2004 Lexus ES 300 3.0 V6
Whisper quiet and reliable motoring
Leak from the aircon condenser.
Started with a strange oily smell when you get in the car, this was later traced to a small leak in the aircon condenser in the bowels of the dashboard. An original Denso part was installed for around SGD$500 (non dealer).
Relay or control for climate control.
Ticking noises could be heard occasionally from under the dash just to the left of the steering wheel. This sound has been with us since we got the car a year ago. Problem was traced to an A/C vent control thingy, and replaced for about SGD$150 or so (non dealer).
CV joints worn (not fixed yet).
CV joints have been worn for about a year now. Clucking sound occurs on heavy acceleration while the steering is turned. When driving sedately there is no sound. My feeling is that the CV joints are about to die, and am just waiting for the noise to get worse.
Engine mounts worn (not fixed yet).
Engine mounts have also been worn since we acquired the car. Still no vibration coming into the cabin, but you can feel a little freeplay from the engine when you accelerate. Again, nothing bothering the Lexus experience yet.
This Lexus seems to have a strange gearbox. It occasionally hunts and sometimes takes a second longer to engage sometimes, causing a rough jerk. It's improved since we got the car. Perhaps the computer has now learned our shift patterns better.
The Lexus is an excellent luxury barge. It's great for a silent comfortable cruise.
POWER: The 3.0 V6 is very willing and provides some fun to the spirited driver. Though it can be thirsty when pushed.
SAFETY: In terms of active safety, the traction control works as promised. I'm actually surprised the car handles so well in the wet with Traction Control Assistance as the tyres on it are dying (Bridgestone Turanza).
COMFORT: It offers a huge silent cabin and huge boot space; it's really amazing how big this car is. What is a let down is that the seats in front are not that generous. It has taken a lot of adjustment to get it just right, and it still does not feel perfect. I seem to be happier sitting in the seat of my W124 Mercedes. The car rides like a large American car. Lofty, a little clumsy and pokey in the power dept.
VALUE: Based on its depreciation per year (at the time of my purchase as a used car), the car offers very good value for money. Much cheaper than the GS300 series cars.
RUNNING COSTS: The car has not cost us very much money to run. There have been some small issues listed above, but it's 5 years old now and I would expect to pay a little to keep the car in tip top shape.
WISHLIST: I wish my model had memory seats, audio controls on the steering and RWD.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th April, 2010