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Lexus ES 300/ES 330

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Comments

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Even though I've never had a problem, I also received the letter from Lexus yesterday. For those who haven't seen it, here's what it says:

    Dear Lexus Customer:

    Lexus is dedicated to the "Passionate Pursuit of Perfection."

    As part of our constant efforts to provide you with the best in customer satisfaction and vehicle quality, Lexus would like to inform you of a product enhancement that is currently available for your ES 300 vehicle.

    This enhancement involves reprogramming the software for the engine control module (ECM) of the transmission, which changes the shifting smoothness of the transmission. Vehicle performance remains substantially the same.

    This product update is available through Lexus dealerships at no cost to you while your Lexus Powertrain Warranty is in effect. If you would like to have this update installed in your vehicle or if you want further information, please contact your local Lexus dealership and advise them that you are interested in having the modification completed per Technical Service Information Bulletin No. TC004-03. Please note that due to the nature of software reprogramming, once your software has been updated, it will not be possible to return the software to the previous version.

    If you want additional information after consulting your local Lexus dealership, please contact the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-800-255-3987, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

    We have sent this notice in the interest of your continued satisfaction with our products and hope to see you at a Lexus dealership for your next sales or service visit.

    Sincerely,

    Lexus Division
    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I'll be anxious to hear what other's say about this so called fix. Frankly, I don't believe it. I noticed in June a Canadian was told about this new fix and he thought it had cured his problems only to report back later it hadn't. I would love to have it work.... believe me. The tranny is the only problem with this car, but it's a very very serious issue. My thoughts are this is a promise, stall, delay, then promise, stall, delay tactic. LEXUS...... please prove me wrong. At best I bet it only makes a very bad situation only a bad one.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    fropm Lexus today. I am contemplating about getting the upgrade. I have an 03 but no problems.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    The '04 ES330 should be available in the next couple of weeks. If Lexus manages to fix the transmission, I may get one. What options do you recommend?

    1. MARK LEVINSON AUDIO. Is it worth the extra $900 over the standard sound system?

    2. ADAPTIVE VARIABLE SUSPENSION. A couple of people here like it, but reviews generally say forget it, too soft on comfort setting, too firm in sport setting. In between just like regular suspension, so why bother.

    3. WOOD STEERING WHEEL. Cosmetic item. Is the wood cold in the winter, clammy, sticky?

    4. H.I.D. HEADLIGHTS. Are they brighter? I need all the light I can get at night.

    5. POWER REAR SUNSHADE. Is it useful?

    Anti-skid system I'll definitely get. Anything else recommended?

     Thanks.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 283
    here are the my answers to your questions....

    1. ML? I would spend the $ on the navigation system instead. It's a personal preference.

    2. vairable suspension? depends on how long you want to keep the car. this will be VERY expensive to fix once the car is out of warranty.

    3. it won't be cold in the winter. the wood is laminated (or clear paint?). it looks good, no doubt.

    4. HID is definitely nice. the light output is excellent. get HID from the factory, cuz it's more expensive to install after market HIDs.

    5. I would get window tint and save $ on the power sunshade.

    6. ESP (stabilty control) is a must. If you ask me, I say this safety feature is as important as ABS. I would not buy a car without ESP.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Thanks for the tips. Hadn't thought about the repair costs of the adaptive suspension. Would definitely get the stability control. As for the nav, some have said it then incorporates the heat and a/c and possibly radio controls, which make for a more complex arrangement, no?
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    Are you getting this vehicle ordered? When I bought my 03, here were basically 2 packages. One with everything except for ML audio and Nav and the other with everything and ML and Nav
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    I'll probably have to order the vehicle if I want it equipped in my own way. I was told by a couple of dealers in Chicago that cars can in fact be ordered from Lexus with any level of equipment, and it would take approximately 3 months for delivery. A couple of other dealers have said that the ES300 comes with one of two packages and they can't be special ordered. To make a long story short, I don't believe them, but I guess I'll see when & if I try to special order one.

