Mini limo for persons under 6 foot (mine did not have a sunroof!)
The car had a front impact from the previous owner; slightly rippled quarter panel, small scratches on the front bumper, bonnet and impact bar. Tacked up almost $3,000 in quotes from numerous body shops, so buy your own panels if you are accident prone.
Previous owner also drove without the engine oil cap on, and thus oil spilled onto everything under the bonnet. Despite this, the cylinder head was not warped, and there were never any oil leaks after a good flush of oil residue in all the bays.
Driver's seat leather was ratty, punctured and beyond repair (a common problem with this model). Every other seat was amazing, after a good Meguiar's leather conditioner treatment to soften up any dry patches.
Transmission O/D light began to flash intermittently. 9/10 times this is a solenoid issue, but this was not part of the 9 - check vehicle history for auto services. I have the suspicion my ES300 never had one.
Small coolant leak near the radiator, most likely due to the front impact, and couldn't locate or fix, but didn't use copious amounts of coolant, so no huge drama.
Mechanics punctured a radiator hose during a routine service, and was able to make a return trip to Dee Why from the central coast, unknowingly empty of coolant, and it only overheated upon returning home. Very strong header on this car.
A great car for anyone shorter than 6 foot, but taller persons will struggle. Try to find one with good body work, engine mounts and transmission.
Stock tyres are 205/65 r15, but visit a wrecker and pick up a 16-18" rims/tyre set, and change the suspension to a much stiffer setting, to counter the atrocious wet weather handling.
An oil spill into the alternator was quoted at $300 to repair - went to wreckers and picked up a reconditioned Camry alternator for $80, as most Toyota parts are compatible with this model.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th June, 2012