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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    You guys sure are putting a lot of faith and weight into some pictures that are not gauranteed to be correct. Obviously the car is not going to be made less luxurious than a 2001.
    It's time to calm down and wait until there are official real and clear photos (not drawings or guesses by artists of what it might be like) of the actual car.
    People will have plenty of time to cancel your deposit when the real photos come out.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    One of the pleasures I get by having a wife who drives an '01 ES300 (me??? I drive a Sienna)is hopping into the thing occasionally and running to the store. There are many parts that are common in her Lexus and my '01 Sienna XLE. The darn things even smell the same (leather I guess); but you guys who drive them on a daily basis don't get to experience the fun of rediscovering what a delicious car Lexus makes.
    I suppose the "guts" are the same, and while I'm in deep "like" with my Toyota, I absolutely love that darned Lexus. I've had more than my share of gotta-have vehicles since 1980, and I've never driven anything that comes close to the to the Lexus blend of drive/ride/quiet. Best of all, I get to rediscover it once a week.
    Toyota and/or Lexus have a tall order, trying to up the current ES300. Could it be a bit bigger inside...I wouldn't complain...does it need to be a bit faster....fine by me, but how much faster does it need to go.....I just hope they don't screw it up.
  • afinegoldafinegold Posts: 57
    Hey gang, it may be a little too early yet since we haven't seen the 2002, but does anyone think we could figure out a way to get a Lexus or Toyota rep on this board to do Q&A after the ES300 is publically released?

    We'd have to keep the questions friendly and "professional," so as not to irk anyone, but wouldn't it be awesome if we could actually get a designer, an executive, or even a PR representative to have an occasional dialogue with us?

  • dfb2dfb2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 ES300, purchased 3/01 with 3500 mi, now at 7000 mi. I have observed a noise similar to your description whenever the AC compressor is on. It sounds like a vacuum leak would sound if a vacuum line were disconnected. It begins just after starting from a stop and is noticable up to about 35 mph. It seems most noticable in the morning when the car just warming up, weather is cool, and the fan is on low. I may simply not notice it at other times because of higher fan speeds and definitely would not be aware of it with the sound system on or a higher speeds. I intended to ask the dealer about it at the first service check but anticipate an answer similar to the one you received.
  • dfb2dfb2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 ES300 with 7000 mi. Overall I'm very pleased with this car but want to post questions on two areas:

    1. I'm used to the newer electronically controlled transmissions performing such that the driver has little feel of downshifts taking place. I've noticed on this car that a downshift caused by engine loading, such as accelerating coming out of a corner results in a noticeable lag before the transmission attains the lower gear and a noticable feel of the downshift. The feel is reminiscent of older transmissions with strictly vacuum control and throttle position. I will question the dealer on this at the first service but don't expect much satisfaction unless there may be a factory service bulletin affect, etc. I believe I've seen postings about ES300 transmission issues but don't know if they were quite the same. Sorry if I'm resurrecting a topic already discussed. As far as I'm concerned, the transmission in my 1996 Camry 4 cyl is smoother and yet I'm comparing to Toyotas. Any comments?

    2. When going over a bump, I expect to feel the bump but expect the sound from the impact of the tire and suspension to be abrupt and muffled, sort of a lower pitched "thump". This is the case with the three other cars in my family, ranging from a 1993 Taurus (69K mi), to a 1997 T&C (40K mi), to 1996 Camry (25K mi). The sound from the ES300 seems to radiate more thru the body as if there is insufficent isolation of the suspension to body. It doesn't sound like anything loose, simply that there is not enough sound deadening. I though maybe part of this was the 60 profile tires compared to the 65 profile tires on the other vehicles simply transmitting more of a shock to the suspension. Any feedback is appreciated.
  • thornelthornel Posts: 1
    Hello everyone;
    I recently bought a '96 es300 with about 40K miles on it, it's a beautiful car! Unfortunately it didn't come with the owner manual and I can't seem to find where the switch to operate the headlight washer, could someone enlighten me?
  • john319john319 Posts: 37
    I don't believe the ES300 has headlight washer. At least on the 96 since my 99 even doesn't have one. I could be wrong tho.
  • ctrowland1ctrowland1 Posts: 31
    dfb2: I own 01 Coach edition. Can't say I've notice hesitation on downshift. But I have not tossed it into many corners yet. I have however notice a "flat spot" when getting hard an accelerate off line. 1st comes on quick then auto shifts to second............ slight pause.......... then pulls hard into 3rd then 4th. I think it may be high final gear ratio, 2.69?, engine probably not in power band after shifting out of first.
    Concerning suspension, I have noticed some noise going over bumps and a little more harsh than I would expect. The reason, I suspect, are the 16" tires. 16" tires have very little side wall. Sidewalls "soak" up alot of rough surfaces and hence some noise. Very little side wall means the suspension must absorb much of the shock. If you were to test drive an ES with 15" tires, I have not, I think you would notice a difference.
    I am not an expert, so take this for what it is worth.

