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Why did you choose the Es-350 (Just curious)

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Old 03-23-14, 07:15 PM   #16
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Yeah, it's no secret that the ES is favored by a mature crowd. It's always been that way. The average age of the buyers of new ESs has always been up around 60 + or -. Pre-owned or second and third buyers tend to be younger.
Okay. I promote the car when appropriate.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:21 PM   #17
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A lot of good reasons most have bought the ES350 vs the IS, GS, or LS versions. As mentioned, I really believe that the ES350 is probably the best bang for the buck. Some things I noticed when search lexus used prices

Average 2011 LS460 prices are still in the Mid-$40's.
Average 2011 ES350 prices are in the Mid-$20's
Average 2011 GS350 prices are in the Mid-$30's
Average 2011 IS350 prices are in the Mid-$20's (Almost identical to the ES350)

And when you compare to the new prices, it's pretty interesting. The IS and ES series are about the same price. New and Used. In my opinion you get a lot more car in the ES350 compared to the IS350/250. Unless you want a smaller car or you really have to have a RWD or AWD, you get a lot more for your money with the ES350 vs the IS.

The GS definitely has it's following. A little more power. A lot more price. Sportier vehicle overall.

The LS is self explanatory. A lot more money. A little bit larger. Bigger in all other areas like the V8 engine. Just a more luxurious vehicle. But the price tag is considerably more.

I think Jagtoes said it right when he mentioned the "Goldilocks" story. For me, and obviously quite a few others, the ES350 is the perfect balance in size, comfort, luxury, performance, and price.

Personally, I think that if the ES350 was a RWD or AWD like all the others, it wouldn't survive. Or it might survive and the IS-series would disappear. I think Lexus was brilliant in creating 4 unique series of vehicles that each offered something the others didn't. The ES350 biggest thing going for it is it's FWD. I know a lot of people don't like that, But many people like the FWD in rain and snow. AWD loses it's comfort. Obviously, RWD is the preferred, IF I lived in Texas, Florida, etc... and never had to deal with snow and ice. AWD is too extreme. Great for SUV/X-over but you give up comfort in the ride. GS is tighter in driving, but also tighter in room and comfort; in my opinion.

Yea..... Goldilocks got it right. THE ES-350 is the best "All Around" Lexus sedan. But depending on where you live and drive, you might not need the best "All Around". I'd definitely look more towards the LS series RWD if I lived in Texas and Florida.
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Old 03-23-14, 07:38 PM   #18
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Good thread, christcorp.
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Old 03-23-14, 08:24 PM   #19
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And when you compare to the new prices, it's pretty interesting. The IS and ES series are about the same price. New and Used. In my opinion you get a lot more car in the ES350 compared to the IS350/250. Unless you want a smaller car or you really have to have a RWD or AWD, you get a lot more for your money with the ES350 vs the IS.
They're just entirely different cars built for entirely different buyers. The IS is MUCH more fun to drive, its a nimble sport sedan while the ES doesn't have a sporting bone in its body...as a front heavy FWD sedan it is the anti-sport sedan. If you like a sport sedan, something like a 3 Series, etc...you likely would feel the exact opposite about the IS vs ES.

People who would be interested in the IS wouldn't be interested in the ES. There wouldn't be a RWD ES though I agree, you'd have a melding of the ES and GS. The IS would remain because its much smaller, but you'd have no need for the ES and GS, you'd make it into something sidewise in between...a'la BMW 5 series...etc.

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Personally, I think that if the ES350 was a RWD or AWD like all the others, it wouldn't survive. Or it might survive and the IS-series would disappear. I think Lexus was brilliant in creating 4 unique series of vehicles that each offered something the others didn't. The ES350 biggest thing going for it is it's FWD. I know a lot of people don't like that, But many people like the FWD in rain and snow.
I don't think the ES being FWD really contributes to its popularity. It contributes to its affordability, as they are able to use the Camry platform and power train as opposed to the more expensive GS/IS platform, but I think it would do fine if it were RWD, or certainly AWD. BMW and MB do fine with no FWD offerings (sell more than Lexus).

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AWD loses it's comfort. Obviously, RWD is the preferred, IF I lived in Texas, Florida, etc... and never had to deal with snow and ice. AWD is too extreme. Great for SUV/X-over but you give up comfort in the ride.
An AWD sedan rides just like a RWD sedan. The reason SUVs and trucks ride less comfortably is not because they are AWD, its because they are trucks...higher profile, more biased for off road ability, etc. An AWD sedan has the same suspension as a RWD sedan, it simply has a differential and can apply power to the front or rear wheels. If by your logic a FWD car rides well...and a RWD car rides well...why would a car that is both FWD and RWD not ride well? See the flaw in the logic?

