Used car shopping, Lexus edition
September 11, 2017 5:32 AM   Subscribe

We need a second car. We used to have a Lexus ES 300 we liked and which gave 15 years or so of great service. I think we'll get another, used. Can I get your take on which sedan and model year is right for us, and whether the current Lexus financing is as good as it sounds?

Current car is a 2013 Forester, which is loud and just feels a little tin canny. But it's generally fine, and has been reliable.

Wife wants a sedan, and we had that great ES 300 back in the day. I think we'd like another Lexus sedan. Must be 4-door, must comfortably accommodate a car seat, and be a "safe" car. Goodish fuel economy is a big plus, but we don't log a lot of miles. We're in the Boston suburbs, so whatever passes for winter driving suitability is worth factoring in.

I'm thinking this adds up to the ES 350, but I'm not an expert. In any event, what model and years are worth a look? I note I think our '13 Forester was just before a design update, and in retrospect, we probably would have been happier with the newer design.

We had planning to buy (or lease) at the end of the year to try to leverage the timing to potentially get a better deal as salesmen try to close their books for the year--but Lexus is currently offering 0.9% for up to 48 months, which seems like a great deal for a used car. Terms aren't clear from the website. Have you dealt with Lexus before on a used car loan? Is this as good as it sounds?
posted by Admiral Haddock to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
Owned an ES 300 (bought used) for twelve years. Recently upgraded to used GS 350. Big fan of Lexus. Have shopped at Lexus Dealer, though not done a transaction. So, no direct experience with their financing.

Some comments, however:

- The "0.9% for up to 48 months" deal is for top-shelf credit (YMMV) and applies only to Lexus Certified Vehicles. The latter means you probably won't find one for less than $25,000 to $26,000.

- Even at 0.9% interest, you might have to make a hefty down payment to get your monthly payments within a workable range. (Again, YMMV)

- Depending on the size of that down payment, you might be able to go down-market and pay cash (or close to all-cash) for an older, but still very serviceable, Lexus.
posted by John Borrowman at 9:32 AM on September 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I agree with what John Borrowman said, but My Mileage Varies towards getting a certified pre-owned with the repair policy. Sure it's 2-3K more, but from my experience with Volvo and Audi ( probably with all upper tier vehicals ) without the policy, you will become familiar with the phrase " $1000 to look under the hood "/...just my two cents.
posted by lobstah at 4:42 PM on September 11, 2017

Try a Toyota sedan - same company as Lexus. My experience buying a new base model sedan was "wow - base model cars in 2017 feel like luxury cars from 2005." You may get the quiet and comfort you desire with a smaller price tag.
posted by sol at 8:26 AM on September 12, 2017

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