How many of you would buy an ES again?
I have been thinking of buying a preowned LS '04-'06; but I've been reading the negative postings about the transmission. I'm not sure what % of Lexus owners are experiencing these problems since people who are unhappy with a large purchase usually go to this kind of forum as well as people like me who are doing research.
In any event, I'd like to get some feedback.
In any event, I'd like to get some feedback.
You're correct to question the application of forum figures to the ES350 owner population at large. I suspect, like you, that those with problems make up a larger percentage of forum entries than in the general population because they're looking for solutions for their problems online.
My ES350 now has 7,700 miles on it. I've had the navigation display replaced under warranty to fix the climate control voice recognition issue. That has been my only problem to date.
I would definitely buy another ES350 and am glad I own one now. It's a great car for those who are looking for it's strengths (reliability, comfort, luxury, mpg) and don't mind it's weaknesses (boat-like handling, lame tires, nanny lockouts, looks like a Camry).
There are a few points for improvement if Lexus cares to do so.
1. There is a lag in power when stepping on the gas harder than normal such as trying to accelerate out of a bad situation on a freeway. I reported this to the dealer service center and they said that this is a computer designed lag to prevent potential engine damage. I definitely do not like this feature.
2. The cup holders are sub-standard and will not hold a normal size cup in place during deceleration. I have to hold my cup to prevent spilling it.
3. There is black hole surrounding the cup holder. Anything dropped in front of the cup holder disappears beneath it falling back into the console and anything dropped next to it falls between the seats making it extremely hard to get back.
Dash R&R front windshield creaking noise coming from right side lower corner between windshield and body unable to reseal due to big gap replaced windshield, sublet to (auto body shop name) also creaking sound coming from across dashboard and body panel remove and reseal dashboard and reinstalled also reseal navigation and radio unit panel and upper A/C vent remove and reseal instrument panel lower dashboard panel (the sealer is now leaking out of the dash)
I'm thoroughly disgusted. They had to sublet to a body shop?? Also, the auto interior/exterior setting resets to manual after turning off the ignition. They had me wait 1 hour while a technician tried to correct it with zero result.
Would I buy again? it's my parents car and it's good for them I'd buy somehting sportier (g35x, 328xi)
I dumped my 05 Lexus ES 330 yesterday, traded it in on a gorgeous 07 Infiniti G35.
The ES had 21000 miles on it. I have never in my life traded in any car with less than 60000 miles.
I drove the car for 2 years and came to loathe the vehicle. I have never had a car I hated as much. Perhaps my expectations of what I would get out of a Lexus were overblown, but here is a partial list of what drove me crazy:
1. The vehicle is grossly underpowered. Requires Premium gas to get any power.
2. The "transmission hesitation" problem is REAL and annoying at best, dangerous at worst. Punching the accelerator is not something you do with this car. I gave up on using "D" (Drive) in normal city driving. I learned to use the "drive by wire" mode to "manually" operate the car in 3rd or 4th gear.
3. The center console displays are black LCD. If there is direct sun from behind the displays are IMPOSSIBLE to read. If you wear polarized sunglasses the displays are IMPOSSIBLE to read.
4. The Lexus "Premium Audio" system is mediocre. The volume levels are not consistent between AM and FM, so you have to turn the volume UP to hear AM stations and DOWN to get the same level for FM.
5. Vehicle is billed as "satellite" radio-ready which is bunk. There is a button that reads "AM-SAT". That's it. If you want to add satellite radio it's a $1700 upgrade from Lexus. The upgrade must be installed by a Lexus dealer.
6. The pop out cupholder is poorly positioned. It's too high so when you have a cup in the cupholder, it's difficult to use the gear shift. It's like they designed the car and someone said, "hey, we forgot the cup holder", so they put it there as an afterthought.
7. The center console box has 2 sections. You flip the arm rest up to reach into the deep bin. There is a small bin beneath the arm rest, which is the "lid" of the deep bin. Whatever is in the small bin is going to be jostled whenever you lift the lid to reach into the deep bin.
