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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I currently have 3000 miles on my ES300. I purchased it in March and my vehicle has the transmission problem experienced by many others.

    At my 5000 mile maintenance, I am going to insist on test driving several ES300s to see whether they have the problem. If the test driven vehicles do not have the problem, I will insist that Lexus fix or replace my transmission. If the vehicles I test do have the problem, I will conclude that those owners who report no problem really do have the transmission problem, and are simply insensitive to it.

    I live 100 miles from the nearest dealer, or I would do my test drive within the week. As it stands, I will have to wait until about August to do the test at my 5000 mile check.

    It would be nice if someone else with the transmission problem would try this test and post the results on this board.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Call in advance, and get an '02 ES loaner car. Then you can drive it all over the place and give it a thorough evaluation.
  • I don't think it is exactly right to say that people who claimed no transmission problems were being insensitive. I made my transition from a Honda Accord 2000 to 2002 Lexus ES300 and I have to tell you that after 3 days of driving I really think the transmission in this car is far superior than my Honda Accord 2000. I could really tell the difference.

    Another factor you might want to consider while test driving other loaner cars is the month/year which they were manufactured. I know people have been saying that there is no difference. However, none of us worked in Japan's manufacturing plants or HQ so you never know.

    I really hope that you would get the value of what you paid for. This is a great car and I really hope everyone would enjoy it.

    More driving experience to follow....
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    kreativ--good memory--we did visit earlier in the year and I too was surprised by the even more aggressive pricing I have found. I emailed 14 dealers within a 50 mile radius of LA and about 10 have responded so far. Timing did not seem to matter a whole lot with most but some did say it would depend what was available and/or coming in August. However, the $500 over invoice was there by 3 of the 10 and most others were $1,000-1,200 over invoice. List price was $39,963 as it is loaded including AVS and VSC. Invoice is $35,232. So they are coming to LA either loaded or less than loaded and that is about it. The one dealer in El Monte (Longo) informed me that they have 125 ES 300 (2002) in stock right now!! The dealers here in St. Louis have none in stock. I have only dealt with the internet folks.

    Aceking2000- as to "out the door", I guess it will be $35232 invoice, $500 markup, $2,948 tax (8.25%), $235 license and a $45 doc fee for a total of price of $38,960. I am okay with that. Although I would like to get chrome wheels but that would add an additional $850.

    I really want to get the car NOW but it really does not make a lot of sense since we are moving the first part of August and it is senseless to register it in MO and then CA. Also, by August we should know what changes (if any) are planned for the 2003 model.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I'd wait until August too. Just a couple months away, and who knows, the price could even go lower once the 2003 is right around the corner.
    I believe Longo is the highest volume Lexus dealer in the western part of the US. It was a different story when I went there in December though...they hardly had any ES in stock.
    Did you talk to Marc Evans? He's one of the guys that handles Internet sales at Longo.
    Dealing with the Internet folks is the way to go. In LA, that means you get to comparison shop between a dozen dealers without ever having to leave your home.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    If I follow you correctly and you are moving from the midwest to CA, it makes even more sense than you think to wait.

    The California packages will ensure that your vehicle meets the California emmissions requirements, and the packages sold in California are more suited to the west coast driving conditions. For example, all-weather tires are not on the California packages, and AVS comes on the California loaded package. Heated seats are not available on the premium package in California (they come with the loaded package, however), whereas all four midwest options have heated seats and no AVS.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    After Sept 11, Toyota stepped down production of ES300 in anticipation that Sept 11 indicident might negatively impact sales. I was told that by a couple of dealers and by the personnel at Sam's Club. I suspect that a greater number of vehicles now means lower prices than when I purchased my car in March. The Sam's Club people predicted that vehicle prices would go lower, in fact.

    I bought mine anyway then anyway, because of the possibility that a price increase in the invoice might offset the greater availability of vehicles.

    Bottom line is that it looks as though buyers in LA should be able to negotiate a deal between $500 - $1000 over invoice.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I meant that for those owners who do not experience the transmission problem, it could be one of two reasons: 1) the problem is there, but they do not experience or feel the problem or the problem does not bother them or 2) the problem is not there in their vehicles.

    The numerous comments on this web site indicates to me that it is most likely a design problem, not a problem with individual vehicles. I guess I would like to get to the bottom of why many of us experience the problem and many do not.
  • Yeah. I agree with you. I will be interested in finding out too. Lexus is always striving for excellence and they should be able to fix you and many others' problems.

    Went out for driving again today. Did notice a small rattling sound on the passenger side but it is not too bothersome. Any others experience the same issue? I will bring it up to my technician for the first 30 day checkup.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Yes, I am in discussions with Marc Evans at Longo. Is that where you got your car? If not, where did you go and are you happy with the dealer since I see you are from LA also and I will soon be back in that area. Actually, we are moving to Hollywood so as long as a dealer close by will match Longo or if not, I am told that Longo has a mobile service and will come to you which I think is pretty cool.

