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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • comparisons lead TO no where but confusion --- when biased people make completely biased statements & entire posts.

    Otherwise comparisons can be very helpful.
  • That would be the MSRP, and would be the highest I'd pay for the car with leather. And yes, I'd expect the price to drop later in the model year. I doubt it'll drop as much as the 2001 ES (I could've gotten a 2001ES with the Lexus Value Package back in June for under $30K), but you should easily be able to get the 2002 ES for under MSRP later on.
  • With the economy headed in the direction it is, you may see discounting sooner rather than later. Of course, I would bet on it that the 2002 ES300 will be full sticker for a couple of months.
  • You can get quite a few nice pictures of the 2002 ES300 on the Lexus USA site here.
  • Nobody else is resorting to name calling. Why must you? You're all class.

    I merely was pointing out (if you read my later posts) some of the other cars you can get for $40k. The S4 is still a sedan, so it's a valid comparison.

    And you really think the ES is more luxurious than an S4? Have you ever seen the interior of an S4? Audi is continually praised for having some of the nicest interiors in the world.

    And for Quattro, AWD is superior to FWD in every way. It's better in the dry, in the wet and in the snow. Please educate me as to how Quattro is not better than FWD. It is a very robust system that Audi has been making for 20+ years. It is very reliable as well.

    Now for the A6. Follow my link and you'll see what I'm talking about. An A6 2.8 Quattro is priced accordingly (these are all sticker prices, although the car can be had for close to invoice right now):;208157&80111;car&6;Audi;2001%20A6&M3M2A2&

    Base MSRP (incl. destination) - $34,975

    Quattro - 1,750

    Celebration Package - 1,200

    Cold Weather Package - 625

    Guidance Package (NAV) - 1,630

    Bose stereo - 750

    Stability Program (ESP) - 550

    Total - $41,480

    And if you read my post (which I'm thinking you didn't), you'd also see that I concede that a "loaded" C320 or 330i cost more than $40k, but one priced at $40k is by no means a 'stripper'. They are still well-equipped at the $40k level.

    And we're not talking about SUV's here, so please leave the RX300 out of it.

    Like I already said once, I was merely pointing out all of the other great cars that are available at the $40k price point.

    But I guess not loving the ES being priced at $40k makes me 'biased'? I am merely trying to point out why I think the ES is overpriced at $40k. There's a TON of competition at that price level. It's really not worth all of your name calling, though.

    Oh, well, I can live with you not liking me.

    gambhir - that's the exact same mileage posted on my wife's I30. It's nothing special for the ES.

  • I definitely wouldn't get a $40K ES. But I would get a $34K ES. :)

    Don't have any personal knowledge of how Audi is in the reliablity department. But from reading online and things like that, it doesn't sound too good. If their cars were just as reliable, I'd be getting a ~$25K Audi A4 with that cool, new CVT instead of a $34K 2002 ES.
  • Howdy:

    I drove what may be the first '02 ES demo in the Phoenix area. It was a high-end model with Levinson and NAV. Funny note: Salesman and my wife climbed in and asked me when I was going to fire it up already... but it had been running for a while at that point; very smooth and quiet.

    Fit & finish are very good; paint well applied. Car looks great from every angle. The photos don't do it justice.

    Test drive was very pleasant. Car feels self-assured and competent over a variety of road surfaces. Very quiet, too. The Levinson is impressive, but I listen to the talk radio I won't order it. I know my area, so don't need the NAV.

    Seats and foot room are a huge issue with me. These are very comfortable, with nice lateral and very good lumbar support (very impt. to me) Design of the dash fascia is very cool... nice/sophisticated. Wood is rich looking. Head and leg room are very commodious; car feels more roomy than GS300; adequate trunk space. Controls are ergonomic and intuitive.

    Styling wise, it's growing on me. Wish they had some nice chromies available; have to wait for those. Performance: not a ball o' fire, but certainly adequate. Suspension is also adequate, tho' I like a bit more solid road feel.

    I've had two Infiniti G20s. The current one (a '93) has 135K and is still running like a top. I gave a good hard look to the I35. Why did I go ahead today and order the '02 ES? Its reputation for reliability; service, resale value, and hey, I'll be driving this baby months before most people will ever have seen one. Yuk yuk. I'll take delivery of my black beauty around Oct. 15. More then.


