Don't Be A Snob - 1996 Lexus ES 300 Long-Term Road Test
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1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

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  • Pricing & Specs
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  • Long-Term

1996 Lexus ES 300: Don't Be A Snob

June 28, 2012

Lexus ES beauty shot.jpg

I'll be honest, I was worried. Just how crappy would this $3,500 Lexus be? I mean, I'm an overly pampered journalist used to driving new cars. How could I possibly lower myself to driving this thing? Just kidding. 

Seriously though, our crappy old Lexus is fine. Even for stuck-up journos. Sure, bits of the interior are certainly looking rough, but there's more good here than bad, and for the price? Come on.

The brakes work well (thanks Dan Edmunds), there's no shimmying or wheel vibration, the ride is reasonably comfortable and the transmission only very occasionally shows some abruptness.

True, no one will accuse the steering of having feel. But dang, this V6 has some honest punch, both from a stoplight and even at speed on the highway. And the engine is smooth and sounds good.

I look at things like the sun visor that constantly falls down slightly as "character," not "just one more issue."

Now I wonder if I could get a bike in here... 

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 145,938 miles.

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

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