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How many of you would buy an ES again?

carteachcarteach Posts: 179
I have been thinking of buying a preowned LS '04-'06; but I've been reading the negative postings about the transmission. I'm not sure what % of Lexus owners are experiencing these problems since people who are unhappy with a large purchase usually go to this kind of forum as well as people like me who are doing research.

In any event, I'd like to get some feedback.



  • Club Lexus shows about 23% of their members having transmission problems. The Lexus TSIB doesn't fix the problem of 3rd-4th gear rpm flaring and Lexus has been replacing transmissions or even buying back cars.

    You're correct to question the application of forum figures to the ES350 owner population at large. I suspect, like you, that those with problems make up a larger percentage of forum entries than in the general population because they're looking for solutions for their problems online.

    My ES350 now has 7,700 miles on it. I've had the navigation display replaced under warranty to fix the climate control voice recognition issue. That has been my only problem to date.

    I would definitely buy another ES350 and am glad I own one now. It's a great car for those who are looking for it's strengths (reliability, comfort, luxury, mpg) and don't mind it's weaknesses (boat-like handling, lame tires, nanny lockouts, looks like a Camry).
  • Absolutely! I own a 05 ES330 that still turns heads and gets comments about it's great styling. But beyond that I have been extremely happy with the car and have not had any issues with it at all.

    There are a few points for improvement if Lexus cares to do so.

    1. There is a lag in power when stepping on the gas harder than normal such as trying to accelerate out of a bad situation on a freeway. I reported this to the dealer service center and they said that this is a computer designed lag to prevent potential engine damage. I definitely do not like this feature.

    2. The cup holders are sub-standard and will not hold a normal size cup in place during deceleration. I have to hold my cup to prevent spilling it.

    3. There is black hole surrounding the cup holder. Anything dropped in front of the cup holder disappears beneath it falling back into the console and anything dropped next to it falls between the seats making it extremely hard to get back.
  • I would consider buying another one only IF I have at least four or five years of trouble free driving this one (2007 ES).
  • I've owned a Lexus for almost 3 years. Their customer service leaves much to be desired. My car has a problem with the Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) where it comes on while I'm driving down the fwy on clear dry road. When the VSC engages the computer takes control of the braking and acceleration. The override button doesn't work. Lexus refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem and refused to repair it even though its under warranty. I'm in the Lemon Law process since it's been at the dealer for the last 3 months, but Lexus hasn't made any attempt to repair this or retain me as a customer.
  • I own a 2004 ES 330. I have about 28,000 miles on it and have owned it since August of 2004 (I bought it new). I have had too many problems to list here, but I will list what I consider the worst costomer service issue. The dashboard vent on the passenger side did not seat properly. After about 500 miles of driving, the vent falls out. Every time the car has been to the dealer, I have requested that the problem be fixed. It took 9 times and 27 months before they finally fixed the problem. The dealer used double-sided tape to hold the vent in place. This is the warranty repair to my car. My Lexus dashboard is now being held together by tape. I question the overall quality of the vehicle if this is how it is repaired.
  • Lexus ES 350 and dealership is terribly OVERrated.
  • cxccxc Posts: 122
    One 2002 ES300 is too many. Its reliability is poor and its quality is not good. In terms of technology, I feel that I got cheated out of $40K. The next car will be BMW 5 or MB E class.
  • My new 2007 ES350 is a big disappointment. With my transmission repairs and other issues that I am told can not be repaired.
  • No, I would never buy another Lexus again. I bought my second ES in July of last year. The transmission does not shift smoothly, which is a flaw in design, the black cars do not have clear coat on them and I am having paint issues, the cup holders will not hold drinks and are unusable. I would not have bought a black car if I had known they were not clear coated. The car is a year old and the paint looks horrible and actually it's the worst paint job of any car I have owned in my life. The service at the dealership has been below average for the price I paid for the car and actually I have left the dealership with more issues than I came in with. I am planning on trading the car in this summer and getting something else.
  • I'm on my 4th Lexus. I have a 2006 GS300 which has been in the shop 2 weeks and will probably be in for another week while they wait for a part from Japan!! Anyway, I took my 2007 ES350 (3,000 miles) to the dealer to have bad dashboard noises repaired. It took them one full week and the repair invoice stated: (and I quote, bad grammar as well)
    Dash R&R front windshield creaking noise coming from right side lower corner between windshield and body unable to reseal due to big gap replaced windshield, sublet to (auto body shop name) also creaking sound coming from across dashboard and body panel remove and reseal dashboard and reinstalled also reseal navigation and radio unit panel and upper A/C vent remove and reseal instrument panel lower dashboard panel (the sealer is now leaking out of the dash)
    I'm thoroughly disgusted. They had to sublet to a body shop?? Also, the auto interior/exterior setting resets to manual after turning off the ignition. They had me wait 1 hour while a technician tried to correct it with zero result.
  • Well looks like Lexus lost a potential customer - I was reseaching buying ES. Foooorget about it now.
  • saleemsaleem Posts: 114
    I've taken my 02 ES300 into the dealership on our extended warranty plenty of times, but they've always been very helpful problems were radio (replaced 4 times before working), parking idle sound, vent temperature incorrect, and some other stuff. what percentage of 02 ES's have transmission problems??

