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Does the Lexus ES compensate for being less Luxurious than Flagship LS with Styling?

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Does the Lexus ES compensate for being less Luxurious than Flagship LS with Styling?

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Old 04-17-17, 09:56 AM
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Gen3Camry
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Default Does the Lexus ES compensate for being less Luxurious than Flagship LS with Styling?

Hey Guys,
So as can be easily inferred from my username, I own 2 Gen 3 camries and an Impreza 2.2 GM coupe L trim. I picked up a pearl white XLE with a 5sFE last summer and did a swap because it had quite a rare midnight blue leather upholstry with a very uncommon double textured door trimp with a gathered leather part within ungathered leather.

But one thing REALLY Suprised me. My best friend works out of a Spa Warehouse next to a Subaru tuning place. And he told me some guys had stored a ton of random cars behind their warehouse. One in particular was a Gen 1 SXV10 ES300 in black. I didn't hesitate to pull my nerdy "Compartive parking" habit of lining up and comparing my Camry to it.

This is where I hit a bit of a suprise. I expected to see an interior that was at the very least on par to my Camry. Dare I say it didn't come across as nicer? The dashboard was nice, but the interior seemed much more cramped compared to the Camry. They're identical dimensions mostly- but I think the extra swoopyness might to hindered interior room. I also recall that surprisingly the Gen 3 Camry actually has a hair more legroom than the UCF10 LS400, abeit much less than a UCF20 which I sat in not long after the ES encounter.

I think the biggest things are the seats and especially DOOR PANELs. On my Camry as I described, they seem IDK... more stately. The ES had a weird swoop and amorphosness that made the Camry's door panels seem more LS like than ES like. Also, from the exterior, I honestly find it alittle odd that the Camry looks more like the Ls400 than the Es does. Almost as if they should of inverted the Badging. One particular thing is that the Camry has a really thick metal C Pillar and chrome framed windows with a thick metal frame. That seems like it would be more LS like than the frameless windows of the ES300

But I'm not a hater, given I drive a nearly identical car. So let me just say- God damn are Lexus ES's some of the most gorgeous, beautifully sleek sexmobiles rolling around. The Es250 was okay, but the ES300 of the 1990s had such a sleek flow and the front was just eye candy. One thing too, in looking at my own Camries in my driveway and UCF10/20s, the shoulder flare in the rear around the C pillar is much less pronounced. Alittle like plain jane vs. Jennifer Lopez lol. And I feel like maybe the Es300 makes up for the more conservative/bland/Stately looks of it's uppers like the GS and LS counterparts. Looking at the new Avalon based one, it seems to be continuing the same thing, it's most obviously the sleekest shaped lex. The GS, reminiscent of the 1990s Italiadesign and Gen 2 models, is attractive but fairly stout/slab sided. But then again, Aristos are masterfully crafted, and sort of a "driver man's" LS400. A very very nice car I could never pass up for free.

Of course keep in mind I'm not hating on any Lexus, I just want some input because this isn't a question most people I know would care enough about to answer. Or even know about. I think too that the ES's more contemporary arguably sleeker looks might hook people in who aren't really experts on cars or Toyota.

I even admit, as a kid I loved cars, with no understanding of their technicals. All just based on looks at the time. I remember being into SXV20 Camrys and Es300s because I loved their big bodied sleek fronts and profiles, and thinking the LS400 was too blocky and even "ugly"

But as I aged, and got a B.S. in mechanical engineering at CSU (fortunately never getting body slammed by a dickish cop in the beach bar ), my appreciation of the LS400 trumped over the ES300. Just enough friends colleuges and professors had swayed me into astonishment of the car. In particular, two friends- one guy told my about it's FAA certification, and a girl I know who actually represents the CSU chapter of the FAA students, does autonomous drone development and learned a ton about Lean/Kaizen at a metal development firm had sorta enstilled just how magnificent the LS really is

To put a final analogy, I get the sense that the ES seems in a way a super hot shallow girl outside, but after spending alot of time with her, she lacks depth inside and you start wishing for the more conservative/average girl who knows quantum physics and is incredibly deep thinker (LS) and will be the best most relaxing companion for decades. BTW the baby blue Camry on fork rims is mine, just thought I'd throw it out there- I photo'd myself when a neighbor's sons brought an LS400 and did the whole compartive parking thing hahah!










