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Lexus ES 350

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  • I finally picked up my car. I ended up with a Tungsten Pearl UL with black interior. It was not my first choice in color but overall, I think I will be very happy with the car. Had an OUTSTANDING buying experience at Jim Falk Beverly Hills Lexus (see Prices Paid and Buying Experience).

    Now, I'm reading through one of the owners manual.... I believe all the manuals together weigh about 5 lbs. I guess I've got my homework ahead of me.

    One thing I was reading that the owner's manual explicitly stated that Octane 91 or above must be used. This must be a change to the original owner's manual as I've seen the wording in the earlier versions. I've used super for so many years so no big deal but was surprised that they changed the owner's manual. Note: Car is a Sept 2006 Build.
  • no problems like this with mine.
  • cmmicmmi Posts: 3
    I recently bought a Lexus ES350.

    Seriously doubting I made a wise choice. One of the reasons happened when I phoned my dealer to inquire about winter tires. I live in Canada and have to get winter tires.

    I was told I have to buy both the tires and the rims only from them. Total price is C$2600 for 4.

    He said I cannot buy them anywhere else because the rims have sensors. If I don't use Lexus rims "half the dashboard won't work". :P

    Yikes!

    This after paying for a car that is sold in Canada at full price, which is thousands of dollars more than the US price (when using current conversion rates).

    Has anyone else on this forum bought winter tires? From a non-Lexus dealer? Just the tires or rims too?

    Thanks.
  • I'm also about ready to buy a 2007 ES 350. I would like to get one manufactured as late as possible because I've heard of transmission shifting glitches or hesitation on some earlier units. Does yours seem to shift okay?
    BTW, congratulations on your purchase, can't wait until I get mine.
  • dreyfusdreyfus Posts: 24
    That is a load of B.S. The only sensor in your wheels is the inflation monitor which is in the valve stem. That will need to be added (~$170 each in the US), but the wheels can definitely be third-party without any harm.

    Your Lexus dealer is trying to rip you off. This is a bit of a surprise since you got such a good deal on your initial purchase. With Lexus, the service & parts departments are separate business units from sales and are aparently run quite differently at your dealership.
  • Also in Canada - you have two options - buy tires only and have them installed at any tire shop, you don't need new sensors doing this or buy sensors from dealer and ship tem to someone like tirerack.com and get a great tire / wheel combo for a good price. Tire rack has some nice otions for about $1000 US shipped (to Ontario). Sensors will cost $71.00 for each wheel and a fitting kit (9.00 each wheel) (prices in Ottawa). - so for about $1500 CAD you can get the whole set.
    You can even install the wheels/tires without the sensors - you will just have the low pressure warning come on - it will not make half the dashboard work - dealer is being dishonest
  • cmmicmmi Posts: 3
    Thanks for your reply. I'll try that.

    I don't know why you said I got a good deal on the intial purchase - it was no deal at all.
  • To revisit an old subject:

    The following appeared in the Sept. 2006 Motor Trend in an article entitled "Backdraft: troubled by gas? Try cooling your fanny," by Arthur St. Antoine.
    (Motor Trend 58.9 (Sept 2006): p28(1).)

    "Amerigon's Climate Control Seat (unveiled on the 2000 Lincoln Navigator and now available on models from Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai) actively circulates cooled air through breathable cushion trim (the seat's solid-state heat pump is self-contained and runs independently from the car's climate control)."

    So, assuming Toyota uses the best technology in their flagship Lexus line, the seats are actively cooled by their own heat pump.
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    Toyota/Lexus appears to be sadly behind the times here as their seats are only "ventillated." They don't blow much air at all and that which they do is simply recirculated air from the cabin, not cooled air from the A/C.

    They should have done better or simply deleted the feature as it really serves no purpose whatsoever on a hot summer's day.

    Heck I would gladly have taken a strip of that great looking wood on the passenger side of the dash.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Is the steering wheel vibration really noticeable--i.e., is it a very faint vibe you can feel in your hands, or is it bad enough you can actually see the wheel vibrate (not violently, but enough that you can definitely see it)?

    FWIW--I get no steering wheel vibration on my ES 350; as far as the engine noise is concerned, I can hear it but it's not like it overwhelms the cabin--i.e., at least at idle I can hear it just enough to know that it's running. OTOH if you're referring to louder noises such as knocking and the like--I don't hear any of that except for a very brief moment when the engine first starts up when cold...and even then the noise isn't that loud.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    LOL--that's exactly what I did when I wasn't able to successfully program the Homelink on my ES 350 the first time (I have a GMC Yukon XL Denali); after following the instructions in the GMC manual I was able to successfully program the Homelink on the ES.

