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Lexus ES 350 XM and Sirius

patpat Posts: 10,421
Talk about XM and Sirius in the ES 350 here.


  • svwsvw Posts: 12
    Please help me understand this xm unit installation figure. My understanding is that the base package (called Premium)"includes" the XM capability. Is that wrong or do you still need to "add" something to make it work (beside the monthly service fee - I am already an SM customer with a mobile unit I can listen to in the house, during a walk, or in the car. Wonder if I can listen in the Lexus without carrying the unit...and still have the mobile unit work in the house, park, etc?).
  • donegaldonegal Posts: 49
    Although it is XM capable, an XM unit (adapter?) still must be added to the Lexus Premium radio. I was quoted a price of $599 for XM when I placed my order for the ES350. Then of course you have your monthly subscription fee payable to the satellite provider. With XM, each additional radio beyond the first radio that accesses the XM signal would require an additional monthly fee of $6.95.
  • slider71slider71 Posts: 10
    $599 is high. According to Chrome, the XM option is $486 MSRP, with a dealer cost of $389. Mine was done at port, but the costs would have been the same. As stated before, I too have another vehicle that has it, so I'm on the $6.95 additional unit plan with the ES350.

    They installed it as a small antenna that is on the right edge of my trunk line....very low profile. All ES radios can be adapted for XM. The signal would likely be a bit stronger if it was roof mounted, as in my other car, but it works great none the less.
  • tkubatztkubatz Posts: 7
    Can you post a picture of the antenna?
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    I plan to buy a 350 soon and will get the XM option; will instruct installers to put antenna insidethe car on the dash adjacent to the defroster. I have one in my Avalon same place - excellent signal & works fine. My antenna is a Terk micro, slightly larger than a can barely see it. For whatever reason, Toyota/Lexus installation on the trunk is trashy looking, not to mention the ugly black blob sitting there. Out of sight, inside the car is the way to go. Sure wish they would take a hint from Acura/Honda on integrated, color coordinated antenns!!!!
  • kmmcgrakmmcgra Posts: 7
    I had mine installed last Saturday. My local Lexus dealer installed it inside the back window right next to the back brake light. The antenna Lexus installs is rather small and hardly noticeably at all. I also had my windows tinted and it doesn't impact the reception at all.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    Anyone have XM installed in their ES350 at a dealer? If so, what was the cost?
    I picked up my car yesterday without the XM option installed since I got the car out of their inventory. I've had XM in my last 4 cars, the latest being an 05 Avalon LTD, but it was ordered that way.
    Dealer is quoting me approx $850 total; he said it takes about 4 hours, blah, blah, pull lots of dash, blah, blah, wiring. Seems on the high side but we really haven't gotten down to business talking.
    Anyone have one installed yet?
  • kmmcgrakmmcgra Posts: 7
    Had mine added to the purchase as an option ($486) and installed 2 weeks after delivery due to them having to order the wiring/or cables. No install fee just the original $486. Dealer called 2 hours after I dropped it off and said it was done.
  • tnfantnfan Posts: 18
    Had XM installed on Tuesday AM. Dealer wanted over $800. I told the salesman that was crazy. He said he would give it to me at his employee discount price of $595 installed including taxes. Took him up on the offer. When I picked the car up there was no bill from the dealer. I paid the salesman direct. Not sure if this is standard operating procedure. This is my first Lexus and the first time to work with their service. Previously had a BMW. Got to say that so far, the BMW service process was a lot simpler and efficient than the local Lexus dealer.
  • svwsvw Posts: 12
    Whoa...wait a second! I was charged $800 three days ago, the ugly blob of an antenna sits on the back left side of trunk (dealer said the is the ONLY place it can go), and unlike my $200 handheld unit, it doesn't even display who the singing artist, or show host for talk shows. No warning of these things given in advance. Any advice?
  • svwsvw Posts: 12
    You were absolutely correct...thanks for clarifying.
  • donegaldonegal Posts: 49
    I am supposed to pick up my new ES350 on Tuesday. I paid $599 for the XM and I would expect to be able to see the name of the artist and the name of the music being displayed. To me, being able to see this information is one of the important aspects of satellite radio.

