereo and/or nav system. I asked the saleman if I could order a car, and he immediately said "it will take 12 weeks." I said "I'm in no hurry." He then told me to go to the website and pick out the options I wanted, prefacing it with that some couldn't be put together, and told me he would bring it to the inventory manager.

I sent it to him, and he responds 2 days later with a copy of a sticker for a base model that had 3 individual options I wanted - and none of the packages - and asked if it was suitable. Uh, well, no. If I wanted it that way I would have sent it to you that way. He said he would go to the inventory manager again. This was last week. I've had silence since.

I want 2 packages - the luxury and Safety + headlight packages, plus a few individual options. The website let me build the car that way.

Is it possible to order a car from Lexus? I purchased the one I have from dealer stock and it didn't have many options, but it did have some I liked.

It really shouldn't be this difficult to buy a car. The first purchase was trouble-free and took about an hour.

I'm thinking that it can't be ordered - or the NY/NJ/CT/PA dealers don't want to order because they have to get rid of existing stock.


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Hi Mary and welcome to the Club.

Yes. You absolutely can order a new car equipped any way you want. Two years ago we purchased an RX 350 and a ES 350, both 2013 editions. I wanted real leather in mine so that one did have to be ordered. The delivery time was about 6 weeks from Japan to Des Moines. I think I'm right about this, but the Kentucky Lexus ES 350 factory should be in operation by now. If that is true it should cut the delivery time from Kentucky to New Jersey by a huge amount.

To frame the picture better, we paid cash (that paper stuff) for both cars. We have a fantastic dealer here and over the years I just get more and more impressed with the way they treat their customers.

This is important: If the sales person say's he has to talk to the inventory manager tell them "Thats great, I'll go with you and then I'll be able to make some notes." The same holds true with talking to the sales manager or finance person. Also, if they continue to push you into a lease ,that's not necessarily bad. Leasing can be a good choice IF the front and end payments in the contract terms meet your " buy out" However, if you can pay cash it is the cheapest ways to go. IMO lol

Please come back and let us know


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My understanding is that the ES350 is built in the same Kentucky facility that built the Sienna Limited van that I special ordered last year through the Costco Auto Program. It took four weeks to the day from the time I placed the order until it was delivered to me. Some accessories like paint protection film that could be installed at the dealership were instead installed at the factory at very deep discounted prices and no installation charge.

So, my suggestion is to contact Costco to see if there is a participating Lexus dealer and then go through Costco to make the contact with the dealer. Do not contact the Lexus dealer directly. If you are not a Costco member, it is worth joining just to buy a car. Costco requires dealers to show you all invoice prices for the vehicle, packages and options and to follow the Costco "script".

I paid about $1,000 over invoice for my Sienna which had a retail price a hair under $50K. I've bought a lot of cars over the last 50 years including new Lexus, Mercedes, Volvo, Honda, and Toyota. The purchase through Costco was the most pleasant purchase of all.

I probably could have beat the salesman down to under the Costco price but I have no problem with dealerships make a decent profit since I made a pretty nice living from the franchised dealership industry for most of my working life.

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The sales person told me the ES350 was being made in Japan, and I could verify by looking at the VIN.

We left it that he would talk to the inventory manager after I sent the specs and get back to me. I wasn't made to wait.

The problem is that the sticker sent wasn't even in the ballpark of what we wanted. Not even close. That tells me this dealership only wants to get rid of their inventory and not actually make a sale.

I will try the Costco route as well.

The car was purchased at the same dealership, but different location - they now have 2 in my area. I was thrilled when one opened near my home. I think I may call the other location back and see if I can get any info about ordering.

Thank y ou again.

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If you are thinking about going through Costco, DO NOT contact a Lexus dealer directly. Costco will contact the dealer on your behalf and make preliminary arrangements.

The Lexus ES is assembled both in Japan and in Kentucky - at least Wikipedia says that it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_ES Some vehicles assembled at the Kentucky Toyota plant are even exported back to Asia.

If your 2004 ES330 is in as good a condition as you say it is, you should be able to easily sell it yourself. Trading in a used vehicle on a new vehicle "muddies the water" and rarely benefits the buyer.

Have you considered the Toyota Avalon in either regular or hybrid? My wife was all hot to have me buy a hybrid last year (she drives a Prius v wagon) and one of the vehicles we considered was an Avalon Limited Hybrid with all packages and options including HID headlights, Pre-Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The Avalon and ES350 are based on the same platform and are very similar with some auto journalist saying that the Avalon is superior. The Avalon Hybrid is fast too and I like how there is complete silence when stopped at a traffic light. The Avalon is now available with optional LED headlights similar to those on our Prius ... even better than HID.

And I think I can guarantee that it will be easier to special order an Avalon than to special order an ES350. One "trick" to special ordering a vehicle that I even had to explain to the salesman when the Sienna was ordered was that a vehicle can be obtained more quickly by modifying an order that has already been submitted as long as the vehicle is still a few days away from being assembled. So in my case, the Toyota dealer turned an already ordered basic Sienna LE into a fully optioned Sienna Limited via the online ordering system while I watched.

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