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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I have completely lost faith in Lexus until you mentioned a software update. But...

    I called up the service department and asked about a software fix and he claims he heard of no such thing. Would you believe he claims that there are NO transmission complaints for the 02 es300 in their dealership? I complained to them twice about it a few weeks ago! He says that these problems may be isolated to certain parts of the country. Anyone in NJ having these problems, please let your voice be heard so lexus will do something about this.

    I really hope there is such an update.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I believe the availability of any option depends upon when you purchase your vehicle and the dealer's region.
    I purchased mine in LA on March 15 and at that time, there were two packages: Premium and what I call loaded. Loaded consisted of ML/Rear shade/HID/AVS/heated seats/and Nav.

    I set the AVS to the "sport" setting when driving on mountainous, curvy roads. I think it makes a difference as far as the handling and ride goes. For day-to-day driving, I leave the AVS on the "comfort" setting, which is the standard setting for vehicles without AVS.

    If you have a strong preference for a stiffer suspension with more "road" feel, then it might be worth it for you to purchase the AVS. If it were I, I would not place a high priority on AVS, but I appreciate the option in my loaded package.
  • Thanks Atoews for your opinions on AVS. I did go to and check the packages based on different locations. And you are right! The package is only available in the west coast. I live in Michigan and I really like to have that feature. What about other people's opinions? Do you think it's worth spending 600+ money for this feature?

    Also, if I really want to get it, what can I do? Since all the dealers in this region do not have a car with that feature. Thanks.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Although dealers discourage it, many on this board have successfully executed special orders. You may have to resist the dealers' BS about special orders and you may need to be willing to wait longer for your vehicle, but it can be done.
  • I am really tempted to get the AVS feature on my car...but is it worth it? I would like to hear different people's opinions on it. Thanks

    Again, thanks for your comment, atoews
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I have the AVS and really am glad I got it. It was not available in the Midwest region, so I did have to special order the car.

    Of the four settings, 1=softest ride and 4=sportiest. ES 300s without AVS are most like the #2 setting.

    Most of the time I keep the switch in the #3 setting, which does provide a noticeable difference in a "tightening" of the car. It's enough of a difference for me to really notice. The car is not as "floaty."

    Sometimes I do put the AVS in full sport mode. This really tightens things up, although on some roads it can make the car a bit choppy.

    My feeling is it is a great feature to have. Unlike most, if not all, cars that make you choose between a regular suspension and a sport suspension when buying the car, this lets you have the best of both worlds and change things up whenever you want.

    Further, the system is more advanced than the one on the last generation ES 300. The old system worked all wheels together, whereas this system controls each wheel independently.

    I realize AVS is not for 95% of the ES 300 buyers. But for some people, including myself, spending the extra $600 is well worth it.

    And keep in mind anybody can get AVS, anywhere in the country, if they are willing to special order the car and wait three months.
  • Hi!

    I read your comments on AVS and really appreciate your opinions. However I am still undecided whether to wait for the car for another 3 months. I already ordered my vehicle (after paying 1000 of deposit) and it is scheduled to come in this week. I will try to make my final decision within couple days. Hard to pursuade myself not to get the AVS huh...

    3 months seems to be long....I hope they would get from LA...
  • texlaw1texlaw1 Posts: 2
    Trying to find out if this is a good deal on a lease of an 02 ES300 premium plus pkg. MSRP is 35,943 sales price quoted is 33,440 plus TTL. Money factor is .0030. Here are the dealer's numbers:

    36 Month Lease
    15k miles/yr
    1st payment and title/license due on delivery
    0 cash down
    56% residual
    659-665 /mth

    48 Month Lease
    1st payment and t+l due on delivery
    49% residual
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For those that did not see, Lexus last week posted a press release saying that the ES 300 is the best-selling luxury car in America so far this year.

    Sales to-date are 29,320.

    Also in that press release it was announced that the LS 430 was the most problem-free vehicle in initial quality for the third year in a row in the latest JD Power study. The LS 430, GS 430/300 and LX 470 topped their classes.

    My note: The ES 300 came in second (tied with the Acura TL) to the Ford Thunderbird.
  • I think ES 300 itself is pretty much a problem-free luxury sedan too. Not too many people reported major problems.

    Do people still have problems with their transmissions? Let me know. Especially for people who got their cars after May. Is it still a problem? Thanks
  • I am wondering what everybody is paying for their lexus ES300 in the mid-west region. Mine comes with ML/Nav package (loaded) and the dealer quoted me 37,600 + Tax + License fee. Is this a good deal? Please comment. Thanks.
  • tclemonstclemons Posts: 31
    My family and I went out to eat Sunday evening and saw an unusual color combo (at least for me). It was dark navy with tan leather -- is this very common? My wife is particular about where she parks (has a '98 ES300), so we went to the back corner without another car within 20 spaces (early evening) and when we came out, this car was right next to us, the only 2 cars in that part of the lot. I really like the color combo but wow, it really shows the "swirl marks"!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I happen to love the look of the outside of the ES 300. And judging by the car's sales a lot of other people agree with me.

    If some choose not to like the look that's fine. Not all people like the look of every car.

    As for the blue, it is somewhat rare just like the black garnet. It does look nice. A neighbor of mine has a beautiful blue SC 430 with an ecru interior.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    It doesn't matter whether you bought the '02ES last year or this month...the transmission software is the same. If they do change the software for the '03 ES, there should be a software update for the '02 ES.
    Not all people working at Lexus dealers have a clue about the transmission, so it depends on who you talk to. Today, the tech I talked to at my local Lexus dealer is taking some Lexus reps. on a test drive to try to prove his point. He's one of those who didn't like the feel of the new transmission since day 1.

    As for '02 ES pricing, it looks excellent. is reporting the lowest figures I've seen for the LA area. We're talking less than $1000 over invoice for a mid-level package. That means you should be able to work an even better deal directly with a dealer.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    From St. Louis, I have a price on a fully loaded (ML/Nav)car for $3,000 off sticker. Do not yet know the final price---just the negotiated discount.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Correct me if I am wrong, but are you not one of those who does not detect transmission problems in his vehicle?

    I am curious as to how you and lenscap and tiger8 and others detect no transmission problem when it clearly is a design issue; not a characteristic of individual vehicles.

    Why do some of us have the problem and others not? This makes no sense to me, because I think the problem is very noticeable, even if the degree to which it might bother each of us might vary from individual to individual.
  • My final price is about 39900 (total with tax and everything). What do you think?
  • To answer your question: I have test-driven Lexus ES-300 for a couple times and I did not notice the problem with the transmission. Especially for the 2nd test drive, the car bascially did whatever I asked her to do. It's pretty cool and I think the acceleration is actually not that bad. Compaing to my current Honda I am pretty satisfied with it.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    I drove a 02 ES300 for the last two days while my RX was having a rattle fixed. The loaner had 500 miles on it when I got it and I noticed the transmission shifted like crap. I braked down to a speed of about 15mph and then accelerated and noticed the car took a second or more to figure out what gear to move into. During heavy acceleration the car was not smooth either and my wife agreed the trans was a somewhat stiff. Overall the car was wonderful but the trans may stop me if I were in the market for a new sedan.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Without knowing your invoice, I really cannot comment on whether it is a good price or not. You really need to know how much over invoice you are paying. In LA, I can get a car for $500-800 over invoice. In fact, I have two quotes from 2 different dealers willing to sell me a car for $500 over invoice from the LA area. Midwest prices I have found to be higher because of less competition. One of the LA dealers has in stock 125--2002 ES 300's. Our St. Louis dealers have none in stock!! Hope this helps.
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