1998 Lexus ES 300 3.0L V6 from North America


Wonderful luxury sedan


Only problem I've had: SRS Light started flashing at me - fixed for free at dealership.

General Comments:

The interior is the star of this car. Power/Heated/Memory leather seats are extremely comfortable. Tons of leg room in the front - very ample in the rear. Even with 141k miles, there's not so much as a worn spot in any of the seats.

It's not the quickest car on the road, but it has plenty of power when necessary. As a luxury sedan, you can't expect a ton in that department.

It doesn't get the greatest gas mileage - 20 mpg in the winter and 25 in the summer - mix of city and highway.

It runs through the snow like it's on chains, which is very important for a Minnesota car.

VERY good sound system. 6 speakers and a stock sub-woofer really make this car pound if you want it to.

It's got a huge trunk - I've fit 4 golf bags in it. The first aid kit that comes with every Lexus is a nice touch too.

Overall, I'm very happy with my ES300. It's the first car that I've bought and it definitely won't be my last Lexus. In fact, after the incredible service I got at the dealership when I brought it in for the SRS light (free food/drink, great people, etc) and the incredible quality of the car, I really can't find a reason to go with another make.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2008

1998 Lexus ES 300 3.0 from North America


Does it all well and... reliably


Amazingly (at 145,000 miles), nothing! This car is astonishingly reliable.

General Comments:

I've been so jaded by this car's reliability and general aptitude for doing everything well that considering anything else as a replacement seems unreasonable.

If I were to find fault with anything (in the spirit of an equitable assessment) it would be the high maintenance costs. Doubling any figure you are used to isn't a bad estimate, but even this is a bit optimistic. Since you can't get parts through a Toyota dealer and there are no Lexus dealers where I live, there is the added burden of having to drive to a dealership if you want in-house service. Other than that, my other comment (not a complaint) is that this car is really not performance oriented (as, say a BMW 3 series might be). And it has no such pretensions. I think a lot of people suffer from the illusion that the ES300 is sport sedan and, well, it is not. Having said that, I think it does a fine job of fulfilling many niches admirably.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2007

1998 Lexus ES 300 3.0 VVT from North America


Love every single drive!


- Driver's Seat Heater not working - Pass. side OK

- Driver's Door Lock Actuator not working - replaced myself ($100 part)

- Audio LCD screen bad - replaced myself ($160 part)

General Comments:

Had this car for about half a year now and 20,000 kms. The problems mentioned above were already there when I bought it (155k kms), and nothing new came up during my ownership, at least so far.

Overall, really impressed with the car. Has enough power to get it going. Handling is precise, but not really tight (nothing like a BMW). Acceleration is not lighting fast, but if you forget to let go off the pedal, you'll get to 200km/h pretty fast. Suspension is soft & comfy. Engine is QUIET, virtually unnoticeable at idle. Wind noise is lower compared to 98 Accord - highway driving is very pleasant in this car. Outside, it's not an eye-turner, but I really couldn't care less.

Very comfortable interior (minus the cupholders - they extend from the central armrest, and only hold cups and small cans; a bottle of water would fall out during turns..). Headroom is a little limiting for those of us who are tall (I'm 6ft2 and often "feel" the roof with my hair. Overall build quality and use of materials is excellent - no cheap plastic! Memory seats is a nice feature in this class. Trunk size is OK, but you can't fold the rear seats, unfortunately.

Audio system is good for most music styles, but stock (Pioneer) subwoofer can't provide much bass - it starts to rattle the car at certain frequencies. I also like the ability to control both BASS, MID and TREBLE freq. ranges. Another thing with the audio, if I get really picky, is that it might be not loud enough - Full Volume is perfectly survivable. Also lacks steering wheel audio controls - that'd be an excellent bonus!

Gas consumption I get is 10L HWY (23mpg) and 13L CITY (18mpg) but I tend to drive faster and accelerate positively.

As a final word - if you want a good, reasonably prices, reliable and well-rounded entry-luxury car, you can't lose choosing an ES300!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2006

7th Jul 2009, 22:51

How did you fix the LCD on your radio?

27th Nov 2009, 20:10

I test driven one 98 ES300 (with 70,000 miles) today and love it. Most likely will go back to the car dealer to buy it tomorrow.

Only problem with the car is the Audio LCD screen does not display. So, I am interested in learning how did you fix yours.

Also, should I consider requesting replacement of 'timing belt' at this mileage? Thank you.