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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • I agree completely with your thoughts s852. I WANT to like the looks of the new ES300, but find the exterior boring...particularly with its unicolor. The interior looks great.

    I need to see the car in person. I also need to see the new Camry.

    Unfortunately, I can't think of any car in this price range that has an eye-catching exterior. The Acura TL (and RL for that matter), Infiniti I30, Nissan Maxima, and Audi A6 all are about the same with non-inspiring style.

    The only vehicle I've seen that seems to break the mold is Infiniti's G35, which will be introduced next spring. The grill on it is a bit too big, but it is stylish and distinctive. Unfortunately, it is rear-wheel drive. I live in Colorado and would prefer a front-wheel (or all wheel) drive during the winter.

    Anyone has any suggestions. I have a rear-drive Mercedes E320 and really would prefer front or all-wheel drive.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    No offense, but the the new Es300 looks sort-of like a spaceship, but I bet they will sell the heck out of them. That interior looks nice, I bet the quality is better than any car in it's class.
  • larichlarich Posts: 3
    I am a first time contributor;however a reader of all postings since I discovered this site after I bought my '00 ES 300 in Feb. 00. SEEMS THE PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS ARE THE SAME ,JUST DIFFERENT FACES AND DIFFERENT Places. My concern is a continuous humming,buzzing coming from under the hood. This occurs in a cold engine sitting over night in the garage. When I insert the key without starting it begins. It also does it on accessory but disappears after starting. Lexus service writer said it didn't do it for him after sitting on their lot overnight.( heard that before?) I tried it with The RX300 loaner the morning he called telling me he heard nothing. The Same sound was produced! When I returned, he proceeded to tell me that it was the first time it was brought to his attention and explained it was the fuel pump priming. Has anyone observed this noise or am I being picky? The other sound is a "Click" after moving a few feet when starting from an initial stopped position. Could it be coming from the rear brakes unlocking?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Contrary to that which seems to be the popular opinion, I think that the 2002 ES does have distinctive styling that looks nothing like other cars in its class. From head on, I don't see how anyone could mistake it for anything else, and there's a definite SC430 influence goin on. That's not to say that I'm completely won over, but I do like the swoopy sharp tail and the fact that this ES does not look like the 97-01 generation, which I felt looked waaay too much like the 92-96 second generation ES.

    About the engine, here's my theory, and I'd appreciate feedback....
    It seems logical, IMO, that Lexus would hold off putting a more powerful variant in the ES this year. Why? b/c the GS series is entering its final year of this iteration, so once that car is redesigned, probably given a hp and torque boost, perhaps Lexus will do the same with the ES. but for now, why would Lexus want the ES to outpower the larger, more expensive GS300? I think that would kill sales. Its a trickle down effect, and since the Camry can't step on the ES's toes, it might see a boost as well, if the ES gets one in the future... but that's probably only after the Avalon gets the same improvements as the ES.

    ~Does this make sense to anyone else?
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    After seeing the photos of the 2002 in the September issue of Automobile Magazine (received yesterday), I must concur with s852, brian and max: personally, I don't like the new design.

    The headlights look like every other new Toyota in the last couple of years (e.g. the Celica), and the trunk area has been noticeably shortened (like the new Avalon and GS Lexi). Not to my tastes, but then, that's why there are other brands of cars out there.

    Automobile will provide a complete test of the new Camry next month. I'll wait to see what it looks like. BTW, the Camry SE (Sport Edition) is back!

    I won't miss the 2-tone paint on the ES though. That "look' was really getting dated.

    If ES stands for "Executive Sedan", then I feel Lexus missed the target. IMHO, they could rename it the CES300, for "Common Everyday Sedan".

    All that being said, I agree with max that Lexus will probably sell all they can get.
  • swsmsswsms Posts: 62
    The styling is elegant but still a little boring. I too miss the two tone look which has been a Lexus "staple" for more than 10 years. I guess Lexus will be selling alot of gold packages and chrome wheels to dress up the new ES!!

    BTW, my mother-in-law just retired and she wants to buy a Lexus. She won't be doing any major hauling, but safety is a priority. This would be her last car and my wife and I want her to get something really nice to reward herself. Should she wait for the '02 ES300 or go for the RX300? She current drives a '97 Camry.

    Comments please!!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    NO! can anyone say ghetto. these are the worst two things ever to happen to the stock automobile options list. sooooo hideous.
    please don't ruin your Lex by "dressing it up" with one of these.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Looks very close to the Peugot 607. Headlights are almost identical. Hopefully it will have at least a little more chrome than what I saw in that picture.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Maybe with a different, darker or bolder paint color and more chrome (such as on the grill) it will look a little better.
    The light grey/blue color in the photos with matching plastic-looking grill is ultra-bland and looks cheap.
    I don't think it looks very good in the back either. I think the tail lights ar too small with way too much "white space" below the trunk lid. At least they put some chrome around the tail lights.
    The interior looked good except that the tan leather in the tested car was dreary. It would be nice if they offer a very light grey or light beige interior like I think is available on the new SC coupe to brighten up the inside. It may also look better with a black interior.
    Maybe the right color combinations on the car can salvage the looks somewhat.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    I think the interior of the new ES300 looks almost exactly like the interior of the current Acura 3.2TL (non Type-s). The dash design (with the navigation) along with the slotted 5-speed gear shifter and the rear AC vents for the rear passengers, has absolutely no difference in looks from the Acura 3.2TL.