8. The front wheel drive seemed to oversteer at freeway speeds.
It is certainly possible that the newer ES 350 model addresses some of these issues, I don't know.
If you're thinking of picking up a used ES 330, think again.
To answer the question posed by the original posting, I would state emphatically that I would NEVER buy another Lexus.
Now, why I won't buy another Lexus? Well ... if this one starts creating trouble soon then it is obvious why I won't buy another one but if this doesn't then I am going to keep this car as long as it runs. Why buy a second Lexus when you can buy another luxury brand like a BMW/Benz? So that's why I won't be getting another Lexus that way either :-)
just for the (L) on the hood. they are way too proud of their over priced Camry & over priced parts. you can't get parts from the Toyota Dealer. everything in the car is designed to force you back to the Lexus dealer. same parts, just changed the bolt patterns enough so you can't use the cheaper Toyota same part. you have to use the more expensive Lexus same part. I found the "owners manual" to be the biggest joke of all.
it has the index in the back of the book. look up anything. head light adjustments, bulb replacement... anything. they all say the same thing. "see your Lexus dealer"
right down to the stereo. it has this oddly shaped stereo. not a square or rectangle. plus it's about five time the size of a replacement stereo.
so again. your forced into fixing it or replacing it at the Lexus dealer with a Lexus stereo. and don't even try to call the Lexus dealer service department for advice on a problem. the one and only answer you will get is... "yeah sure, we can help you... bring it on in."
you can't just tell me how to get the ashtray out of the dash?
or where the headlight adjustment screw is?
"nope, but you can bring it in and we'll look at it for you."
I also have a '98 Honda Accord EX. easy to fix. engineering is excellent.
drives just a nice if not better than my ES. much better on fuel.
the ES sucks it down. both have a 3.0 V6
unless you think your impressing someone with the (L)
I would say it's a big waist of money.
oh, P.S. I didn't buy mine because it was a Lexus. it was passed down to me. I would have never paid that much for a silly car that's going to drop in price as soon as I drive it off the lot. birds, door dings, kids sitting on it when you come out of the store. eh! I'd take a good ol' pick-up any day over one of these again. rich Womens car.
I rent cars often when traveling for business and based on my experience frankly I'd be happy with a Buick, Mercury or Honda.
I would consider another Lexus only if the price was not much higher than other choices. Otherwise I probably won't buy another one.
As I have read these posts over the past couple of years,
I consider myself a fortunate Lexus owner. I am aware of the transmission issue,
as is my wife, we are both car savvy and we work with it. And the air conditioning
system odor, keep the cab air filter changed and keep the system clean and free
from mildew. This is not just a lexus problem. Check with a Ford owner. They make a special spray to run through the system to eliminate the musty smell.
Otherwise, my 2003 has 50k miles on it and runs very well. Great mileage, quiet on
the highway, we travel to the country regularly. Have done the front brakes for the first time earlier this year. Replaced the tires just last month. I am a big fan of synthetic lubricants and that is one of the first things I did after buying the car was change all the oils to Amsoil synthetic. No other gremlins so far.
And yes, the display on the radio and climate control is pathetic in the daylight.
Would I buy another Lexus. Yes, an Ls 430 or a 460L
It's about time that someone made a big sedan car again. Even though the 460
is really not that big.
Volkswagen Phaeton anyone?
Back to the ES 350. The much hyped Japanese technology is so much bull!!
- Interior temperature controls are virtually worthless. I have more luck with my 2005 Olds van with manual controls. My Auroras were much better at maintaining interior temp.
- Audio system is a joke for a car this expensive. The GM Bose system just blows Lexus away!!
- Rain sensitive wipers are virtually useless. Even on the least sensitive setting they continue working, smearing the windshield. I have turned them off. Again, my Aurora's rain sensitive wipers were excellent.
- Throttle lag is annoying (Just to be fair, the Aurora had a similar problem)
- The factory tires (michelins) are deplorable! Worn out at 20,000 miles!! Changed to Yokohama with 60,000 mile warranty and have a much better handling car!!
