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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I have completely lost faith in Lexus until you mentioned a software update. But...

    I called up the service department and asked about a software fix and he claims he heard of no such thing. Would you believe he claims that there are NO transmission complaints for the 02 es300 in their dealership? I complained to them twice about it a few weeks ago! He says that these problems may be isolated to certain parts of the country. Anyone in NJ having these problems, please let your voice be heard so lexus will do something about this.

    I really hope there is such an update.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I believe the availability of any option depends upon when you purchase your vehicle and the dealer's region.
    I purchased mine in LA on March 15 and at that time, there were two packages: Premium and what I call loaded. Loaded consisted of ML/Rear shade/HID/AVS/heated seats/and Nav.

    I set the AVS to the "sport" setting when driving on mountainous, curvy roads. I think it makes a difference as far as the handling and ride goes. For day-to-day driving, I leave the AVS on the "comfort" setting, which is the standard setting for vehicles without AVS.

    If you have a strong preference for a stiffer suspension with more "road" feel, then it might be worth it for you to purchase the AVS. If it were I, I would not place a high priority on AVS, but I appreciate the option in my loaded package.
  • Thanks Atoews for your opinions on AVS. I did go to and check the packages based on different locations. And you are right! The package is only available in the west coast. I live in Michigan and I really like to have that feature. What about other people's opinions? Do you think it's worth spending 600+ money for this feature?

    Also, if I really want to get it, what can I do? Since all the dealers in this region do not have a car with that feature. Thanks.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Although dealers discourage it, many on this board have successfully executed special orders. You may have to resist the dealers' BS about special orders and you may need to be willing to wait longer for your vehicle, but it can be done.
  • I am really tempted to get the AVS feature on my car...but is it worth it? I would like to hear different people's opinions on it. Thanks

    Again, thanks for your comment, atoews
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I have the AVS and really am glad I got it. It was not available in the Midwest region, so I did have to special order the car.

    Of the four settings, 1=softest ride and 4=sportiest. ES 300s without AVS are most like the #2 setting.

    Most of the time I keep the switch in the #3 setting, which does provide a noticeable difference in a "tightening" of the car. It's enough of a difference for me to really notice. The car is not as "floaty."

    Sometimes I do put the AVS in full sport mode. This really tightens things up, although on some roads it can make the car a bit choppy.

    My feeling is it is a great feature to have. Unlike most, if not all, cars that make you choose between a regular suspension and a sport suspension when buying the car, this lets you have the best of both worlds and change things up whenever you want.

    Further, the system is more advanced than the one on the last generation ES 300. The old system worked all wheels together, whereas this system controls each wheel independently.

    I realize AVS is not for 95% of the ES 300 buyers. But for some people, including myself, spending the extra $600 is well worth it.

    And keep in mind anybody can get AVS, anywhere in the country, if they are willing to special order the car and wait three months.
  • Hi!

    I read your comments on AVS and really appreciate your opinions. However I am still undecided whether to wait for the car for another 3 months. I already ordered my vehicle (after paying 1000 of deposit) and it is scheduled to come in this week. I will try to make my final decision within couple days. Hard to pursuade myself not to get the AVS huh...

    3 months seems to be long....I hope they would get from LA...
  • texlaw1texlaw1 Posts: 2
    Trying to find out if this is a good deal on a lease of an 02 ES300 premium plus pkg. MSRP is 35,943 sales price quoted is 33,440 plus TTL. Money factor is .0030. Here are the dealer's numbers:

    36 Month Lease
    15k miles/yr
    1st payment and title/license due on delivery
    0 cash down
    56% residual
    659-665 /mth

    48 Month Lease
    1st payment and t+l due on delivery
    49% residual
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For those that did not see, Lexus last week posted a press release saying that the ES 300 is the best-selling luxury car in America so far this year.

    Sales to-date are 29,320.

    Also in that press release it was announced that the LS 430 was the most problem-free vehicle in initial quality for the third year in a row in the latest JD Power study. The LS 430, GS 430/300 and LX 470 topped their classes.

    My note: The ES 300 came in second (tied with the Acura TL) to the Ford Thunderbird.
  • I think ES 300 itself is pretty much a problem-free luxury sedan too. Not too many people reported major problems.

    Do people still have problems with their transmissions? Let me know. Especially for people who got their cars after May. Is it still a problem? Thanks
  • I am wondering what everybody is paying for their lexus ES300 in the mid-west region. Mine comes with ML/Nav package (loaded) and the dealer quoted me 37,600 + Tax + License fee. Is this a good deal? Please comment. Thanks.
  • tclemonstclemons Posts: 31
    My family and I went out to eat Sunday evening and saw an unusual color combo (at least for me). It was dark navy with tan leather -- is this very common? My wife is particular about where she parks (has a '98 ES300), so we went to the back corner without another car within 20 spaces (early evening) and when we came out, this car was right next to us, the only 2 cars in that part of the lot. I really like the color combo but wow, it really shows the "swirl marks"!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I happen to love the look of the outside of the ES 300. And judging by the car's sales a lot of other people agree with me.

    If some choose not to like the look that's fine. Not all people like the look of every car.

