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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I tried a couple new just-arrived ES300s at the dealer, and both sound systems had the excessive background hiss (the standard stereo system, not ML). Others don't seem to hear it or it just doesn't bother them, as I have to point it out specifically. I should've brought an audiophile with me for a better opinion, as the friends I went with aren't audio gurus by any means. The easiest way for anyone to hear the hiss is with the engine off and the volume turned all the way down.

    It's tolerable because the noise from the engine/wind will easily cover up any background hiss the sound system is making. But it is still poor design. It would be good if I could listen to the standard audio system in an '01 ES, as my only basis for comparison is the standard audio system in an LS.

    Background noise aside, the standard audio system does sound quite good. My suggestion is to just try it for yourself and see whether the background noise is an issue for you or not.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Good news about your buying experience. What problems are you talking about that the "other folks" have had?
    Yes, I would definitely contact corporate Lexus about the other dealer experience. It is long overdue that such tactics will no longer be tolerated. As far as I know, Lexus prides itself in the buyer experience and hopefully would not condone such tactics as "bait-and-switch". I also urge you to contact the local Better Business Bureau to find out if the experience you received violated any State laws. If so, I would contact the States Attorney General who would also investigate. This sounds like a lot of work but you would be doing all of us a big favor. Please let us know if you decide to follow-up on this complaint. At the very minimum I would contact corporate Lexus and be sure to compliment Countyline Lexus at the same time. There has to be some evaluation of Lexus dealers by corporate Lexus and your opinion would help. Please keep us informed.
    Would you also keep us advised of the ES300 driving experience periodically; such things as gas mileage, problems, or maintenance. Happy New Year to you and thanks for sharing your buying experience with us.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Some pictures of my 2002 ES300, for those interested in a silver one.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures. I really appreciate that you took the time to do it. The pictures are very good. What type of camera do you have? Did I see a Toyota Camry in the background of one of the pictures? Please keep us informed as the miles roll along? What kind of highway mpg are you getting? Thanks again.
  • gdb55gdb55 Posts: 14
    I thought you ordered the car in "Starlight Pearl?"
  • Thanks for the really clean images. How many megapixels is that digital camera?
  • mllmll Posts: 5
    I have been trying to deal with a high volume lexus dealership on the ES. They want me to pay way above the MRSP and usually are not even close to Edmunds prices. I read recently that Lexus wants new customers as there is a high likelihood that person will be a repeat customer. South Florida is quite difficult as Southeast Toyota Corp. has a monopoly with the lexus dealers. Thanks for the advice, I may contact Countyline lexus,
  • I must say that lurking on this site/board and a few others prompted my decision. I was attempting to decide between a 1999 or so ES300, a new Avalon XLS, or a new Camry. They all have their advantages/disadvantages, and I want to thank the helpful people on this site for making those more clear.

    I finally went with the certified ES (and it was a bit lower in price than the other two options, though that was not really the determining factor). The car is in splendid condition, and even came with chrome wheels. The one major thing I will miss is the dual climate control--this would make driving with the significant other more enjoyable. But I suppose I will manage somehow. :)

    I have only two issues after driving the car for a little under a thousand miles. First, there is a rattle in the back and toward the right somewhere. It is faint, intermittent, and not really bothersome. It may be something as simple as the seat belt bumping up against the door or maybe the tools not firmly secure in the truck. My SO things I am silly for even giving it thought, as the car is still very quiet. I probably agree, and if I cannot find the cause I will still like the car. But I figure that I will give it a shot. The other issue is the wind noise from the driver's side window/seal (or lack thereof). I only really here it when on a windy highway. I was prepared for this by reading this board, and I do not find it unbearable. I will see if the dealer recommends anything when I take it in for its first oil change.

