Anyone own a Lexus?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy_B, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. Andy_B

    Andy_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I am starting my research of new cars and I am focusing on BMW and Lexus.

    The 2002 Lexus ES300 has caught my eye and I was wondering if anyone here had opinions of Lexus in general and the ES300 in particular (the 2002 ES300 seems to be a redesign).

    Is the DVD navigation system useful or just a fancy toy?

    Thanx!

    Andy
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The DVD navigation systems are very expensive and I'm not convinced that they're much better than a Rand McNally and a printout of mapquest directions.
     
  3. Andy_B

    Andy_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Phil,

    Actually, I was hoping they were as good as the items you mentioned. Have you used them or are you just expressing what you have heard about the navigation systems?

    Thank you for the information

    Andy
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I read a review of the new Infinity G35 in the Washington Post yesterday and they recommended against the navigation system. They think the utility doesn't justify the expense at this time. I've never used one.
     
  5. Andy_B

    Andy_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanx Phil!

    Anyone else have some opinion on Lexus's vs BMW's?

    Andy
     
  6. StephenK

    StephenK Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy,

    I just went through this a couple of weeks ago! At first I was set on the Volvo S60 AWD, (Ever since I smashed my Volvo 240DL at 40 mph, and walked away without even a headache, we've been a volvo family, 7 and counting). However, the S60 felt a little too loose and the interior looked and felt cheap, sooo....

    Started checking out BMW, Lexus, Infiniti and Audi.

    Dismissed the Infiniti I35 as just a little "cheap feeling" and had to choose between BMW330, Lexus ES300 and Audi A6 Quattro.

    The BMW 330 just felt rock solid. Nothing bad to say about this car except....It was too damned small. Rear Leg room just wasn't there and rear shoulder room wasn't enough to seat 2 adults and a child seat in reasonable comfort. Plus, I test drove it during a rainy afternoon, and I'm afraid the rear wheels did tend to drift out occasionally when I pushed it hard. (I did push it harder than I ever expect to drive myself).

    Then to Lexus ES300. I LOVED this car. Fit and Finish were perfect. Engine was smooth, responsive and more than powerful enough, though there's definitely a tendency for "torque steer" when putting the pedal down, (it's front wheel drive). I know a bunch of people incl family who own Lexus' and they won't buy another car (ed. other than Lexus I mean). Seems the one thing they do really well is the after-sale follow-up. They make SURE everythings OK, almost to the point of annoyance, like leave me alone, I bought the damn thing already!

    However, then I got into an Audi A6 3.0 Quattro. This is what I ultimately went with. Car feels "slab of steel" solid. Quattro got me around slick conditions with little slippage. Interior is luxurious, though climate controls are a bit confusing at first. Loved the stereo controls on the steering wheel.

    The Lexus and Audi were neck and neck in my mind but I ultimately went with the Audi for the following reasons:

    1) Even though it stickered for 4,000 more than the Lexus, I was able to lease it for $60 bucks less per month. (Audi Lease financing was at 0.9% while Lexus was at 7.9%!)

    2) Quattro! (I live in the northeast and will have my nephews in the car often, I just thought it was safer).

    3) 60/40 Split fold down rear seats. Seems like a stupid reason but I often transport large items and this is SO useful.

    Just drive 'em and go with what blows your skirt up. You can't go wrong with any of the above. I will admit, I think the Lexus dealerships were better managed and seemed like they went way out on the cust service end of things.

    Good luck,

    Steve
     
  7. StephenK

    StephenK Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh yeah, about the Nav System...
    I did check out the Nav system during my Lexus test drives, it actually worked much better than I thought, especially through the streets of NYC! However, is it worth $3K? (which incl the Mark Levinson stereo). Not to me. Also, the LCD Panel covers the Stereo, so the panel slides out to access cassette and CD slot. Remember that it's only as good as the maps stored on the DVD, so if traffic patterns change due to construction or what not, it won't know about them.
    Lastly I'm a paranoid bastard and I didn't like "the man" knowing where I am at any given moment. Yeah I know, it's supposed to be a "passive" system but you never know [​IMG]
    p.s. the Audi Nav system sucks so don't even bother with that.
     
  8. Andy_B

    Andy_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Steve,
    Thank you very much for the information!
    I will have to add the Audi to my options.
    I had the same concern that you had about the BMW in terms of space. The design seems very small for the 330 series.
    The nav system alone is about $2k msrp. I don't think I want the upgraded sound system as I have heard that the premium sound system is very good.
     
  9. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    In regards to the DVD navigation, a cousin of mine recently got an Acura MDX, and swears by the nav system. He says he hasn't gotten lost since!
     
  10. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out Edmunds for more info than you can imagine on these cars.
    Personally, I would have a hard time choosing the Lexus ES over a Camry. The mechanicals of the car are essentially the same. If image is not important to you, think what you can do with the thousands of extra dollars you'll save.
    An ES to BMW 3er comparison is not exactly apples to apples. While they are close in cost, the cars have different missions, and if you're not into sport sedans and driving for the pleasure of driving, you are probably going to find the BMW overpriced and small.
    If you like the Lexus, check out the Acura TL as well. They are very comparable, even down to the fact that they are gussied-up versions of basic car models. The Acura TL is a fancy Accord. The difference between the TL and the ES, though, is that the TL offers engines not available in the Accord.
    Good luck.
     
