1991 Lexus ES 250 from North America
Overall outstanding car!
Shocks went bad due to lower control arm and tie rod bushings wearing out at 250,000.
Power steering hose failed at 270k, very expensive repair, over $500. Oil pan gasket leak, rear seal leak and general engine leaks at 225k.
Have had to replace the starter three times, and the battery twice.
Had to resurface all four brake rotors at 240k, due to the car wobbling when the brakes were applied.
The check engine light comes on periodically, but most likely due to the engine overheating. Goes out when engine cools, however. Also could be an emissions control issue. Fan motor stays on all the time, probably due to a short in the main wiring harness.
Other comments mentioned the trunk cover not seating right, due to a hinge malfunction on right side, which is a problem with ours.
The brake pedal pad has come unglued at 280k.
Speakers have very poor bass output, with the radio and the cassette player becoming very noisy at around 240k.
Other than the standard maintenance, a very reliable car.
The transmission still shifts smoothly at 296k. No other car we have owned has been so reliable. Our two 1989 New Yorkers had the transmissions fail at 76k and 96k.
The engine runs remarkably smooth, even at high miles. A Lexus quality. Remember the ad where they stacked glasses on a hood and revved the motor in 1991 or so?
This car has great acceleration, and runs fine on regular gas, even though premium does give more pep, and the owners manual calls for premium. No pinging on regular going up hills.
Everything seems to work, including the radio, heater and all dash controls, including the cruise control, window switches and motors, turn signals and power mirrors.
The cloth seats are very comfortable, but long trips can cause back strain. No power tilt feature, though, with a manual wheel to do this.
Is somewhat noisy at freeway speeds. The ES-300 was much quieter starting with that newer model in 1992.
The sunroof is very reliable, and no issues at 296k.
No tilt steering feature, which is surprising for a semi-luxury car, so getting in and out can be a little awkward, due to the steering wheel being close to the driver's seat. The interior ceiling light dims gradually after the door is closed, and is a great feature at night. The alarm and airbag still work at 296k miles.
Great car, overall. Not so good fuel mileage at 19 mpg city, and 24 highway, and now is around 16 mpg due to the high miles on the engine. The fuel needle gets stuck at one point, and then suddenly drops. This was a recall issue for 1991. Probably the float in the fuel tank.
Would definitely purchase another Lexus, since other makes do not hold up so well over 200k.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st October, 2010