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New ES 350 Owner Reports

bwolfbwolf Posts: 18
edited April 10 in Lexus
I picked up my new Ruby Red with Navigation yesterday after driving an Acura TL for the last 3 years. The Lexus handles better than I thought it would. The steering doesn't feel as good as the Acura's but the ride is much smoother without feeling too "luxury" if you know what I mean. The car's styling is awesome. The Ruby Red in sunlight is gorgeous and I also got the 10 spoke chrome rims which I think look much better on this car than the standard 7 spoke. Hooked up my IPOD and it sounded great, even in the standard stereo. Haven't called XM yet to swithch my account to the ES. The dealer installed the XM antena inside the car and you can barely see it, it is so small. The keyless entry and push button start is awesome. Acura's navigation is much better, however. The screen is bigger on the TL and you can input addresses while driving. I know Lexus is trying to be safe, but you can change all sorts of views on the ES and mess with the display, all of which take your eyes off the road, so why not just be able to input addresses as well? The voice commands work great for phone numbers but work terrible for addresses, especially cities. Also, on the Acura the radio is switched to the back speakers when route directions are given, but on the lexus if you have your music turned up, you won't hear the navigation voice. Using the phone automatically turns the radio off so I don't know why they didn't do something similar for the navigation voice. My Blackberry 8700 from Cingular hooked up no problem to the Bluetooth. Finally, and I know this is stupid, but I can't believe lexus uses the cheap camry green backlit dash controlls. The speedometer/tachometer look so great in the bright white led, why didn't they make the rest of the car match? The stereo and AC controls, etc. look like a cheap Chevy Malibu at night.
Anyway, these are small things and I definitely love the car! I'll post some pictures in a few days.
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Comments

  • Nice to hear that someone is comparing the new ES to the old Acura TL. I currently have an Acura TL and am waiting for my ES to come in. I know that the ES will have a different feel than my car, but am hoping that will have the same immediate rocket-thrust (lack of a better word) as my current car does. I am aware that the steering may not be as tight, but I can adapt. I am buying a more luxury vehicle, after all.

    This thought came to my mind as I just got back from a road trip up North. As I was passing trucks and slow cars on two-lane Highway 1 on the coast, I was thinking to myself I hope the ES will be as responsive and powerful when I need it. :confuse:
  • bwolfbwolf Posts: 18
    The acceleration is more subtle than the TL. It doesn't throw you back into the seat, but it also doesn't jerk you. The power is very, very smooth and at first you won't think it has the power that the TL has, but as you're thinking that you're passing people. Also, when I stepped on it in my TL the car would almost always want to veer left or right. (Front wheel drive oversteer) The ES seems much better at this even though the steering is looser. I liked that the Acura feels the road, especially when taking tight turns, but I don't miss going over pot holes and speed bumps. I think Lexus did a great job because you get to drive a luxory car but they made the new interior more sporty and the exterior is definitely more sporty, so you still feel like you have a sports sedan. I had my Red ES parked next to my Gray TL and the Acura looked so dated and cheap compared to the Lexus.
  • alien2alien2 Posts: 33
    We've had our 350 for about a month. It's a very polished car with a few exceptions. I wanted to see if anyone else has experienced a unique condition of the windshield wipers. If you try to clean the windshield, you can not lift the blades away from the windshield. If you try, you will probably chip the paint on the hood. The blade assembly does have a hinge that normally is there to allow you to raise the wipers so you can clean the windshield. Lifting the hood does not help. Anyone else experience this? Thanks, alien.
  • Well, 8 weeks of waiting and reading these forums. Finally, we got the call. Picked it up on Thursday and we are extremely happy with it. See photos:http://www.carspace.com/wireguy1
    We had the spoiler added along with the Sport Wheels. The wheels give the car a great look. For now, we have lots to learn. So far, this has exceeded our expectations.

    MSC
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    Great looking car! If you don't mind me asking... how much did the dealer charge for the spoiler and sport wheels? thanks
  • The spoiler was added at no charge. The wheels were $1,250. Seems like a lot, but we think it really gives this car a unique look.