    FWIW however--once I read the instructions in the ES manual a bit more closely, I realized that they are really more or less the same just like in the GMC manual; I say this because I chose to program another Homelink button on the ES and, rather than pull out the GMC manual again (why I just don't memorize the darn instructions, I have no idea!), I just went off of the ES manual...and gosh darn, I was able to program it on the first try.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Well, odds are that on a "hot summer's day", you'll probably have the A/C on...in which case it shouldn't take very long for those ventilated seats will be blowing that recirculated air--which BTW should be fairly cool once the cabin is adequately cooled down by the A/C--into your fanny! ;)
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    ...Well, I just got home from a wonderfully stimulating afternoon of gawking at and driving cars.

    Here's some of my thoughts.

    First off, Lexus did a wonderful job and had enough cars that the lines to drive them weren't excessively long. The entire affair was handled with polish and class. Kudos to Lexus for an entertaining and informative afternoon.

    Lexus LS 460 - Very much the "big brother" to our car. Nice but not drop dead "holy cow, I can't believe it" nice. Very fast, nicely balanced and pretty flat through s-curves. On the negative side, the throttle is still very non linear with small changes corresponding to either no change in power or massive "throw you back in the seat" acceleration; the brakes, too were very notchy and "grabby" with small moduations in pressure causing unpredictable and overly aggressive braking. All in all the drivetrain was a major dissappointment in it's lack of harmony and linkage. As this is clearly present in our cars (the ES) one begins to think that Lexus just can't get engines and tranny's to link together properly.

    M-B S 550 - WOW!!! Both inside and out, this car radiates class and elegance. Literally everything about it pretty much screams "in this car you have reached the pinnacle of automotive sophistication and refinement." Everything looks like quality and radiates good taste. Awesome, simply awesome. The engine is incredibly torquey (sp?) and it feels like the ability to accelerate is limitless. Power delivery is entirely linear with the degree to which the accelerator is pressed and there is no hesitation whatsoever when you push the gas pedal. Power delivery is immediate with your right foot, the accelerator pedal and the drivetrain all feeling as if they are governed by one mind. Very impressive! The transmission is as smooth as fresh butter and you never feel any shift points at all. On the negative side, the car is heavy and the front end doesn't respond to rapid direction changes as nimbly as the Lexus. There is very little body lean, however and the car maintains a nice neutral posture thru s-curves. The steering is positively awful. The steering wheel is too big and feels like a Mack truck it's so heavily weighted. All this comes at a price (what doesn't?). $86k is what you'll need to bring one of these home.

    BMW 750 - This is one seriously ugly car. And you know what? It gets even worse (if that's possible) when you get in. The interior looks cheap and as if it's ergonomics (I admittedly use the term loosely) were designed by a psychotic, retarded person. Buttons and knobs are strewn everywhere with little or no apparent planning. The button to adjust seat position is mindlessly placed on the side of the center stack by your right knee. Buttons are everywhere and you don't even want to get me started on the mind nubbingly dumb-assed "I-Drive" system. It's all a design and ergonomic nightmare. Chris Bangle should be shot for the exterior but whoever "designed" (again, I use the term loosely as this thing doesn't appear so much designed as thrown into some cosmic blender and put together based on whatever spilled out) should be given to Saddam Hussein's kids (if they were still alive, but I guess you get my point). Now onto something a bit more pleasant. The car drives like a dream. As with the M-B, there is total harmony between the engine, transmission and accelerator pedal. Power delivery is immediate and the thing is a rocket ship. There is essentially no body lean and it handles like a slot car. Pretty impressive for a 4500 lb. vehicle. There is simply nothing bad to say about the driving dynamics of this champ. If you could get by it's "Ugly Betty" appearance and hideous interior, this is a killer car. And a steal at "only" $74k.

    Lexus SC 430 - Ughhh! Who buys this thing? It looks like an upside down bathtub. It's proportions are all wrong and it's cramped inside. It's not terribly fast and it handles like a Cunard ocean liner. I simply don't know what to say. This baby is just a joke.

