1997 Lexus ES 300 3.0 from North America


Best used car you can buy


Normal maintenance.

Struts and rotors at 121K.

Known Lexus problem of the LCD on the radio going out. Bought the car with this already and I'm not sure when it went out.

General Comments:

One of the smoothest engines and transmissions out there for a used car. The gears shift seamlessly. This is a 13 year old car running like new. One of the best used car deals out there. Highly recommended!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2010

21st May 2010, 20:45

Classy looking motor. Still look good today.

10th Feb 2014, 18:41

I have a 1997 ES 300 with 156,000 miles, and yes, it is the smoothest transmission for a car of this age... fast approaching 17 years!! Will not buy anything but Lexus from now on.

19th Sep 2014, 09:42

Fading LCD is a very common problem and an easy fix that you can do on your own. Search on how to replace the radio LCD for this model and you will find the full details easily. I was able to buy the part and replace it on my own without any issue (though I am not a very technical guy), and it was an easy fix for me.

Mine is 97 Lexus ES300 with 330K (KM) on it, still running smooth without any issues on all original parts except for basic maintenance.

1997 Lexus ES 300 LXS 3.0 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Great design and workmanship is well worth paying in the long run


New CV joints at 170,000 kms.

New struts and front strut mounts at 193,000km.

Various minor body creaks and groans just emerging now.

General Comments:

Ultra reliable and almost fault-free, even at 200,000 kms.

All the electrical and comfort appointments still work perfectly.

Excellent mid-range torque output.

Silky smooth 4 speed transmission. Shifts beautifully.

Leather trim, if properly cared for, remains very neat and serviceable.

A pleasure to get into and drive absolutely every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2009

1997 Lexus ES 300 3 litre petrol V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Beautiful car to drive, and extremely comfortable


There have been no serious (urgent) issues with the ES300, the brake pads had to be replaced around 500kms ago. All just standard procedure.

One CV joint was also replaced around 1000 ks ago, it was leaking.

General Comments:

As far as handling this car is quite heavy, but the 3L Quad Cam V6 does pack a punch. I was never disappointed with the car's performance.

Comfort wise this car is a winner, and combined with Toyota's technical experience it can't be beaten for reliability.

This car is also a good looker when kept in good condition.

The service offered by the local Lexus dealership is extremely efficient, they are polite and let you drive a new car while your car is being serviced. They also offer extra customer satisfaction options for free, for example they once chauffeured me to the international airport while my car was in service - and dropped it at the airport all expenses paid so I could drive away with it when I arrived back home.

You really can't get a better car for the price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2008

1997 Lexus ES 300 from North America


Great car damn near bulletproof


Brake light sensor. Fog lights went out. Rear tail light bulb.

General Comments:

My 97 Lexus es300 is absolutely the best car I've ever owned. 253,000 miles and still going strong. It doesn't smoke and still runs very smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2008

1997 Lexus ES 300 3L V6 from North America


I am disgusted by Lexus reliability


Withing 1 month of ownership I had to replace 4 exterior light bulbs.

Rear sway arm bushings had to be replaced because of funky annoying noises.

Now it is time to replace the front bushings too, because of a nasty bumpy noise.

Steering wheel start produce chirping noise when moved left or right.

I had to replace the Y pipe on the exhaust because of the leak.

The worse thing is that now I have to replace the cam seals because they have started to leak. (1400) dollars.

There is a common problem with idle air control valve, which will shut the engine down at stop lights unless you clean it.

Wind noise above 60 mile per hour.

The gas mileage is just average.

General Comments:

Previously I owned three American cars and none of them "EVER" gave me this much trouble. I have spent more money on this vehicle than all my three previous cars combined. This is the worst car I have ever owned. And believe me all the problems I have described above are not some rare problems, but they are extremely common in all ES vehicles (97-2001). So please don't think I am coming from the moon with a bad mouth about Lexus.

If you have money to fix cars, by all means buy ES300. The best thing about the car is the acceleration, it drives beautifully and handles extremely well. I love the way it drives and looks, but I hate to funnel money to fix it too often.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2007

21st Mar 2007, 08:38

Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I think it depends how well the prior owner--if applicable--took care of the car. I have had the opposite experience. I purchased a 1999 SC300 several days ago (92,000 miles on it), and had it inspected by both the Lexus dealership and my local mechanic. Both said the car is in superb condition, with no leaks anywhere, everything still is original, and the original screws have never been touched, indicating nothing has been done to the car. The timing belt was changed as part of routine maintenance at 74,000.

It's a silken drive, no doubt, with good acceleration, and handles quite well. I've been impressed with it to this point, and have no fear--because of the endorsements received by trained professionals--driving it on extended trips. Now, I have only put on about 700 miles since I purchased it (it was 250 miles away), but I cannot foresee anything going wrong with it by the time it reaches 1000 miles.

Wish I could offer you something to make your frustration disappear. Hope you're done with the pocket-drain!