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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • ripinrocketripinrocket Posts: 157
    And the September 2001 issues of all the major magazines should have pictures of and maybe, a short test drive of the 2002 ES300 and Camry.

    The Sept. issue is due in my mailbox in about a week!
  • afinegoldafinegold Posts: 57
    Thanks for posting the drawings, ecaf, but to me it looks like the wordsmiths that created the translated text for the drawings worked harder than the designers did. I can't say that I'm impressed with these pencil drawings, and hope that if they're the Real McCoy, that the car itself, in person, looks more elegant and desirable.

  • jamrock4jamrock4 Posts: 53
    Good job ecaf. I have to agree with afinegold. I was expecting Lexus to do a better job with the redesign (assuming this is the real deal). However sometimes a car will actually look more impressive in real life than a picture. Therefore I am still hopeful that I will be satisified with the look of the finished product.
  • ripinrocketripinrocket Posts: 157
    From the pics, it looks like Lexus is finally tossing the frameless doors for the ES300. Yeah!
  • ripinrocketripinrocket Posts: 157
    Duh. Forget to mention, I think from those sketches, the ES300 will look pretty good in real pictures.

    Waiting, waiting, waiting for that issue of MT in a week.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I don't see anything wrong with the way the new ES300 looks in the "official pics."
    It looks similar to the currect ES300 in front and more like an LS400 in the rear.
    Pricing is my only real concern. It does not have hideous looks.
  • It actually looks like I thought it would i.e. scaled down LS430. I think it will surprise everybody with it's new interior, options, and refinement. I'm sure it will be smooth as butter just like the new LS. I talked to the dealership though and he's heard mid to high 30's in price. This seems a bit steep, anybody know for sure ?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    If it is as smooth and quiet as the current LS, then the price will be fine since it will nicer than all the competition. Even the current ES sticker can get to high 30's if you completely load it with every option. The difference is that the current ES can be had with hefty discounts from that high sticker.
    The current ES300 is nowhere near as smooth and quiet as an LS, in fact it isn't even as smooth and quiet as a 2001 Acura TL. The age of the design really is showing in the 2001 ES300 models.
    If anyone here knew the exact pricing and could disclose it, I'm sure they would post it with needing to be asked.
  • strapper1strapper1 Posts: 2
    Just what you have all been waiting for.... get down to your favourite book store and find a copy of Consumers Magazine titled 2oo2 car and truck reports September issue and they list the 2002 es300 with a nice picture and description.It looks very nice has framed windows,5 speed auto,same size engine that has been tweaked to give better gas consumption,side curtain airbags.It has 2"longer wheelbase,1"longer overall,1"wider and 2" higher.Consumers has already tested it and gave it an excellent rating. Glad to be able to give all you Lexus loyals this information Better get your orders in soon.regards strapper1
  • peter7777peter7777 Posts: 24
    I can't quite decide whether I like the front headlamps on the 2002 ES, but I am fairly certain that I like the 2001 design better. Perhaps the front design will look better over time. What I really want to see is the instrument cluster on the 2002. The 2001 designers did a really fine job with the electroluminescent display on the ES. Can the 2002 improve on that?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It's a little early to be making any strong judgements on the looks of the headlights or the whole car for that matter.
    When there are some clear, real, color photos or you can see one in person, then it will be worth debating.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    Thanks Ecaf,

    that's the same 2002 ES design pic first
    introduced by Tomkun and then Mathtype. but it's
    in black/white here. yet no one really made
    comments on it before. Now everybody believes
    that is truly the 2002 ES. Why? because of the
    ClubLexus logo on top of page which makes it
    more believable?

    If it is the all new ES, I'm not disappointed
    at its looks. It does look like a scaled down
    LS430 but more sporty flavor up front. People
    asked for the return of clear lens and I guess
    Lexus again listened and delivered. It should
    be a success and the price should remain
    competitive as this is part of lexus formula
    for success.
  • ecafecaf Posts: 44
    "Now everybody believes that is truly the 2002 ES. Why? because of the ClubLexus logo on top of page which makes it more believable?"

    Hee hee hee hee!!! The ClubLexus logo hardly makes it more believable. Unlike previous pictures, these appear to be dealer literature as opposed to "just" sketches and enhanced spy pics. Then again, I could be wrong...

