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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • How useful/practical the nav system is really depends on how often you travel to unfamiliar places, and could correlate to how often you use a map for directions.

    s852 said it well in his last sentence.
  • The pictures of the '02 ES at could possibly be Starlight Pearl.

    I can't think of any other color that could possibly correlate to the one shown at But I believe it was a pre-production car that they tested, so it might also be none of the above.

    The little square color blocks in the brochure can be deceiving. I'm interested in seeing how alabaster metallic and starlight pearl look, but my local dealer has neither color yet. In the brochure, both almost look like different versions of silver.

  • hsj1906hsj1906 Posts: 42
    For those of you who have leased your new ES300, what kind of residual values are you getting (and for how many miles and how many years). I assume the standard LFS money factor is still around .00300.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Ordering cars -- This is my first ordered Lexus, so I'm assuming the three month wait is correct.

    Colors -- The car at family car is the Starlight Pearl. I saw one in person at the ES drive back in August. It is like silver but with a hint of light blue. The LS 430 offeres a similar color new for 2002. My dealer has two Alabaster cars. That color is like a Dove Gray.

    Navigation -- Whether you need it or not is up to you. But the system does work very well. I've tested it on test drives at three different Lexus dealers. Each time the system worked to perfection. And the voice provides direction so you never even have to look at the screen. Maybe the CD-based systems in MB and BMW don't work well (from what I've heard), but the DVD-based systems in Lexus (and Acura) are as close to perfection as you'll get right now.
  • Hi guys,
    I need your help. I am looking to purchase a '02 ES, and I've listed below the options I'm looking for. Would someone be able to tell me what configuration I can get that most closely matches my desired config, and be able to get the car within a month or so? (basically, don't think I can wait 3 months on a special order). Thanks for any feedback.

    Leather package (Premium package okay if only option)

    rear sunshade

    Definitely not:
    Mark Levinson audio
    Wood steering wheel
    heated seats
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    Although this doesn't directly relate to the ES this may answer some questions some of you have. I recently went in to have my RX300 serviced and was debating about purchasing/leasing an IS300. This 90 day wait seems to apply to all 02' vehicles that are not pre-configured (many mention 3 configs). If you lease a vehicle with the NAV unit your residual drops, for example the IS goes from 58% to 56% (I would assume that the ES300 would carry a higher residual overall but the addition of a NAV unit would have the same effect) and the NAV has no residual meaning you pay for the entire unit over the duration of your lease (and no you can't remove it from the vehicle when the lease is over). Lexus NAV units have been referred by many as the best when compared to other makes, i.e. BMW, Benz., Acura

    Just some subjective comments (I also owned a 94 ES300). The separation from the Camry seems more evident with this redesign. The first thing I noticed was the interior wood placement, not on the switch plates, I personally like it where the controls are, the black plastic doesn't do it for me. Although there are aftermarket (factory match)kits that most Lexus dealers offer which would address this. My only complaint is the rear styling, very bland compared to the rest of this vehicle.
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    I missed typed the 2002 Acura RL is for $499 per month. $1,999 total due at drive off.

    The web address is:
  • Howdy:

    Some random thoughts on my new baby, and responses to a couple of postings.

    285 miles on the odo so far. The quality of this car just blows my mind. Saw the first ES other than my own in Scottsdale; it was a real eye-catcher in silver.

    The wood wheel feels like butter! Well worth it, but I may change my mind when August rolls around and it's 115 degrees! But I doubt it.

    I opened up my baby a little bit on a twisty road, and loved its road-holding ability. I wanted the adjustable suspension, but I really don't miss it; she handles just fine as is. In long, sweeping turns, it feels like a slot car; no muss, no fuss, even in quick evasive maneuvers. Since it's so tall, I thought I'd experience more body roll. To sum up its handling characteristics in one word: competent.

    The sense of power out of the 210-pony motor is adequate. It is not a ground-pounder, but that is not its mission. It takes premium fuel, so I'll be spending a little more on gas than I'm used to. Mileage so far is good, considering my foot is a little heavy.

    The premium (not Levinson) sound system is just great. I listened to Diana Krall's new CD, and it sounded as if she was singing in my back seat; I almost had to slap myself!