- The handling is like the old American land cruisers (1970 Olds, Fords, etc.) Again the Aurora was much better!
- The Lexus sounds like a diesel when you start it up and for the first 2 minutes. Told by the dealer it is caused by the exterior fuel pump!! I don't care why - you would think that the supposedly great Japanese automotive engineers could have figured that out!!
- The interior material is so cheap that Lexus should be ashamed to market this as a premium auto. The plastic trim between the seats and the doors ( for the light grey interiors) is simply grey paint over black plastic. The paint rubs off very easily exposing the black plastic - very ugly.
- The exterior paint is comparable to the better US cars - certainly not better!!
- The car looks identical to the Camry (I saw that when I bought the car but did not count on how irritating it would become!!)
- The navigation system is good except it cannot be used while driving!! This is the only system I know of with this limitation!! I understand that it is not safe for the driver to use it while driving but you would think that the brilliant Japanese engineers would have installed a sensor in the passenger seat to allow th passenger to use it!!
- The cost to update the Nav system is $265!! Laughable since I can buy a new Garmin for not much more!!
- Front end alignment can only be performed by the dealer for around $200 if you have the swiveling headlights.
- All the dealer services are waaaaayyyy over priced!!
The good things:
- Ride is very good
- Cabin is very quiet while driving
- Gas mileage is good
- Engine/transmission has been flawless (except for throttle lag)
- Even though it looks like a Camry, I do like the body style
- So far, the dealers I have taken the car to have been very good.
- The HID headlights are great.
Personal vital stats: Age - 62, male, other cars currently owned is the 2005 Olds Van and a black/black 2001 Corvette.
Bottom Line: Will not buy another Lexus, probably trade this one in much sooner than normal. Will seriously consider the new Cadillac CTS for my next car.
I then leased another problem free 2002 ES that I liked very much. I was so glad to get rid of those ridiculous lease payments. No paint scratches and looked great after 3 years.
Then I leased a loaded Grand Prix GTP beauty with a turbo charged engine. Totally problem free baring rear speakers that needed to be replaced under warranty. I really wanted to keep that vehicle but buy out terms were out of line with its value. I would have been happy to buy another but they are being phased out and the replacement was not available when I needed a car.
I thought I had good luck with 2 previous models that I would have the same experience. I got my new ES this Feb. It is a very handsome car, with other than standard wheels and just enough pin stripping to accent the color and body. As of right now I will not buy another, and it is only 3 months old! It does not have near the bells and whistles that my GP had but costs more.
The paint is inferior. It scratches/chips easly showing white lines or spots. This disturbs me. I was commenting about scratches and chips within 2 weeks of ownership.
I do not like the the push button start and can't wait to get rid of that. It is so annoying. I spend more time looking for the fob or getting annoyed when I get out of the car with the keys in the car and I can't get in the trunk or passenger side. If the key fob is not just the right distance to the sensor again out of luck.
The radio is inferior to my GP. It is also not set up for satellite radio which I really enjoyed in my GP. They said I could add the capability if I wanted to spend $500.
It does not have fold down back seats, which I didn't realize I would miss as much as I do.
No remote start. I was told it couldn't be added because it messes with the security or eletronics of the car.
Cup holders need improvement too.
2 cigarette lighters but neither are hot so my phone will not charge while the car is off.
Another inconvenience is the memory seats. I typically drive my car, however, if my 6'5" husband tries to get in, he has to squeeze in to start the car for the memory button to recognize him. You cannot open the door, push the appropriate button and have the seat move.
I am a little concerned about the transmission after reading comments. I have noticed some rough shifting a few times. Fortunately not often so far.
The light grey carpet is really light, pretty, but a bugger to keep clean.
What I do like: it is silky smooth to drive even if it doesn't have the get up and go that the GP had. It is peppy, but I was much more confident with the power the other vehicle had. When I had to move quickly out of a situation, I was gone!