    Would I buy again? it's my parents car and it's good for them I'd buy somehting sportier (g35x, 328xi)
  • ichor0416ichor0416 Posts: 10
    I have an ES300 and it has the transmission lag. I have been in several near misses and near death situations because of it. I have driven the newest ES series and RX350 (when my ES300 was being repaired and I had the loaner car). They seem to not have the problem. Too late for me though. I will never buy another Lexus and encourage everyone I know to look elsewhere too. The company reacted to the complaints by ignoring them and denying that the problem even exists. We must all be crazy, huh?
  • es4jbes4jb Posts: 17
    If you're happy with your ES, this message is not for you. This message is meant for someone thinking about purchasing a used ES.

    I dumped my 05 Lexus ES 330 yesterday, traded it in on a gorgeous 07 Infiniti G35.

    The ES had 21000 miles on it. I have never in my life traded in any car with less than 60000 miles.

    I drove the car for 2 years and came to loathe the vehicle. I have never had a car I hated as much. Perhaps my expectations of what I would get out of a Lexus were overblown, but here is a partial list of what drove me crazy:

    1. The vehicle is grossly underpowered. Requires Premium gas to get any power.

    2. The "transmission hesitation" problem is REAL and annoying at best, dangerous at worst. Punching the accelerator is not something you do with this car. I gave up on using "D" (Drive) in normal city driving. I learned to use the "drive by wire" mode to "manually" operate the car in 3rd or 4th gear.

    3. The center console displays are black LCD. If there is direct sun from behind the displays are IMPOSSIBLE to read. If you wear polarized sunglasses the displays are IMPOSSIBLE to read.

    4. The Lexus "Premium Audio" system is mediocre. The volume levels are not consistent between AM and FM, so you have to turn the volume UP to hear AM stations and DOWN to get the same level for FM.

    5. Vehicle is billed as "satellite" radio-ready which is bunk. There is a button that reads "AM-SAT". That's it. If you want to add satellite radio it's a $1700 upgrade from Lexus. The upgrade must be installed by a Lexus dealer.

    6. The pop out cupholder is poorly positioned. It's too high so when you have a cup in the cupholder, it's difficult to use the gear shift. It's like they designed the car and someone said, "hey, we forgot the cup holder", so they put it there as an afterthought.

    7. The center console box has 2 sections. You flip the arm rest up to reach into the deep bin. There is a small bin beneath the arm rest, which is the "lid" of the deep bin. Whatever is in the small bin is going to be jostled whenever you lift the lid to reach into the deep bin.

    8. The front wheel drive seemed to oversteer at freeway speeds.

    It is certainly possible that the newer ES 350 model addresses some of these issues, I don't know.

    If you're thinking of picking up a used ES 330, think again.

