Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2003 Buick PARK AVENUE VS 2003 Lexus ES300 In IA

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2003 Buick PARK AVENUE

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2003 Buick PARK AVENUE

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2003 Lexus ES300

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Park Avenue are height adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Lexus ES300 has only front height adjustable seat belts.

The Park Avenue offers an optional Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. This collision warning system uses radar to detect obstacles behind the rear bumper. The ES300 doesn’t offer a rear collision sensor.

Compared to metal, the Park Avenue’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus ES300 has a metal gas tank.

The Park Avenue offers optional OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The ES300 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Park Avenue and the ES300 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, available traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Park Avenue’s bumpers sustained $27 less damage than the ES300 in an IIHS ( Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) 5 MPH bumper test.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 14 times as many Buick dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Park Avenue’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Buick Park Avenue’s engines use a cast iron block and heads for durability, while the ES300’s engine uses aluminum. Aluminum engines are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The camshaft in the Park Avenue’s engine is driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The ES300’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt which eventually needs to be replaced. If the ES300’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

Engine Comparison

The Park Avenue’s standard 3.8 V6 produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (230 vs. 220) than the ES300’s 3.0 DOHC V6. The Park Avenue Ultra’s standard 3.8 supercharged V6 produces 30 more horsepower (240 vs. 210) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 220) than the ES300’s 3.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Park Avenue Ultra 3.8 supercharged V6 is faster than the Lexus ES300:

Park Avenue


Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.4 sec

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Park Avenue’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES300:

Park Avenue


Front Rotors

11.85 inches

11.65 inches

Rear Rotors

10.94 inches

10.6 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

11.69 inches


Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Park Avenue has larger standard tires than the ES300 (225/60R16 vs. 215/60R16). The Park Avenue Ultra’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES300 (235/55R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Park Avenue Ultra’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES300’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Park Avenue Ultra has standard 17 inch wheels. The ES300’s largest wheels are only 16 inches.

The Park Avenue offers an optional tire pressure monitoring system, which uses the ABS sensors to measure slight differences in wheel speed to alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The ES300 doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Park Avenue has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The ES300 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Park Avenue’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the ES300 (113.8 vs. 107.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Park Avenue is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the ES300.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Park Avenue is rated as a Large car by the EPA, while the ES300 is rated as a Mid-size.

The Park Avenue has standard seating for 6 passengers; the ES300 can only carry 5.

The Park Avenue has 15.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ES300 (112.1 vs. 96.4).

The Park Avenue has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 5.8 inches more rear legroom, .2 inches more rear hip room and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES300.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Park Avenue has a much larger trunk than the ES300 (19.1 vs. 14.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Park Avenue automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The ES300’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Park Avenue’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The ES300 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Park Avenue offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ES300 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Park Avenue and the ES300 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Park Avenue is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The ES300 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Park Avenue has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners. The ES300 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To improve comfort and visibility, the Park Avenue has standard secondary sun visors that block glare from two directions simultaneously. The ES300 doesn’t offer any similar feature.

The Park Avenue’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The ES300’s standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

When the Park Avenue with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The ES300’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Park Avenue has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The ES300 doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Park Avenue owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Park Avenue will cost $340 to $495 less than the ES300 over a five year period.

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