It handles well in the snow and slippery conditions. Seats are comfortable and back seat passengers are comfortable too. I am still trying to adjust the mirrors appropriately. So far I am concerned about a pretty big blind spot, but hopefully that will work out with adjustments. It feels like a solid car.
IMHO it is a good looking vehicle inside and out.
Quiet as a vault inside, smooth but firm ride (not like a boat), great performance, and incredible quality control. Not a single rattle, transmission is great, and none of the problems that some people say they have had.
The way the Bluetooth integrates with the nav system and ML sound system is very cool, and my iPod sounds great through the line out to Aux input.
The ventilated seats are incredibly comfortable for me (6'2") and the upgraded leather is beautiful.
One of my favorite features is the key fob and push button start. This is the way cars should have always been. At night, the puddle lights come on as you approach the car, and you simply grab the handle and open the door. This is great when carrying a bag or 2 of groceries to the car. No fumbling around for the keys or remote, which is a great security feature for my wife when parked in dark lots at night. And the system won't let you lock the fob in the car.
Cup holders are solid and big enough for larger cups/bottles if needed, and they are positioned right were your hand falls in front of the center arm rest/console. Nice design Lexus!
I like to keep the info display on "Average MPG." I reset it when I leave for work and try to beat my MPG record every day. My commute includes residential and turnpike driving, and my current best is 31.2 MPG in morning rush. This is a great teaching tool for getting the most out of a gallon of gas.
The memory seats are a real convenience with 2 drivers in the family. You can have the key fob memorize your setting position, press the button as you approach the car, and your setting is ready for you when you get in.
Things I didn't even know until I bought the car: when the fresh air/recirculate button is in auto mode, the incoming outside air is constantly analyzed, and if there are exhaust fumes or other gases it automatically switches to recirculated air. There are several levels of sensitivity for the automatic windshield wipers. The headlights automatically "self-level" to accommodate different passenger weight loads. Holding the trunk release button down opens all of the windows. I park on the top level of a parking garage. This is great as I can vent the hot air from across the lot, thereby eliminating that hot air hitting me in the face when I get in the car parked in the sun.
I can go on about the great nav system, ML sound system, etc. but you get the idea. This is the best new car experience I've ever had, and I would be glad to do it again!
I am fed up with this dealer, I am fed up with Lexus and I am fed up with this car (ES330).
Thats a lot of driving, I don't have yet to drive that much in 3 years lol.
3 years old and 225 thousand driven, Lexus is the king of ultra reliability.
Why not get a new ES?
Anyway, i'll keep you posted
It's very clean inside-out and drives great and the ride is very smooth for a 11yr old car! I would admit that the cup-holder is a joke, but other than that one gets the sense that the build is solid, the power and controls are adequate. I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I did replace an O2 sensor, and considering its age, expect to do some more repairs sooner or later, but for now, I have no reason to dislike it and am going to keep it as long as it will run.
I have heard that the 97-01 models were better engineered than the later models and my experience seems to support that.
I would certainly buy another Lexus.
25 mph ain't bad for a 10yr old luxury car, or is it? Mine gives like 27-28 on hgwy and 22 around the city.
I did look at a ' 99 model with 96k miles on it, but it didn't look or drive as good as my ' 97 and the guy wanted $1k more. That made my decision easier!
The shifting from 1 to 2 is not a problem for my car since the start; it happens between 10-20mph. Nor is the idling. I am not sure yours signify any problem. May be related to the age. What's the mileage on the car?
As you must know, all V6s are not created equal; even among the ES 300s, ours, being older, are past their prime. I guess we simply have to accept the gas mileage they deliver, which are not all that terrible, IMO.
And as I said - it's been dependable. It's not peppy - in fact, I sometimes think I might have avoided that accident if the engine were peppier. When I saw what was coming, I floored the accelerator to try to get out of the way, and just barely missed avoiding it - had I been in a sportier car I could have escaped, I think. But you can't always avoid someone else's recklessness, and I'd rather be in a average speed tank than a fast deathtrap.