Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Jim Mateja
July 15, 1991
The Toyota Lexus ES250 is a glorified Toyota Camry for a few grand more. At least that`s what rival Honda Acura and Nissan Infiniti dealers tellprospective customers. Considering the ES250 and Camry are built on the same platform and
sharethe same engine, it would be difficult to dispute the charge. This fall, the ES250 becomes the ES300, the name change signaling notonly new sheet metal but the unveiling of a 3-liter, 24-valve, twin-cam, 185horsepower V-6 engine to replace the
current 2.5-liter V-6. The ES300 will share the powerplant with the Camry, which also undergoesa styling change for the coming model year. Sources say Toyota was well aware of the ES250-is-too-similar-to-the-Camry complaints; so styling on
the `92 versions will be considerablydifferent, to avoid a repeat of the $30,000-Cadillac-looks-like-a-$20,000-Oldsfiasco that hampered General Motors. The 3-liter in the ES300 won`t be the same as the new 3-liter engine tobe offered in the SC300
coupe, the coming six-cylinder version of the SC400coupe introduced this spring. The SC300 engine will be a 3-liter, 24-valve,twin-cam, 225-horsepower in-line six-cylinder, not a V-6, according toAutomotive Industries Insider, a trade publication.
But we digress. Glorified Camry or not, the ES250 is a pleasant machine,with loads of room and comfort, passenger and cargo-carrying capacity and morethan decent power from its 2.5-liter, 156-horsepower, 24-valve V-6 engine. Driver`s-side air bag
and antilock brakes are standard. The ride is whisper quiet and befits a luxury car. Handling benefits from variable-effort and quick-response power steering, front and rear stabilizerbars, fully independent four-wheel suspension and 15-inch
Goodyear GA radials. About the only shortcoming is the suspension seemed a bit mushy at timesin the so-called $22,000 entry-level model in the overall luxury Lexus lineup,which also includes the $37,500 SC400 coupe and the $40,000 LS400 sedan.
It`s nice to have a cushion over bumps in the road, but we`d rather dowithout the roll and sway in corners and turns. However, the problem may have been the result of the optional ($950) leather seats, which don`t hold thebody as well as cloth in sharp
maneuvering. Because cloth is cooler in thesummer and warmer in the winter and easier to clean regardless of the season, save yourself $950 and forget the leather. Base price is $22,050. Perhaps the extent of the standard equipment is the
reason thecompetition calls it a glorified Camry. It includes power brakes and steering, four-speed automatic transmission, power locks/windows/mirrors, air conditioning, tinted glass, digital clock,AM/FM stereo, alloy wheels, color-coordinated
lower bodyside cladding,intermittent wipers, rear-window defogger, remote-trunk and fuel-filler doorreleases, visor vanity mirrors, cruise control, first-aid kit and the ever-popular pullout
cupholder. In addition to leather seats, the car we tested added a power moonrooffor $700, power driver`s seat for $250, carpeted floor mats for $105 (when youexceed the $20,000 mark there`s no reason mats shouldn`t be standard) and atrunk mat
(ditto) for $62. ES250 sales have been somewhat spotty in 1991, in large part due to theit`s-a-ritzy-Camry flap. With the new engine for `92 and sheet metal sporting a few bends and twists different from the Camry, the ES300 should help Toyota
settle into its own niche.