  11. Andy_B

    Andy_B Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Andy,
    Some thoughts. I bought one of the first ES300s in 1997 in new body style (for then) and I LOVE it. Now my wife owns a 2001 Camry. The Camry is a great car, but no match for the ES300. The sharing of some of the platform and the view that it is a glorified Toyota is just unfair. The ES is much more quiet, much better built, and has much nicer features like digital climate control, premium stero, etc.
    The real kick for me has been the performance - my car is fast off the line and handles reasonably well for such a good ride (if not in BMW territory here). The gas mileage is good and the braking system is fantastic. I really enjoy the moonroof in the Spring and I like to detail the car often, so the quality paint job has made me very happy.
    I think there are three top reasons to buy a Lexus:
    1. The car's hold their value extremely well (further evidence of the JD Power quality leadership that Lexus has)
    2. The dealers are the best on the planet. My dealer, Hennessey in Atlanta treats like the Prince of Wales on every visit.
    3. It is a fun to drive, comfortable car with great features that never break. In 57,000 miles, I have only had a light bulb get replaced on the back of the car.
    The Audis and BMWs are good cars, but I am looking at an LS430 for my next car, because I have had such a good ownership experience.
    Best of luck with your auto shopping! [​IMG]
    Lee
     
  13. KenC

    KenC Agent

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    2002 ES is a great car. They changed so much it is not the same car as a 2001 or before. I had one as a loner a couple of weeks ago. Have a good friend who is going to purchase one in the next couple of weeks.

    I really like Lexus. They have been great. I drive a 92 SC400c that looks and runs like it is new. My wife drives a 2000 RX300 and she loves it. This is her third Leuxs, she had a 93 GS300 and a 97 LS400.

    Let me know if you need any specific information.

    Ken
     
  14. Ken Wagner

    Ken Wagner Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't tell you much about the Lexus except I'm afraid if I drive one I'd have to buy it. My only input is a consumer reliability poll I saw in the paper a few weeks back. If I remember correctly out of fourteen catagories of vehicles, Toyota or Lexus had eight spots. I have owned Toyotas (Cressidas) and Nissan (240z and a Maxima with almost 300,000 miles on it) and have nothing but good things to say about them. I'm sure the other models mentioned are just as good. It all comes down to what works for you. The search is half the fun.
     
  15. MikeF

    MikeF Stunt Coordinator

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    I've owned a 1992 SC400 since early 1996 and have nothing but good things to say. While I wouldn't buy any luxury brand again, including Lexus (I guess I've found better things to do with my money), it's been a great car. I can count on one hand the number of problems I've had over the last six years, all of them minor -- broken power window belt, leaking power steering fluid canister, et cetera. Of course, when something finally does go, they stick it to you like there's tomorrow.

    Both my parents up until recently drove late-model, high-end Mercedes; I must say that the relative bang for your buck from a Lexus is remarkable.
     
  16. Billy Fife

    Billy Fife Extra

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    No but I sure would love to own one! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    Which Lexus has the Mark Levinson sound system in it?
    Get that one [​IMG]
     
  18. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

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    I've got an '01 IS300 and love it. The dealers *are* the best! I recently went in for my 15K service and got an '02 ES300 for the remainder of the day while my IS300 was in for the service. It's a definite luxury car. Fun to drive. The NAV system wasn't installed on the particular model that I had but I have heard they are quite useful.
    As far as my IS300 is concerned, I love it. Fun to drive. Sporty. fast. Aggressive handling. Still has the interior "quiet-ness" that Lexus is known for. Good build quality. Awesome sound system. I test drove an '01 330ci before I bought my IS300... but upon walking into the BMW dealership, I soon found out I was quickly becoming the invisible man. No one acknowledged me at all. I asked the receptionist to page someone for New Sales three times. Each and every time she paged, several losers at their desks would just stand up and look at me. Then sit back down and continue what they were doing.
    I drove over to the Lexus dealership just a few miles away and was immediately greeted by someone in New Sales and I was even given some hot cocoa! [​IMG] I test drove, ordered, and purchased my IS300 that same day.
    Go with the Lexus - The Passionate Pursuit of Perfection. [​IMG] hee hee....
    Scott.
     
  19. KeithR

    KeithR Second Unit

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    I drove Lexus (GS300) and BMW (330ci) this past weekend. If you want pure luxury, with no noise, etc. get the Lexus. If you want a true driver's car, get the BMW. There really is no comparison. BMW is faster, quicker off the line, easier to drive in traffic/pass on highways, etc. It has way, way better handling--and not the soft steering that Lexus has. Both brands don't even compete with eachother in my opinion, until you compare the LS430 to the 745i.

    FWIW, my mother is buying a used BMW 323i off lease because she thinks the new ES300 looks identical to the Camry. My dad has had 2 LS400s, so obviously not biased.
     
  20. StephenK

    StephenK Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy,

    Getting back to you late on your question. I don't remember the exact numbers on the ES300 but it went like this...

    Purch ~35,500, MSRP ~37,900, invoice ~33,000

    This is with almost every opt except Mark Levinson sound and Nav system.

    Lease was around 450 per mo, with 2,500 down, Tax paid up front, 10K per year, 39mo and purch opt approx 22K

    Audi A6 3.0 Quattro was like this:

    Purch 39,450, MSRP 42925, invoice 38,900

    With every opt package except Nav system.

    Lease was 390 per mo, 3K down, tax up front, 10K per year, 39Mo and purch opt 22.5K.

    Have fun test driving
     

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