    Check out the below link:

  • jamrock4jamrock4 Posts: 53
    Speaking from my own personal experience the IS300, ES300, and GS300 appeal to different segments of the market. The gen X crowd loves the IS300. ES300 appeals primarily to a more mature crowd who are willing to spend a little extra for luxury. GS300 buyers tend to be more upscale consumers who are looking to separate themselves from the crowd and tend to look more at the Mercedes E class and the BMW 5 series. IMHO I doubt that a more powerful ES would put a dent in GS300 sales.

    The only Lexus that appears to have stolen sales form the ES300 is th RX300. In the future the Acura TL-S and Infiniti I35 may take away sales from the ES300 because they have established a new standard for peformance in the luxury market 260 horsepower.

    Lexus has made the false assumption that people are either interested in a sport sedan devoid of luxury (IS300) or a luxury sedan with the emphasis on a cushy ride and little else. Most of the people I know want luxury, performance, and handling.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    "Lexus has made the false assumption that people are either interested in a sport sedan devoid of luxury (IS300) or a luxury sedan with the emphasis on a cushy ride and little else. Most of the people I know want luxury, performance, and handling. "

    The GS300 is available for them.

    The biggest problem for the 2002 ES300 is not that 210HP is inadequate, but the fact that the styling has suddenly gone from one of the best styled to one of the worse in this class.
  • I find most of the ES300 to be nice looking.

    The front end is definately distinctive and it links the 2002 to the 2001 ES300. Looks similar yet different. The side profile is totally different from the old ES300, that is mostly due to the fact that the car has risen almost 3" in height and the framed doors replacing the frameless doors of the previous ES300.

    The only part that I don't like is the rear end. What happened? The rear end seems like someone other than who styled the front and sides styled it. The lights overall aren't bad, but the Benz knock-off licence plate surround looks out of place. And the tailights seem a bit small. And that chrome trim around the tailights has got to go.

    The interior is smashing! Very nice! The dash looks very upscale and elegant. hunter001, the interior looks nothing like the 3.2TLs. Gated shifter? that's a benz trademark and the LS400 has had it since 1995, and the GS300/400/430 has had it since 1998. you see similarities in the rear A/C vents? What else shape are A/C vents supposed to be other than retangular?

    The TL's interior looks like *Ramada* compared to the ES300s interior, which I could best describe as *ritz carlton*.
  • I'm also befuddled by the 210bhp. But I'm figuring 2002 will see a new engine or a power jump. I don't think I35 will hurt ES300 sales. The ES300 has a much better and built up reputation and most of the target audience of the ES300 are the conservative set.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 130
    Lexus has made the false assumption that people are either interested in a sport sedan devoid of luxury (IS300) or a luxury sedan with the emphasis on a cushy ride and little else. Most of the people I know want luxury, performance, and handling. "


    The biggest problem for the 2002 ES300 is not that 210HP is inadequate, but the fact that the styling has suddenly gone from one of the best styled to one of the worse in this class.

    Agree on styling.

    I think most people -- in this class of car -- want a car that performs well (or at least close to competition), has a luxury feel, and has classy styling, with a decent value.

    From what i can tell, none of the entrants do well in all categories (acura is weak in luxury and styling but good in all else -- bmw is weak in value and space and lexus is now weak in performance and perhaps styling).

    personally, my wife has the TL and it meets all of the "specs" except two -- don't really care for the sheet metal (looks) and it's not particularly FUN to drive...
  • spfotey - you are right on with those comments.

    I guess we were all spoiled ten years ago with the styling on the Acura Legend, Lexus ES300, Lexus LS400, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, and others. I think most of those cars, even today, are more exciting than the 2000+ models.

    It seems likely every new generation from Japan gets more and more boring!

    I planned to buy the 2002 ES300, but don't know that I want to look at that car every day. I just picked up the Motor Trend and, unfortunately, that is what the car looks like. I keep hoping this is a dream and I wake up with a car that looks like one of the design drawings. On a positive note, the interior looks great.

    Automakers - please...please...pretty please bring style back to the luxury car marketplace. I'll pay $40K, but not for a car that looks like the original Ford Taurus.

    I, like everyone else, want luxury, sport, and value. If someone finds something, let me know.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    IMO, ES 300 is going to do well. Please remember, ES 300 buyers don't care about speed or fun. To them, luxury, road isolation, quiet, and relaxing are the main points. Plus Lexus stereo system is so good, that drivers are enjoying the music instead of the annoying traffic on the freeway.

    If you want sporty, buy BMW 3 series.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421 has just published its "First Drive" of the 2002 ES 300. Check it out by following the link in the Additional Resource box on the left sidebar of this page.

    Post your comments about the review here, or if you'd like, provide your feedback - for possible publication on the Edmunds site - by emailing

    So what do you think?

    Sedans Message Board
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    As I've said before, I curently own a 1995 ES 300 that I bought new, and plan to buy the 2002 model. It is exactly what I am looking for: beautiful, smooth and quiet with the absolute nicest interior in its class. Not to mention the finest dealer/customer service on the planet. Oh, did I mention the bulletproof reliability?

    There may be faster cars and sportier cars, but they are for someone else. For me, the new ES just about has it all.
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