    About the forum at, it's a great resource for ES300 owners. I supposed edmunds is better for potential buyers. Besides, I encourage all to check out the forum at and the forum at You'll learn (and maybe share) a lot about your ES!

    About the new ES300, I commend Toyota for the gutsy new peeled-back headlamp design. Plus, there is a family resemblance to the SC430, Celica and (maybe) the LS430.
  • afinegoldafinegold Posts: 57
    Believe the headlights depicted are called Gatling Gun or semi-Gatling Gun headlights, aren't they? One of Lexus' competitors (can't recall which one) already has them or is putting them on its 2002 model.

  • ecafecaf Posts: 44
    "Gatling Gun" is Nissan-speak for its seven-lens Xenon HID headlamps on the Infiniti Q45. It consists of seven little projector lenses that supposedly eliminate the need for foglamps. Yeah, I'm a little skeptical. The 2002 ES300, on the other hand, uses freeform reflectors for HID, rather than projector beams. Nonetheless, HID puts out 2.5 times the light of halogen. It's been available on the ES since 2000 (and GS & LS since 1998). It will probably be standard for 2002.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I found the Consumer Reports guide on the 2002 cars -- and the all-new ES 300 is in there! (The cover of the magazine, by the way, has the titles in metallic blue.)

    The picture of the car does like beautiful.

    Some of the new standard features:
    1. Curtain side airbags
    2. 5-speed auto transmission w/gated shifter
    3. 16-inch wheels
    4. Trip computer
    5. Dual-zone auto climate control
    6. Auto up/down for all windows

    Available options:
    1. Navigation system w/3-position tilt (it sounds like there's a power-operated cover for the screen)
    2. Mark Levinson audio
    3. Power rear sunshade
    4. HID lights w/rain-sensing windshield wipers
    5. In-dash or console-mount CD changer (location must depend on if you get the nav)
    6. Brake assist, vehicle stability control and traction control (the last item standard in 2001)
    7. Adaptive variable suspension w/4 settings

    Unfortunately, the engine is carried over from 2001, although gas mileage does go up by 1 mpg.

    Overall, love what they have done to the car. I only wish they had bumped up the power a little, but considering all the other stuff offered not even available on the competition I'm okay with it. Besides, if they had made the car one second faster 0-60 would I really have noticed much? The car should be as fast as the 2001 because the weight only went up 66 lbs.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    The picture in the consumer magazine is not that good so I will reserve judgement on styling only to say at this time that I had hoped it would look a little sportier. However, I will again express my extreme disappointment that the engine has remained the same. I can't believe, with all of it's wonderful technology, that Lexus didn't "find" another 10 HP and 10lb/ft of torque if for no other reason other than marketing. They say the engine was tweaked for better mileage. I one more mile to the gallon going to make the difference whether of not you buy a Lexus? Also, the magazine stated that the 5 speed automatic is very smooth but a little slow to downshift when passing, etc. This compaint has been lodged against almost every Lexus model including the LS430 by almost every car rag and review and it is certainly a problem on my '99 ES300. The lag is so bad that it is sometimes dangerous when going to change lanes on the highway and you go to kick it down when you realize the person coming up in back of you is going faster than you first thought. Is Lexus getting away from one of the things that made them great and not listening anymore? Are they not reading the car rags? Everybody has been asking for more power so what's up with this? An ES330 with ~250HP would have been right on the mark. I love [non-permissible content removed]. cars but they always seem to hold back when it comes to engine size and power. The Toyota T100 truck is a perfect example. It missed the mark because it was underpowered compared to it's American counterparts. They finally got it right with the V8 Tundra. The orignal GS300 is another example. Very nice car and very nice design but the performance was not worthy of a Lexus costing ~$50K. Then they got it better with the re-design. The 1990 LS400 and Q45 were notable exceptions. Maybe Lexus has too many offerings now and they are starting to crowd out one another. Maybe the ES should have been moved slighly upscale, say an ES330 or even ES350 and discontinue the GS300 and just keep the GS430. Anyway, I think they are going to lose the younger demographic with the new ES. There is the 30 - 50 year old group that wants a luxury performance sedan but can't afford a GS and wants something larger and more luxurious than the IS300. IMHO, that group is going to switch to the Acura 3.2 TL-S or maybe even the 3.5L 260HP Maxima even though they are not as refined ( and save some money in the process) and the ES will be bought by the 50 and up crowd. Again, just my humble opinion.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    just for reference, so anyone else can find it more easily, the publication with the 2002 Lex ES is CONSUMER GUIDE, September 2001 edition, NOT Consumer Reports. (the two publications are thankfully unrelated, but often confused) There is a pic of the Ford Thunderbird on the cover.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I fully understand and respect your opinion, but I don't feel that "losing" the younger demographic (with the new ES) is something that concerns Lexus. To that end, they offer the IS, now with manual shift and sportcross (read: miniwagon)models available. I too am disappointed that the ES gains no power, but I don't think this will hurt the car at all. 8.3 seconds to sixty (Car and Driver, March 2000) is not by any stretch slow, and more importantly, passing times are swift enough if not class leading. About the auto and downshift issues: there are times that the tranny won't downshift even when the accelerator is floored? If so, I understand your upsetment, but I have never encountered this problem with any Toyota 4speed auto trannys I've driven. Also, can't you just downshift on your own by moving the gearshift level (if you want a two gear downshift, for example, from 4th to 2nd at like 50-60mph...anything significantly higher than that would probably overrev the ES engine(?))
  • ripinrocketripinrocket Posts: 157
    The 2002 ES300 should be quicker even though weight is up 66lbs. and power remains the same.
    The extra cog in the transmission will help it accelerate more swiftly. I would say about a 1/2 second should be shaved with the 5-speed automatic.

