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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • jimervinjimervin Posts: 6
    I also don't care about the navigation system, but I for sure want the Mark Levinson sound system. If you don't get the nav system, is the Mark Levinson system still controlled by a touch panel screen? Are the controls better when you don't have the nav system?

    Thanks in advance...
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    The Mark Levinson controls are better when you do not get the Navigation system. Instead of having to use the touch screen, you have the radio controls that are the same as the cars without the navigation system. It is much easier to use than to have to deal with the touch screen.
  • sclexussclexus Posts: 2
    We picked up our black/ivory 2002 ES 300 3 weeks ago today....options are premium package, HID lights, heated seats, rain sensing wipers (which were used for the first time today), rear sunshade, wood/leather steering wheel. I have enjoyed reading this board since we started shopping around for our new car (back in October).

    I have a question regarding the driving time (E/T) mode of the multi-infomational display. The owner's manual says that the driving time will be counted from 0:00 when the engine is started. On our car, it is not automatically resetting when the engine is started, but is counting from where it left off during the last drive. It can be reset when pushing the reset button, so that's not my concern.

    Am wondering if this is a glitch in the computer design, or just a problem with our car. Would appreciate feedback as to what others have noticed.

  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    I just brought my car in for the 5000 mile oil change and have been averaging a little more than 25MPG with a combination of highway and non-highway driving. I got the car in the Starlight Pearl Color with the Mark Levinson System, AVS, VSC, Rain Sensing Wipers, HID Headlamps, Heated Seats, and the Wood Steering Wheel. So far, I really appreciate the sound of the Levinson system which adjusts itself if you open the windows or roof. You can play the system at very high volume and it has fantastic clarity. The HID lamps offer great night vision. I have not quite figured out the rain sensing wipers. They come on at different speeds depending on the rain. The wood wheel and shifter look great and are easy on the touch. The AVS has not been that much of a factor. I do not notice that much difference between the settings and you have to go from very soft to very sporty to really feel a diference. Starlight Pearl is a great exterior color. In the sunlight it appears as light blue and if it is less sunny or cloudy, the car appears silver with a slight bluish hue. Overall, at 5000 miles I am very happy with the car. It is very comfortable to sit in and I drive 70 miles a day. At the rate I am going with miles, I will have about 35000 a year on the car. Are others getting about the same MPG and how are you feeling about the car. I went from a 2000 Acura RL to this car andI enjoy the ES much more thanthe RL.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    sclexus: A slight misinterpretation of the manual. That's not a glitch. It makes sense that the driving time is reset only when you reset it. Let's say I go on a long trip and want to count driving time for the entire trip. Wouldn't it suck if the driving time reset every time I stopped for a break, a bite to eat, gas, etc.?
  • sclexussclexus Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response regarding driving time. The main reason I asked the question is that I have driven 2 loaner '01 RX300s recently, and in this vehicle, the E/T does reset to 0:00 every time the engine is started. But...there is also not a reset button on the RX300 for driving time(at least not one that I noticed), so this is the only way that this calculation could be reset. Perhaps this gave me a skewed outlook on things when I read the ES300 manual...the wording does seem a little ambiguous.

    Appreciate your feedback.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    How long did it take to get your license plates? Just thought I'd ask before calling DMV and getting put on hold for two hours. Thanks.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    It took about a month. Temp. registration is good for 6 months, so I haven't put them on yet. That and the fact I haven't had the front license plate bracket installed yet.

    Do 2 screws hold on the bracket, and 2 more hold on the license plate to the bracket? Or is it two screws for both bracket and license plate?
  • lexus1lexus1 Posts: 14
    To kreativ and hk21a: My dealer took care of ordering my plates and then called me to come in and have them installed while I waited. They put a form-fit bracket on the front that exactly matched the contours of the bumper. Took 15 minutes. That's Lexus service for ya!
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I'm curious if all ES front license plate brackets are the same. Is your front bracket black plastic, and about half the length of a license plate?