    I've owned two Infiniti G-20s, a '91 and a '93, and loved them both. I still have the '93, with 135K miles, and it runs like a top. I had seriously looked at an off-lease 1999 Q-45, which was a great car, but I am SO glad I waited for my new ES. I also loved driving the amazing '02 Q45 w/sport pkg, etc., but is it worth $20K more than my ES? Looking at the whole package, the answer (for me) is NO. I don't think I'd be any happier in ANY car, including an S-Class M-B. Well, maybe a black Jag XK-8 coupe, but that's another story (for after I win the lottery!)

    For those on this forum who have ordered one: prepare yourselves for bliss. Every time I step into my garage and see this black beauty, I just swoon, and can't believe it is really mine. For those that have been told to wait a month, see if your salesperson can dealer-trade for the one you want. That's how I got mine so quickly.

    If you are on the fence about the ES, GO DRIVE ONE. You will be totally seduced by its charms.

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    davidh44 -- Your best bet is to go to your local dealer and see what his allocation is for the month. He'll be able to tell you exactly what cars (with what equipment) are coming in in the next 4-6 weeks.

    mvs1 -- The switch plates on the 2002 ES are not covered with black plastic (unless you have a black interior). They match the interior color. One problem with the wood on the plates is that it tends to get scratched up and looks bad over time. Also, not that it matters, but BMW and Mercedes also only put wood across the top of the door.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    The black plastic I'm referring to is where the door controls are (PW/PL), sorry for my misreference. The car had the Ivory(Tan) interior, dark Blue exterior. Again it's a superb vehicle and for a second I was considering getting back into one. Though seeing the improvements/redesigned ES300 has me ready for a new RX300(RX built off of same platform) and I have that itch for an IS300, decisions decisions :-)
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    My dealer told me the all-new RX, due next year as a 2003, will be larger and offer a third seat. So it may pay to wait.

    Maybe you can get a deal if you buy an ES, RX and IS at the same time. :)
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    I'll own all three (at the same time of coarse) just getting complacent I guess. Although I think I can talk my father into an ES I'll take the IS and well that still leaves one out. Getting an IS is a drastic change from the RX. Wouldn't get a new ES only because the RX offers what the ES has (luxury content) in an SUV. But again, I don't think I could ever be disappointed in any Lexus vehicle.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    1. Motor trend and some other car rags have hit Lexus pretty hard for not increasing power. Even a 10HP token boost that could have been gotten through some re-tuning would have been better than nothing if just for preception's sake alone.

    2. The official Lexus response about power is that there is enough depth in the lineup so the ES300 doesn't have to be all things to everyone. Some claim that the IS300 is there for people who are more performance oriented. I don't consider the IS300 an entry level luxury sedan. I think there are people who want the size, ride and comfort of an ES but would like more performance out of it. Let's face it. Many people who buy a Lexus are driving enthusiasts. Lexus might have been worried about stepping on the GS300's toes until the GS is re-designed. Maybe they will boost the ES's power at that time. Anyway, I am wondering if the lineup is getting too crowded? Here's some food for thought. Drop the GS300, Lower the price of the GS430. I'm sure the margins are there to do that. Boost the power of the ES and you will have one kick [non-permissible content removed] entry level luxury sedan and the GS430 will give you a high end luxury performance sedan. Then from the IS to ES to GS to LS, each car apeals to a different group of buyers and the designers will be constrained by the target price of the vehicle and not have to hold back because of stepping on another vechicle's toes. Just my humble opinion. The ES competes with the Acura TL/TL-S, Infinity I35, etc. and those cars have all had major boosts in power

    3. Motor Trend commented about some tall drivers feeling that the seat cushions were too short for proper thigh support. Lexus and Toyota cars have gotten this criticism for years. Whey do they still get it? Is someone not listening?

    4. My '99 ES has the standard stereo which is a Pioneer system cranking out 195 watts. It is by far the best standard stereo I've ever heard. Is it true that the standard system is now only 86 watts? Has anyone heard it?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I think the engine of the new ES was left alone for a few reasons:

    1. I can't see Lexus putting more power in the ES than the GS 300.
    2. The Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle rating was a priority, and a stronger engine would not have produced such a rating.
    3. Research from potential buyers indicated power was 8th or 9th most important in terms of factors that affect buying the car. So, improving factors 1-7 were clearly the priority.
    4. More expensive cars typically have power boosts mid-way through the vehicle's life cycle, not when a new model is introduced. Examples include the Acura TL-S, Infiniti I35 (vs. I30), BMW 330i (vs. 328i) and MB E430 (vs. E420). Sure enough the extra power will come. Perhaps in a few years when the RX and GS are redone we'll see an ES 350. The I35 and TL-S needed something to keep themselves fresh.
    5. While more power would be nice in the new ES, the car has so many other appealing traits that I think it still is better than its competitors. I would not want more power at the expense of, say, a cheaper interior.

