2008 Lexus ES Review
The ES is a luxury sedan that first debuted in 1989. Based off the Camry, the ES was Lexus’ entry-level model until the introduction of the IS, which is the more performance-driven model of the two. The current version, the ES 350, replaced the ES 330 in 2007 and added more space, comfort and safety features.
The BuyingAdvice Team Says:
The Lexus ES is a solid luxury car that makes for a great everyday driver. However, its Camry roots leave it somewhat bland. Regardless, unlike some contenders in this class, the ES is reliable, and matches up well in terms of price, fit and finish, and features.
After 2007′s revamp, not much changes for 2008. The external mirrors have been redesigned. Two interior lamps have been added.
What’s New For 2008:
What is the Predicted Reliability:
J.D. Power gives the ES 5 stars for mechanical quality and 3.5 stars for design. Problems with the 1997-2001 ES included failing blower motors, emission problems, steering noise, oil consumption, suspension noise and moonroof noise. It was recalled twice. Problems with the last generation include dying batteries, vehicle noise, steering issues and hard to remove gas caps. It was recalled three times for deformed brake tubes and airbag issues. Expect above average reliability. The basic warranty lasts for four years or 50,000 miles.
Analysis Of Safety Ratings And Features:
The ES earned 5 stars in government frontal crash tests and 4.5 stars in side tests. In IIHS tests, the ES earned “Good” for the front and side, and “Marginal” for the rear. Anti-lock brakes, full side airbags, a drive knee airbag and stability control come standard. Rear side airbags and a collision detection system are optional.
Pros and Cons:
+ Plenty of safety features
- Essentially a dressed-up Camry
- Middling value
- Leather seats not standard
The Acura TL is priced about the same and includes standard leather seats. The Cadillac CTS SIDI includes navigation and 30 more hp, but costs several hundred more, lacks a CD changer, and a moonroof. The Chrysler 300 Limited includes leather seats and AWD, but lacks side airbags, a CD changer, moonroof, and has 20 less hp.
What Others Are Saying:
“Like last year’s model, the all-new Lexus ES is basically a Toyota Camry with the trappings of luxury.” – Forbes
“The first time I drove a Mercedes E-Class, I thought it was the perfect sedan with everything I could want for comfortable day-to-day motoring. I feel the same way about the new-for-2007 Lexus ES350. This, the most understated of the Lexus family, offers virtually all the creature comforts one could ask for wrapped in a sensibly-sized front-wheel-drive package that’s elegant but not flashy.” – About.com
“It proves that Lexus knows how to spizzarkle-up a Camry enough to justify a premium price and issue a rolling “call out” to barely badge engineered botch jobs like the Lincoln Zephyr. But the ES isn’t a great luxury car by any stretch. It doesn’t dishonor to the Lexus badge, but it doesn’t build the marque’s rep either. In this class, for this brand, good enough just isn’t.” – The Truth About Cars
Read more about the 2008 Lexus ES at the Lexus manufacturer web site.