    It'd be cool if they had color-matched brackets for the ES like they do with the LS.

    In California, plates are mailed to the car owner. As for installing a license plate, a screwdriver and 20 seconds is all it takes.
  • hganihgani Posts: 4
    Here is how I installed the front license plate bracket without screwing it through the bumper:
    I turn the bracket upside down and install it below the bumper using a couple of toggle bolts through the lower grille. The bracket is just a little taller than the lower grille, so it's the perfect place for it.
    Since the plate is now held at the two lower holes, I use the clear Lexan cover to stiffen it and at the same time protect it from flying debris. The finished installation looks very clean and the bracket can be removed without leaving any holes.

    Hope you guys find this info useful.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I like the idea of mounting the front bracket without putting two holes into the bumper.

    How stable is that setup? Would a heavyweight chrome frame along with the Lexan cover be too much?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A major midwestern newspaper is interested in speaking with folks who have anecdotes and opinions on rear wheel drive vs. front wheel drive in winter driving conditions.
    We're also looking for people who recently switched one way or the other and what they like/dislike about what they're driving now.
    If you are interested in participating, please provide your city/state of residence and your daytime phone number to no later than March 20, 2002.
    Thanks as always,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • hganihgani Posts: 4
    The setup is quite stable because the frame/plate is held by 2 good sized metric bolts which you need to buy because Lexus doesn't provide us with them.
    If you are installing heavy chrome frame, and if they are not very stable, you can always screw a couple of smaller sized screws on both sides of the license plate in the area that will be covered by the frame. The license plate bracket is wider than the plate.

    BTW, I sent you an email a couple of days ago, but came back undeliverable, will try again today.
  • ianhianh Posts: 8
    you mentioned you traded your 95 es300. is your trading price compatible with edmunds' tmv. planning to do the same with my 96. thx.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I actually sold my car to Carmax. I'm not sure if there is one in your area (they were started and are owned by Circuit City).

    The dealer was willing to give me $11,000 for my 1995 ES 300 as a trade. Carmax gave me $13,000. They made the experience very easy. I drove my car there along with the estimate they had given me (it's good for seven days or 300 miles). I gave the person my title, and in 20 minutes I had my $13,000 check. My brother was nice enough to drive me home.

    To trade at the dealer would have saved me about $750 in taxes, so I netted out gaining $1250 by going to Carmax.

    Since I had picked up my 2002 ES 300 earlier that day, I actually owned both a 1995 and a 2002 for a few hours. I didn't want to get rid of my old one until I had the new one in hand (if something dreadful had happened to the new car at the dealer I would have been stuck with no car).

    Good luck.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    Dealer offering ES300 + Premium Pkg for $34,358.00 with a MSRP of $36,355. Good deal?

    Also comparing ES300 to BMW 325 xi. I like the quiet ride of the es300 but like the steptronic auto-tran and looks of bmw. BMW is 33460 (base + premium pkg).

    I am ready to buy but can't decide on which one. Wife wants Lexus but I want BMW - although I am afraid that after a few months I will begin to hate the loud engine of the BMW.

    I'm 29 with wife and child (1 year old). Which car is a better fit for this profile?

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The price on the ES 300 is very good. Most dealers around me are giving $500 off max.

    I personally prefer the Lexus over the BMW for these reasons:

    1. Reliability is better with the Lexus.
    2. Size; the BMW is too small for my liking (and may be a safety issue with a baby).
    3. Interior is much nicer and more upscale in the Lexus.
    4. Dealer service much better with Lexus (my girlfriend's father has a 2001 740iL and the dealer is awful although I realize this varies).
    5. Lexus is a brand new design; the BMW is in its fourth year.