    Couldn't agree with you more. The internet is the only way to go in LA because of the great competitive environment. One sends out emails and the responses flow in within 24 hours.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    What does Sam's Club have to do with the ES300?
  • joeh80joeh80 Posts: 2
    Anyone here have any experience with the Kansas City Lexus Dealer? Since there is only one Lexus dealer here in town they kind of have a Monopoly. I went in and at first they said we normally charge sticker but I was able to get them down to $2000 over invoice but they acted like they would be taking a loss if they sold it any lower. Anybody have any luck in the Mid west with internet bidding?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Sam's Club has an auto program. So does Costco. These companies refer their members to various dealers who have arrangements with the clubs to offer "no haggle" pricing. In my case, I was referred by Sam's Club to Lexus of Cerritos, where I purchased my vehicle. The dealers sell the cars to Sam's club members for a fixed price over invoice.

    If you check the April consumer reports, there is an assessment of how effective purchasing vehicles through these clubs is as compared with just walking in and negotiating with a salesman. Consumer reports' buyers tried different ways to purchase vehicles. For the club method, there was only about $100 between the average high and low prices paid using this method. The spread is much higher for purchasing cars by just walking in and negotiating with dealers in the traditional way. It turned out that the club method yieled better high and average prices, but you could get much lower prices if you are a good negotiator by using the traditional route. It would seem that if you are an average negotiator, you are better off going the club route. However, if you are good at it and willing to work at it, significantly better deals can be obtained through negotiation.

    I feel that at any given time, there has not been that big of a spread for the ES300, i.e., my deal was about in line with most of those reported on this board. However, a couple of folks on this board seemed able to get better than average prices and a better price than I did. I paid about $2300 over invoice for my LA loaded package, whereas ramzak only paid $1994. He had one of the best deals I had seen at the time (between Feb and early May). I have seen better deals lately, in the neighborhood of $500 - $1000 over invoice.
  • I have a question on how to use the Navigation voice guidance. It appears that whenever you want to use the voice guidance, you can't turn your CD/Radio volume too high. Is there anyway to have the system automatically lower the volume of the CD/Radio when the voice guidance needs to tell you the direction/instruction? Thanks.
  • sliangsliang Posts: 50
    How did you figure out the invoice price for the fully loaded ES?
    I used the price calculator at edmund, the invoice price should be close to $34,850, but your invoice is $35,232.
    I also purchased my ES from Longo, I talked with another internet sales manager, he was also very professional. I think Longo is probably the largest Lexus dealer in the west coast, and they are challenged to sell 600 Lexus in June, so you really have a good chance to get a very good price.
    It seems that the ES price is coming down, if you can get one for $500 over invoice, I would go & grab it, even $1000 over is not too bad. Good luck for your purchasing.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    sliang - Best place to figure out invoice pricing is
    You pick the exact package, and it gives you the sticker price, the invoice price, and their price. Their price varies depending on region, and can be a good indicator of price trends in your area (up or down, assuming you monitor the site over some time period)

    cwdavis1 - I didn't know about him when I got my ES, but I hear Marc Evans is good. At this time, I wouldn't pay any more than $500 over invoice in the LA area. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you'd like.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Sliang- I did not personally figure out the invoice number but it was provided by most the dealers who responded and it was the same across the board. As Kreativ suggests, do not use Edmunds because it is not all inclusive. should provide greater accuracy.

    Kreativ--what is your email address?
  • tk_dettk_det Posts: 21

    While you can't make the volume on the radio go down when the voice navigation system wants to talk to you, it is possible to increase the voice guidance volume. I don't have the book in front of me so I can't tell you exactly how to do it. If you have problems doing this get back to me and I'll get out my book and walk you through it. I've got mine maxed to the highest volume and that seems to do the trick. Also, note that when the voice guidance speaks, the radio/cd to the front left speaker(s) is momentarily shut off.

    To all others. I have a slight passenger door sound. Sounds like a production problem. If anyone gets it fixed properly, let us know so we can direct the service people to the exact poblem. I suspect it's the side adjustable seat belt anchor; but its just a suspicion. tk
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    We bought an ES300 about three weeks ago and received about the same discount off of MSRP. Obviously in the midwest where there is only one dealer in the metro area, we're not going to get the same deal as in say the L.A. area. But I was very satisfied. Plus we were treated much better than when we dealt with the local Mercedes dealer. later, ldf
  • I couldn't wait to get rid of my ES 300 Lexus. More problems thant you could imagine.Now into a 3.2 TL and very happy. (Plus the extra $5000.00) takes care of a lot of Pizza's. Get wise people, READ THE ANALYSIS FROM THE PRO'S. They don't lie as one of the self serving pepople said prior.
  • Tk, good point. I do know how to turn the volume of the voice guidance UP. It's on 7 right now. I guess if you turn your music REALLY loud...then there is no way you can hear the voice guidance. (I had mine really lound just to test the power of Mark Levinson..Yeah!)

