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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • I suspect that there were significant stereo changes in '02 - since the entire car was redesigned. My '04 apparently has the same stock stereo as the '03 - and presumably the '02.

    I've been listening hard to my stock stereo. I wouldn't consider it a world beater, but it's adequate for the average Lexus owner. However, I think I want something with better highs and more solid bass. I'm thinking of upgrading the speakers.

    Does anyone know where I can find the detailed specs on my system (04 ES330 stock stereo). It looks like a 6 1/2" in each door, subwoofer on the rear deck, and tweeters in the front door. Any information on the details would be appreciated.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I checked on the Crutchfield website, and there is no listing for speaker sizes for 2002-2004 Lexus ES. The 2002 Camry with the JBL stereo option lists 6 1/2" door speakers and 6 1/2" rear speakers. Good luck!
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Recently, I was crawling at 30mph on the freeway and felt a very very hard, jolting shift (the car was not otherwise shifting into another gear). It was such a hard jolt, it felt like someone hit my car. Has anyone had this experience? I am really starting to hate Lexus.

    Also, for L.A. locals, have you had any experience with the service dept at Longo in El Monte? thanks.
  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    I hae owned several ES300/330 vehicles , and I think the stereo is mediocre at best. Certainly NOT what one one expect.

    The stereo in my RX300 is FAR superior; in fact no comprison.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I've seen this brought up in the past, and word was the Japanese market ES (called the Toyota Windom) had the hooks for the rear mats while the US market ES didn't. Beats me why this is, but that was the explanation for why the ringholes are present but not being used.

    hk2la - I get a lunging sensation similar to what you described when stopped (e.g. at a traffic light) with the A/C on. It feels like I was bumped from behind by another car. It was attributed to the A/C compressor turning on and off.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I was feeling the exact same hard bump, but after the software upgrade, I only slightly notice it. I still have problems with a slip and surge in slow traffic and on top of the hesitation delay sometimes I can hit the gas and watch the RPM's fly to redline like I've thrown it in neutral. The car goes no where for a while and I consider it dangerous. I've found an attorney who would like to talk with me hopefuly next week. It may be an expensive option, but I'm mad enough now to take it to that level. The Lexus Rep. in Atlanta told me the software upgrade would positively fix the problem. Now he says there never has been a problem, and dealers who claim there is are misinformed. It flat makes me sick because I bought a Lexus so I wouldn't ever incur problems like this. There's nearly two years of posts of complaints on the tranny problem, not to mention a specific talk site, and Lexus says it's all in our heads.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    One of the first things I do when I shop a car is slide a CD into the stereo. The car moves off my list if the sound isn't very good. One of the things we love about our '01 is the very nice sound system (standard Premium Stereo).
        According to reviews and specs on this site the '01 had a standard 195 watt system compared to the new version with an 86 watt stereo. Too bad considering you gotta cough up $6k to upgrade to the ML available only with the Navigation option.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    That explains why I remember the standard radio in an 01 ES300 I test drove sounding decent while the 04 ES330 I recently test drove sounds fair to mediocre.
    Maybe the ML stereo will move to standard equipment next year at the refreshening of the model or they will add some kind of reduced price "Value Package" including the ML stereo to spark interest as the ES330 moves into its final few years of this body style.
  • babs43babs43 Posts: 13
    I'm not a stereo expert, but when I test drove the 2004 ES 330 one thing I did notice was that the stereo wasn't the greatest sounding. I thought it was just me, but after reading the previous posts I'm thinking it's not just me!

    I do agree that the price to upgrade the stereo along with Navi is a little steep. I'd like the better stereo, but I'm not really interested in the navi.

    I'm also looking at the M45, and that radio stereo sounds much better to me. Any opinions?
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    What "brainiac" at Lexus decided a middle of the road sound system is good enough for this car and that getting a good one should be combined with the Nav system for $6k? Somebody oughta get fired for that dumb idea.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The ML audio combined with the nav is not $6,000. Retail on the nav/ML package is $3,120. That's half of what you're saying it is. You're probably pricing a car that has additional options factored in.

    The package breaks out like this:
    Nav - $1,650
    Premium Package (6-disc CD/outside mirror memory) - $570
    ML - $900

    Both of these options are in high demand and that is why they package them together. It may not be what everybody wants, but it's probably easier to have these cars equipped in as few ways as possible when shipping them here from Japan.