    Don't forget to look at Jaguar, since their situation is similar to Lexus. The all-new X-Type loaded is $45,000, yet 0-60 it is only 7.9 seconds. Why didn't they put in a bigger engine?

    As for your other comment, Lexus could never drop the GS 300. It caters to a very different crowd by nature of it being RWD. It is Lexus' only competitor against two key rivals, the BMW 530i and MB E320. If the GS 300 was dropped Lexus would not have a 6-cylinder RWD competitor.

    And why would you lower the price of the GS 430? It's already thousands less than its main rivals, the BMW 540i and MB E430.

    The Lexus lineup is very good right now in terms of price. The top-end ES is just under the bottom GS 300, while the top GS 430 is just under the LS 430. If the GS 430 price was lowered there would be a big gap between it and the LS.

    As someone who has ordered a 2002 ES 300 I can tell you this: Would I have liked more power? Absolutely. But the car is by no means slow, and overall I find it to be a fantastic car and the best in its class.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    You made some very good points, some things I didn't take the time to think about. However, I do take issue with some of your thoughts.

    1. lenscap said - "As for your other comment, Lexus could never drop the GS 300. It caters to a very different crowd by nature of it being RWD."

    You say this, yet in your opening statement you say that you can't see putting more power in the ES than in the GS300. Sounds like being worried about stepping on the GS's toes which shouldn't be an issue if the GS300 caters to a very different crowd.

    2. This is a question to you lenscap - why is the ultra low vehicle emissions rating a high priority. Is this required in certain states? Here I am showing my ignorance since I am not familiar with what that gets Lexus other than the obvious that lower emissions is a good thing.

    3. lenscap said "More expensive cars typically have power boosts mid-way through the vehicle's life cycle, not when a new model is introduced."

    When the ES300 was redesigned for 1997, the horsepower went from 185 to 200. I agree that there will most likely be a mid life kicker in another couple of years but because the ES design cycle is off by several years compared to the TL and I35, it makes it look as if Lexus has to play catch up on a brand new model. The old Maxima 3.0L engine, I believe, cranked out 225HP. All I am saying is that Lexus probably could have tweaked the software at no additional expense to get the HP up to 220 as more of a marketing tool than anything else. Then in a few years, yes, put a 3.3 or better yet, 3.5L engine in there and really have a serious legitimate boost in power/performance. This would show the people that were concerned about power that they at least made an attempt to address this issue now. I realize it's just a numbers game but alot of people get caught up in the numbers when doing comparison shopping.

    4. My suggestion to drop the GS300 was wrong in retrospect. I completely ignored the fact that it is rear wheel drive. My thinking was that maybe the lineup was getting too crowded and there was compression taking place causing design compromises to be made so as no to overshadow other models. I reasoned that if the GS300 were not there, the ES could probably grow slighly in performance to satisfy both it's current buyers as well as buyers of the GS300. Then the people who were after serious performance would go for the GS430. The suggestion of then dropping the GS430's price would be to allow more people to be able to afford a serious luxury performance sedan if the ES300 was not their cup of tea. However, I realize that Lexus sells a fairly large number of GS300's, much more than the GS430 and they surely wouldn't take the chance of losing those sales to the competition.

    Thanks for taking the time to point out some things I hadn't thought of.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I don't think that this is a good idea unless you're a big fan of torque steer. (The tests that I've seen of the new V-6 Altima have sharply criticized it for this.) I'm also inclined to think that more horses won't sell more ES 300s. Driving enthusiasts who like more power don't like FWD, so they'll continue to avoid buying the ES. Lexus has apparently decided to aim the ES at the non-enthusiast who values style & comfort over handling & acceleration, & I think that they're right to do so. I've said it before: the ES is a boulevard cruiser (& a fine one at that), not a sports sedan.

    The Lexus that could really use more ponies is the GS 300. With an extra 25 or 30 HP, a firmer suspension & (I know I'm dreaming here) an optional 6-speed manual, this car could pull enthusiasts into Lexus showrooms. And because it's RWD, it can more effectively transmit this extra power to the pavement than any FWD car could.