    And I do have minor sound/rattle on the left passenger side. I can't identify where it is coming from. I will have the engineer check it within a few days. So if you hear anything let me know.

    Btw, do you live in Detroit? I live in Troy but didn't buy my car at Maede because I don't like their attitudes. so tk_det if you want to talk more about Lexus experiences, contact me at Ok?

    To argolferbd. I feel sorry that you had a bad experience with your ES300 Lexus. However it is indeed a superior car than the 3.2TL in terms of interior luxury and to my own opinion - the exterior design. The only thing I like about the 3.2TL is the sport shift and the Power. But honestly, why do we need so much power for? You will still get your *** kicked if you race with cars like mustang. To me I think my lexus already has a decent power and I have no problem with transmission like some people.

    I found a little dent on the front of my car. Really small but I think I can live with it. 'cause that's what happens when you drive on highways. I will see if that is under the corrosion warranty. Any thoughts?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    And remember that one usually exchanges more power for decreased gas mileage. I'd sacrifice some power for better gas mileage any day. I would not want a V8 in my car for that reason.

    I am happy with the power of the ES300.
  • Indeed. In fact, as I mentioned before. The transmission of the new ES300 is much better comparing to my Honda Accord 2000.

    atoews, do you experience the noise/rattle on the passenger side? Is it not normal or are we just too picky since the car is so quiet?
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Hey, it's an "L" badge. You pay extra for "L"uxury.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Yes, I have a rattle either on the driver door or the rear passenger door behind the driver. It sounds similar to the rattle I hear from items I carry in the car. Seat belts can rattle, seats can vibrate and rattle, grocery bags can rattle, my sunglasses can rattle in the holder. The rattle I hear from the door sounds similar to those I mentioned. Like a piece of paper being crinkled. Very minor.

    Since I don't often carry a passenger, there has been no opportunity to investigate further. And, like some others, I hesitate to mention it to a dealer because I fear that a potential fix might make things worse.

    In answer to your question about expectations, yes, I think our standards are high; higher than if we had bought a car where the expectations were not as lofty.

    I am one of those owners who texas83 thinks is out of my mind because I think the ES300 is so quiet, it is noisy. ;-) (FYI, texas83 probably gets the award for being least satisfied of anyone on this board with his 02 ES300).

    I also agree with you. Even with the transmission problem and the very slight rattle at the door, I do not regret my purchase, and I would do it again. I still love my car, and it is a vast improvement in the transmission, power, and quietness over the 1996 Camry I traded in.

    And we won't even discuss the BMW I had before the Camry.... well, that's history.

    Finally,if you go to the "Camry problems" board, you will find that the new Camry seems to have at least as many, if not more, trouble with the transmission than we do. My hopes are high that Lexus will fix the transmission problem before I am ready for a new car again - 8 -10 years from now.
  • John,

    What was your experience with Meade Lexus?
  • atoews. I agree with you. I love my car a lot. Even a small mark on the front of my car makes my hear broken..j/k. Anyway, it is a great car and I really hope that you wouldn't have to wait for another 8-10 years before the transmission gets fixed. I thought you were going to the dealership to have them fix the car. I think they should. Have you driven other Lexus ES300 yet? It's definitely worth a try.

    Also others mentioned that when their Lexus ES300 went over 50mph, the was a feeling or hesitation when they released the pedal. Is taht the general case? I tried this afternoon and didn't find it in my car. Thanks.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    If you get $500 over invoice, I'd love to hear about it!! Please post if you do.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I live 100 miles from the nearest Lexus dealer (in Bakersfield), and 150 miles from the Lexus metropolis of LA. I probably will not test another car until August, when I am scheduled to go to LA for my 5000 mile service.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    atoews - request the 7500 mile service instead, even if you have 5000 miles on the car. You get either one for free, and the 7500 includes a new A/C filter. =) And I'd call ahead to make sure there's an '02 ES loaner you can drive for comparison while they're servicing your car. Loaners you get to drive out anywhere you want on your own...a lot more freedom than testing driving a new one. E-mail me too if you'd like.

    cwdavis1 - look in my profile. =)

    aceking2000 - I get one of the earlier described hesitations (more of a shuddering actually) in my LS. Someone else has said they get it in their GS. So it's not something specific to the '02 ES. It's more of a hesitation when you feather the pedal after having released it. I haven't experienced it in my LS for quite a while, and the only time it happened was on the same strip of road. Must be the speed and the way that I drive on that particular strip.
This discussion has been closed.