  • afinegoldafinegold Posts: 57
    To Thornel Davis and others,

    For a place that sells owner's manuals, including those for Lexus, try

    For more possibilities, search in or any other good search engine for a term like "Lexus owners manuals" or "car owners manuals."


  • gc123gc123 Posts: 1
    If you are in the vicinity of St. Louis, MO, and are in the market to buy a Lexus, I would like to recommend a Lexus sales consultant, Jeff Johnson at Lexus of St. Louis ( I bought two Lexus vehicles from Jeff during the last eight months. In both cases, I could strike a deal with Jeff quickly, without any hazzle. My car buying experience was so pleasant that I thought of droping this note to all Lexus lovers. regards.
  • es300soones300soon Posts: 1
    After looking at 2002 ES300 info, I decide to buy 2001 instead. I do not think it is worth paying more for incremental improvement. Here is my question: Do you guys think Lexus will give out more generous incentive in the next few month? At the end of 1996, did they bump up the incentive at the end? I think there is $1500 dealer incentive right now. Does not sound too much for a 5 years old design. I am trying to decide to buy now, or wait for a couple of month, your help is appreciated.

    BTW, at LA has terrific price (use zip code 90066), I have not found any dealer in Northern California willing to beat it, the best I got is $1000 below invoice. If you had better luck, please share it. Thanks.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    jamrock4 -- Side air bags have been offered for a few years on the ES. I think you mean that side CURTAIN airbags are new for 2002.

    brian42smith -- The 2002 is definitely more luxurious than the 2001. It has many luxury features not previously offered (rain-sensing wipers, power rear sunshade, dual zone climate control, etc.), plus the 2002 will use the same leather as the LS 430.

    s852 and afinegold -- There are many official pictures out there right now. Check out Consumer Guide Buyers Issue and Motor Trend.

    I have been invited to test drive the new ES along with its competitors on a race track. I am going August 25, so I'll report back after it's over.

    Also, as for the engine, the new ES engine is classified as ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) in all 50 states. For comparison, the Acura TL is only classified that way in California, and the TL-S not at all. That was a big goal of the engineers, and an impressive achievement considering the car is about as quick as the TL (the ES has more torque) and only about one second slower than the TL-S 0-60.
  • I've been trying to locate a 9/01 MotorTrend, but it hasn't hit newstands in our area yet. If anyone has a photo, could you post it?

    Lenscap - Thanks for the information.

    After I posted my comments, I realized I should have worded them differently.

    I'm sure the 2002 ES300 will have a more luxurious interior, with the options you listed. What I meant to communicate is that I perceive, from the Consumers Buyers Guide photo, that the exterior lacks an image of luxury. The LS430 and existing ES300s have distinct styles. The 2002 ES300, with its Camry-looking exterior, looks more conservative....and reminded me of a newer Ford Taurus. Not quite what I was expecting.

    I am anxious to see what it looks like in person.
    Quite frankly, I am tired of bland, boring luxury sedans and hope that Lexus would be aggressive with style. If the car is boring today, how will it look during its fifth year? Terribly boring. The current Camry is an example. That can be expected with a family sedan, but shouldn't be the design goal of a luxury sedan.
  • I saw these on the Club Lexus web site.

    1) go to ES300 Model

    2) 2002 ES300 Official Pics

  • Note - color photos are at the end of the forum, go to pages 2 and 3
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    The featured dark colored model in the photo seems to be missing chrome trim (the grill etc.). Maybe it is supposed to be a "sport" version model.
    I think that is why people say it looks like a Camry.
    That is assuming the photos are really of an ES300 at all and is not a Photoshop prank.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    From what I can see, those "Club Lexus" pictures look very much like what I would expect the rear of the car to look like, judging from the Consumer Guide pic. Have not yet seen the Motor Trend issue, but Motor Trend is a trash publication anyway... Automobile and Car and Driver are the only ones that mean anything to me.
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    agree with comments on this new model. Lexus ought to be able to provide luxury and performance within the same car. Go hire a bmw guy for performance and keep the luxury guys around already. i hope the car has some soul and is fun to drive -- i am also very tired of bland, boring drives at this price level...
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It had better drive like a dream. It surely cannot get by on looks.
    I like the looks of the current 2001 model better, but I cannot stand the way it drives or the cramped interior, so it looks unlikely that I will get either now.
    The interior loks pretty good though.
    Maybe a 2002 Camry XLE V6 will be a better choice for some since it also has optional navigation, may look a little more attractive outside and should be nearly as smooth and quiet for less money.
    In the old body style the ES300 was much more attractively styled than a Camry, but in the new style, I think the Camry actually looks a little better.
  • I agree completely with your thoughts s852. I WANT to like the looks of the new ES300, but find the exterior boring...particularly with its unicolor. The interior looks great.

    I need to see the car in person. I also need to see the new Camry.

