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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • Yes, some Toyota owners who changed oil every 3,000-5,000 miles developed sludge problems. Toyota still tried to pin the blame on the owners, but it backfired, they had growing PR problems, and Toyota finally agreed to repair all sludge-related problems free for 8 years or so. I recall reading that they modified the V-6 engine after April of this year, so there should be no problems in those engines manufactured after that date.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The ES 300 posted the all-time best monthly sales in its history last month. 7,767 cars were sold in August, making the 2002 calendar year total 49,166 (66,206 since the car came out last October 1).

    The ES 300 sales record for a calendar year was 1997, when 58,430 cars were sold. It looks like that record will be shattered by the time the end of 2002 rolls around.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I sure don't want to see an ES300 on every corner. :-(
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Sales are a fine line. I agree with you, I would not want to see an ES 300 on every block. But I'm glad to see the car doing well.

    Once you get into the $30,000+ price territory you don't see huge volume sellers. While the ES' August sales of 7,700 are a lot for this car, it pales in comparison to the whopping 48,000 Accords also sold in August.

    It's just nice to know that others beside myself appreciate what the ES 300 has to offer compared to the competition and bought one.
  • Haven't really done anything lately regarding the car. I'll just wait until my 7500 service later this month and see what the dealership can do for me. I might try to sell the car next year if they have not solved the problem by april 2003.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    In cased you missed it, see greggba's discussion, msg 2982. Greggba seems to have a transmission that behaves outside the norm. In other words, he perceives the transmission on the car he OWNS as dangerous, whereas that on the loaner that he test drove is merely annoying. You might want to make sure to get an 02 ES300 loaner so you can do a similar comparision.

    You might decide that the "normal" transmission problem is acceptable, but if your car is behaving outside the norm, a new transmission might be less expensive than what you would lose by selling your car. If you can demonstrate to your dealer that your car indeed behaves in a worse than normal way, you might get a transmission replacement under warranty.

    Good luck. I am rooting for you and your lovely Blue Onyx vehicle.
  • I first noticed MB C320 is offering dealer cash of $3000 for its 2002 models. I checked, and find out in some area, such as California, it is offering $3000 off MSRP price. In Michigan, it is still showing MSRP.

    Then I check on the ES 300, which sales in Michigan for MSRP, for maybe the same reason, selling only $300 over invoice in CA.

    Is it the competition? has anyone in the Michigan area bought ES300 near invoice? I think for $3k, it is worth it to buy it in California and drive it back.
  • Actually, I did the comparison during my 1000 mile service and found it to "feel" the same as my car. It wasn't as detailed as greggba's but just looking for the shuddering. It was definitely there but left me wondering why I didn't feel it from my test drive prior to purchase.

    When I find the time, I will take another test drive and make a more detailed comparison.
  • Just bought a Silver with black interior 2002 with navigation and all options for 35,232

    They are offering great deals rite now in Los Angeles!
  • Anybody in the Detorit/Chicago/Ohio area purchase the vehicle near invoice?
  • The local Toyota dealership was recently declared a Lexus certified service center since the nearest Lexus dealer is about 30 miles away. I received two advertisements in the mail from them, one for my Toyota and one for my Lexus. The Lexus flyer said that they will change the timing belt on my ES300 for only $299! The Toyota flyer said they will change the timing belt on a Camry V6 for $199!! I went down and spoke to the service manager.
    Me - You know, the ES300 and the Camry V6 have the same engine!
    Him - Pretty much, but the Lexus is a little different.
    Me - Really, how so?
    Him - Well, the Lexus is a little more intricate and will require more labor hours to replace the timing belt, not to mention that it requires a Lexus specific timing belt!
    Me - Bullsh1t! The timing belt is the SAME and the belt replacement procedures from the service manuals are IDENTICAL.
    Him - Do you need the free loaner vehicle?
    Me - Nope.
    Him - Do you want your Lexus washed and detailed afterwards?
    Me - Nope.
    Him - I'll knock a few dollars off of the price for you.

    And there you have it! The difference between Lexus service and Toyota service. The fluff!
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Now we all know why there is so much distrust in the new car industry. They tell lies and we are supposed to trust what they say. Unfortunately, as good as Lexus is, there is truth that you do pay more for their service and parts. I will not get into a discussion here is if it worth it or not. How much difference is there between a Toyota XLE V-6 and the ES300? Is the ES300 worth approx. $5000 more than the Camry? It would be nice if someone could tear the vehicles apart and really see. Each one of us has to make the decision between those two vehicles. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult for us to differentiate between the two. I guess the bottom line here is we all need to make as informed decision as we can with the information that is available to us. I strongly suggest that if one finds an honest dealer then stick with him and pass the word around. I certainly would pay more to buy from an honest salesman and dealership than a dishonest one.
  • I replaced my wife's 99 ES300 in Jan. for a 2002 ES300. The demo drove like a dream. The one we got is something else. The steering has pulled to the left since the day we got it from the dealer. It is in the shop today for the fifth time. Tires have been switched from L to R, been realigned twice. They are putting on new tire today - which I don't think will correct the problem. This "pulling" exaggerates an already excessively "quick" steering ratio that requires one to constantly "drive" the car on the highway vs. directing it down the road. This is not supposed to be a sports car! Why the quick ratio? It is remindful of driving a WWII Jeep. According to the service mgr., this is not a unique problem to this car.