    To answer the question posed by the original posting, I would state emphatically that I would NEVER buy another Lexus.
  • navtownnavtown Posts: 3
    One of the best cars I have bought and used. I have my ES 350 for a month now and love it. I have had many different cars in the past and I just love my ES. I would caution readers from buying into internet forums too much because you never know what kind of people post here. Some may be prejudiced against a certain make for various reasons other than the cars itself. I highly encourage people to talk to a real person - friend or family - who may have used the car so that you get a true unbiased opinion. Happy motoring!!!
  • mdamesmdames Posts: 79
    I've owned my 2007 ES350 for 8 months and 5,500 miles. What a great car! The fit and finish and quality is outstanding. The ride is very quiet and smooth, and it has a lot of power. The technology is very advanced; Bluetooth, Nav, backup camera, park assist, etc.... I love this car. I know there have been a small percentage of vehicles with transmission problems, but the majority of these vehicles are wonderful. This is born out by the continued high sales numbers for this car. If you are considering this vehicle, go test drive it.
  • I bought a used 1998 ES 300 in April 2007 (a 9 year old car) with 120,000 miles on it. I have been driving it for 3 months now and have put 1000+ miles on it. I think it's the smoothest car I have ever driven. It just floats when cruising but gets taut and handles well when accelerating ... atleast this is what I felt. I wanted to get an old luxury car with the best in reliability which means Audi automatically is off the list. I choose Lexus over M.Benz/BMW only because of Toyota's solid reliability reputation and it's worked so far.

    Now, why I won't buy another Lexus? Well ... if this one starts creating trouble soon then it is obvious why I won't buy another one but if this doesn't then I am going to keep this car as long as it runs. Why buy a second Lexus when you can buy another luxury brand like a BMW/Benz? So that's why I won't be getting another Lexus that way either :-)
  • texicotexico Posts: 3
    NEVER again. all those extra $$$
    just for the (L) on the hood. they are way too proud of their over priced Camry & over priced parts. you can't get parts from the Toyota Dealer. everything in the car is designed to force you back to the Lexus dealer. same parts, just changed the bolt patterns enough so you can't use the cheaper Toyota same part. you have to use the more expensive Lexus same part. I found the "owners manual" to be the biggest joke of all.
    it has the index in the back of the book. look up anything. head light adjustments, bulb replacement... anything. they all say the same thing. "see your Lexus dealer"

    right down to the stereo. it has this oddly shaped stereo. not a square or rectangle. plus it's about five time the size of a replacement stereo.
    so again. your forced into fixing it or replacing it at the Lexus dealer with a Lexus stereo. and don't even try to call the Lexus dealer service department for advice on a problem. the one and only answer you will get is... "yeah sure, we can help you... bring it on in."
    you can't just tell me how to get the ashtray out of the dash?
    or where the headlight adjustment screw is?
    "nope, but you can bring it in and we'll look at it for you."

    I also have a '98 Honda Accord EX. easy to fix. engineering is excellent.
    drives just a nice if not better than my ES. much better on fuel.
    the ES sucks it down. both have a 3.0 V6

    unless you think your impressing someone with the (L)
    I would say it's a big waist of money.

    oh, P.S. I didn't buy mine because it was a Lexus. it was passed down to me. I would have never paid that much for a silly car that's going to drop in price as soon as I drive it off the lot. birds, door dings, kids sitting on it when you come out of the store. eh! I'd take a good ol' pick-up any day over one of these again. rich Womens car.
  • I have a 2000 ES300 and apart for scheduled oil changes I have not had to spend any money on the car.I live near Toronto and last year we drove to San Diego and back and did not have to add any oil and most days we cruised at about 80 MPH when possible.I have had this car from new and the only reason I want a new one is because of the safety features on newer cars.A great car and very economical on gas.I have read about the problems some owners are having with the ES350 so I have test driven Acura RLs,Volvo S80,and Infiniti M 35X but all are too noisy, and I am comparing newcars to my 8 year old car.I guess being a Lexus owner has one drawback ,it spoils you so you cant go to another brand.Both the Acura and the Infiniti salespeople admitted to me that prospective customers they have who are Lexus owners find their cars too noisy and have a harsher ride.I guess I will buy the ES350 and trust I am not one of the few with problems
  • Have had mine for year and half and frankly I'm not impressed. It is a nice car but nothing special. (The BMW 5 or 3 is impressive to drive but too unreliable and too expensive). The most outstanding thing about the Lexus is the mileage, which is impressive. I should say that my wife loves the 350.

    I rent cars often when traveling for business and based on my experience frankly I'd be happy with a Buick, Mercury or Honda.

    I would consider another Lexus only if the price was not much higher than other choices. Otherwise I probably won't buy another one.
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