My neighbor, Sheri, and I took a ride in the 2006 Lexus ES330 this afternoon. I called her and told her to pick a couple paper whites from her garden. Sheri's Mom, always known affectionately as Grandma Doddie, loved my Lexus LS400. Whenever Sheri and I were both going somewhere I would ask Grandma if she wanted to go with me, "I'll take the Lexus with the heated seats". It was a done deal everytime. Sheri and I always laugh at Grandma Doddie and when I get a Lexus we have to drive it for Grandma Doddie.
The 2006 Lexus ES300 4-Door Sedan Black Diamond Special Edition has a 3.3 Liter V6 Engine, 5 speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, front wheel drive and rear disc brakes. The fuel economy rating is 21mpg city and 29 mpg highway. As we meandered the backroads of Newcastle, CA I remarked upon the fact that the car was actually getting 21.1 mpg in the city. The ES330 will fit well in California with its certification as an ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.
As we drove along in the ES330 I asked Sheri why she thought Grandma Doddie liked the LS400 so much. She thought for a minute, than said, "It probably reminded her of the old luxury Lincolns that my Mom and Dad used to own. Lincoln used to be the luxury car of choice. Lexus was built as the luxury vehicle for the United States. It was not even sold under the Lexus moniker in Japan. Luxury features include leather trim interior with driver/passenger memory seats, power adjustable driver and passenger seats, dual heated and adjustable outside mirrors, Tilt and slide moonroof with sunshade, Automatic climate control, automatic off/on headlights and high-end Mark Levinson audio AM/FM/cassette and in-dash CD player.
As we drove Sheri told me about the time her Mom bought the Lincoln LTD. Sheri tried to talk her Mom into buying something smaller, but her Mom wanted the bigness of that car. Sheri thought the smaller car would have been easier for her Mom to park. "Nowadays people pay more attention to the size of the interior, instead of the overall size of the car. This ES 330 has more room in it than some of the big luxury cars of old. After awhile Grandma Doddie told me that she wished she had bought the smaller car that was on the lot."
My LS 400 is a smoother ride than the ES 330, even though it is thirteen years older than the new ES330. It's larger and feels more luxurious. Back in 1993 the LS400 cost $55,000. Today the ES330 suggested retail price is $32,300.00. The ES 330 offers three leather colors: Cashmere, Black and Ash. Also available are six-spoke 17-inch wheels in either silver or chrome. We were in the Black Diamond Edition. Some of the luxury options included on the car we drove were: heated and ventilated front seats $640.00; Navigation system package which include voice navigation with multi-language and fast route calculation $2,200.00; wood and leather steering wheel and shift knob $330.00; vehicle skid, stability and traction control $650.00. The total was over $37,000.
We got out of the car at the graveyard, put the flowers in Grandma Doddie's vase, cleaned off her tombstone, stood for a minute looking over the valley before the storm came in. We got back in the car and turned our heated seats on and headed on home.