    Lexus GS 450h - OK, I'm on record as saying that I despise the hatchback appearance of the GS and I stick to that. And the interior is cramped. I couldn't car less about any dimensions that Lexus publishes that say that this is as roomy (or roomier) than the ES...it's not! You feel confined and claustrophobic. It's interior is quite spartan, perhaps taking its lead from it's target demographic, the BMW 5 Series. It's instrumentation is very nice, however and thankfully there are just enough buttons and knobs to control everything that needs to be controlled on a regular basis. You say you want power? Well, let me tell you, have you come to the right place! If the BMW 750 is a rocket ship (and it is), this thing is an anti-missile missle. This thing is frighteningly fast. This must be what driving a Ferrari is like (well, maybe not quite, but close). In very unLexus-like fashion, power delivery is pretty much immediate and the car feels like it could take off with another millimeter or two of accelerator travel. The chassis is as flat as a carpenter's level and it handles s-curves with complete composure and confidence. This thing is like driving a go cart at a carnival. Except it's much bigger, has a roof and goes a whole lot faster. Oh, and it costs just a little more too ($62k). The brakes are a little notchy in reassuringly Lexus-like fashion (what's the problem here guys, you can get this right...you really need to work on this..."Relentless Pursuit of Perfection" huh?...well you have some work to do here) and you have to be very careful modulating them or they grab way too hard, a characteristic seen on just about every Lexus vehicle. If Lexus wants to know how to do brakes right, they should just copy whatever M-B is doing because, let me tell you, they have it dead solid perfect.

    OK, end of rant, er, I meant review.

    Flame away!
  • sirrafsirraf Posts: 55
    After all of your gawking and driving what are you going to buy?
  • I get a tire warning light on the left side of my dash. I checked the tire pressure and all OK. The manual says that there is a reset buttom below the steering wheel but I'll be damned if I can find it...help!
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    I already own the 2007 ES 350 but if price was no object and I absolutely had to pick just one, I'd probably go with the M-B S 550. That huge steering wheel and grossly underassisted steering would definitely take some getting used to though.

    For pure driving with nothing else considered I'd probably go for the GS 450h by a tiny margin over the BMW 750, but that'd be really close and you could make a very compelling case for either one.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    It's under the dash right under the right side of the steering column. There are two buttons under there. One's to defeat the skid control or the swiveling headlights (I forgot) and the other is to reset the tire pressure monitering sensors. I had one go off on me about a month or so ago and I reset it with that button and all has been well ever since.
  • I had a similar problem. I called my garage door opener company. They told me to replace the battery in my transmiter. It had been sitting for years and seems to have enough signal to open my garage but not enough juice to program homelink. Problem fixed.
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    After reading the post about "Taste of Lexus" and the LS460 having a disconnect between the driver/engine/transmission, I don't understand what Toyota/Lexus is doing? I'm sure that Toyota/Lexus employs some of the best Engineers in the industry. This hesitation issue has been a problem going back to the 2004 Highlander. Isn't it obvious to them that they need to revisit their design philosophy here? If they want Lexus to compete with MB and BMW, it has to be more of a drivers car. At the very least, when you step on the gas, the car should go. That's what even the most basic of cars have done from the beginning. I just got a used 2004 ES330 and it has the same problem. Nothing so bad that it is dangerous. But when you step on the gas, there is a disconnect between you and the car. My '99 ES300 was not as powerful but when I told it to go, it went! I felt like I was in control of the car. With the 330, I have to be conscious of the fact that I have to give it enough gas when merging into traffic from a stop and then it's ok but I have to be careful not to give it too much or it gets confused. If I am driving along and step on it a bit, it is ok but if I stomp on it at any speed, it takes a deep breath and then decides to go. Is Toyota/Lexus going towards have you just sit in the car and it will take care of the rest? I hope not! Come on guys, fix this before you alientate a whole bunch of current and potential future Toyota/Lexus owners. I think the Engineers need to get out into the field and do some serious customer focus groups to see what people really want/like/ dislike, etc. Sorry to rant but this design is permeating through the entire Toyota/Lexus line little by little and as a 20 year Toyota customer, I am really concerned that I am going to be turned off by their new cars. If they are not careful, companys like Infiniti are going to start capitalizing on this.
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    Excellent post Tom. I can imagine no reason that a company like Lexus/Toyota with positively massive resources at it's disposal cannot get the lack of harmony between the engine and transmission, as well as the grabbiness and notchiness of the brakes in order. The Germans have these characteristics completely in order and there's really no reason or excuse why Lexus/Toyota shouldn't be expected to do the same.