    MSC
  • Should have stayed with Lexus and never leased the TL, but the car looked so good and I did'nt need another large one, my 2006 GS was used mainly by my wife - great car BTW - anyhow, the TL was a major piece of lemon junk and after suing Honda, I took a small settlement and put it down on the ES350.
    The car is great overall, I have an issue with the transmission - intermittent hesitation changing from 1st to 2nd. Other than that it's great so far. I have'nt played around to much with the NAV system and voice commands other than Bluetooth
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "I have an issue with the transmission - intermittent hesitation changing from 1st to 2nd." ((

    Your car shares the new 6-sp. A/T with the 2007 Camry. Might wanna log onto the Camry discussions and read the archived 6-sp A/T "snap-ring" posts if you haven't already. (Some units self-corrected in the course of normal operation with the snap-ring finally popping into its retaining grove on the gear carrier shaft, thereby locking the gear into its intended position on the shaft. Others weren't so lucky and the fix required replacing the entire transmission under warranty.)
  • The car isnt mine, its my mothers. I researched it for her and it really is the nicest, simplest entry-lux car out there. NO frills, just the basics ... super smooth ride, plenty of power and lots of room [killer looks as well!].

    Navigation works beatifully even though it can be a bit wierd, it calculates three routes, and you have to choose one of those routes before it automatically begins route guidance. So if your in an unfamiliar area, you might be scratching your head at which route to pic... but usually they cover their bases and choose "fastest route", "no high/toll ways" and something else.

    I love the power, you never want to let up on the gas, but trying to do something other than going in a straight line and you'll quickly find out that this car isnt sporty. The super cushy ride serves its purpose, just dont try to push this car near its limits.

    The backup camera is a great feature [comes with NAV] .. but its almost a must since VISIBILITY is rather poor. Looking rearwards for reversing or checking blindspots can become a chore since the body paneling can get in the way.

    ONE MAJOR PROBLEM: I dont know i this has been discussed in any other forums, but check this: You can turn on car normally with keyfob, but if you remove the keyfob from the car, the car is still operational!!! Even if your in park, and you get out of your car [with key]... the engine will stay on!!! This makes me almost doubt wireless keyfob pushstart systems ... since normal cars cannot operate without the key, this one will. obviously once you turn it off, the car will not start back up again [without key], but to think of the many things that can happen with this vulnerability ... kinda shocking this went through Lexus Testing and didnt get fixed.

    We upgraded from a 03 TL type S ... and its like the lexus is a completely different car. The TL was nice, but the suspension was too sporty and steering to stiff. I liked those aspects, but my mom obviously beared with it since it was something that she liked and we could afford. The lexus is defintaly a very nice car that gets looks from everyone. Many people will say the es350 is basically a upgraded camry in hopes to knock on this car... but i dont care. Its beautiful, and the lexus dealership is nice and the service there is excellent. Your paying for some prestige, great service and a excellent car.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Quote: "ONE MAJOR PROBLEM: I dont know i this has been discussed in any other forums, but check this: You can turn on car normally with keyfob, but if you remove the keyfob from the car, the car is still operational!!! Even if your in park, and you get out of your car [with key]... the engine will stay on!!! This makes me almost doubt wireless keyfob pushstart systems ... since normal cars cannot operate without the key, this one will. obviously once you turn it off, the car will not start back up again [without key], but to think of the many things that can happen with this vulnerability ... kinda shocking this went through Lexus Testing and didnt get fixed."

    You offer a valid concern/point; however, here's my counterpoint (mind you, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your point about the vulnerability of the engine still running even though the keyfob is not in proximity):

    I would offer to venture that the majority of folks who would exit their vehicle while leaving the engine running do not do so unintentionally--IOW, for whatever reason they consciously chose to exit the vehicle w/o turning off the engine; in this regard, there would be no difference between getting out of a vehicle like the ES 350 w/ keyfob in hand and getting out of a vehicle w/ the key still in the ignition. Ask yourself this--is getting out of and walking away from an ES 350 w/ keyfob in hand and engine running leaving the ES any more vulnerable than if you were to get out and walk away from a different vehicle whose engine is running w/ the key still in the ignition? If anything, the former scenario is a bit less vulnerable overall since w/o the keyfob it is not possible to unlock the doors (if locked) or restart the vehicle on the ES 350.

    In any case--it's not as if Lexus was totally oblivious to this "vulnerability"; if you exit the vehicle and close the driver's door while the engine is still running, the vehicle will beep at you to let you know that you left it running.
  • Yes, you make a good point. At least with the keyfob system, if the car was stolen, it could not be started back up again w/o the keyfob.

    Another concern ive had is the fact that these keyfobs work off of frequencies that could potentially be hacked right? There are means of hacking peoples garage doors ... whose to say it couldnt be done with keyfobs? Now this would effect ALL car manufacturers that use such ignitions systems.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    True, but to generalize your concern...any car can be stolen--keyfob or no keyfob--if someone really wanted it. What makes the difference between whether it gets stolen or not is the degree of difficulty--i.e., the layer of protection in place. Sure, it is theoretically possible to hack the keyfob frequency...but the codes used to distinguish one keyfob from another are so numerous it would take quite some time for any person to be able to identify it...and certainly longer than the amount of time your average car thief would be willing to spend in order to discover the frequency code for a particular car. Same thing with modern garage door openers--they use rolling-code type frequencies; not that they can't be scanned and retrieved, but it would take a long time to discover the correct one.