    As an aside, it's interesting to note the price of the nav went down this year vs. 2003. It used to be $2,000 (now $1,650). The ML went down also as it used to be around $1,200.
  • I asked about this too - in the Nav version it said 'Am/Sat' on the button - the salesman researched and the answer I got was the car is ready but needs the XM kit (like the LS430) and it won't be ready until 'probably next year' ... the kit for the LS430 'might work' but they won't do it. (I'm deciding between Acura TL and Lexus and this is an important issue for me.)
  • Lexus' decision to low ball base audio with a high end ML option that's to be part of NAV, and practically often some other options (VSC, AVS, ABrake, Sunshade...) in a package is indeed puzzling. You go to any dealer you'd find that there're lots more ES w/o NAV/ML than ones with it. So that means even Lexus is not expecting too many buyers to up go to the top package. So why make the audio in the models that most buyers would get, so non-luxurious? Is it one way to cut cost, betting that most people would not mind audio as much as the look and the feel (other than that to the ears of course). Not a bad bet considering most people do not turn on audio when test drive a car.

    I'd bet many buyers presume that even a base audio in a Lexus got to be decent enough, so why bother with all these additional options, only to realize later that gee, how come it sounds so.., so-so. But most would just have to live with it and focus the feels to the body, and eyes, and maybe soul, but just say sorry to the ears!
  • total production 6% for next month on vehicles with Nav/Lev. I know for us it doesn't make a difference. We sell an equal amount with or without. Can't keep any on the lot of either type though.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 106
    Thanks -- you actually mentioned something that I didn't know or notice before -- that there is a button on the NAV version, and I'm glad to hear its in the works. I'll have to look more closely at my ES330 brochure tonight. I am actually looking at the same two cars (with an Accord EX
    V-6 w/nav as a back-up option)

    Did that mean, to the dealer, that the XM module could be retrofitted into an ES330 purchased now at some point in the not-to-distant future? I suggest you push them on this a bit, if you haven't already. XM should sound fantastic on the ML stereo.

    Note to lehighlexus -- the 2004 Acura TL now offers XM standard -- to the extent Lexus/Toyota could at least state that it can be done on the ES330, with an approximate price, that would give me some comfort that I dont have to give up XM to get an ES330. Thanks
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    Since I've been looking (lately) the new car section on this site listed the ML/Nav option on the '04 @ $6000+. This afternoon after reading your message I re-checked the new car option page for the ES330 (wondering myself if I misread it)......same $6k retail price listed for the ML/Nav. Tonight, it shows the prices you mentioned. Either I'm crazy or someone here caught the mistake and changed it. Anyone else notice it?
        Either way, since I could care less about a Nav System I'm looking at $3k for a good sound system which is kinda stiff.
  • dardson1 says: "Either way, since I could care less about a Nav System I'm looking at $3k for a good sound system which is kinda stiff. "

    Well, you could easily spend that much on a comparable third party stereo - and it probably won't sound as good since the ML is tweaked for the car.

    However, you might want to try out a nav system some time before making your decision. I had one on my old Acura and loved it. I wish I could have gotten one in my ES330 (but it would have put me over the budget my company allowed). They're very, very useful.

    Of course, if you've lived in the same small town for 50 years and never leave town, it's probably no good to you. But we loved ours.
  • There is a button for it on the Nav system in the LS430 and ES330. Only the LS430 is prewired for it though. The ES is not prewired for it yet, so it will probably be next year.
  • msamelmsamel Posts: 2
    After experiencing the jerky transmission in the 2002 ES 300, I was told that the "fix" would come by year end 2002. When that didn't happen in early 2003, I filed under the lemon law and was treated in an excellent manner by Lexus Corporate. I was flipped into a 2003, charged usage, and the 2003 had the same problems. Then the fix came out, and after the fix, it was just as bad as before the fix. After complaining, with 1,200 miles on it, they then flipped me into the new 2004 ES 330, telling me that with the "new" transmission, there would be no such problems. well, with only 650 miles on the car, there is definitely the same problems as the prior years. I have not complained yet, but I probably will ask for a refund. With Lexus admitting to the 2002-2003 problems, and coming up with a fix, they certainly can't say that there is no problem. I'm very interested in hearing from ES 330 owners. My 1999 Toyota Solara, and 1992 Camry, ride beautifully, with transmissions acting the way they should. This is terrible.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I'm sorry you're experiencing such trouble. My 2002 ES 300 had no trouble at all. I still had the update done and now I do notice the car being smoother than ever.

    If you were that unhappy with the 2002 ES 300, why didn't you test drive the 2003 before agreeing to buy it? It seems a 5-minute test drive would have alerted you to an issue with the transmission if it was that bad. Same for the 2004, why not drive it first?

    Again, I hope everything works out to your satisfaction. It's amazing Lexus kept giving you new cars.
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