    Do you have navigation on your vehicle? My salesman told me that I would be able to see this information on the nav screen.

    Can someone with nav and someone without nav that has satellite tell us if the name of the song and the artist is being displayed!
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    antenna sits on the back left side of trunk (dealer said the is the ONLY place it can go)

    That's BS. Mine is on the inside of the car on the rear package deck and it works just fine. In fact, my dealer told me they put ALL of the antennas there, for aftermarket install.
  • svwsvw Posts: 12
    I am assuming you WILL be able to see the artist/host/product name information on a nav-equipped car from the factory. I have no nav and put the satellite after purchase. I am going back to the dealer this week since it now turns out that I would have been more satisfied 'mounting' my existing hand held unit on the dash (would be able to see ALL the relevant text and use the unit ANYWHERE). Wish they would have pointed out these things ahead of time. They said I am only their second installation but I would have hoped that the Lexus dealers have ways to share learnings on new products just as we on the forum are trying to.
  • slider71slider71 Posts: 10
    My car was at port, so it was added on there, and appears on the window sticker of my car. My dealer told me that if it didn't get done at port, they could handle at the dealer...and the cost would be the same.

    As for the display, I have a non-navi car, and you can see station name, artist, or song title. What is disappointing, however, is the amount of real estate on the display that you have to see that. Since the preset information takes up so much of the space on the left of the LCD, you see at best 8 or so characters. My wife's Honda is much better, and gives you the length of the display to see the XM info.
  • kmmcgrakmmcgra Posts: 7
    I have the nav and yes you can see the artist/song. Hit the text button on SAT screen. I had an Accord and the screen showed artist/song on pre-set channel window. The Lexus does not so you need to change to the text screen. Also it only displays like 25 characters so some artist/songs gets truncated even though there is plenty of room for additional characters on the screen. Same truncation on my MP3 disc. Bad design...not a big deal.
    Love the car though....
  • svwsvw Posts: 12
    Thanks Zekeman1...first, a correction: the antennae is on the right side. Now, get this, I called the dealer today to say that I know of others who are getting theirs installed "inside the car". He then suggested that we must have different types of sattelite radios....whew! They absolutely insist they have no other place to put mine and say they are doing the same on the more expensive models too. Went so far as to say that no one else complained, and that this is how it "has to be". Better news - it was helpful to learn that the text button will display the artist singing or talk host name. Thank God we can all share like this.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422 you have any other L dealers in town you could compare "notes" with regarding installation locations in the car? I'm told the ONLY Lexus XM unit (the receiver) is located on the right side of the car, in the trunk, mounted on the wall of the right rear quarter panel and covered by the interior covering of the trunk. It's made by Pioneer and installed in all Toyota/L's. The antenna is usually fed up onto the right side of the trunk edge & stuck there.

    On my Avalon it was so big and ugly I had it removed (easy too, just let it sit in the sun and pull it off - it's held on by 3M tape and/or magnet and no, it won't damage the paint), bought a micro mini Terk XM antenna (about the size of a quarter) disconnected the antenna with the kit, threw it away and plugged the mini antenna into the receiver and ran the antenna inside the car (concealed) and mounted it on the dash next to the defroster vent....worked fine.
    On the L, it's mounted inside the car on the rear package deck next to the 3rd eye (middle brake light)'s so small it's almost invisible.

    Sounds like your dealer is a BS artist. I'd find another dealer if I could.
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    ***Sounds like your dealer is a BS artist. I'd find another dealer if I could.***

    Totally agreed!

    The dealer can do pretty much anything you ask him too. His job is merely to advise you, not dictate to you. He's there to serve the customer! An apparently novel concept that some salespeople are not too well aware of (hate ending sentences with a preposition but, oh well).

    This guy should ask to speak to the sales manager ( I assume he's now committed to that particular dealership) and simply review what has transpired to date and demand that the antenna be put wherever the hell he wants it! If he wants it mounted on the middle of the damn hood, then that's where it should be put.


