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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    A child of about 8 years old who observed my car in the parking lot, commented how much he liked my car, which is a Mystic Sea Opalescence color.

    I don't think an 8 year old would be as sensitive to status as would be an adult owner, and I don't think a Camry would have been singled out for comment.

    So much for an ES300 looking like a Camry or having staid, unattractive lines. If there weren't something special about the ES300, I like to think that it would be unlikely its appearance would elicit positive comments from an 8 year old.

    Now of course it is feasible that an eight year old might be a car buff and impressed by status of the Lexus name. But this kid said "I like your car". He did not say "I like your Lexus".
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I've been here since before the new ES was introduced, and the "constant bitching" is done by a constant few. Then there are those who don't own the new ES but like to point out the constant bitching, those who notice some issues with the tranny but don't think it's that serious, and those who don't notice any problem with it at all and think the tranny is as smooth as can be. Some in the latter 2 categories are still interested in seeing Lexus do something about it, for various reasons.

    As for styling, whether you like it or not, I wouldn't consider it "beyond boring." Boring to me is a style you don't think twice just doesn't interest you enough to illicit much response, positive or negative. This certainly doesn't apply to the new ES: you get comments from both ends of the spectrum. And from its excellent sales figures compared to its competitors and previous ES generations, I'm sure Lexus considers it a successful style. Those who don't like it I can almost always guess correctly what style they do like.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I noticed recently on my 02 ES that the wipers do not tuck themselves neatly at the bottom of the windshield, almost obstructing my view. I tried turning it on and off but it stops about a couple of inches from the bottom. Looking at the manual, it looks like it's the "resting" position instead of the "retracted" position. It may have been switched when the guy at the service station wiped the windshield. How much pressure should be applied to put it back to the normal position? I don't want to force it as I may break it.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    I must say when I saw the new ES I really didn't like it. But the more I saw it I ended up buying it last December. You can't beat the price for what you get, similar like the TL (you get a lot for alot less price. I got mine loaded without the NAV for $32k.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    They are in the winter position. My 99ES had the instructions to reposition them in the owners manual. I believe all you do is lift a little and push them down. Check the manual first or let the dealer do it.
  • just give the wipers a firm push down and it will go back to the original retracted position. very easy to do as I've done it many times.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I agree with the previous posts. The two positions help when you clean the windshield. Just tug a little toward you while pushing them down. You only have to grab hold of one of the wipers and both will move in tandem.

    Make sure you pull firmly (but don't yank) toward you first, and then push them down.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I've talked to three dealerships and all their service dept's acknowledged there is a problem with the tranny, they've claimed to have had numerous complaints about the tranny, they were at a loss as to why Lexus hasn't fixed this. The way I found out that this is a general problem is because the dealership told me so. Lexus headquarters in California fully represents there is a problem in a significant number of the '02 & '03 vehicles. Just talk with a dealerhip's service dept. Talk with Lexus Customer Satisfaction. Don't talk with a salesman because he will lie to you. Don't believe Lexus plants on this board.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    ...said the Infiniti plant. :P j/k
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    What do you mean by "Lexus plants"?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I believe the implication is that some posters to this board are "planted" by Lexus to post pro ES300 propaganda. Some of those who experience the transmission problem find it inconceivable that there are owners out there who find the transmission completely satsifactory.
  • Will the 04 ES330 have steering wheel radio controls. The answer to that question will be the sole determining factor as to whether or not I buy an 04 ES330. If those radio controls aren't on the steering wheel I'll be visiting my Acura dealer for the new TL.
  • raffeerraffeer Posts: 4
    This lurker has had a 2001 ES for almost two years. Only tran "problem" was caused by my own stupidity of driving in 4 not Drive for the first month.
    The car is a fully loaded Starlight Pearl dream vehicle. Only problem were the noisy Toyo tires which were exchanged with no problem when the dealer heard the complaint.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I would imagine the 2004 ES 330 will have radio controls on the steering wheel. It will either get the new-design wheel in the RX 330 or keep the same wheel with the radio controls added as the SC 430 has.