I've driven both RWD and AWD GSs and LSs as well as all other manner of luxury cars, RWD vs AWD Mercedes, BMW, Jaguars, etc etc, and they ride exactly the same regardless of if they are RWD or AWD. The only difference is the RWD cars are a little lighter in steering feel, and they're a little more fun to drive because you can steer them with the throttle. Driving down the road though, you would never know if one was AWD or RWD.

I think ultimately we will see an AWD option for the ES, and I think thats great. That removes one big drawback about the car that luxury car purists have...that no "real luxury car" is FWD. AWD is HUGE in the luxury car world right now, part of having "luxury" is the ability to get where you need to go right?

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GS is tighter in driving, but also tighter in room and comfort; in my opinion.
Tighter in room for sure, especially in the rear. BUT...I actually think my GS rides better on the road than my ES350 did. Its firmer sprung, which you feel at low speeds, speed bumps, etc...but at speed whether its around town or on the highway it has a refined planted ride that the ES doesn't have. The ES rides more like a traditional softly sprung Lincoln or Buick...while the GS reminds me more of the LS in that its more refined in everything it does. Obviously the LS is softer...

I was nervous going to the GS from the ES because I'm not a "sporty car" person, but I'm very pleased. At 80+ MPH the ES starts to feel a little disjointed, the GS and LS feel like they're going 50MPH at those speeds. The ES is softer over speed bumps, driveway aprons, compared to the GS. The LS is smother than both by a wide, wide margin. But, like you said the LS is very expensive, but it is by far the ultimate Lexus. It IS Lexus, take it from someone who has had all 3.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:09 PM   #20
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SW13GS. I agree with a lot of what you say. And I definitely understand the difference in comfort with a truck type chassis and suspension. But even the Rav4 (more considered a crossover) is built similar to the ES350 with the camry type chassis.

But I've driven quite a few AWD sedans and I've definitely noticed the difference. The suburu Impreza and Legacy are some of the most popular. Suburu has been doing AWD for quite a while. I'm not a big fan of them. I've also driven a Volvo S60 with AWD and owned an 2011 Infinity G37 with AWD, On a few business trips I've even driven some of the lower end AWD sedans like the Ford Fusion.

I have nothing against AWD. I simply believe that there is a difference in ride and comfort. My preference, weather/environment permitting, is a RWD. If weather isn't dry/nice 300+ days a year, then I prefer a FWD. If I could only afford 1 vehicle, and living in the environment I live in, I probably would go with a 4X4 or at the least an AWD. But because I can own numerous vehicles, I'll take the FWD. For me, it's a better drive and comfort over the AWD.

I admit that AWD has come a long way. At one time, AWD was basically 4X4 without the capability of doing 4X4LOW. Some were basically FWD and would engage the rear differential when the need arose. They've evolved to where many can fluctuate between an 80-20 and 60-40 of transfer power depending on the road conditions. But me personally, I can still feel the difference. I'll keep the AWD for my RAV4, the 4X4 for my F250, the RWD for my Mustang, and the FWD for my ES350 and pretty much everything else.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:27 PM   #21
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But me personally, I can still feel the difference..
That difference really is just in your perception, to you AWD belongs in an SUV...thats a bias. The powertrain doesn't have anything to do with how the car rides. Thats like saying a RWD car rides better than a FWD car...theres just no reason for that to be. The way a car rides is in how refined it is, the way the suspension is designed and set up, and how well the body and chassis is dampened. Which wheels are propelling it forward really has nothing to do with any of that.

Now, AWD introduces another mechanical system into the drivetrain of the car and that has the potential to create vibration or harshness in the powertrain, and on something like a Subaru, Fusion, or even an Infiniti it would not surprise me if it does so...but when you get to the level of Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi...that just doesn't occur.

I can tell you from the assurance of experience from owning one AWD Lexus, two RWD Lexus and two FWD Lexus, and from driving many other AWD vs RWD vs FWD Lexus vehicles...that in a Lexus at least...AWD and RWD and FWD ride the same when comparing them in the same vehicle. I've even driven FWD RX's and compared them to AWD RXs...they ride the same. You would never know one was AWD and one was FWD.

Quote:
But even the Rav4 (more considered a crossover) is built similar to the ES350 with the camry type chassis.
I understand this, but the reason why the ES rides better than a Rav 4 is not because the ES is FWD. By that logic, a FWD Rav 4 should ride just like an ES, no?
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Old 03-23-14, 10:06 PM   #22
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You must be right. I don't know anything about cars. All the engines and transmissions I've worked on over the last 35 years, I've just been faking it.

