Which One of These Lexus Bargains Will Go On to Be Made of Unobtanium?
Daily Slideshow: These cars helped to build Lexus into what we know it as today. In the auto world, certain older gens go through a phase when they go through a resurgence and begin to be snatched up by eager buyers looking for a taste of the past. These are all great vehicles and it makes us wonder how much longer these will be out there for a decent price?
IS 300 (2001-2004)
The IS 300 debuted here in America back in 2001 with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The compact sedan is quite the sporty car and built a reputation for being fun to drive. But if you're in the market for a first generation IS, be sure and grab the 300 over the anemic 200, which took nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. A 2001 or 2002 in excellent condition will only set you back around $7,000 give or take. The cars had quirks about them but pound for pound they were pretty solidly built cars. I mean, c'mon, you can't say that stock chrome ball shifter was pretty damn sweet?
The 2006-2008 RX is another Lexus vehicle that made Consumer Reports' "30 best-used cars to buy" list, and for good reason. Where else can you buy a reliable, good looking, and technologically advanced luxury SUV in great shape for around $7,000-$9,000? The RX did receive a mid-cycle refresh in 2007, with a new 3.5 liter V6 replacing the old 3.3-liter. 2008's have a revised grille, new wheels, and expanded color options. But no matter which one you choose, you can't really go wrong.
The GX offers a whole lot of space and utility on the used car market for around $10,000. The SUV has nice features like full time four wheel drive and V8 power to get you out of tough spots. 2006 saw the addition of several modern technology upgrades, including Lexus Link, and 2007 brought a new navigation system and an auxiliary input jack. The GX won a lot of awards over the years and is actually a pretty capable off-road vehicle in addition to the on-road comfort it provides.
ES 350 (7006-2009)
The fifth generation ES bowed in 2006 as a 2007 model. The body featured an all-new sleek and modern design, and the interior was equally streamlined and attractive. The ES was also a bit ahead of its time, with features like Park Assist and adaptive cruise control, features that many cars still don't have today. The ES 350, equipped with the 272 hp aluminum V6, was also quick - with 0-60 times in the low 6-second range. And as is the case with most Lexus vehicles, the ES 350 is incredibly reliable, even making Consumer Reports' recent "30 best-used cars to buy" list. For around $7,000-$9,000 in good condition, you won't find a much better-used car bargain out there.
LS 400 (1997-00)
Many consider the 2nd generation Lexus LS to be the most reliable vehicle ever made. There are a number of these cars on the road with incredibly high mileage, a true testament to their build quality. The LS 400 was also a car way ahead of its time, even featuring the first ever laser adaptive cruise control system on a Toyota built vehicle. For around $2,000 in good condition, you'd be hard pressed to find a better-used car bargain.
LS 430 (2001-06)
The LS 430 might linger slightly behind the LS 400 in the eyes of Lexus lovers, but it's a fantastic and rock solid car in it's own right. The 430 does carry many more technology features than the 400, which really ups the convenience factor, but it also can carry a more expensive repair bill. But the LS 430 was a truly revolutionary car in it's day, with technology unmatched by many cars on sale today. An LS 430 in good condition could cost you as low as $8,000.
ES 300 (2001-2003)
The first five generations of Lexus ES were based on the Toyota Camry, so it's quite obvious that all are extremely reliable. But when the ES 300 bowed in 1991, it's design was significantly overhauled and it gained quite a bit of size over the first generation. You can't really go wrong with any ES 300, but the fourth generation cars brought a more upscale image and luxury feel, with features that helped make it the best-selling luxury car in the United States in 2001. The 2001 ES 300 is a whole lot of car for just north of $3,000 on the used car market.
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