  • Robert,

    Did the ES300 you drove have AVS (Adaptive Variable Suspension)? That option might give you the more solid road feel you desire over the standard suspension.
  • JRichrds asked if the demo I drove had AVS; alas, it did not, even tho it was the high-end equipped unit. My salesman, who has been with Lexus since it was a pup, told me that last year, a total of zero of his customers had ordered AVS.
    I think I'll be OK with the stock suspension. It's tight enough for everyday driving, and is comparable to my Infiniti G20, which I think handles very well. I'm also impressed with the mileage on the ES; better than last year.

    Don't think I'll miss the AVS, and I'm looking forward to the HID headlamps (my subdivision has no streetlights at all) and wood/leather wheel.

    I got a real feeling of wellbeing and safety in the ES. It's a very well thought-out car. I researched the I35, Jag X-type, Acura TL-S, Millenia, Diamante, etc., all rather thoroughly.

    The ES seems like the most bang for the buck all-around, esp. when resale value is factored in.

    I'll be a happy camper when mine's delivered.

    Robert Bass
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Could someone post some digital pictures of the new ES300 on here? My closest dealer is 100 miles away so I will not be seeing the new car for a while. I sure would appreciate several angles. Thanks
  • mmcbride,

    I've read your posts. You are clearly biased.

    S4 & ES300 are in different categories. Both are $40 grand cars but I'm 100% sure potential ES300 buyers go shopping S4's also. That alone means they don't occupy the same space. On that same note, would anyone have compared the old M3 4-door to a ES300?

    Yes, the ES300 is more luxurious than the A4 or S4. The interior looks better, the leather is nicer overall in Lexus cars, the car is quieter and the ride is luxurious.

    let me educate you on how AWD doesn't really matter to many people(Also, if it mattered soo much, Audi would be the best selling luxury brand-I also don't see too many MB E-class's with 4-matic running around-I guess it must be something we're missing and only you're getting). 1) AWD adds weight. Do you understand that simple statement? 2) AWD decreases fuel economy.
    3) AWD increases complexity-which ultimately leads to possible future increases in repair costs.
  • Funny, here in Denver I see lots of 4matic E-class MB's. I also see lots of Audis, tons of Subarus, lots of the new E46 3 series with AWD and tons of 4WD SUV's. I'd say close to 50% of the cars on the road in Denver have either AWD or 4WD. So apparently I'm not the only one. There's not much snow in Alabama, is there? If I lived down there, I'd have a RWD car. Never FWD. Never again.

    AWD is also better than FWD on dry pavement during spirited driving. Any penalties in mpg are minimal. My A4 gets 24-25 mpg around town and 30 or so on the highway. Boy, that's terrible mileage!

    As for the 'best selling lux brand', that's ridiculous. So you think a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord is the best car made just because it sells the most? If that's the case, why does your profile say you own an MB? Other cars surely sell more than that one, so they must be better, right? Or if you're looking for the best selling enrty-level lux. car, it's not the ES300. It's either the Acura 3.2TL or the BMW 3 series.

    You should sell the CLK and get a Camry. It's better because they sell more.
  • If they would just leave the price alone and give it more power, I would like it a lot more. But Lexus seems to think that 210 hp is ok for us, even though all of the competition has much more now.
  • I drove the eS yesterday and what a beauty-I ordered my garnet black with all the works-I am a nav freak and very bad in directions so instead of landing in the wrong state I get it-I got a good deal and an over generous trade-in of my current 2000 ES--anyways the car was fabulous-One thing which really took me by surprise was the spirited acceleration and the 3D gauges
    the only complaint was no power telescopic wheel but hey even the moon has a spot

    Overall great car
  • You mean people can actually get the 2002 ES for under MSRP right now?
    I'd be interested in hearing how much buyers have been paying for their new 2002 ES.

    gambhir and mbesquire,
    Enjoy your new cars! And being the first ones around to be cruising in the new ES. :)
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Mike -

    Most of your posts are right on the money as far as I'm concerned, but I don't agree with you when you say that the ES could use more power. This is a soft-riding boulevard cruiser, aimed at non-enthusiasts - folks who would rather ride than drive - & I don't think it could safely handle much more than its current 210 HP.

    Lexus is pitching its RWD offerings - the IS & the GS - at the driving enthusiasts. The ES is aimed at people who, 30 years ago, would've bought Buick Electras or Chrysler New Yorkers.

