2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0 liter V6 from North America


Comfortable and luxurious sedan for those who desire a relaxing driving experience


Bought used in 2010 for $10,000. Was hesitant to buy an 8-year-old car with almost 100k miles for so much, since for that money I could get a 3-5 year old non-luxury sedan (Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, etc) with only 30-50k miles. In the end I was seduced by the luxury experience of the ES, and had it inspected by the Lexus dealer just to be extra sure it was in good shape. Since I had the service records and knew it was a one-owner car, it seemed like a pretty solid choice.

Have only had it for 3,000 miles so far, so I can't say long-term, but no repairs required yet - all I've done is taken it to the shop for its 90,000 mile routine servicing (service records from Lexus database showed that it hadn't been done yet), which included timing belt, water pump, etc.

However, the front brakes squeal when warm, not sure why since it clearly had a brake job less than 1,000 miles before I bought it (brand new parts). Not bothersome enough to have it fixed, and it's only audible with the windows open anyway. Brakes themselves work fine, so it's perfectly OK to drive.

Only other main thing is that the transmission shifts somewhat awkwardly and there is a pronounced hesitation at low speeds. After doing some research it turns out all 2002 ESs do this, and since Lexus never issued a recall I guess I'll just have to put up with it. Not a big enough deal to ruin the driving experience.

Minor issues:

- One of the front cup holders is broken.

- Rear parcel shelf has a tick/rattle on cold mornings until the car warms up.

- A-pillar trim is slightly loose and leaks a couple drops of water in heavy car washes (fine the rain)

- Seat memory doesn't work.

All of these issues are due to it being a used car, but for having 100,000 miles I'd say that's a pretty short list. Other than that everything else works, functions, and looks fine.

General Comments:

The ES is a very serene and tranquil car to drive and ride in. I've owned and driven a lot of cars - including entry-level luxury cars - and very few of them can match the ride quality and noise insulation of this one. The ride is very stable; the suspension absorbs and cushions bumps extremely well without being floaty.

Handling in general is fine for everyday driving, but this isn't a sports car or even a somewhat "sporty" car, but it wasn't meant to be in the first place. It's not an exciting car to drive - just a comfortable and relaxing one.

Accelerations is pretty good, more importantly to me, the power delivery is silky smooth and the engine is almost completely silent. A little more HP wouldn't hurt, though, especially considering the class of car this is.

The interior is absolutely beautiful. It feels like a true luxury car rather than just an entry level luxury car. It seems like every inch of the interior is covered in either leather or (real) wood. The wood/leather steering wheel and deeply padded door pulls are great.

The sound system is AMAZING. I've have never, ever driven a car with such good quality sound. You can turn the stereo up really loud and the tones still come through sharp and crystal clear.

Interior room isn't bad, but the backseat is a little low and headroom could be tight for taller people. Front seats are comfortable but don't offer too much support in turns, a bit slippery due to the leather and flatter shape. Trunk is pretty large and useful. For a car this large (191 inches long), I would expect more interior room overall, but it should be fine for most people. Still, my old Avalon was the same size on the outside, but had far more interior space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2010

2002 Lexus ES 300 Navigation Package 3.0 VVTI from North America


Passionate Pursuit of Perfection: Accomplished


Nothing at all! This should not be a surprise.

Oh, a wheel weight did fall off, but the Lexus dealer quickly loaned me a car while they balanced all of my tires for free, and it was freshly washed when they returned it to me.

I don't really consider a wheel weight as a problem with the car, only a small inconvenience; made even smaller by the helpfulness of the dealer.

General Comments:

This is truly the best car in the size range. I have driven many luxury cars, from many "prominent" brands. However, there is no comparison for the ES. The quality is unattainable for all other brands. Before trading in my previous ES with 130,000 miles on it, I extensively researched what my other car options were. I test drove every competitor, and ended up back at the Lexus dealer saying "why did I waste my time looking anywhere, but here?"

Something I'll never forget was my experience driving at Infiniti where I tested the G35. While driving the G35, the salesperson asked me what I currently drive. When I said a Lexus, he said "Well, that is a first... we never get Lexus owners coming to Infiniti... it is usually the other way around" He continued on to say that they even lost employees to the Lexus dealership down the street.

Needless to say, I came to my senses and went directly to the Lexus dealer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2005

15th Oct 2005, 23:00

"Well, that is a first... we never get Lexus owners coming to Infiniti... it is usually the other way around"

That's surprising... seeing how when the G35 came out years ago, there was nothing in the Toyoxus lineup that came close to it. But hey, I'd rather take the overpriced FWD Camry rebadge over a RWD sport sedan, right?

2002 Lexus ES 300 from North America


Pricey, but solid


So far nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

This car truly handles beautifully. Unlike a Century Buick, it has great pick-up and a solid feel at the wheel. The inside has ample room in the front yet if you plan on carrying passangers often, the rear seats might be a bit tight. I like the sun roof for added light and air. The sound system is great even with the premium package. Also, looking back to go in reverse is somewhat difficult due to the low rear window and the head rests. The heated seats warm you up fast.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2002