    Unfortunately, I can't think of any car in this price range that has an eye-catching exterior. The Acura TL (and RL for that matter), Infiniti I30, Nissan Maxima, and Audi A6 all are about the same with non-inspiring style.

    The only vehicle I've seen that seems to break the mold is Infiniti's G35, which will be introduced next spring. The grill on it is a bit too big, but it is stylish and distinctive. Unfortunately, it is rear-wheel drive. I live in Colorado and would prefer a front-wheel (or all wheel) drive during the winter.

    Anyone has any suggestions. I have a rear-drive Mercedes E320 and really would prefer front or all-wheel drive.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    No offense, but the the new Es300 looks sort-of like a spaceship, but I bet they will sell the heck out of them. That interior looks nice, I bet the quality is better than any car in it's class.
  • larichlarich Posts: 3
    I am a first time contributor;however a reader of all postings since I discovered this site after I bought my '00 ES 300 in Feb. 00. SEEMS THE PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS ARE THE SAME ,JUST DIFFERENT FACES AND DIFFERENT Places. My concern is a continuous humming,buzzing coming from under the hood. This occurs in a cold engine sitting over night in the garage. When I insert the key without starting it begins. It also does it on accessory but disappears after starting. Lexus service writer said it didn't do it for him after sitting on their lot overnight.( heard that before?) I tried it with The RX300 loaner the morning he called telling me he heard nothing. The Same sound was produced! When I returned, he proceeded to tell me that it was the first time it was brought to his attention and explained it was the fuel pump priming. Has anyone observed this noise or am I being picky? The other sound is a "Click" after moving a few feet when starting from an initial stopped position. Could it be coming from the rear brakes unlocking?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Contrary to that which seems to be the popular opinion, I think that the 2002 ES does have distinctive styling that looks nothing like other cars in its class. From head on, I don't see how anyone could mistake it for anything else, and there's a definite SC430 influence goin on. That's not to say that I'm completely won over, but I do like the swoopy sharp tail and the fact that this ES does not look like the 97-01 generation, which I felt looked waaay too much like the 92-96 second generation ES.

    About the engine, here's my theory, and I'd appreciate feedback....
    It seems logical, IMO, that Lexus would hold off putting a more powerful variant in the ES this year. Why? b/c the GS series is entering its final year of this iteration, so once that car is redesigned, probably given a hp and torque boost, perhaps Lexus will do the same with the ES. but for now, why would Lexus want the ES to outpower the larger, more expensive GS300? I think that would kill sales. Its a trickle down effect, and since the Camry can't step on the ES's toes, it might see a boost as well, if the ES gets one in the future... but that's probably only after the Avalon gets the same improvements as the ES.

    ~Does this make sense to anyone else?
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    After seeing the photos of the 2002 in the September issue of Automobile Magazine (received yesterday), I must concur with s852, brian and max: personally, I don't like the new design.

    The headlights look like every other new Toyota in the last couple of years (e.g. the Celica), and the trunk area has been noticeably shortened (like the new Avalon and GS Lexi). Not to my tastes, but then, that's why there are other brands of cars out there.

    Automobile will provide a complete test of the new Camry next month. I'll wait to see what it looks like. BTW, the Camry SE (Sport Edition) is back!

    I won't miss the 2-tone paint on the ES though. That "look' was really getting dated.

    If ES stands for "Executive Sedan", then I feel Lexus missed the target. IMHO, they could rename it the CES300, for "Common Everyday Sedan".

    All that being said, I agree with max that Lexus will probably sell all they can get.
  • swsmsswsms Posts: 62
    The styling is elegant but still a little boring. I too miss the two tone look which has been a Lexus "staple" for more than 10 years. I guess Lexus will be selling alot of gold packages and chrome wheels to dress up the new ES!!

    BTW, my mother-in-law just retired and she wants to buy a Lexus. She won't be doing any major hauling, but safety is a priority. This would be her last car and my wife and I want her to get something really nice to reward herself. Should she wait for the '02 ES300 or go for the RX300? She current drives a '97 Camry.

    Comments please!!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    NO! can anyone say ghetto. these are the worst two things ever to happen to the stock automobile options list. sooooo hideous.
    please don't ruin your Lex by "dressing it up" with one of these.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Looks very close to the Peugot 607. Headlights are almost identical. Hopefully it will have at least a little more chrome than what I saw in that picture.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Maybe with a different, darker or bolder paint color and more chrome (such as on the grill) it will look a little better.
    The light grey/blue color in the photos with matching plastic-looking grill is ultra-bland and looks cheap.
    I don't think it looks very good in the back either. I think the tail lights ar too small with way too much "white space" below the trunk lid. At least they put some chrome around the tail lights.
    The interior looked good except that the tan leather in the tested car was dreary. It would be nice if they offer a very light grey or light beige interior like I think is available on the new SC coupe to brighten up the inside. It may also look better with a black interior.
    Maybe the right color combinations on the car can salvage the looks somewhat.
This discussion has been closed.