Last edited by Gen3Camry; 04-17-17 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 04-17-17, 10:16 AM
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Bizarre question and too much to read. But the current ES is a nicer looking car and a better packaged car than the current LS which is the better car. Not sure if it is worth twice the price tho.
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Old 04-17-17, 11:00 AM
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The Camry, Avalon, ES, and LS appeal to vastly different markets...like they're supposed to...which is why even though the first three are effectively the same car, they look, and to a degree, feel, very different.

The LS, though. This is the Toyota flagship, and flagships are almost always conservative, very upscale, and will tend to have a longer style lifespan. This is why a 30 year old S-class Mercedes doesn't really look 30 years old, and why the LS400 still looks contemporary.

In fact, I think my wife's '02 RX300 is better looking than any of the newer generations of RX.
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Old 04-17-17, 11:16 AM
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Back in the 1980's, Toyota made a sportier "hardtop" version of their sedans with:
1) A lower roof line [hence less interior space].
2) Frameless windows [hardtop].
3) Premium styling.
4) Upgraded sportier suspension.

1990-94 JDM Narrow-body Toyota Camry Vista 4.7m x 1.7m.


1990-94 JDM Narrow-body Toyota Camry Vista Hardtop with frameless windows & heavy duty suspension. In this case, also FT AWD!


1992-96 Exported Wide-body Toyota Camry.


1992-96 Exported Wide-body Lexus ES300 Hardtop with frameless windows & heavy duty suspension.
This particular model had very high quality plastics.
However the ride was not as compliant as the bread and butter Camry version.



While we're here, you might find the "hardtop" version of the Corolla sedan fascinating too.
1990-94 Toyota Corolla Sedan.


1990-94 Toyota Corolla Sprinter Marino Hardtop [JDM].
Hopefully you don't mind the lower roofline, frameless windows, inspired styling, sportier suspension, and less interior space.



TMC no longer makes too many of these variations with hardtop styling, multiple engine variations, and FT AWD - probably due to costs.
Though TMC still has Camry vs ES, and Crown vs GS.
The Germans are now making a lot of variations with BMW 3 vs 4 Series Hardtop, 5 vs 6 Series Hardtop, E Class vs CLS Hardtop, A4 vs A5, and A6 vs A7...
.

Last edited by peteharvey; 04-17-17 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 04-17-17, 12:13 PM
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I think it is difficult to claim that the ES, even of that vintage, is sleeker than the new Lincoln MKZ.




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Old 04-17-17, 12:32 PM
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LS and Camry are worlds apart.

Camry and ES are pretty much identical underneath just with different trim and styling.

Not sure of the question.

Just saw New Camry in person at NY auto show, should be HUGE hit for Toyota.
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Old 04-17-17, 01:57 PM
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The ES of that generation was supposed to be a sporty sedan remember. Available with a manual, etc. That's why it seems sportier and less luxurious inside. Once they had the IS they moved the ES to make it more luxurious feeling rather than sporty.
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Old 04-17-17, 02:04 PM
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Also keep in mind the current gen ES350 is based on the Avalon platform, with its longer wheelbase, bigger back seat and trunk vs the Camry. Its a bigger car than past gen versions of the ES. I also think the current ES is a better car than the current Avalon, its better looking and the interior is several orders nicer(the current Avalon dash layout is just weird IMO). I didn't always think that, as the Avalon for several years in the 90's and early 2000's was the better buy IMO.
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Old 04-18-17, 03:33 PM
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BrownPride, exit this thread.
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Old 04-19-17, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
Also keep in mind the current gen ES350 is based on the Avalon platform, with its longer wheelbase, bigger back seat and trunk vs the Camry. Its a bigger car than past gen versions of the ES. I also think the current ES is a better car than the current Avalon, its better looking and the interior is several orders nicer(the current Avalon dash layout is just weird IMO). I didn't always think that, as the Avalon for several years in the 90's and early 2000's was the better buy IMO.
Agreed - I rented a 16 Avalon (Limited) and drove a loaner 15 ES350 ~2 years ago, big difference in interior quality. Granted the 16+ ES is manufactured in Kentucky (the 13-15 ES was made in Japan) but there is a noticeable upscale feel from a maxed-out Avalon Limited with a mid-level ES350; while they share the same underpinning and powertrain, the ES350 has an unmistakable refinement about it from the plushier leather to the quality of the ***** on the center dash. Plus pre-owned 13/14 ES350's and Avalon's don't differ too much in price and you get a lot more bang out of the ES.

That all said, I'm very much hooked on the LS and my 2010 LS drove much better than the 15 ES350; not saying the LS is for everyone.
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