    If it means anything, I'm 34 and bought my 1995 ES 300 when I was 27. Two of my friends also have ESs. The BMW is nice, don't get me wrong. I thought briefly about getting a 330i before buying my 2002. But the ES is just so much more car for the money in my opinion.
  • ianhianh Posts: 8
    thanks for the info. you got a VERY good price for the 95. curious, how many miles you had on the 95.
  • syluisylui Posts: 5
    Based on the MSRP of $36,355, I believe the quote not only include premium package, but also Xenon light, VSC, wooden steeling wheel, heated seat, truck mat and wheel lock. If that is the case, then $34,358 quote, off $1,997 from MSRP is a good price. we got $1,500 from VA's dealer one month ago and now we are proud owner of a Mystic Sea exterior ES300. (Our 1st choice was Starlight Blue which was out of production after January's shipment).
  • sliangsliang Posts: 50
    I also thought about getting either a BMW 325i (since I live in CA, I don't need to worry about snow. I lived in NJ for 10 years, I knew what it looks like to drive in a snowy day.), 525i, or Lexus ES300. I test drive the 525i & the ES, and a test drive back in 1999 when the new 3 was just out on the market. I really like the handling of the BMWs, but you cannot beat the quietness and luxury of the Lexus.
    I also has one kid so the 325 is probably too small for us, especially the truck of the 325. The 525 will cost more to have the same options as Lexus. Since I got a VERY good deal for a fully loaded ES, I will live with the dream of driving the BMW.
    By the way, I think the BMW 3 is not at the same quality level of 5 series.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    My 1995 ES 300 had 40,000 miles. It was black/black and was in great shape. Always serviced and never in an accident (although I had the rear bumper and driver's door repainted several years ago because a careless landscaper put huge scratches in those two places).

    I hope my 2002 is as good as the 95 was.
  • The on-board computer display of instant gass mileage on my 02 es300 (with less than 1k on it) seems to jump around wildly, and then after a few seconds settles down on 99.9 mpg when cruising on the highway. Anyone else notice the same thing? I know this is probably the least usefull info, but still wonder if there's something wrong.
  • You think an ES300 is more car for the money than a BMW 330i that costs about the same $?

    Man, you need to have your head checked. You may have a tumor.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Thanks for the tips, I especially like not putting holes in the bumpers. Okay, I've never looked at the front (or rear) frame, and it's been a long time since I had to install any plates, so I'll just ask the question: is the bracket not already on the frame?
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    ruggedland, I've noticed that too. Usually mine displays about 78mpg; it's updated every several seconds (exact no. of seconds in the manual). I guess we'd have to ask the programmer to find out exactly what data is being used for input. Mine usually finds a more accurate reading, ie 19mpg.

    btw, auto manufacturers have developed prototypes that could get 70mpg, but the President nixed it in favor of hydrogen.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    A description of how instant MPG is calculated can be found in a previous post somewhere in the ES forum.
    The instant MPG should show:
    When you're stopped - 0.0MPG
    When you're cruising without applying gas - 99.9MPG
    When you're applying gas - somewhere in between

    There is no mount on the front bumper itself for a license plate. A bracket must be put on the front bumper so that a license plate can be placed there. For the '02 ES, there are two dimples on the front bumper where the two sharp screws are supposed to be screwed through to hold the bracket in place. Some of us would rather not put two holes in our bumper, so hgani came up with a way of mounting the bracket without having to do so.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Actually, lenscap did not say "an ES300 is more car for the money than a BMW 330i that costs about the same $" Lenscap simply said the ES300 is more car for the money, which I take to mean for the same amount of cash, you can get a lot more car with the ES, because you'd have to pay more for the same option levels on the BMW 3.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Actually, my question was where is the bracket, you know, the actual physical bracket. I thought it was already screwed in with the frame. But I will take a look myself.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    The bracket is the black plastic piece, between your license plate and front bumper.
    Most SoCal dealers don't ask for your preference/permission before screwing the bracket onto the front bumper. Some make you sign a waiver (since front license plates are required in Cali). And some leave it up to you and will do it for you during a later service visit.

    Other manufacturers like Honda came up with ways to mount a front bracket without puncturing two holes into the bumper. It'd be nice if Lexus did the same for the ES.

    The rear license plate doesn't have a bracket, or you could say the bracket is integrated into the body of the car.
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