2002 ES 300 New Car Test Drive
When the Lexus ES 300 first arrived a little more than a decade ago, ES stood for 'Executive Sedan,' suggesting conservatism. Executives, not to mention sedans, have changed a lot since then. Now we have the all-new 2002 ES 300, with conservative execution but aggressive styling. From venerable to bold, one swift stroke. The careful elegance of this car is going to knock some executives' socks off.
There's just one model, the ES 300 sedan, which borrows so many luxury features from the LS 430 that it's being called the 'Baby LS 430' in the halls at Lexus. It starts inside with the shape and construction of the power front seats, and adds a Supplemental Restraint System of multi airbags. New standard equipment includes Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), which works the antilock brakes independently on each wheel; dual-zone climate control with air filtration; seven-speaker, 86-watt audio system with single CD and cassette; water-repellant front door glass; and lamps that illuminate the doorsill and the ground when the doors are opened. The snazzy nine-spoke alloy wheels nicely set off the un-conservative styling.
And how's this for value? The base price remains the same, $31,505.
It will cost another eight grand or so to get it fully loaded, however. Options include Vehicle Skid Control ($650); Adaptive Variable Suspension ($620); the same Regency leather as in the LS 430 ($1560); a touch-screen DVD satellite navigation system featuring faster route calculation and voice guidance ($3960, including the leather and a six-disc CD); three upgrades in audio systems, the ultimate being a Mark Levinson system with six-disc in-dash (or console, with the navigation system) CD changer offering 240 watts ($3010, including the leather); a power rear sunshade ($210); high intensity discharge headlamps with automatic leveling and rain-sensing wipers ($640); heated seats ($440); and chrome wheels ($1700).