    Another major problem is the transmission. This also has existed from day one. This apparently also is not unique to this car. Shifting between 1st & 2nd gears is sloppy - both up & down. Between 40 & 70 mph, it shutters when you let up on the accelerator. When accelerating over 30 mph, you feel little jerking motions like the torque converter is not locking up, or is searching for another gear. The service mgr. says that he has word from the Lexus factory that they are working on this problem with a modified transmission computer program that they hope to have ready in Nov. 2002. However they have to get EPA approval before they can make the actual modifications. A by-product of this current aggravation is, I believe, a reduced mileage performance significantly below the stated Lexus EPA levels.

    I also have experienced some skid control problems with the SCD in the winter when on ice. I get an unusual sensation of wheel spinning that I have never had in my 50 years of driving on Minnesota winter roads. Works great in the summer however!

    Other than these problems, I love the car. It's just a matter of how much patience I can sustain until they get the problems worked out. Right now - I am on the edge of having them replace the car.
  • I have all of the service of my 95 ES300 done at my local Toyota Dealer. I do this because everything is cheaper vs. the Lexus dealer. The Toyota dealer is happy to service my ES and they want all the business they can get from me. They have done all of the service to 100k miles. However, when it was time for the timing belt change, Toyota told me that they could NOT do it. They said that the Camry and the ES300 do have some engine differences and that I would have to take it to the Lexus dealer because Toyota dealer did not have some of the parts/equipment needed to do the job. So bottom line, I think the dealer is giving you a straight story as far as the fact that there are differences. Whether or not it should cost more at the SAME dealer is a wholly different story.
  • For those who have driven both (hopefully more than just test drive). In term of noise level, are they much different at all?
  • My dealer charges approximately $60 for 1/2 hour of labor (Dallas/Ft. Worth area). Dealer service has gotten to be ridiculous.
  • After having driven 1,000 miles, the only real tranny issues I have deal with stop and go traffic which in LA is frequent. I find that the car jerks in stop and go traffic--doing 2-3 miles then 10 etc. It is aggravating but other than that, I too love this car. It is a real joy to drive and so luxurious. But for $35K, I would expect the tranny to be seamless--both up and down. This needs to be corrected and when I go in for my belated 1,000 mile service, I will let my dealer know. Sounds like this is common with most if not all 2002 ES owners.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I've got a 2000 ES with 30K on it. Lexus Carlsbad, CA wanted $500 for a 30K service! The Toyota dealer next door will it for $279.

    A couple of months ago my front brake rotors warped. 27k miles and only 50% of the original brake pads used up. The dealer would not consider trying to work this up as a warranty issue and wanted $300 to turn the rotors and put in new pads. I performance tire shop I use did the same job for $125.

    But you get a loaner and a car wash!

    Absolutely ridiculous. Fact is that most if not all dealers make more money in the shop than they do on the lot. And some of them are getting greedy.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    In the case of true intrinsic value, the ES300 is probably not worth $5000 more than a Camry XLE...but no one said anyone had to buy into the "status and exclusivity" of the Lexus, it is an Acura TL worth that much more than an Accord??? those that buy the TL, yes, to those that say "I'll save $5K and buy an Accord," no, it isn't...all they did was do the same thing that Ford and GM did when they created Lincoln (a fancy Crown Vic, or Ford Galaxie, if you are old enough to remember) and Cadillac (a luxury version of a full size Buick or Chevrolet), except that the Japanese did it better than we did, and apparently make more money at it...also, the Japanese attract buyers in their 30s and 40s for their upscale vehicles, ensuring them a market for many years...Lincoln and Caddy buyers have an average age, I believe, in the 60s...demographics for the USA Big 3 do not look promising over the next 30 years like it does for the imports...just my thinking, of course...
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks for your input. The information you provided is true. I guess the same thing could be said about any major purchase. There are cheaper ones and more expensive ones.
    I happened to notice that you are interested in the 2003 RL. What, if any, changes are on the 2003 vs. the 2002? I see that one can get an RL for about $35K and that is approx. the price of the ES300. How do you see the ES300 vs. the RL?
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