    Case closed.
  • donegaldonegal Posts: 49
    Prior to picking up my new Ruby Red ES350 last night, I contacted the service department and asked about the size and placement of the XM antenna. I suggested the inside back package shelf but the installer was concerned that, at times, the window defroster might interfere with the signal. He said the new outside antenna they use is hardly noticeable.

    They placed the antenna (black) on the back right side of the trunk lid. Size is about 1/2 inch high, 3/4 inches wide and 1 inch long. With the Ruby Red it is barely noticeable and the reception is fine.
  • Anyone with XM or SIRIUS installed in an ES350 with Navigation: Is the satellite radio controlled with the LCD display and the steering wheel controls? Is the AUX adapter in the center console disabled when XM or SIRIUS is installed?

    Is the XM or SIRIUS installed in the trunk or where is it installed and is the car prewired for satellite radio?

    Please answer part or all that you know. Thanks
  • tnfantnfan Posts: 18
    Is the satellite radio controlled with the LCD display and the steering wheel controls?

    First let me say I have XM installed.

    Steering wheel controls preset station seek within the satellite presets. You can have 3 sets of 6 presets. They are referred to as SAT1, SAT2, and SAT3. With the LCD touch display you can seek/scan within a music type and also seek for specific type of music category. Unlike some of the other touch screen functions that are not accessible when the car is in drive, the satellite functions are always available via the touch screen.

    Is the AUX adapter in the center console disabled when XM or SIRIUS is installed?


    Is the XM or SIRIUS installed in the trunk or where is it installed and is the car prewired for satellite radio?

    It is prewired. The unit is installed out of sight in the trunk area behind the covering of the trunk area. I had the antenna installed on the rear deck and have had absolutely no problems with reception.

    Overall, IMHO this is a very easy to use system.

    Detailed operational instructions can be found in the navigation users manual for those that have already purchased the ES350.
  • Thanks for the information! That's exactly what I needed to know! One question I forgot to ask: If you plug in a device, such as an iPod, into the AUX adapter, is it displayed on the LCD screen as an AUX device? If so, I suppose you can only control the audio input, such as volume, bass, treble?
  • tnfantnfan Posts: 18
    That is correct. Song, album, etc. selection is done from the IPOD. You will need to set the volume appropriately on the IPOD first and then can adjust from the car's volume control.
  • I had the antenna installed on the rear deck and have had absolutely no problems with reception

    Can you please post picture of where the antenna is installed?
  • tnfantnfan Posts: 18
    Hope this works. Try the below links. If it doesn't work then go to MyCarSpace and view the pictures.


  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    That's where they installed my XM antenna but your pix has me wondering whether XM kits come with different antennas; mine is about half the size as yours...wonder if they package different size antennas in the kits? Out of curiosity, I'm going to call my dealer tomorrow and ask.
  • Thank you for the pictures, tnfan. Do you have a Moon Shell Mica?

    The dealer that I spoke to told me that it "HAS" to be installed externally. I don't think he knows what he was talking about. :mad:
  • tnfantnfan Posts: 18
    You are welcome.

    Color is Tungsten Pearl. Lighting was not very good when I took the pictures as the care was in the garage.

    Not sure about the antenna having to be outside. My dealer had no issue whatsoever putting it in the rear deck. I have read on other boards of the antenna also being placed on the front dash. Like I said I have had no signal problems other than under bridges, some enclosed parking garages, and downtown among the tall buildings. This is normal from what I understand regardless of where the antenna is placed.
  • Just had the XM radio installed in the ES350. The antenna used was about one-inch square and a half-inch thick. It was mounted on the lip of the trunk, in the middle. On the inside, the wire routes through a mount attach to the inside of the trunk lid, to keep the wire taught and to keep from damaging your system if someone decided to jerk your antenna off the trunk. The wire is not visible from that point to the XM Direct unit. The installation was highly professional.

    The problem I have is sound level. The volume has to be adjusted differently for the XM versus the FM. I'm going to talk to the dealer about fixing the problem. I know there is a device available to correct sound levels on add-on devices such as the XM, MP3 and CD changers, etc.

    Is anyone else experiencing the differences in sound levels and having to adjust volumes for different inputs?
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