    I think that the Lexus lineup as it stands now is a strong one, but if I had to change it, I'd drop the ES - not because it's a bad car - it's actually quite good - but because FWD is not a luxury attribute. Enthusiasts don't like it because of what it does to handling & luxury buyers view it as a mass-market characteristic. From a marketing perspective, having an FWD entry in its lineup undercuts the Lexus message that its cars are as good as anything from BMW & Mercedes. It might make more sense to drop FWD altogether & instead refine the IS into a real 3-series killer & build the GS into a more potent 5-series & E-Class competitor.
  • c3po33c3po33 Posts: 67
    I hope that in the next year or two Lexus adds these items to the ES:

    #1: More horsepower (min. 240 hp would be nice)

    #2: New rims (I don't like the new ones; I like the 15" and 16" ones from the 2001 a lot better. At least give me an option for another sporty style rim like the new ones on the TL type-S) The TL had really ugly rims (IMHO) before now both the premium and Type-S have very nice rims.

    At least give me the 16" rims from 2001. I know the ES is now tailored for luxury not sport but I just don't like busy rims on the 2002.

    #3: Add the wood back to the switch plate on the door. I have it on my 2000 and my 1997 before that and I never scratch them. It just seems like something is missing when all I see is plastic there.

    #4: If it's true that the stereo can not be controlled from the steering wheel, please add this feature. Someone please let me know if this is true. I've heard conflicting stories on this on this message board abouth this.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You make some excellent points.

    About the comment on not adding more power to the ES because it would have more than the GS: My feeling is this is along the lines of you don't want a cheaper car having more power than a more expensive car. But I could be wrong.

    The ULEV rating I think is required in California only. I believe it will be required in all states in a 3-5 years. I guess it's not that important to the average consumer, but those things have always been important to Lexus (it was a big topic at the owners focus group I attended in February). As you'll recall, the 1990 LS 400 was the only V8 luxury car at the time not to have a gas guzzler tax.

    I agree more power would have been nice in the new ES. But I think in general I'm the exception. I really believe more power in this type of car would not sell more cars. Also, more power costs money. And to keep the price where it is, if you add power something else has to be cut (like using cheaper interior materials).

    As for jimbres' comment, I wonder if down the road the ES is dropped for a comparable RWD car. Toyota has many of them in Japan, including what used to be sold here as the Cressida (similar size, amenities, etc.).

    c3po33 -- There are no radio controls on the steering wheel, either standard or optional. Just cruise control and trip computer buttons.
  • Interesting discussion here!

    My view is that you are correct in terms of the view of FWD by enthusiasts (not a handling feature) and to a lesser extent for luxury buyers (its a mass market feature). However, I think Lexus has very likely researched the "perceived" benefits of FWD that the mass market believes, in terms of improved safe traction in inclement weather, for instance. So while it may be a mass-market characteristic, it does have some familiarity and value among a big part of their target audience -- Toyota trade-ups. Also, since they can reap big economies of scale cross-sharing platforms with Toyota Camry FWD, this gives them the chance to hit very compelling price (and profit) points.

    So they are taking a broader view of the market than MB or BMW, with a broader portfolio to capture more market share. And since Toyota has such a massive (and loyal) customer base, they can "mine" that ready-made target audience -- predisposed to FWD -- and trade them up to a more luxurious vehicle and a wonderful, exclusive dealer experience, which is very much a big part of the perceived prestige appeal of MB/BMW.

    Different targets see different, compelling aspects of the brand. For mass-market drivers wanting a better experience, Lexus is aspirational and elite, and FWD platforms give them a way to access a broader audience to increase their market share. For Premium/German car drivers, Lexus offers comparable performance with RWD, with better vehicle reliability (and pricing) and arguably a better dealer service experience.

    This is a car company that is doing it all, and taking deliberate steps to strengthen and broaden its appeal -- at a highly profitable margin.

    I am not a Lexus owner -- yet. Currently drive MB SLK320, used to drive Audi A4, and prior to that, Honda Accord and CRX si, and prior to that, Ford Escort, Mercury Bobcat and Buick Skylark (dad's '68 350 V8!).