    Overall, I am satisfied. I must say, though, that I expected that making the choice between these 3 cars would be less difficult. I did a great deal of research on each, drove all 3 more than once, and still had a hard time. In the end, I think I would have been well off with any of the choices, but I believe the exterior of the ES300 settled it for me. It is fairly conservative, quite clean, yet still very good to the eye. The exterior of the Avalon was a little less appealing to me, but not by a great margin. And if I needed back seat room, this would have been my choice probably. And I think the Camry fell back because I could feel the pickup difference between the 210 and 192 hp engines. This definitely would not have prevented me from buying the camry under any circumstance (pickup was fairly good, actually), but this set it slightly behind the other two in this category.

    I should also add as footnote that I was not considering the new ES300. I like it quite a bit (some people seem to be put off by the exterior but I am not), but it is a bit more than I need and a little more than I wanted to spend.
  • lexus1lexus1 Posts: 14
    I recently special ordered an ES300 from a Houston Lexus dealer (90-120 day delivery) and found that Edmunds is right on for Texas prices. The best I could do was $500 under MSRP. Each dealer I visited had no more than 3 cars available, so demand is still super strong here. BTW, the last day to order for March production was January 4! So for those of you willing to wait, please note that you must order early in the month just to get in a production schedule for two months later!! However, since I am part homing pigeon, I found the Nav to be a $2000 option I don't need and the only way to get the LI package (ML with no nav) was to special order. The car will be delivered in mid April.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Thanks for the pics, those are the colors I'm getting, if my car ever makes it to the dealer! It's been sitting at the port (Long Beach--that's in Los Angeles area for folks in other parts of the country) for 10 days! We did have the New Year holiday, but still it's been sitting around for awhile, and I'm getting really antsy.
  • lexus1lexus1 Posts: 14
    My dealer told me it would take two weeks from the time the car left the boat in LA to arrival in Dallas. Then another three days from Dallas to Houston! It probably takes longer to get here from LA than it did to get from Japan to LA.
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    Well, I cant believe it. After special ordering the car from the factory back on September 5th, I picked up my car tonight. I ordered the car with the Mark Levinson System but did not get the Navigation system.I did get: VSC, AVS, and HID. I have only driven the car about 50 miles so far but it has a smooth ride and the sound system is quite good. The color is a silver with a blueish tint that looks different depending on whether there is sunlight. If i can borrow a digital camera, I will mount some photos. So far, I am quite pleased and look forward to some serious driving over this next weekend. My dealer experience was quite good also.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Good luck with that timeline for Texas! My car has been at the port for 12 days now, and it's only half an hour to my dealership. At this rate, it'll take over a month for you to get your car once the boat arrives.

    Re Starlight Pearl: Lexus is not currently offering that color in the West Coast, at least not in California--the car capital of the world! Unbelievable. I would love to see pics.
  • I have a bad experience with a salesman, called Dany, in Santa Monica Lexus.
    When my wife and me were negotiating for Lexus ES300, he offered us a Silver one, and he promised he can give it to us right away. I hesitated for a while for the price concern. Just one minutes later when I came back from bathroom, I saw he congratulates to another guy, saying his car had just arrived. And I talked to Dany that I want the silver car, but he said the car had just been sold. It turns out that the guy got the car Dany was offering us after we talked with that guy. The guy had been waiting for the car for a long time.

    I still placed an order for a silver car there. Dany brags that all other deals in LA get the car from them, and he get the car first. But he said he can not give me the VIN until 5 days before it arrived. I trust him(stupid!).

    I can only take the car on weekends. But whenever I asked Dany if the car will be ready in the weekend, he said he could not know until the Friday. Obviously he is playing the same game with me as with the previous guy.