    I certainly don't hate the car. My wife drives a '99 ES & loves it. Absolutely nothing goes wrong with it. We'll have no trouble getting 10 years of service out of the car. It's a comfortable, stylish & beautifully made transportation appliance. It's also a yawn to drive. More power won't change that. Firming up the suspension & doing something about the car's Novocaine-like steering might. But if you did that, you'd alienate most of the people who buy this car. They like soft rides & numb steering, & they'd buy I-30s instead.
  • Fair enough. I just think Lexus thinks a little too highly of itself with the new ES. You can get a fully loaded I35 or TL-S with NAV for about $7k less than a fully loaded ES with NAV (I'm comparing sticker price to sticker price, but none of them are selling for that, except maybe the ES). Sure, some will still buy it, but lots more won't.

    When we got my wife's I30, I still would have gotten it over the ES even if prices were identical (at the time, a comparably equipped ES would have cost us $6-8k more than the $28k we spent on the I30). I think Lexus started with a very good product and has not significantly improved the product (it's better, but only marginally, IMO), but they've significantly increased the prices...

    I don't hate the car, I hate what Lexus charges for it.
  • mmcbride1,

    I think you are misreading my post.

    I didn't say the Camry is better than a Audi because it sells more units. I simply made a statement that kinda goes like this.."If AWD was soo great shouldn't Audi be the best selling luxury car out there?" Didn't say Camry or Accord are better because they sell 400grand units every year. To elaborate further, if as you say AWD is soo much better than FWD or RWD and as you say AWD has no disadvantages then why don't people see it and buy AWD cars more than FWD or RWD cars? It's obvious alot of people do not see the need for AWD cars.

    And let me let you in on a little secret: Everyone does not reside in Denver. Overall, a very small proportion of E-class Benz sales are 4-matic units.

    And which A4 model do you have? I'm pretty sure if you're getting 25MPG you have the frugal 1.8L 4-cylinder as there is no way a 2.8 A4 with Quattro would get anywhere near 25MPG. I like how you avoided the even greater problems of AWD: Weight & Complexity and the possible greater unreliability that comes with complexity.

    BTW, are you a angry person? It sure seems like it. Or do you just like to market the cars you own for Audi.

    2002 Audi A6 2.8:

    MSRP: $35,950
    Premium package: $1025
    6-CD Changer: $550
    Sunroof package: $1200
    Quattro AWD: $1750
    ESP: $550
    Cold Weather package: 625
    Guidance package: $1630
    Bose: $750

    That's $44K. This is for basically everything the ES300 offers like 6Disc changer, NAV system, Sunroof, HID lights, heated front seats, ML stereo, rear sunshade. the only real advantage here is the Quattro for those who really want it and rear heated seats. In the process the ES300 gives you a supposedly excellent Mark Levinson stereo, better quality & reliability, and a better ownership experience.

    And mmcbride1, It's obvious alot of ES300 don't care about that one thing that you seem to value so highly: AWD. Otherwise these people wouldn't be here talking about the ES300 and would rather be on a Audi A6 board shopping for a A6.
  • As for the Mercedes-Benz C320-It's a nice car but easily overpriced. It's base MSRP is $37,595.

    HID Lights: $870 which requires heated seats and headlmap washers. That adds another $820.
    Add COMAND for $2080.

    Add leather $1410.

    Add C2 package which includes: Power sunroof, rainsense wipers and rear window sunshade adds $1370
    Add CD-changer and add another: $1795. inlcuding phone.

    Oh and god forbid you want metallic paint. THen you gotta pay another $640.

    And god forbid you want to special order one, add another $1 grand.

    That's a $46,580 car without having to special order it. And that's still leaving out options.

    That is overpriced and at $46 grand it is similarly equipped to a loaded ES300 and it still doesn't give you Lexus reliability or luxury. And it is smaller. Surely it has 15 more horsies, but that really means nothing to me.

    So mmcbride1, No a $40K C320 is not even similar to a $40K ES300.
  • jrichrds,

    What kind of recalls are they? I'm currently looking to replace a Maxima with either the TL, TL-S, or ES300.
  • My friend's TL-S had 2 recalls: seat belt and window. Along with some other minor complaints.
    You shouldn't be affected by the recalls if you're purchasing the car now. He got his early in the cycle.

    Although I've considered both myself, I don't see the TL-S and ES300 really being side-by-side choices. TL-S emphasizes performance and handling, with an interior that's not even close to being able to match the ES. ES300 emphasizes luxury, with performance stats that can't touch the TL-S. And overall, I find the ES to be a better built a premium of course. As far as reliability, Acura should be pretty good least better than Audi, Benz, BMW, etc.

