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Retiring at 68 and thinking of selling my Honda Odyssey and getting a true Luxury car; a Lexius.  Zeroing in on an older ES 350 or RX.  Maybe even a Hybrid one.

So, I ask you experienced Lexus owners, is this a bad Idea for a single woman who can’t fix her own car?  And the closest Lexus shop is 2 hours away? 
 

I’d like to keep the price around 25,000 or less.  
 

Thank you for any insights, advice, etc

Pam

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I would highly recommend an RX...a 330 or newer 350.  You'll note I have a 99 RX300, which I have owned for 10 years, and have made significant improvements on over those years, but I would not recommend you buy one over 10 years old.  The RXs are easy to get in and out of, and have luxury class appointments throughout.  I'm 72, and don't like vehicles that I have to "fall in" for entry and "climb out" for exit.  Regarding hybrids, I stay away from those.  The technology is still evolving, and is very expensive to fix when it goes awry.  And you don't need to always go to a Lexus Dealership for service...unless you always want to pay more than you should.  A good independent shop is better for all but the most major repairs, such as engine and transmission, and even then there are Independents who do excellent work...you just have to find them.  Stay away from the major chain places like Firestone, PepBoys, Jiffy Lube, etc...find a place that is family oriented, and that know you and your car.

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8 hours ago, FinallyFree said:

Retiring at 68 and thinking of selling my Honda Odyssey and getting a true Luxury car; a Lexius.  Zeroing in on an older ES 350 or RX.  Maybe even a Hybrid one.

So, I ask you experienced Lexus owners, is this a bad Idea for a single woman who can’t fix her own car?  And the closest Lexus shop is 2 hours away? 
 

I’d like to keep the price around 25,000 or less.  
 

Thank you for any insights, advice, etc

Pam

My opinion is that it is a bad idea.  Two hours away is too far away from the nearest dealership.  Not that the RX and ES are bad vehicles but I certainly don't regard them as luxury cars.  They are decent vehicles.  I've had a lot of RX and ES loaners over the 24 years I drove top of the line Lexus LS sedans and I've found them generally disappointing.  I would take a Toyota Highlander over an RX and a Toyota Avalon over an ES.

What are your needs?  Since you now have a Honda Odyssey, do you still need a van that can carry a lot of stuff?  Do you prefer a hatchback over a 4-door sedan?  Is there a Toyota dealership close to you ... i.e. much closer than the Lexus dealership?

Whatever you buy, I suggest you buy a 2017/2018-up Lexus with Lexus Safety System or a 2017/2018-up Toyota with Toyota Safety Sense.  These safety systems include radar based automatic emergency braking (Pre-Collision System), adaptive cruise control (Dynamic Radar Cruise Control), Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist and Automatic High Beam.  Not that 68 is "old" but these safety systems are particularly valuable to us older people.  My wife and I are a wee bit older than you are.  

If you need an Odyssey size van but would like one with more luxury features, I would suggest a 2018 or newer Toyota Sienna Limited Premium.  It has height adjustable HID headlights, heated steering wheel, nice leather upholstery with memory driver seat, rain sensing wipers and all the features of Toyota Safety Sense.  You might have to go a little higher that $25,000 to get one of those as a used vehicle since a new one retailed at nearly $50,000.

If you prefer a smaller pseudo-SUV, I would suggest the redesigned 2019 or newer RAV4 Limited but only the ones with the optional adaptive headlights which are highly rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (iihs.org).  The non-adaptive RAV4 headlights are not rated well.  

There is a hybrid version of the RAV4 Limited.  Toyota hybrid systems are very reliable.  We've had a hybrid 2012 Prius v Five since new and it hasn't had a single problem although it's only at 43,xxx miles.  My wife and I test drove a RAV4 hybrid a few weeks ago and found it to be very nice - much quieter than our Prius v.  We had planned to buy a 2020 RAV4 Limited Hybrid but are now waiting for the recently announced 2021 RAV4 Limited plug-in hybrid.

IMO, the main difference between Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles and their dealerships is that Lexus vehicles sometimes have slightly nicer materials and Lexus dealerships have better snacks in their waiting rooms.  Otherwise there isn't much difference under the skin with many Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles using the same engines, transmissions and many other components.

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Get a CPO ES350 in year 2016 or 2017. It will come with a two year full warranty and can be had for $25k. Any Lexus or Toyota dealer can service it. 

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