I have had this car for 18 years and I am the original owner. This car still drives like a dream, a smooth quiet ride with wonderful visibility and fantastic acceleration. Lexus keeps on making changes to the ES350 and I prefer the one I own. In California, I have to do a STAR smog check every two years. Sometimes it is border line on the Hydro Carbons at idle speed. This is not a problem if I do a Decarb and Throttle Body Service within a year before the SMOG test, $200 at Lexus. I have had to replace the transmission pan gasket twice in the last five years, due to leaking, $400 to do that at Lexus. A check engine light was from a solenoid which I choose to replace given it was 14 years old. Over the last 8 years, I have driven 32,000 miles and have spent an average of $1100 a year having Lexus service it excluding battery and tires. The radio display has gone black and I live with it that way. The cup holders are flimsy and two of them are broken. The two tone crème/beige paint still looks ok, garage kept. The service at the Lexus dealer is wonderful.
Update: Still driving the car with ZERO problems. It has 313,000 miles on it, I service it at the local Toyota dealership and get the oil changed there every 3,000 miles even though they say you can go 5,000 miles. I love this car...I can't believe it's been over 3 years already. I might have to gift this car to someone, because it's that good of a car. I am looking forward to purchasing a Toyota Highlander Hybrid in the next year or so.
I bought this car used about 2 1/2 yrs ago with 210,000 miles on it. I was not deterred with the mileage at that point, because I knew it would last about 3 yrs and I was completely fine with that and the price point at $1500 asking $2,300 (but it needed a few minor repairs, so price was lowered).
I've been driving this car about 20k miles a year and I have had no problems with the car itself. It has been the best car I've ever owned and with significantly less miles. The car is so quite and runs like a champ. I could drive it another 2 yrs. at least before setting aside for a newer car and I will still keep it as a back-up car, it's too good of a car to sell.
If people are having mechanical issues with the car, it's probably a lack of maintenance on the car. I was guilty of that on my old car (Altima).
I drove this car on long trips several times, which I was a little worried that something might happen but nothing at least 300 miles + road trips one way.
I replace the oil every 3000k miles, burns zero oil and if the oil was low it was 1/4 of a quart low, but I found that to be the quality of oil not the car. I used to use Valvoline oil but recently started going the Toyota dealership and using Mobil 1 5000 (5000 mileage) and I had clean oil and it was full.
I would highly recommend this car to anyone looking for a $2000 car and even it you put $500 in the car for minor repairs it will pay for itself over and over.
My repair shop said they would buy the car if I did not want it when I had it inspected to purchase :)
Update: Still driving the car, I just hit a new milestone 300k miles on the car! Just had the car serviced at Toyota and zero problems!! Love the car...I will keep it another year and upgrade to a Toyota Highlander hybrid 😀