Best FWD used car value for under $20K
By nixima on
2005 Lexus ES 330 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
I test drove the Passat, A4, TL, and G35. They are all nice cars but the ES330 drives more smoothly, is more luxurious, does not require premium unleaded, and is more roomy inside. The transmission isn't as bad as some of the other reviewers have stated. Once in awhile it will have problems finding the right gear but 99% of the time it's fine. Other problem areas are the steering knuckle joint makes noise during the winter (there is a TSB for this). The headlights were aimed way too low but are easily adjusted with a screwdriver. The stock Michelin tires are not very good in the snow. Overall the goods outweigh the bads for the ES330.
heated/cooled seats, regular unleaded gas, rain sensing wipers, stereo, paint and wheels, big sunroof, rear window shade, headlights (once you aim them up a bunch), cabin quietness, ice cold AC, same engine as the Sienna (same oil filter), large trunk, back seat room
cup holders, handling, traction in snow, transmission, steering knuckle noise