I purchased my 1996 Lexus es300 in 1995, used, with 130,000 well maintained miles. I drove all over the southeastern us and put another 128,000 miles on the car. 258,000 miles and still going strong. Just replaced transmission seal but the $550.00 is less then a new car and there's no depreciation at this point. Normal maintenance, Mobil 1 synthetic ( 8000 mile per change) and being alert to changing wear items makes a well built car very dependable. 1mz-fe 6 cylinder engine is powerful and dependable.
Most engine and maintenance work easy to access.
Glove compartment is designed poorly. Interior air cleaner on drivers side and a bit challenging to change. Rear bushings tend to squeak when cold.
Purchased it in 1999, off a 3 year lease and 36K miles. Car runs well and accelerates well at high speeds. Body design has withstood the test of time. However, I did add a new transmission in 2004. Leather seat showing wear and tear. I would buy a new one.
Overdrive speed at higher speeds. Body design is attractive.
I purchased my '96 ES as it was coming off a 3-year lease (with 35k miles on it) in early '99... 11 years and 70,000 miles later, it still purrs like the well-oiled machine it was intended to be. I've always used premium unleaded gas in the car, and change the oil every 4,000 miles or so -- both of which are critical in extending the engine's life. Except for replacement of an alternator and an antenna motor, regularly scheduled maintenance is the only other work that's been performed. In my 45 years of driving American, European and Japanese cars, nothing matches the satisfaction of owning a Lexus. This baby is only worth about $5,000 now, but what could replace it for that price? Nothing.
Comfort, ride, traction, handling, visibility, performance, reliability, styling. The original design, built from 1992 to 1996, will be a classic car one day.
I've had my car for such a long time and i jst cant say how reliable this car has been for me. I've thought of giving it up but the only way i will is to get another used lexus. these cars are so well built. once u have one u cant go back to anything smaller also. my cd player don't work but i plug in my ipod and I'm good to go. i plan to get a used rx330 in the future once this dies. I've got 142k miles and never have to do much to it just routine things. I'm a single mom and need a good car and this worked well for years for me.
I bought my black '96 ES 300 with 21000 miles on it in '99. It's nearly '08 and I have 94,000 miles on it with virtually no maintenance besides oil, batteries and tires. I can't say enough about how much I love this car. I do have a valve leak problem now that seem to be very common with this car and was thinking of selling it until I read the forums for the respective cars I was thinking of buying (SAAB, Audi, Mercedes/Benz) and finally reading about how many fellow ES 300 owners feel the same way I do about my car. Needless to say, I have a renewed loyalty to my car and now feel happy to get the oil problem fixed and drive this a bit longer just to see if it ever dies on me. It might not.