    I'm sure Lexus is holding off until 2003 for a new engine & power increas.e
  • qibbleqibble Posts: 26
    Hello all,

    Just wanted to let everyone know that MotorTrend has a detailed review of the 2002 ES 300.

    IMHO the car doesn't look that great, interior as well as exterior. It really looks camry-ish if you ask me.
  • ctrowland1ctrowland1 Posts: 31
    I take it pricing was not mentioned in the Consumer Guide.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Sorry about the mix up betwwen Consumer Reports and Consumer Guide. There were no prices listed.

    Here are the reasons why I'll buy the new ES even with the existing engine:

    1. Since I have a 1995 ES, I am totally spoiled by the dealer service. No other dealer of another make that I have been to comes close.

    2. I really love my current car, and the new one will just be better and updated.

    3. There really is no other car I'd rather have. I like the BMW 330Ci, and while I could afford it I won't buy one because I don't think the car is worth it (the one I priced was about $42,000). Besides, the car is SMALL. The Infiniti I30/I35 I won't consider because Infiniti, while good, has a terrible lineup and does not market their cars well, which hurts the perception. Besides, there is almost no difference between the I30 and Maxima; many shared parts inside and out. The Acura TL-S is nice and well-built, but lacking in the luxury department. The car just does not feel special. To me, Lexus has a certain aura. I love being in the showroom and gazing at the LS and SC. I can't say that about Acura. The Benz C320 is overpriced and small, and for business reasons I wouldn't want a car with the three-pointed star. Anyway, a lot of people must feel the same way I do. I am in my early 30s, and two of my close friends have ES 300s (one is on his second). And I know of two other early 30-somethings who also have ESs. It is a prestigious, (realtively) affordable car; really the perfect car for a lot of people my age.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    1. The IS300 is fine for the younger demographic looking for a fun, small sports sedan. However, I for one want a larger, luxury sports sedan that I can take on long trips, i.e., roomy and comfortable with a quiet, smooth highway ride but is still fun to drive when I put it through it's paces. I think with the right styling and right engine, the ES3XX could be that car. It pretty much is that car now and if the competition wasn't raising the performance bar, we probably wouldn't even be having this discussion. I aggree that 8.3 sec. 0-60 is not slow but we're talking about a Lexus and shouldn't it be class leading in most all categories?

    2. Regarding the transmission, I'll give the basic scenario that many others have also complained about. You are drving along at about 40mph when you decide that you want to pass someone or just pickup speed quickly. You depress the gas pedal enough to cause a downshift into 2nd gear but there is a hesitation of almost 1 second before the downshift actually occurs. It's as if the car takes a deep breath, thinks about it a bit and then finally does it. I have been trying to find out if this is a software issue with the electronically controlled transmission or if it is a limitation of the mechanical design. It might be part of a Lexus design philosophy because I have driven many other manufacturers cars that downshift alot more responsively. Yes, manually dropping into 2nd is an option and I do that on occasion. But sometimes in busy traffic, I forget to do that since I am driving an automatic. If this delay is a design philosophy, I would love to know what it is because if it is not, I'm sure that Toyota has the technology to correct this.