    Besides the Lexus name indicating industry-leading reliability, it also comes along with some bragging rights over Acura. :) Acura just isn't in the same class as Lexus, MB, BMW. If people I know are having build quality and reliability problems with their $80k MBs and BMWs, then I don't figure their <$40K cars will be any better. Which leaves me with Lexus. And perhaps Infiniti, but I never cared for their cars, so don't know much about them.

    Other notes...the NAV system in Lexus cars is supposed to be one of the best, if not the best. All the reviews I've read on its NAV system have praised it over its competition.
  • There is no 2002 A6 2.8.

    Is that for the 3.0? Remember that the 3.0 now has 230 hp, up from the 200 of the 2.8. Where did you get your pricing? It would be nice to be able to verify it. But since you don't want Quattro, take it away and the 2002 A6 3.0 costs $42,280 (if your numbers are correct), which is only a few hundred dollars more than the ES. That's pretty darn good for a car as nice as the A6.

    Why does the Lexus have a better ownership experience? That's surely not a fact. That's your opinion, and it is highly dependent on your individual dealer.

    While we're talking about overpriced MB's, how much did you pay for your CLK320? $50k? Surely the ES300 offers everything the CLK does for $10k less. You're talking out both sides of your mouth. You say how expensive and not worth it the MB is, yet you own it's sibling that cost you $50k. So which one is it?

    Is the MB worth it or isn't it?
  • mmcbride1,

    That must be prices for either the 2001 A6 2.8 or 2002 A6 3.0. Those prices are straight off of Audiusa's website.

    Lexus has a better ownership experience based on surveys and what I have found to be generally true from talking to other people. Also, as you may have noted, I own one. The Lexus car is second to none and my dealer is second to none. 110% happy on both counts. True it is opinion, just like your statements of the S4 having a more luxurious interior than the ES300 are, or AWD being better than FWD or RWD are. After all do you have any statistics that show AWD to have a clear advantage over FWD in terms of safety? Handling in snow, yes the AWD is better, but that means really little to me since I already have one AWD vehicle and since I haven't had a problem up until now traveling in snow with my FWD Maxima.

    Yes, the CLK320 cost a tad more than $50 grand. But it doesn't compete with a ES300. The CLK320 has more style and has 2-doors. The ES300 has 4-doors. The CLK320 is not overpriced. I thought about buying a SC300 at the time, but ran away from it after seeing how overpriced it was at the time for what you get. No side airbags, no 5-speed automatic and a host of other features missing led me to the CLK320. So, compared to it's competition the CLK320 is not overpriced, it's actually right in the same ballpark with it's competition. That is hardly talking out of both sides of your mouth. A loaded ES300 $40K a comparable C320 $46K. A comparable CLK320 $52K to a less equipped SC300 at the time cost $52K. Can you do the math? If not, let me know.
  • <<Why does the Lexus have a better ownership experience? That's surely not a fact. That's your opinion, and it is highly dependent on your individual dealer.>>

    Ownership experience is a pretty subjective term. As for me, it has to do with reliability. My first and current car is an older model LS400, and it's been trouble-free since the beginning. So that's good ownership experience to me. As for the dealers, sure, the Lexus service center treats their customers well. But those *$&% charge an arm-and-an-leg for their service. Take away the freshly baked cookies in the lounge and just make the service prices more reasonable. Sheesh. If there were an independent garage near my area I could actually trust, I'd go there instead for everything but the major services.

    As for the Lexus salesman, they all treat me pretty poorly. Then again, I can't expect them to mind a 20 year old when there's old fogeys checking out the ES too.

    As for "that's your opinion", well sure, that's pretty much assumed. :) Anything outside of raw stats will be an opinion.

    For me, I care about reliability. So it's a moot point to compare a Lexus to another brand if the excellent reliability record isn't there. In your comparisons to say, the Audis, I don't think I've seen you mention reliability yet. Which seems to be an important factor to many of the visitors here. I've heard bad things about Audi reliability, but would like to hear your take on that. Cuz man, do I like the 2002 Audi A4 auto CVT. Looks to be a nice car!
  • jrichrds,

    Thanks for the input. I know the TL or the TL-S are not really in the same class as the ES300. I'm am merely looking at the base TL if I find the ES300 ovepriced when I take a look at it. And the TL-S, I simply find to look sharp with the 17" wheels. I don't really care for the performance advantage, and that's why the 8-second 0-60 time of the 2002 ES300 doesn't really concern me.

