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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • richm4richm4 Posts: 169
    Once you've had steering wheel radio controls, you can never go back.

    I'm sure back in the 60's, people who've never had a/c in their car would have said the same thing about it being a make it or break it issue.
  • cb1943cb1943 Posts: 9
    I understand not getting something you feel is really important(steering wheel radio control) I'll accept the ES300 2002 body style change that I'm not that fond of and even the slow transmission problem because I could adjust my driving method but add to that not having an exterior paint color to my liking and no color change on the ES330 and I'll just have to get pass my Lexus thing.
  • I was within moments of buying the ES300 earlier this year. I thought that the radio channel controls would be within reach of my fingers while holding the steering wheel. (Don't laugh, I've been in Japanese cars where this was the case.). Anyway the controls were too far away in the ES and I told the salesman that I had to pass. He had a picture of his wife and 5 children on his desk. I felt a momentary pang of regret but it passed. Poppa no doubt was having a very good year selling the flagship of the Japanese auto industry without my measly addition to his income. Anyway the ES300 was my first choice. Without the radio controls on the wheel however I must go elsewhere. I haven't firmly concluded that the radio controls won't be available so there's still a chance.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    In and of itself, a good reason to stay away from this car is the transmission. It's flat dangerous. Not only that, everything great about the car lacks luster when your car slogs, shudders, thuds and clangs into gear. It's amplified when you know you paid top dollar for the vehicle. Lexus isn't backing their products like they used to. I can tell the dealership I go to is really disgusted that Lexus won't fix this, leaving them to deal with so many complaints w/o an answer. This is my second one. The first one, an '02, was taken back via Lemon Law court when the transmission flat failed twice for the judge. I got another one because I really liked the car, less the transmission problem, and couldn't believe that this was a consistent problem even with the '03's. Stay away from this car until it's fixed.
  • You know, this should not be a deal maker OR breaker. But it does seem to show that maybe these folks just aren't paying attention. They put radio controls on a $28,000 Solara, but not on a $38,000 Lexus? I don't get that.

    I think it is somewhat safer to have the controls on the steering wheel than having to reach (for those with shorter arms) to the dash. If they think it's good for the Solara, then it should be just as good for the ES. Their competition has had radio controls for 1-4 years. Good Lord, even the Ford Taurus has them if I remember correctly.

    As I said, this probably should not be a deal breaker, but it makes me think that those who say Lexus does not care about fixing the transmission problems might be right. If the can't figure out how to run a few electrodes to the steering wheel, maybe they just can't fix the transmissions.
  • Check out the part about the transmission in the URL from message 3904. It looks good to me.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    Hey Tex,
    I've gotta suggestion for you. Why don't you trade that "death-trap" Lexus for something you feel safer in. Buick, Chevrolet, Ford pick-up - whatever. Just quit re-hashing the same stuff on this web-site every week. A lot of us really like our ES300.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    Well... it sounds good. I wouldn't jump into one until it can be verified. This is a serious problem and Lexus has been promising a correction since July of last year. Maybe they can fix the '02 and '03's with this. Of course I'm a little skeptical. Nothing like a squeaky wheel to make something happen.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    The ES330 reportedly will make 225hp. Why is it that Acura can get 260hp out of a 3.2L engine and Lexus can only get 225 out of a 3.3L? Could it be that they don't want to step on the GS300's toes?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "...and not as many perks as the TL or even the Accord Ex."

    This is a very misleading statement. Having "not as many perks" means overall the ES 300 does not have what the Accord has. This is simply not true. In this case, you are talking about one, and only one, feature that the Accord has that the ES 300 does not. Overall, the ES 300 has far more equipment (standard and optional) than the Accord.

    Also, what color is it you would like that the ES 300 does not offer? It seems they have all the bases covered to me.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    Thanks for the info, texas83. I was very close to buy a '03 ES. It's such a nice and quiet car, but the potential transmission problem really bugs me. Guess I will be waiting for '04. Hope the bigger engine and revised transmission will fix the problem.

    BTW, some other ES owners have the same issue... ews
  • cb1943cb1943 Posts: 9
    I suggested that for less money the TL had more perks (heated seats,steering wheel radio control)but, of course, the Lexus has many wonderful features the Acura TL or Accord do not. I love my '98 Lexus and want to buy a new one but surely I can express my opinion that I'm not that fond of the new body style and add my wish for more color choices on the Es300/330. I would like a medium or dark gray. Along with the problems some have had with the 02/03 transmission, it makes me reconsider buying another ES at this time. Thank you Texas83, I appreciate the info on the transmission problems as well. Not all have the time to revisit earlier post on this problem and will benefit from your experience.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    My pleasure. I'm glad I can help others from my experience. I like everything else about the car. It's just the transmission is no good in many cars and it's a lot of money for a car which may have a bad tranny. This has been a good outlet. I didn't know this was such global problem until after I bought the car and found this website. With pressure hopefully Lexus will take action. However, given their present attitude I'm skeptical about '02 and 03's.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Similar to the ES 300, the TL also has tranny problems. In addition, the I35 (Maxima) has transmission hesitation (when shifting from 1st to 2nd), although this problem probably isn't quite as bad. I don't know why the new crop of entry level luxury cars from Japan seem to be more problematic than before. Does anyone?
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    The expensive new cars nowadays have the fancy "adaptive transmissions". Are they suppose be better? I don't know. Somehow I don't see that many people had problems in the old days with high-end cars using the traditional inertia transmission.

    Maybe the car buyers are getting pickier. Or, people's driving skills are so bad that the fancy computerized transmissions don't even know how to adapt (just kidding) =)
  • Received a letter today from Lexus offering a free software enhancement for the "engine control module" which "changes the shifting smoothness". It refers to Tech Service bulletin TC004-03. I haven't had a complaint, so I assume this is a general enhancement offer, despite no use of RECALL. I have a 2003 ES300. By the way I use regular gas and it runs fine, but have averaged only a bit over 22 MPG with 2600 miles. Anyone else getting mileage this low? Haven't driven much highway, but will be going to Florida in December. Love the car, and am leasing for 36 months @$391 month including everything except excise which is billed separately.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    but I hsven't recieved a letter as of yet.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I have an '03 ES with about 2700 miles. I have been averaging between 22-23mpg with city driving.
    Averaged about 27mpg while at freeway speed during a recent 500mi trip. However, I have been using premium gas.
    Interested to know if the notice about software enhancement came from Lexus headquarters or from your dealer???
  • I got the same letter today. It looks like the highly anticipated "firmware update" for correcting the transmission hesitation problem. I already made an appointment with a local dealer to have it updated this weekend. Would be interested in knowing if anyone has done it by now, and what's the result (better or worse).
  • First, if the mileage is the same it seems like premium is a waste of money, as performance is still great with regular-and my dealership assured me that regular gas does no harm. Secondly, the letter on the transmission fix was from Lexus, and not the dealer. I have an appointment for next week, yet there was no real problem that I could discern with the way the transmission shifted. Will let you know.
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