    Besides...how many car thefts were discovered to have done via some guy using a hacked transmitter to deactivate the car alarm? No more than a relative handful, I'd be willing to bet. In any case, the majority of cars are stolen and driven away by one of two methods--they're either hotwired or they're towed away...so IMHO I don't think there would be too much to worry about someone discovering the transmitting frequency for your vehicle. ;)
  • I have no source to back this up other than a vague memory of "reading it somewhere," but I believe most stolen cars had the keys left in the ignition. At least if you keep the keyfob in your pocket, that isn't a problem (unless you leave your pants in the car). Now a keyfob in a purse is another problem altogether.
  • well said tdoh ... I'm guessing youd have to be a super hacker to even attempt decoding and successfully stealing a keyfob car. I guess im overthinking the situation. I just thought id throw it out there... thanks for the response!!

    All in all though, i love the es 350. Its just a wonderfully pleasant car. being a college student, i drive a hand-me-down 98 regal. Last weekend i went home and ran an errand in the es350 ... and it felt like i was in a whole new luxurious spaceship. I love the way the car comes to life and the telescopic steering wheels moves out to meet you.

    Its so easy to get comfortable in the car too. I usually just mess with simple forward/back movement of seat and seatback ... but i just noticed controls for THIGH support... now thats sweet. Lumbar is a goodie but i dont need that. The thigh support is a really nice feature that can support drivers of all shapes and sizes.
  • I just got the black sapphire lexus es 350 with the ultra luxury package (mark Levinson audio) and i pretty happy with except for a few things. I sometimes leave the car on at the gas station to pick up some smokes and my girlfriend thought it would be cute if she just started driving the car while i was in the store. I didnt worry because i had the key and i thought it would not allow her to drive, but it did!! does anyone know if there might be a way to this car to shut off or any other type of measures necessary that would allow me to walk away from the car without worrying, and yes i know i could just turn it off but it is just a force of habit. I also wanted to get the spray they offered but i didnt want to pay an extra 1000.00 bucks for it does anyone know if there are places that will spray the car for cheaper and offer the same type of gaurantee. i also do not see any mods for this car yet, physical or enging wise and i do not something that needs to custom fitted to the car because i have had problems with this before and it ended up caused some minor problems to one of my older vehicles.
    I know this may seems like a long list but i want to keep this car for awhile especially since i had to wait almost 2 and 1/2 months to get it. I will post some pics up as soon as i get a chance, but all the help would be greatly appreciated.
  • i see it cycles thru mpg and you can see distance traveled but how do you set time clock.... the nav will tell you projected time and distance but not actual time spent driving... i had a es 300 and that was part of the info cycled that you did from the steering wheel but i dont see it on the new 2007 es 500
  • My ES350 is only 3weeks old . I am very dissapointed with the wind noise, especially at the drivers head level . I love the rest of the car but at speeds over 50mph the wind noise is really disturbing. The dealer told me they couldn't hear it. Yesterday I was driving against the wind doing 65mph and it was so loud I tried to cover it up with the radio but still heard it. I drove a 1994 camry before this and never heard the wind even at speeds up to 85. I taped up the windows and door seals with shippping tape and tested it. The wind level went down a little but was still there.

    I am so sad this beautiful car has this problem and probably will sell it in a year.
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    Have you experienced any transimissions issues? I wrote in the other section of the ES350 forum about being disappointed with the ES350. I don't own one... but I have been so into the car since it was released at the Chicago auto show in Feb. 2006. I was 100% sure I was going to get the car... but now, honestly... I'm "scared". Now after reading your post, it just confirms it even more.

    So, if you had to do it again, I'm assuming you would have passed if you had known all of this, huh?

    thanks
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    There is none...revert to your watch.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    I won't dispute that many vehicles are stolen due to folks leaving their keys inside the vehicle, but that wasn't my main point...which was that your average car thief won't bother stealing a vehicle unless it can easily be done in a very short amount of time.

    You offer a valid "exception" regarding a person who keeps the keyfob for the most part inside a purse or other kind of storage item, who then for whatever reason leaves said item inside the vehicle. I would offer a counterpoint to that--a thief who's looking to steal a purse or other valuable item sitting inside a vehicle is for the most part not initially thinking about stealing the car as well. After all, why would such a thief increase the odds of getting himself caught for stealing a purse by stealing the car too, given that the relative odds of getting caught from having taken property that was inside the vehicle are somewhat small?
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