View Full Version : Best Used Car for my sister?

12-01-2010, 07:24 AM
Well - I'm wrapping up my 12 day vacation here in Marina Del Rey CA. Too bad - it was great to live like the rich folks for a couple of weeks here on the Pacific coast - even if the weather was generally cold.

My sister needs a new car - or actually a new used car. She has a late 90's Jeep Gran Cherokee with 130K miles on it and has her heart set on a Honda Accord. She likes "sport" mildly - luxury more - and certainly does not need a SUV now that she is living the apartment life.

Once upon a time money was no object - but now it is. I have been trying to steer her towards a Lexus - particularly either a ES-300-330-350 or an LS-400-430 from the years 1997-2003.

I found a great car - 1998 ES-300 with 52K miles and all original Lexus service at Beverly Hills Lexus dealership for $8900.

Anybody can weigh in on Lexus vs. Honda here?

12-01-2010, 07:38 AM
Lexus, No ifs ands or buts.

Honda and Lexus arent even in the same League.

If your going to compare the two, Lexus and Acura are more similar.

Even still Lexus should be cheaper and Still has Toyota reliability.

Acura just has Cheapish parts for a Luxury car.

Look for a Full size, top of the line model of a mid to late 90s. 100k or under is your best bet, but with records id buy even 150k.

12-01-2010, 07:50 AM
I duuno - but this one looks lie a cream puff to me:

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=53629598&listingRecNum=11&criteria=sf1Dir%3DDESC%26alMdId%3D21025%26mkId%3D2 0070%26stkTyp%3DU%26mdId%3D21025%26rd%3D30%26crSrt Flds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId%26zc%3D90406%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26stkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dpric e%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26alMkId%3D20070%26rpp%3D50%26fe edSegId%3D28705&aff=national

Only 52K miles - all service done at the dealership with all record available.

12-01-2010, 08:03 AM
The price seems to be about 1000 high for the area (Assuming the zip is 90210) but other than that it is an excellent deal

12-01-2010, 01:46 PM
Get an ES like you mentioned. Perfect midsize car with reliability like no other. Lexus parts really aren't a lot(if any) more then Toyota parts I have noticed. I would offer 8,000 on that ES and work from there. I would be willling to pay close to asking though, that is super clean.

12-01-2010, 03:13 PM
Sorry to thread jack...

But whats y'alls take on the '93 SC400? The one I'm looking at is only a grand, but needs a new PS pump & rack.

12-01-2010, 03:28 PM
Sorry to thread jack...

But whats y'alls take on the '93 SC400? The one I'm looking at is only a grand, but needs a new PS pump & rack.

I have a 92, and I'm about to light it on fire. I have never hated a car more.
They have many electrical quirks. The tachometer tends to jump, the needles burn out, the a/c control lcd screen burns out.
Think 18 gallons of premium gas to fill up. And it doesn't last long with the V8.

I bought this one for $1500 thinking I'd fix it up (needs both interior and exterior work, but engine is solid) and sell it for a nice profit. Big mistake. I'm ready to take a loss on it just to get it out of my life.
Then again, I ran out of money, so I can't fix it.

12-01-2010, 03:57 PM
Keep in mind that lexus parts cost an arm and a leg. Seriously, you buy Camry struts for an ES because the ES struts are twice as much, but the same Toyota part number. Unfortunately you can't do that with every part. On the other hand, if you treat the lexus properly you shouldn't have to buy tons of parts for it.. but it doesn't sound like your sister is a mechanic. Lexus are great cars, but they are not for people with strict budgets IMO.

The Captain
12-01-2010, 09:55 PM
I found a great car - 1998 ES-300 with 52K miles and all original Lexus service at Beverly Hills Lexus dealership for $8900.
Fancy Camry. Can't go wrong, really.

My brother had an '06 TL. Nice car. No problems. Better looking than an ES, but that's subjective. Reliability will be about the same. To compare Honda and Lexus is like comparing Toyota to Acura. I think reliability is the same, it's trim levels that separate them.

12-02-2010, 02:34 AM
I think that ES would be a good buy for her. Like the Captain said, the ES is a fancy Camry. The engines and transmissions are the same between the ES and the Camry. I know, we built both on the same line at the WV plant. Basically, we were certified to build to "Lexus Quality", so every transmission and V6 we built, be it for a Lexus, a Highlander, a Sienna, Avalon or Camry were Lexus quality. You really couldn't go wrong especially if it got the dealer service records with it.

12-02-2010, 06:09 AM

Thanks for the responses.

I neglected to mention that my sister had her heart set on a Honda Accord - thus the comparison with Honda. I don't think she would like an Accord as much as a Lexus due to many factors - not the least of which being that in a Honda Accord she would be sitting nearer to the road - like a sport car - and also that the reliability is way in favor of the Lexus.

I did a fair amount of research - and most based on user reviews. I don't take much stock in a magazine review - but do take stock when I read a review by an ordinary consumer that has has a car for allot of years and tells about what was right or wrong with it. In such cases it seems to me that the Lexus cars of the late 90's have really great reliability up through 150K miles - not to mention comfort and decent power.

It seems for these cars the main thing that goes wrong is only that the LCD display for the radio and climate control gets black spots or dims. Not such a big deal to repair.

I always wanted a Lexus - but when I finally had the money to get one, I got married instead.

So now I drive a Celica! :)

That car link above is dead - so I'm pretty sure the thing has been sold already. Yet I also think that an ES-300 from 1997-2000 would be a great choice with ~85K mile or less - especially with service records.