    3. Maybe Lexus has a midlife kicker planned in another year or two that will increase the engine size the way they did with the GS400/GS430. Could it be that they were kinda caught by surprise and didn't realize that the competition was going to be upping their engine size and power by so much and they didn't have time to address it now?
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    Hey all,

    Domettg is on a "relentless pursuit of making
    a point". Lexus might put a larger engine in
    the ES just for you. wait til next year. I
    don't think they will ever ignore consumer
    testimonials. Being passionate about customers
    needs made them #1 with their customers. loyalty
    has to be mutual. And the IS300 is very luxurious
    inside more so than in magazines. I think they
    will increase its dimensions to compete with
    BMW. Teens seem to like it and they will be
    young adults soon. So I think the IS is geared
    for future lexus customers. The ES has its own
    type of customers. It should be fine.

    Lenscap are you trading in your 1995 ES for your
    new 2002 ES? It would be really difficult for
    me to replace my beloved ES too. don't think
    I'll do it.

    about tranny,
    I don't know what you guys mean about manually
    downshifting. you're talking about an automatic.
    We're probably splitting hair if "1" second is
    considered slow in downshifting. I've not had
    the problem you mentioned you had on the highway.

    I can't find the 2002 ES news on the Motortrend

    I'm glad you understood my joke about the ClubLexus logo. I tried to enter that site before
    but you need a membership to get in.
    Thanks for giving us the link.
  • qibbleqibble Posts: 26
    ved3 - Since it's the latest issue of MotorTrend it won't be on the web site. You have to go to your local magazine shop for the article. If MotorTrend were to put it's latest magazine on-line then there would be no need to buy the magazine. The article will probably appear on-line in about a month when a new issue hits the stands. For those who can't wait you go to the news stand.
  • mathtypemathtype Posts: 33
    Just for fun, I compared the Consumer Guide ratings for the ES 300 2001 model (in the June issue) and the 2002 model (in September). I say "just for fun" because CG, by its own admission, only had a preview drive of the 2002.

    The ratings were the same with three exceptions:
    Instruments/controls -- 2001 wins by 1 point (compared to the 2002 w/o nav; 3 pts with nav)
    Front room/comfort -- 2001 wins by 1 pt
    Cargo room -- 2002 wins by 1 pt

    On another issue, my wife drives a '94 ES 300, I drive a '00 BMW 323ci, and we both love our cars. As the French say, chacun a son gout -- to each his own. Moreover, at the moment it looks as if we'll soon be replacing the Lexus with a 2002 ES 300.
  • jamrock4jamrock4 Posts: 53
    Saw the 2002 ES300 in Consumer Guide and the car just seemed so-so. I believe qibble described the car as being camry-ish which is a perfect description. It just does not seem to have the aura of a luxury car.

    Everyone has already expressed disappointment with the engine no need for me to add any comments there. On the positive side of things I like the fact that they included side air bags. Brake assist is another positive option as well as vehicle stability control (I am kind of suprised these options including traction control are not standard).

    Have not seen the interior and so I cannot comment on that. I only wish I did not have to wait until October to see the actual vehicle and do a test drive.

    I was hoping that seeing the first picture would motivate me to plunk down a $500 deposit but I am just not turned on right now. Perhaps after a making a date for a test drive in October I might be wooed by her personality and at that point I might consider a long term relationship.
  • I just saw the photo of the 2002 ES300 in the Consumer Guide and.....was disappointed. How BORING. I kept thinking "I hope this photo is a mistake - maybe it is a Camry". It sure looks like one.

    I put a $500 deposit down 2 weeks ago, and will wait to drive the car, but likely won't buy now. I expected much more from Lexus. We have a 1999 RX300 and a 2000 LX470.

    I think the 2001 ES300 is much sportier looking than the 2002 and appears, based on the photo, more luxurious. Right now, I'd say the odds of me buying one of these is 10%. Last week, it was 90%. I expected a car that had some styling pizazz, like the SC430 (love it or hate it, it isn't BORING).

    I hope I'm wrong, and that the photo is deceiving, but I think Lexus missed on this car.

This discussion has been closed.