    As for the blue, it is somewhat rare just like the black garnet. It does look nice. A neighbor of mine has a beautiful blue SC 430 with an ecru interior.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    It doesn't matter whether you bought the '02ES last year or this month...the transmission software is the same. If they do change the software for the '03 ES, there should be a software update for the '02 ES.
    Not all people working at Lexus dealers have a clue about the transmission, so it depends on who you talk to. Today, the tech I talked to at my local Lexus dealer is taking some Lexus reps. on a test drive to try to prove his point. He's one of those who didn't like the feel of the new transmission since day 1.

    As for '02 ES pricing, it looks excellent. is reporting the lowest figures I've seen for the LA area. We're talking less than $1000 over invoice for a mid-level package. That means you should be able to work an even better deal directly with a dealer.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    From St. Louis, I have a price on a fully loaded (ML/Nav)car for $3,000 off sticker. Do not yet know the final price---just the negotiated discount.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Correct me if I am wrong, but are you not one of those who does not detect transmission problems in his vehicle?

    I am curious as to how you and lenscap and tiger8 and others detect no transmission problem when it clearly is a design issue; not a characteristic of individual vehicles.

    Why do some of us have the problem and others not? This makes no sense to me, because I think the problem is very noticeable, even if the degree to which it might bother each of us might vary from individual to individual.
  • My final price is about 39900 (total with tax and everything). What do you think?
  • To answer your question: I have test-driven Lexus ES-300 for a couple times and I did not notice the problem with the transmission. Especially for the 2nd test drive, the car bascially did whatever I asked her to do. It's pretty cool and I think the acceleration is actually not that bad. Compaing to my current Honda I am pretty satisfied with it.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    I drove a 02 ES300 for the last two days while my RX was having a rattle fixed. The loaner had 500 miles on it when I got it and I noticed the transmission shifted like crap. I braked down to a speed of about 15mph and then accelerated and noticed the car took a second or more to figure out what gear to move into. During heavy acceleration the car was not smooth either and my wife agreed the trans was a somewhat stiff. Overall the car was wonderful but the trans may stop me if I were in the market for a new sedan.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Without knowing your invoice, I really cannot comment on whether it is a good price or not. You really need to know how much over invoice you are paying. In LA, I can get a car for $500-800 over invoice. In fact, I have two quotes from 2 different dealers willing to sell me a car for $500 over invoice from the LA area. Midwest prices I have found to be higher because of less competition. One of the LA dealers has in stock 125--2002 ES 300's. Our St. Louis dealers have none in stock!! Hope this helps.
  • How do you find out the invoice of the Mid-west Lexus dealers? The only invoice information I got is from this website. Is that accurate?
  • Jim,

    I think it may be due to the low mileage on that car or you probabaly just got a car with bad transmission. I have driven this car in two dealerships in Michigan and I did not find any transmission problems. I went for a second test drive because I heard all the comments about acceleration and shifting. Guess what, the car I drove just reponded as well as my Honda Accord 2000.

    I think RX300 is a great SUV. My friend has one he really loves it.
  • somumsomum Posts: 3
    Dealer is quoting me 34,500 drive-out(Incl. of 6.25% tax and Title fee) on the ES300 with Premium package. Is that a good deal since the Edmunds TMV is around 35,000 drive-out but the invoice is around 32,500 drive-out?
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    That sounds like a good deal. The way I figure, it is about $3K under MSRP.
  • Got my Lexus today and drove a long way home. Finally my time to write a review on my own Lexus. The car is really great. It only has 50 miles on it and the transmission, accelerations are great. I was worried about the transmission, acceleration and noice when I went to the dealership today since many of you have complained about them here. I test drove the car and actually brought her to the highway. The result is: perfect acceleration and transmission. The transmission is very smooth and the acceleration response is quick and precise. Well, the acceleration is not as fast as TL Type S..but I really enjoyed the smooth ride. The acceleration is good enough for me to enter the highway effortlessly.

    The Mark Levinson sound is great too. Navigation System is easy to use and it is really accurate. Overall, I am really impressed by the performance of this car.

    I did ask the salesman about the transmission software. He has heard nothing about it. I really hope those of you who still have problems with the transmission will have the software updated.

    I will post the MPG later this week. Have fun!
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Congatulations on the new purchase. I am happy to hear that you have not experienced the transmission problem I frequently hear about on this forum. The ES300 remains on my "short list" of my next new car. I would be very interested in your highway mpg as you get a few miles on the car. Thanks again for your post and will be looking forward to your next update.
  • Hi!

    I am wondering where to find good floor mats (e.g websites?) for my ES 300. I prefer it to be rubber-made so I do not have to worry about snow and dirt in winter. Any ideas will be appreciated
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Congrats on your new purchase. Since I am moving to LA in August, I decided to get my ES there instead. I now have 3 dealers who have quoted $500 over invoice. Most want $1,000-1,200 over invoice. I will also be getting the ML/Nav package. Happy to hear Nav is easy to use and accurate. ENJOY.
  • Good deal. More competition in LA does give buyers lots of advantages. So what is your final price including tax and licenses? I suppose it is a much better deal than Michigan?

    Went out and drove the car again. People never discussed about braking system here. I would like to comment on it: The braking system is superb. I would say much better than the Honda Accord. You could stop the car very easily and smoothly.

    Acceleration, as I mentioned before, is now still very responsive. I hope you would get your car soon. cwdavis.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I think I remember talking to you at the beginning of the year.
    $500 over invoice is an even sweeter deal when you're getting the fully loaded ES. Did you do all negotiations through the Internet with their Internet sales departments?
    Did they make the offer based on your purchasing the car not now but in August?
This discussion has been closed.