1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

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1996 Lexus ES 300: Wayback Machine

July 12, 2012

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Here are the entertainment system controls in our ES 300. Some would call this setup primitive, but it's actually not bad, and well thought out, ergonomically speaking. Everything you need to control the radio and tape player are within easy reach. Same goes for the CD player, provided you loaded the changer in the trunk before you left.

I like the FM 1/2 selector -- no one needs more than 12 stations -- and the three rocker buttons for changing them. I also like having the audio controls right where you can see them, rather than buried deep in an electronic menu.

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On the way to work today, I played music that's 22 years older than this car. Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" sounded just fine on my old homemade cassette, even with the pop and hiss picked up from the LP. It conjured up a long solo Highway1 drive I made years ago, when Mitchell's moody songs played out before me,"breaking like the waves at Malibu," to borrow her phrase.

What's your favorite vintage album for vintage-car drive?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @146,319 miles

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