    Maybe I will have the car some day, but I felt disgusting when I think of the salesman Dany. Is it any "Lexus" buying experience? I have to talk it out. Let's see what happens.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    I'm also purchasing from Santa Monica. My salesperson is Bob and he's great. My car's at the port just hanging out. Bob told me that they get allocation updates just about every day, so what Danny told you about only knowing on Fridays is wrong. My only negative experience was during the first (and so far, the only) time I visited the dealership. The internet sales manager (not Bob) needed to ok pricing and she kept me waiting for over an hour! So I left, and said call me if you're interested in selling to me. I did everything but the test drive on the phone. It's been a good experience so far, and I'm crossing my fingers that when I actually pay for and pick up my car, it will also be a good experience. Also, Bob had given me a copy of the sticker for another ES with the same options I want, so I can use it as reference. And he's been very upfront about everything. Plus they have that nice coffee/cappuccino machine in the back. I'm really sorry about your experience there. Maybe you can talk to a management person and have them switch you to another salesperson--as long as they get the $ for it. Good luck. By the way, I shopped around for a good dealer experience, in addition to a good price. Glendale was the worst.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    chirslusf - I fell into the same trap as you there (and the guy who almost had his car sold to you), and ended up not buying the car from them. What I learned is to never put down a deposit without getting a VIN number from the allocation list in exchange. And don't expect a Lexus dealer to be any more honest than the rest of them. E-mail if you want any advice on how to handle the situation. There are better, and much easier, ways to get the silver ES you want.

    hk2la - I think you got a good salesman. If I had to go back, Bob Uchida would be the only guy I'd talk to. And he gave you a heck of a deal, $1000 over invoice. I haven't heard of anyone getting that kind of deal without having some sort of connection, let alone on the most popular color combination. What did it take to get that price?
  • toyo_ztoyo_z Posts: 47
    I agree with the aforementioned advice about putting down a deposit and getting a VIN number. Don't do _anything_ without getting a specific VIN number on a car.

    The first dealer that i went to refused to give us a VIN number, wouldn't negotiate on price at all, etc... It was a miserable experience.

    We went to the other dealer in our area (countyline lexus/hollywood,fla) and once we determined exactly what options we wanted & price we were willing to pay, they immediately searched for a car & gave us a specific VIN.

    We were able to track this car every step along the way. (it took about a month to get it from "the boat" to my driveway.)

    If a dealer says that they can't reserve you a particular car or give you a VIN number, they are lying. It's not the kind of place that you want to give your business. My $0.02 as a happy new ES300 driver.
  • We're all still waiting to hear what type of camera you used to get the high quality pictures of your car. Once we're done buying our cars, we need other outlets for our comparison shopping urges.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I'm curious how many miles are on an ES purchased before arriving at the dealer. Can you tell me how many were on yours when you went to pick it up?

    Mike E. Smith,
    The digital camera I used was an HP 1.3MP, which is on the limits of acceptability as far as image quality is concerned. I recommend getting a digital camera from Olympus, Nikon, or Canon instead.
  • It seems to me that there are just a few people talking prices on here. I was wondering if anyone would know what is the range for a new Es300 with 12k a year for 36 or 29 months. I was told that $530 was a steal and that normal was $610. I find this to be NUTS. Since from the same dealer I got my 1999 Gs300 for $479.

    I was quoted on a I35 from infinity $408 before even hageling. and the I35 is around the same price of a car.

    I do love Lexus service and would not know where to start on how great there service is. But I will not pay over $100 more a month for a $35,000 car. When Infinity and Jag are lower. Any ideas?
  • toyo_ztoyo_z Posts: 47
    kreativ --

    My ES300 had 6 miles on it when we picked it up. According to the dealer, that's about as low as you can get. (The miles come from rolling it around in shipping & when it's prepped.)

    I think that's another advantage of putting down a deposit/getting a VIN number -- everyone else keeps their paws off "your" car :-)
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Well now, that's very interesting about getting the VIN. I did not know to do it when I gave them my deposit and they did not offer it to me. I actually got the VIN through my bank, thru the loan process.