    The dreaded accelerator lag and lack of brake linearity is completely unacceptable on a car of this class.
  • ronwynronwyn Posts: 16
    I picked up my new ES350 in late August and have been having the same problems as everyone else at this web site. The clickedy clack of the engine upon starting in the morning and the shifting problems with the transmission. The car is garage kept. It seems it does not know which gear it wants to be in at low speed when cold and some times when accelerating it misses a shift, racing the engine. I cannot find the garage door opener at night, should be backlit, and the drivers seat head rest raises by itself about 2 inches. The headrest has already been replaced but evidently the new one was not the fix. It is at the dealers now and I don't want it back till the problems have been fixed. Has anyone with transmission problems gotten results? I also have an issue with the Bluetooth not recognizing commands. I can dial faster than it recognizes commands.
  • I had transmission replaced and car works fine. It had been built in April 2006 and they had a problem that they finally recognized.. Dealer was very helpful. Lexus Guy 3
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    I picked up my new ES350 in late August and have been having the same problems as everyone else at this web site. The clickedy clack of the engine upon starting in the morning and the shifting problems with the transmission. The car is garage kept. It seems it does not know which gear it wants to be in at low speed when cold and some times when accelerating it misses a shift, racing the engine. I cannot find the garage door opener at night, should be backlit, and the drivers seat head rest raises by itself about 2 inches. The headrest has already been replaced but evidently the new one was not the fix. It is at the dealers now and I don't want it back till the problems have been fixed. Has anyone with transmission problems gotten results? I also have an issue with the Bluetooth not recognizing commands. I can dial faster than it recognizes commands.

    I have to say... I am really sad that I'm hearing more and more owners reporting this transimission issue. I have been following the ES350 since Feb. when it was released at the Chicago auto show. I was 100% sure I was going to buy this car... but with this transimission issue, I have to basically pass on this car. To pay almost 40K for a car that could potentially have a major transmission issue... that scares the hell out of me. I really wish Toyota or Lexus would address this issue. I'm sure there are other customers that they are losing b/c of this. For me, I need to get another car in the next couple months. Although I'm looking at other cars (TL,RL,GS300,etc).... the ES350 would have been my #1 choice. Very depressing....
  • jickajicka Posts: 38
    I have an Avalon Ltd and I programed the homelink garage door opener on the button to the right of the light that indicates the dimmer is on. First, it's easy to find at night. Second, the button is close to the center of the mirror - I don't have to readjust the mirror after closing the garage door.
  • ronwynronwyn Posts: 16
    Just received call from dealer to pick car up. Cannot duplicate transmission problem, engine noise on cold start is normal (which I find hard to believe)and the headrest that I reported did not raise up for them. They are noting my problems and will hear from me again if they continue. My car was built in July 06, what was your transmission problem that they replaced it?
  • MY transmision slipped from 3rd to 4th gear. Lexus has a Bulletin that fixes a "flare" problem that sounded like what I had. Lexus tried taht fix and it still slipped but between other gears. To their credit they took the car in and decided on the transmission replacement on there own. I originally had issue where they could not duplicate but found the problem was at its worst when cold. Check out when the car was built. If in April or May you probably need a new transmission.
  • egm1egm1 Posts: 9
    I hope you don't give up on the ES350. It is a great car! In my review (see 2007 ES350), I stressed that in my view, the engine/transmission combination was THE strong point of the car. The driving experience is excellent. My car was built in April 2006 but I have experienced none of the transmission problems mentioned. Maybe luck of the draw?

    I turned in a 2003 ES350, and had no transmission problems with that car either.
    I'm a very picky guy so don't think I'm just giving Lexus a pass on the problems.

    I hope you will reconsider.
    Regards.
  • vluuvluu Posts: 100
    I hope you don't give up on the ES350. It is a great car! In my review (see 2007 ES350), I stressed that in my view, the engine/transmission combination was THE strong point of the car. The driving experience is excellent. My car was built in April 2006 but I have experienced none of the transmission problems mentioned. Maybe luck of the draw?

    I turned in a 2003 ES350, and had no transmission problems with that car either.
    I'm a very picky guy so don't think I'm just giving Lexus a pass on the problems.


    Thanks for your reply. It's good to hear some ES350 owneres who don't have any transmissions issues. I realize that no car is perfect in any means. There are always flaws or preferences that doesn't make everyone happy. Although, the transmission is a totally different thing. To me, that's a "major" issue. Yes, if there were more post on how Lexus fixed the issue, instead of ignoring or not being able to reproduce the problem. That would be more encouraging. I will definitely give the car a chance again.... maybe test drive again and talk to the Lexus dealer about my concerns. Maybe they will give me more insight and can reassure my concerns.

    Btw, which package did you get? I wanted the Prem Plus w/ Nav.
  • cxccxc Posts: 122
    This is the reason why I will not buy another Lexus. My understanding is that Toyota places the fuel economy over drivability. Toyota gets one or two MPG better than BMW and MB.
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