    It sounds odd that the steering wheel controls will be the deciding factor in your purchase. The ES 300/330 and new TL are very different cars. The ES is far more luxurious, while the new TL will be much sportier. Hopefully you will sit in and drive both and use that as the deciding factor. My brother has an Acura CL-S. Much sportier than my ES 300 but the quality of the interior is not in the same league. Both are great cars but with different missions.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Now I don't have any sedan. In 2000 when I was shopping between ES300 and I30, I compared so many times and kind of felt bad about wasting salesman's time, and finally bought RX300 just because one word from a best friend.

    2002 I was shopping among ES300, I35 and TL-S and suddenly bought QX4.

    I mean basically I like all sedans mentioned above. They are good enough to my taste, no matter one is more luxury, the other more sporty. In this situation I also feel that any tiny thing, like the steering wheel control, could swing me to one car no the other. If I definately want a sporty car then steering wheel control is nothing important.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    "While it may not have real wood..."

    Sometimes it's very difficult to tell fake or real wood. 01 QX4 has "wood tone", meaning simulated wood, while 02 and up QX4 has real wood. I compared my 02 QX4 with 01 QX4 and can never tell the difference. Just have to trust what window sticker tells me.
  • I need help from others that suffer from the lagging transmission problem. Can any of you who have been to the dealership give me some info on what they told you? I have 750 miles on my ES300 and there are times I press down on the accelerator and...NOTHING. I am bringing the car in this week and would like to be prepared with info from others as I feel I will get the.."there is nothing wrong. It shifts normal" from the service department. Is there a Lexus service bulletin or anything that I can reference when I drop the car off?

    Thanks, John
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    and they drove the RX330. According to them, it has some lag and hesitation problems. Isn't the 04 ES supposed to have the same engine? Although, my 03 ES doesn't have tranny problems, it seems that the problem still exists even for a new engine.
  • John,

    Drive the vehicle with a technician and replicate the problem. Then have the dealer write the problem down very specifically on the invoice. Let them know that this a very serious safety concern for you and your family. They will say something on there like they could replicate the problem with the hesitation but this is a normal characteristic of the vehicle and Lexus is working on a fix due out later this year.

    Take the invoice and say thank you very much mister dealer man. As you walk away, notice how he is laughing and smiling. Remember this "great" service experience.

    Then go to another dealer about the same problem and have them write down something.

    Then contact a lemon lawyer to get rid of the darn thing.

    Don't bother wasting your time getting angry or calling Better Business Bureau. Just treat your car as an individual case.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I see now how important the steering wheel radio controls are to you. As I said, my bet is the 2004 ES 330 will have them but I don't know for sure.

    I talked with my salesman yesterday and he said the 2004 ES went into production on August 1. The car will be the ES 330, but hp has not been released. Other changes are not known either, but the colors will remain exactly the same as 2003.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Posted by JPI at ClubLexus:

    Lexus just released a new software for your ES300. This supposed to fix all your shifting concern. TSB #TC004-03. Please contact your lexus dealer. They should get the software within next week. This is good news for the ES300 owners. Your wait is over(I HOPE)
  • Sorry, but TSB #TC004-03 isn't a fix. I can still replicate the RPM going up but no power and then the gear gets stuck. Now the RPM go up to 5000 and almost to red line while no power and sticking in gear.

    I took my car in yesterday, got it back today. The service advisor said they performed the TSB but he can't read the technical stuff. When I went in to get my car, besides making me wait forever, he smiled, shook my hand and said I'm glad we "fixed" your car. I told the Service Advisor that I hope they fixed the RPM going up but no power and then gear sticking. He didn't say anything. Just like the mechanic who went on the test drive with me yesterday. He said there was a fix for the "shifting" pattern.

    It shifts differently, but no fix yet...almost two years now...

    Lemon time...
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    Not that it will do any good, but you can replicate the problem best for the dealer by driving the car very softly before you take in the car. I mean drive it softly a few days before you take it in. If you try and replicate the problem consistently the car adjusts and won't do it as easily. Later it will readjust to your soft driving style and cause problems later when you need power. Lexus won't fix this very dangerous problem obviously because it costs too much. They will try these superficial software adjustments hoping to stall the complaints.