    I also haven't looked at the 3.2TL yet, planning out getting out next weekend to look at that and the ES300 and maybe some others like the Volvo S60. but I have heard some glaring negatives(at least to me) about the 3.2TL. Those negatives mainly being interior styling as well as interior bits & pieces quality. But on the other side, I have also heard some good things mainly being related to power & value.

    So far, from pictures and articles the ES300 seems to be to my liking. The interior is exceptional for it's class and I liked the exterior when I saw one last week. It mainly gets down to how I like the way it drives, how I feel in it, and how the price is with the stuff I want in it and how accessible it is to get in that equipment level. My dealer says a mid-level car should be easy to get in whatever color I like, so we'll see if what happens. Of course a discount might be nice, but I could make do with a few hundred $$ discount.
  • Is superior to FWD in every way, shape and form. That is not my opinion, that is a fact. AWD offers superior traction in all conditions and better cornering behavior (much less understeer than FWD).

    Now this may not matter to you, but it is a fact.

    And like I said, you say one MB is overpriced (the C320), but your CLK320 isn't? Why not? They share many components (including the identical engine and transmission) and they are built by the same company. Either they are or they aren't. The CLK320 and C320 are very similar vehicles, aside from the fact that one is a coupe and one is a sedan. They are even priced very similarly.

    jrchrds - I haven't spoken about reliability because my A4 is my first Audi. But after 5000 miles, I've only been to the dealer twice. Once to buy my car and once for my 5000 mile service, which was free, courtesy of Audi (all scheduled maintenance is free for the first 4 years/50k miles on all new Audis). My A4 has been better than my 1998 4Runner was, and that was a great truck. Zero problems to date.

    I doubt an Audi will be as reliable for 100k miles as a Lexus, but it will be a lot more fun getting there. And if you include the free scheduled maintenance, that's over $1,000 you can spend in unscheduled things and you're still even with the Lexus as far as paying for things out of your pocket. Audi's reliability is much better than it used to be and is on par with BMW or MB.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    They did not add more power now because they don't have to. They want to save something for when the car starts aging. People will buy it now anyway since it is a fresh new design.
    It is the same reason the PT Cruiser only has 150HP. Chrylser will probably add a turbo when the sales start lagging on that car.
    In two or 3 years when the ES300 is no longer the newest design, then Lexus will probably freshen the car and upgrade the power to make it more comeptetive.
  • Gee, now you've called me names twice. Do you possess the maturity to talk about cars without personally insulting people? It appears you don't.

    I understand marketing and economics. I also understand that even if they were priced the same, the question still stands. Let's assume they both cost $45,000 - why is the CLK 'worth it' and the C320 isn't?

    They are both made by MB, they share the exact same engine, transmission and many other parts. They have the same warranty. What about the CLK320 is so much better than the C320?

    I just don't understand your logic. If you think the CLK is 'exclusive', think again. 12,000 have been sold so far this year. That's hardly exclusive. And by your logic, the C320 must be a better car, anyways. They sell more of them.
  • Now I deserve to be insulted?

    Grow up.

    MB has sold 30k C-class sedans vs. 12k CLK's, according to autosite.

    So a CLK is worth $50k+ because of exclusivity but the C320 is not worth $40k+ because it's not as exclusive, even though the two cars share several components?

    And according to, a 330Ci costs exactly $100 more than a 330i, both fully loaded ($42,710 vs. $42,810) with the exact same options, including NAV. It's hardly the $5-10k difference between the C320 and CLK320. Go check it out yourself.

    So you think the 'exclusivity' of the CLK makes it worth $5-10k more than the C320, even though the CLK is hardly exclusive? But the C320 is overpriced at $45k?

    Here's a hint - if you really want an exclusive MB, buy a C320 wagon. It's much more exclusive than your CLK. But it must cost $60k by your math, right?

    You must have inherited your money. Nobody who earned the money themselves spends it so frivolously (or I could say stupidly, but then I'd be name calling like you).

    Maybe you're a Vulcan (and that's why you don't make any sense) since you're so enamored with the word logic...
  • Is VSC/Traction Control only worth it for places that snow or rain a lot? I'm into safety features, but am not sure whether there'd be much benefit of it in southern California. Would like to hear your personal opinions. Thanx.
This discussion has been closed.