    I do want the Xenon lights, but I can't see ordering the entire nav. package just to get them. What's been your experience?
  • I got my Es300 without the NAV and Levinson, but with the HID and had no trouble finding one although the black garnet with black leather led to searching other dealers for the right combo. I found the Levinson to be nice, but pricey and the premium sound system upgrade already in the car to be very nice. The Levinson also had a subwoofer that took up space in the trunk and would be in the way for golf clubs or luggage. The NAV would have been nice but all that had it also had the Levinson package. All I really wanted was the HID and that wasn't a problem. The stability was a must, as were all the safety features. I am very happy without the NAV, Levinson and power sunshade.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    That's about how I would like mine equipped. But what part of the country are you in? I think different regions of the country might commonly have different equipment packages (although that's a guess).
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    I am in Maryland and I got the same as Glenns1939. Except my black garnet came with the tan interior. I got the HID's and everything else. Just no Nav and ML audio.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    ML. You can't ask someone if it's worth it. You have to listen to the stock and the ML and decide if it is worth it or not.

    Variable suspension, not worth it unless, you like the soft or sport setting much more than the stock suspension.

    Wood steering wheel. That is a personal cosmetic preference. Why ask others? It's like asking what is the best color.

    HID. Not worth it unless you regularly drive in very dark country roads at night with no street lights. If you do, then the extra light might be useful. Most people get them just for looks because they look modern. Thieves love to steal them.

    Power sunshade is nice luxury to have since it doesn't block light at night unless you want it to. (unlike tinting the windows)
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    HID lights are something you'll also just have to try and see if it's worth it to you. But once you go HID, it's hard going back to regular halogens. They're just so much brighter, and I'm not one who cares about the color/appearance of the light.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I am a huge fan of the adaptive variable suspension. My friend had it on his 1997 ES 300 and still has the car. I'm not sure why people think the repair costs would be high - I'd like to see some proof. Plus, with an extended warranty it's covered. Also, that's like saying don't get navigation because if it breaks it's expensive. To me, that's not a reason not to get an option.

    I really, really wanted this on my 2002 ES 300. It is a great feature. There are two settings firmer than a standard ES 300 and you can really notice the difference, not only in the ride (less floaty) but also in the handling (the car does not lean nearly as much in turns). For $600 this feature is simply the best. I used to have a 1995 ES 300, and the 2002 has a far superior "feel" because of the AVS.

    I remember when Road & Track test drove the car when it first came out; in their review they said if you only get one option the AVS should be it. Granted 90% of ES 300 buyers will not care to have a sportier ride, but I was one of the few who did.

    Most people who say negative things about AVS probably 1.) Are not the target for this option or 2.) Have not driven the car with it and most likely don't know what they're even talking about. It really is like an ES 300 with a sport suspension and a standard suspension. It's the best of both worlds.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    It looks like the navigation option on 2004 Lexus models is still $2000 (at least on kbb.com for the IS 300).

    However, this weekend I was with a friend looking at the 2004 Toyota Solara. It had the nav, the same unit as in the ES 300 (just slightly updated). Packaged with an upgraded JBL radio the nav was $1,350! That's a heck of a lot less for the same equipment and it really surprised me.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    You might want to compare the ES300 Nav with the Camry's. At least for 2002, they are identical.

    If anyone wants the new DVD, they might try and get it from Toyota instead of Lexus.

    Don't know why you are surprised. It is well known that just about everything on a Lexus is more expensive from a Lexus dealer.

    I lost one of my keys and it costs $150 to replace from the dealer in Bakersfield. Also, the dealer said it costs $40 just to reprogram your keys.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I think you misunderstood me. When I refer to the price of the nav, I'm talking about the unit itself as a factory option, not the updates.

    Navs in general have been the same price regardless of whether it is a luxury car or not. Since navs came out (I think Lexus first offered them in 1998), navs have been $2,000. And nav prices in general have been $2,000 for cars such as the new Accord, Acuras, Infinitis, Nissans, etc.

    So when the price of a nav all of a sudden drops on a Camry from $2,000 in 2003 to $1,350 in 2004 that's big news to me.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Anyone have any more to say abou the active variable suspension, virtues or vices? Appreciate comments from people who have it.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Isnt air suspension NOT the same as AVS?
    ~alpha
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    alpha01 - AVS is air suspension. It utilizes air pressure to adjust the damping rate. You'll see it mentioned as "Adaptive Variable Air Suspension (AVS)" on various Lexus pages, such as this one:
    http://www.lexus.com/models/ls/price_options.html

    "I'm not sure why people think the repair costs would be high - I'd like to see some proof."

    Lenscap - Common sense perhaps. If you can offer me an adaptive air suspension strut at the same price as a coil spring, I'll take you up on it. They're known to develop air leaks over time, and be expensive to replace. I've seen Lexus air suspension struts with a list price of over $1000. Price will vary based on model year and front or rear strut(s).
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