    Please contact the National Transportation Safety Administration and file your complaints. Bad press is the best action against Lexus right now. Call them at 888-DASH-2-DOT. This looks like it has too many phone digits, but I double checked it and it works. On top of the tranny problem, if you try and resell your car, be prepared for the massive drop in value. Edmunds notes it at least 20% for the first year... check for yourself on this website.
  • mwhdevmwhdev Posts: 13
    Hi all,

    I am in the market for what I will call a luxury sports sedan. I began my search with the G35. The car is awesome performance-wise but the interior left a little to be desired. I went to look at the IS 300 but it was too small. The dealer showed me the ES 300 and I took it for a drive. It is a completely different car. The ride was very nice and quiet but when I stepped on the gas it didn't have much there. OK so I went to Nissan to see the Maxima but after seeing it up close I did not care for the styling. Since I was there I looked at a loaded 3.5 Altima... it was ok but for a few thousand more I could get the G35. I am planning on looking at the Acura TL-S today.

    After seeing and driving the cars above I think I have an good idea of what I really want. As I explained it to my wife.... If they could only put the Nissan 3.5 in the ES 300 I would be a happy camper......

    So gurus.... where is my "Lexus 3.5 SE"? I can go $32K or $33K TOPS. Should I be looking closer at the I35? Isn't the I35 going to be 'redone' for 2004? I know TL's are being redesigned. Maybe I should wait for the new I35 and TL.....

    HELP!!! :-)

    Drew In San Diego
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    It'll be hard to get the luxury of the ES and the sportiness of a G35/TL-S in a package that tops out at $32-33K. As far as Lexus is concerned, the GS (to be redesigned soon) would be what you're after, but it'll cost a few K more.

    You can check out pictures of the redesigned TL, from a link in one of the 20 or so previous posts. The interior, though, appears to be geared towards sportiness and doesn't look to have much of a luxury feel. I was hoping Acura would up the luxury quotient in the redesign to better compete with the ES, but it looks like they're aiming it to compete with the G35 and IS300. Nice looking exterior, and of course, quite sporty.

    Last I heard, the I35 model is being phased out. It's a dated design with dated components (like the suspension system), and I don't think it competes too well with all the newer, redesigned offerings.

    I don't think the Maxima, and especially the Altima, can offer the kind of interior you're looking for.

    You can see whether the '04 ES330, set to arrive in Sept./Oct., has enough oomph for your taste. If not, the redesigned TL would probably be your best bet.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    If you did not know Lexus has it's own driving school. If you have never been to a professional driving school this is a great place to start. The best thing is for $395.00 you get a full day of driving, great instructors and of course drive Lexus cars.

    I just completed the class on Aug 9,2003 in Wisconsin and the only word to sum it up is FUN.

    BTW-You may want to get your tranny fixed first.
  • richm4richm4 Posts: 169
    They probably started the driving school in order to train the drivers in such as manner (i.e. drive SLOW) as to avoid the much maligned transmission problems that occur whenever you try to press the accelerator too hard ;-)
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    We drove these car to the edge and back. It's like nothing you ever seen and most likely never will.
  • mwhdevmwhdev Posts: 13
    Well I intended to look at the Acura yesterday but the dealer was too far away to do during lunch. I did however go to the Audi dealer. I test drove a A4 3.0 FWD. What a beautiful car! The engine was more than adequate and the interior and exterior.... gorgeous.

    Still going to get to the Acura dealer soon.



    Drew In San Diego
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Let us know what you think of the TL when you get there. Would you please ask them about the TL "transmission problem" and see what they say? The TL is on my "maybe" list but noone seems to want to talk about the transmission issue. I still do not know how it has been corrected. Let us know what you hear. The transmission seems to be the only problem area with this vehicle. Prices are near invoice which is a very good buy for this vehicle.
This discussion has been closed.