Lexus ES300

During its 12-year run, the Lexus ES300 earned a reputation as a comfortable entry-level luxury sedan. As the third generation in the Lexus brand’s popular ES series of midsize sedans, the four-door front-wheel drive ES300 boasted a mix of premium appointments and a roomy interior.

The first ES300 debuted on the market in 1992 as a more luxurious replacement for the short-lived ES250. Its name originally represented the 3.0-liter 200-horsepower V-6 found under its hood, which supplanted the ES250’s 2.5-liter engine.

More on the Lexus ES300
Lexus ES300 Origins

A number of performance and style improvements were also evident, such as a front and rear MacPherson strut suspension, a longer and more curvaceous body, and premium interior amenities like California Walnut wood trim, leather detail, and keyless entry. Buyers could choose between a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Shortly after its North American release, the Lexus ES300 became the best-selling Lexus of its time. Models were also sold in Asia and Australia. Lexus sold 39,652 ES300 models in the car’s introductory year alone.

In addition to minor updates made over the years, the ES300 received significant facelifts in 1996 and 2001. In 2003, Lexus replaced the ES300 with the new ES330, which featured a larger 3.3-liter engine.

About the Lexus ES300

The Lexus ES300 gained popularity as a basic yet sophisticated midsize commuter car. The ES300 proved ideal for drivers interested in a comfortable ride to work with enough interior space to seat up to five family members on the weekend.

While the outward appearance of the ES300 is reminiscent of a generic sedan, luxurious details and a capable engine has helped it stand out as a high-end choice.

Lexus added 10 horsepower to the ES300’s 3.0-liter engine in 1999, bringing total power to 210 horses and improving torque to 220 lb-ft. Standard equipment on the vehicle usually included alloy wheels, walnut trim, and dual-zone climate control. Full leather upholstery was an optional but frequently applied upgrade.

Lexus ES300 Origins

Although Lexus is still manufacturing ES family sedans in 2012, the last Lexus ES300 was produced in 2003. By the 2004 model year, the vehicle had been replaced by the more powerful ES330.

The single-trim 2003 Lexus ES300 was fitted with the same 3.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission that powered prior generations of the ES300. The only noticeable change from the 2002 ES300 model, which had ushered in many new features for the vehicle’s third generation, was the introduction of power adjustable pedals.

Standard equipment included 16-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, a power glass sunroof, variable intermittent wipers, a 10-way powered driver seat, power locks and mirrors, remote trunk access, dual-zone climate control, wood interior trim, a leather steering wheel, a leather-trimmed shift knob, a low fuel level warning, and a 7-speaker sound system with a subwoofer. Safety features included anti-lock braking, front and rear head curtain airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, fog lights, dusk sensing headlamps, emergency interior trunk release, and an anti-theft alarm system.

The 2003 ES300 measured 191.1 inches long, 57.3 inches tall, and 71.3 inches wide. Its wheelbase was 107.1 inches. The interior of the midsize sedan provided 96.4 cubic feet of total space and 15.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

Lexus ES300 Evolution

In 1992, Lexus introduced a completely redesigned ES sedan, the ES300. Based on the design of the Toyota Camry and borrowing styling cues from the Lexus LS 400, the Lexus ES300 blended solid performance with sophisticated details unseen on the previous ES250 model.

A 3.0-liter 185-horespower engine replaced the ES250’s 2.5-liter engine. Base models came with five-speed manual transmission, though a four-speed automatic was optional. The ES300’s body featured a curved fascia and headlamps, invisible B-pillars, a three-slat grille, and integrated rear spoiler. Standard features were walnut console trim, cloth seats, an eight-speaker audio system, keyless entry, power-adjustable front seats, fog lights, and automatic climate control. Anti-lock braking and a driver airbag were also included. Optional upgrades included leather seats, a sunroof, and a CD changer.

New features for the 1994 model included a passenger side airbag and revised grille insert. The five-speed manual transmission was discontinued. In 1996, a Coach edition was released with Coach interior leather and a matching Coach luggage set.

The Lexus ES300 was redesigned in 1997 with a stiffer construction, sleeker lines, and a body that was 2.4 inches longer yet lighter than previous models. An adaptive variable suspension was added. New interior features included the Lexus Optitron control panel and automatic locking safety belt retractors. Engine output was increased to 200 horsepower in 1997 and 210 horsepower in 1998.

In 2000, Lexus provided another minor facelift, revising the vehicle’s front end, adding clear taillights, and increasing wheel size. New Coach editions were released between 1998 and 2001. A Platinum special edition debuted in 2000 with a sunroof and distinctive trim and wheels.

The third and final generation of the ES300 introduced a more rounded body shape, a rear quarter window, and pulled-back headlamps. The interior was updated with more luxurious features such as increased walnut trim, tilt rearview mirrors, a rear sunblind, and chrome handles. Power adjustable pedals were added in 2003.

Select a Lexus ES300 Year

2003 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The new Lexus ES300 debuted in 2002.

2002 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The 2002 Lexus ES300 is a midsize sport luxury sedan that shares a number of traits with the flagship LS430 and a build platform with parent company Toyota’s Camry.

2001 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

2000 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The 2000 Lexus ES300 is a front-wheel-drive, luxury sedan that has the basic architecture as its cousin, the Toyota Camry.

1999 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The 1999 Lexus ES300 is an entry-level Lexus that has a prominent front end characterized by a long hood and unique fog lights.

1998 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

First introduced in the U.

1997 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The 1997 Lexus ES300 is a front-drive, four-door sedan that is considered to be much less impressive than other automobiles churned out by Lexus.

1996 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

Lexus has a reputation for making luxurious, high-performance vehicles.

1995 Lexus ES300

Luxury, Sedan

The 1995 Lexus ES300 is a luxury sedan that’s in its first generation.