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I have owned a 2001 ES300 for about three years now and have loved it that whole time. The first time I drove it I was hooked. Power, smooth ride, quiet, suspension, and comfortable interior. It has been a dream car. Now that I've had it for a few years, I've heard about how great the LS series is, and I'm wondering if I should sell this one and buy an LS sedan of similar year, probably an LS430 from somewhere between 2000 and 2006.


I've never driven any LS sedan, so I'm asking those of you who have driven both an LS and an ES from the early 2000's if there is a huge difference in quality between them. Money here is not really a problem, since most of those early 21st-century LS cars are pretty reasonably priced. What I'm more concerned about is the fundamental quality and comfort of the vehicle, particularly in the area of road noise. Is the LS really a lot more quiet, more comfortable, and more luxurious than the ES of the early 2000's? If it's only moderately better than the ES then I probably won't bother going through all the hassle of getting something else.


Thanks guys I really appreciate it!
 

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As mentioned by Blackness, the LS really is a lot more quiet, more comfortable, and more luxurious than the ES.

But when buying a used car of that age, there is always the chance that there is something wrong with it (some things you can see and others that you cannot see right away), and it may not be cheap to fix. So if you current car is in very good shape, you might want to think twice about getting rid of it.
 

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Do it...

Hi, new member here. I have a 2000 ES300 with 320K miles on it that I recently parked for a rough running issue after warm-up. Also have a 1998 LS 400, a 1992 SC400 (needs rear subframe) and a newly acquired 2010 LS 460 AWD (140K miles).
The LS Of both vintages are noticeably quieter, the 2010 was priced only a few k more than the 2001-2006 LS models and had the AWD which my wife needed. The ride on the 2010 (air suspension) is the best of all the cars I've ever owned. The seats on both LS's are very comfortable, better than the ES.Only my '03 Buick Park Ave came near or beats it for softness (suspension, not the seats), most likely due to the taller sidewall tires and softer tuned suspension.
I just did the timing belt/water pump R&R on the 1998 LS (right at 177K miles) and must say it's easier than the ES, much more room to work on, but still difficult to hold the cam sprockets still while installing the belt.
Last summer I replaced nearly the entire front suspension on the 1998 LS chasing down an annoying front end shake. Turned out to be the huge bushings on the forward strut arms that extend out near the bumper.
At any rate, before I go on and on with my Lexus experiences, I would say you will not regret buying any vintage of LS, just be warned the newer ones have quite a bit more complexity, electronically speaking. For me, as a mechanic, it is filling me with anxiety about what the 2010 will bring me in the future.
Oh, one other thing, the engine on the 1998 LS 400 was overheated till it stalled 3 times on my wife driving home one day, all the coolant leaked out 15 miles from home. She limped it back and after the water pump and timing belt change, it runs fine. If that is not a testament to the quality/durability of the 1UZ-FE I don't know what is.
Good Luck, Mike
 
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