Not trying to be dik. But I do know the difference between AWD, RWD, and FWD and I can definitely tell the difference when I'm driving it. Including the comfort level. I like RWD the best. It's the closest to perfect weight distribution you can have with a vehicle. Pretty much 50/50. Engine in the front. Tranny in the center, along with passengers, transaxle and main drive in the back. Weight distribution is fantastic. Of course you have to know how to drive it. But they can also be the most fun to drive.

FWD has pretty much all of it's weight in the front. That's why you'll pretty much never see a FWD pickup. With a totally weightless empty rear end, it would be almost impossible to hold the vehicle on the road. But I really can tell the difference in ride between a FWD and AWD car. Not saying you can. For you, maybe it truly is just perception. But don't assume it's that way for everyone.
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Old 03-23-14, 10:31 PM   #23
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I'm not trying to be a "dik" either, but the forum is a source of information for everyone, so it's important that accurate information be put out there. If you're saying an AWD GS or LS doesn't ride as well as a RWD GS or LS, that's just not accurate. I've driven and owned the cars. Have you?

The differences are apparent when handling with a car at the limit, but most people dont really drive a car at those limits. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in normal driving even between FWD and RWD, and certainly not between RWD and AWD in the same model car. Accelerate through a corner and maybe, But even then that's handling ability, not ride comfort.

In order to make the statement that a FWD car rides better than an AWD car you need to drive the same car in both FWD and AWD. The ES is a great riding car, but that's not because it's FWD.
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Old 03-24-14, 05:36 AM   #24
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As much as I liked my 2 ES350's I feel when this car, especially with the new gen due to price increases, material quality etc., when the price starts getting up around $50k there are other/better options to start looking at.
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Old 03-24-14, 07:38 AM   #25
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Prior to retiring back in 2007 I had an X-Type Jaguar AWD as my work commuter (60 Mile round trip). I needed a AWD car for the winter commute and it worked out well. Before I bought my 1st ES350 in 2008 I took a test drive in a Jaguar XF (RWD) and although it was a great car it was more of a firm ride and cost was an issue. We looked at and drove the ES and for what we were looking for it was great on ride and cost. I did and still don't like the torque steer on rapid acceleration as well as the poor traction in snow. Considering I didn't need to now travel in snow and I could adjust to the torque steer it suited our travel needs. This was my first FWD car but when you are on the interstate roads at 70 MPH the FWD doesn't present a problem to me. For winter I use my 4 wheel drive pick up truck and for my fun car I use a RWD car with a 5 speed . Each one has it's own purpose and idiosyncrasies. It is quite easy for me to know what drive a car/truck is by simply driving it but if I were to list my preference I like RWD . It's all a matter of personal choice.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:00 AM   #26
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I've preferred near luxury cars for the last few decades Mazda 929 and later the Mazda Millenia and was looking for the next one. I usually buy them a few years old and keep them 10-12 years. In the great white north, fwd is the norm. Spent a year looking at various used options but Lexus was never really on the radar until one snowy Jan I spotted an ad for a CPO which was the right color (ruby red). It was my first and only Lexus test drive. It drove like my previous Millenia and had all the bells and whistles less nav. Plenty of power, comfort and quiet!! I have a smile on my face every time I drive it.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:16 AM   #27
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For me, in order of importance:
1) Size - we had to upsize our IS to accomodate our growing family
2) Reliability - ES has been the winner for many years
3) Price - CPO was the same as fully loaded V6 Camry
4) Options/color - black in black premium
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Old 03-24-14, 04:27 PM   #28
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Excellent replies. Keep em coming. We all agree this is totally personal preference. And I wasn't trying to imply the comfort of the drive was better or worse comparing fwd to awd or rwd. Simply that the drive is different. As others have said, I too prefer rwd. But its not the most practical. Especially where I live. Not foe a daily car. But I prefer the fwd over the awd. I do notice the feel of the drive. Not the suspension, but the comfort of the way the car drives and handles. But to each their own. That'sthe main reason iI took the es350 over the IS or GS. Rwd is not an option and awd is not my preference in handling. (Part of my criteria for comfort). Then again, I spent a large part of my life living in Europe where fwd was norm on most cars I owned.
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Old 03-24-14, 07:34 PM   #29
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because the insurance price was right the reliability ratings
and the price for all the features and options and miles on it at the time
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Old 03-25-14, 03:09 PM   #30
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Inherited the car recently from my 86 year-old father-in-law with just under 18k on it...so had no choice in the matter,LOL...but love the very smooth ride!
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Old 03-25-14, 03:09 PM
 
 
 
 
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