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I am afraid that we at TCL have ignored how great a value an older Lexus can be as a daily driver. A cheap, reliable car that is fantastic at eating up highway miles. There area few draw backs, they are not sporting in the least and they are all automatics(there are a couple early 5spds out there, but good luck finding one). Lets put those aside and consider for a moment the demographics of the average Lexus buyer and how that affects the cars later in life.




  • Average buyer was 40+
  • Average buyer was not an enthusiast and drove the car nicey-nice
  • Average buyer brings the car to the dealer and does whatever the service advisor says.
  • Average buyer does not want a 10 year old Lexus with 100k on it.

-I know this because my father has owned a 93 ES300, a 02 ES330 and just picked up an RX.

So once we cross the 100k mile threshold we have a car that was built to go 300k, that was maintained impeccably, and is starting to rapidly drop in value. Add to the fact that most people in the "I need a cheap, reliable car" demographic are so focused on Civics, Corollas, Accords and Camrys that nobody ever looks at the Lexus.



Now this does not hold true to all luxury cars. Many of them are adopted by the hip hop crowd looking for some cheap hood status. Mercedes, Caddilacs, etc all some how sprout rented 20" rims once they get over 120k. This even falls true for the Lexus GS3/400 and SC3/400. Audis, BMWs and anything quick in the least get destroyed by people like us.



The ES300 is one of the finest daily drivers that you can buy for $3-8k. Old school Toyota reliability, plenty of space, cheap parts, a ridiculously comfortable highway cruiser, safe and a decent interior. AND they dont look half bad for cars that are nearing 20 years old. In the same price range we all fawn over the Jeep 4.0. Its not a bad choice if you need to be able to tackle trails or two a small trailer. Most of us dont need that capacity. For 99% of the driving all of us do, the ES300 is by far a much more comfortable ride, every bit as reliable (if not more) and in almost every case has lead a pampered life compared to the average Jeep.



 

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Youre going to get a lot of beige camry and "lol wut?!" out of this thread, but I agree with you.

I had a 99. It was my first "big" car purchase. Got it for $13k a few years back. I'm in outside sales, so I wanted the "status" without the price tag and knew I could get away with it in the ES since Camry parts are pretty much interchangeable. I got it to 180k before someone rear ended me.

The seats were comfortable, the auto shifted smoother than any other auto I have driven, it was extremely reliable and it ate highway miles.

I put a set of Tein springs intended for a Solara on it, some Tokicos and a set of Kumhos. That gave it the capability to put a smile on my face and leave others scratching their heads through twisties. I miss it. Good post.
 

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The only issue is sludge.

I'd like to nominate a new perfect daily driver: the 03+ Accord EX V6. I just picked one up yesterday for 9800 with 70k on the clock. This is another car geared to go 150, 200, 300k miles without breaking a sweat. It has a 240 hp V6 that really, really moves (luxury GT) and I got 31.3 mpg yesterday from Chicago to Lexington at 80 mph with the AC and cruise on. I was even parked for 45 minutes on the interstate due to a wreck. It runs on regular. Its not sprung as soft as the ES300 but obviously not sporting intentions.

My father in law has a ES300 that has 205k on it and there are some issues showing up..but they're wear and tear items...at 200k.

For DD ability, you can't go wrong with the Jap twins.
 

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The ES and the RX have got to be the most common Lexus vehicles on the road. Usually around here, the ES is driven by middle age people in the poorer section of town who thinks the car is some sort of status symbol(thankfully they keep it stock)and the RX is driven by soccer moms or dads with one too many kids. :D

It is a nice Camry, but a bland Lexus. LOL
 

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The only issue is sludge.

I'd like to nominate a new perfect daily driver: the 03+ Accord EX V6. I just picked one up yesterday for 9800 with 70k on the clock. This is another car geared to go 150, 200, 300k miles without breaking a sweat. It has a 240 hp V6 that really, really moves (luxury GT) and I got 31.3 mpg yesterday from Chicago to Lexington at 80 mph with the AC and cruise on. I was even parked for 45 minutes on the interstate due to a wreck. It runs on regular. Its not sprung as soft as the ES300 but obviously not sporting intentions.

My father in law has a ES300 that has 205k on it and there are some issues showing up..but they're wear and tear items...at 200k.

For DD ability, you can't go wrong with the Jap twins.
Aw so you said no to the LGT? Is the Accord a manual?
 

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I can appreciate the argument for the Lexus ES300 being the perfect dd. My now 91 great grandmother bought one new in 2001- today it has 49xxx on the odo... She still drives, excellent driver I might add, to the grocery store, the nail place and hair salon once a week and thats it. The car still smells new inside, the paint shines like it just came off the lot, and drives smooth as butter. Regular dealer service, waxed 2x a year, washed frequently and babied like no other car...

It will make some one an awesome car when the time comes to no longer drive.
 

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My 92 ES manual is a rare 5 speed.:)



Has near 250k miles today....still runs....the leather is worn in the rear (sun) and sometimes the gauges flicker (known early problem). I added cross drilled brakes (lol) and a couple other things.

My first Lexus over a decade ago...handled fine for me, had space, huge trunk, looked great, very reliable, great dealer service, fantastic stock sound system....sold me on the brand..
 

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My girlfriend of 5 years has driven this since we started dating (the 1st time :laugh: )

Never given her any serious problems at all, the car is somewhere in the mid 100ks (130-150k easily), and still drives like a champ. I would buy it off of her when she makes the jump at a new(er) car but my daily is quite a daily now so no need for 2 dailys :p

Otherwise, great value, comfortable ride, easy to maintain, and very low key. :beer:
 

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good thread, couldn't agree more.

A very comfortable, luxurious car with all the reliability of the Camry it shares its platform with. Well-maintained ones with 100K still have lots of life in them, a truly great value. This is also probably part of why they are snapped up and beaten into the ground by ghetto people.
 

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My dad had a 94 which he took to 300k before he sold it. It was running fine at that point. Considering that half of TCL jerks off to the idea for a mid 90s Buick as a DD you would think this would be right up their alley. :p
 

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Boring for you, but personally, I prefer the smooth ride and the quiet relaxing atmosphere that Lexus offers. :)
And many others agree with you, and many others agree with me. Hence why there's a variety of cars to go around. I was merely expressing my personal feeling on these cars, and perhaps after a certain age, they would appeal to me. But I disagree with the title, calling it the "perfect" daily driver. What's perfect about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Perfect is in the eye of the beholder. To me, a perfect DD is cheap to own, comfortable and reliable. If you have another "fun" car like an E30 or Miata then your DD does not necessarily need to be a RWD 400 raw machine with a 6 speed and a heavy clutch.
 
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