    Kreativ, I see you did a little bit of research. This whole VIN thing makes me a little doubtful about Bob now. Well, I was not in a rush to get a new car, and saw that some people here have gotten the $1K over invoice in Calif. so I knew I could too. Frankly, I would not buy if I had to pay more than that. But that's me. Plus I just wasn't that interested at the time. So I could take it or leave it, and I guess salespeople can sense that. Beverly Hills is still after me to buy from them.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The leasing market is in very poor condition now, as compared to 1999, the date you mention for the GS. There are several factors which determine lease rates, it is a MUCH more complex situation than purchasing a car. Dealers pushing leases 3-6 years ago are now finding themselves having too many just off lease vehicles on the lots, and since the used car market is hurting, they can't move them, regardless of make. This has been hurting resale value, one of the big factors in leases. The so called "money factor" is also a determinant, and since the economy is (for lack of a better term) "bleh" right now, this is not favorable either. I'm not too shocked that the lease on the new ES is higher than on a 99 GS which had a higher sticker.
  • metmdxmetmdx Posts: 265
    That is one nice lookin' ride. One question though (and it's probably a dumb one): In the 4th picture (full frontal) there is what appears to be some sort of tab/access point in the front bumper between the grill and h/l assembly. What might that be?
  • mrzinjmrzinj Posts: 5
    i have 2,000 mi. on my millennium silver '02 and have enjoyed things thoroughly with one exception. there is a rattling or buzzing sound, very faint, coming from the far rear right side. it seems like it against the window behind the rear passenger seat. at first i thought it was the rear speaker rattling but then i noticed it when the ML was off. at my 1,000 mile check up, the lexus mechanic said it may have been a bad door seal that was made worse by the cooling winter conditions so he put some silicone in the door frame but that has not helped. has anybody had a similar experience? any thoughts or advice? thanks.
  • I guess I did not make my self clear and for that I am sorry.

    I Leased my GS300 in the Year 1999 and it was brand new for $479 a month with 12k miles aloud each year.

    If I was to lease a new Es this year 2002 I was told it was $530 which is a low price for me . The regular price I was told is $610-$630.

    I feel that is NUTS why would I lease a car that is less approx $35k when I leased my GS300 in 1999 that was $42,000.

    Do you understand what I am saying now? What is a good lease rate for a NEW es300 2002.

  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Mike - that's a definite advantage to pre-ordering. =)

    hk2la - I'd be quite happy if I were in your place. Waiting a month and a half is long, but silver/gray is one of the harder colors to get (due to popularity) and Bob gave you a great price on one. It'd be a different story if you've waited this long and still don't have a VIN. But it sounds like you didn't have to wait too long for a VIN.
  • Enjoy your lease on the 99' GS300. Things in the lease world have changed since then. Dealers are not very willing to adjust your residual value which (in addition to the money factor) determines your lease payment. Most dealers (leasing companies) are setting the residuals extremely low nowadays. This is because so many leasing companies lost tons of money when the car came back. They could not even come close to selling it at the set residual on the wholesale market. They are much more cautious now and great lease deals are much, much harder to find.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I know IS prices have been creeping up, but ES prices seem to be on an upswing too.'s price on an '02 ES dropped to a low (in S.Cali) in December, but has risen twice in January. Not that I'd buy from, but they can be a good gauge for the way prices are moving.
    If you can't get as good a deal as you want now, just wait. They'll surely drop again. The release of the Infiniti G35 in a couple months, while not a direct competitor to the ES, should help drive ES prices down nonetheless.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    When purchasing a new Lexus, don't let the dealer sucker you into buying their exterior/interior protection package. I know someone in that business, and it's not worth the inflated price. You'll find the included warranties pointless after reading the fine print. So save yourself the $1000+.

    If you're one to want to really maintain your car's apperance:

    For the exterior: Purchase a high quality polymer sealant such as Klasse. It doesn't cost more than $20 for a bottle that will last through 10+ applications, with each one providing ~6 months of paint protection. And the shine is incredible, especially if you put on multiple layers.

    For interior:
    ES leather has a finished treatment consisting basically of a vinyl topcoat, so leather conditioner won't do your leather much good. If you're itching to use some sort of protectant on the dash or leather seats (not necessary), 303 Aerospace Protectant is the best you can get on the mass market.
    Follow the instructions in your owner's manual on cleaning the interior. Don't go out and buy random cleaning products. A lot of them will hurt more than help in the long run.
This discussion has been closed.