    See how this trade-up thing works? The automakers know this. You gotta love America and our freedom of self-determination and improvement!
  • gambhirgambhir Posts: 64
    This is what I gathered during my visit to Far East--
    --GS 300 is rumored to be dropped
    -New GS looks a lot like SC from front
    -RX gets more tow capacity, more power and third row seating
    -GS430 price will not drop--hp around 340
    -SC300 is supposed to be introduced with price around mid 40s

    Okay now for some dream suggestions and to give my wonderful ideas for es300:
    -yes the wood power window area plates are a must
    -Steering must be power tilt away and telescopic 4 way
    --addparktronic--park assist as an option
    --beef up the premium package--must add heated seats and hid, wood steering to package to give more savings to consumers (inflated right now)
    --dont care about power--find its speedy and very fuel efficient 21/29
    -maybe add voice recognition to nav some day
    okay over and out
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    What were you doing in the Far East, and where did you get your info? It all sounds interesting!

    I find it hard to believe the GS 300 would be dropped. It's annual sales since the redesign in 1998 have been vitually even with the BMW 5-Series (it's main competitor along with the MB E320).

    I've also heard that the LS 430 will get a power boost in the next 1-2 years to bring it over 300 hp.
  • gambhirgambhir Posts: 64
    I am a senior executive at a major hi-tech firm and have factories I travel to there--I have to go there every two to three months though lately I get nausea just at the thought of travel:)
    I have visited Tahara where GS is actually made and have seen one being made
    SC300 should be interesting--my wife will grab it--I know:)
    I hope they offer natural wood color on LS UL package instead of the current selection

    Again we have to acknowledge that between a design paper to actual design a lot will change-so anything we say will be still considered speculation--But this was pretty convincing for me
    On GS-maybe you are right--but they feel iS has been a loser and they will beef it up to make it a RWD winner, GS430 will be the upscale one, SC300 and 430 will wrap up convertibles--ES330 a good entry luxury.

    Did you know an interesting trivia: The ES330 was originally scheduled for this year but because of ULEV standards not met and other issues, it was shelved only one month later--instead that effort focused on making it luxurious--also es was targeted to be priced at 45K--but then it would have cut into GS300 and no one would have bought it also
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. At the Lexus owner's forum I attended in February the execs from Japan admitted they made a mistake with the IS interior. They said when the car is redone it will be more in line with other Lexus models, although still on the sporty side.

    Looking forward to hearing all about your new ES when you get it.
  • mind18mind18 Posts: 5
    Very interesting insights lenscap and gambhir. I also heard that they were coming out with a GX SUV, that would be based on the Sequioa. I personally think they need another true "sports" coupe. I don't mine the SC 430, but to me it's more an exotic/luxury coupe. And if they make a SC 300, I think the exoticness will diminish somewhat. And I'm somewhat disappointed about hearing that you said the new GS might have a front similiar to the SC. I think by far, Lexus has utilized the quad headlight look to its full beauty potential (GS,old SC, LX). I'm not sure if you two posted already about this, but what are your thoughts about the new look of the ES. Do you happen to have digital photos of it posted somewhere?
  • Has anyone installed a remote start in their ES 300? Any info on good or bad brands, problems that you had or suggestions would be appreciated.
  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    Anyone who has purchased an '02 ES - can you relay what kind of discount from MSRP you have received (if any)? Also, for those of you who leased, what kind of terms are available? I don't know if LFS has decreased their money factor or not. Specifically, I'd be interested in a 36/39 mo lease. Thanks!
  • Howdy:

    Some random thoughts on the random thoughts of the other forum members:

    Jimbres said: >>Lexus has apparently decided to aim the ES at the non-enthusiast who values style & comfort over handling & acceleration, & I think that they're right to do so. The ES is a boulevard cruiser..., not a sports sedan. ...Having an FWD entry in its lineup undercuts the Lexus message that its cars are as good as anything from BMW & Mercedes. >>

    RNB: I'm an enthusiast... but I'm also 50 years old. Handling in my new ES is very good, especially when you consider that, due to traffic and photo radar, Scottsdale is a dangerous place to drive fast. It goes where exactly where you point it, and at a more than satisfactory rate. Sure, I’d like 20 more ponies, and Lexus should have foreseen the I35 trend among its competitors. But do I long for more HP? No. There is plenty of power for acceleration and maneuvering in traffic, even with 4 adults in the car. FWD wasn't an issue to me, and I suspect it is not an issue to the typical ES purchaser.

    Lexus took a real risk with its edgy new styling. The previous model was much more conservative. Maybe it was too much to expect Lexus to go with radical styling AND a nitrous bottle in the trunk...

    Re: the alloy wheels... I prefer chromies, esp. on a black car like mine. If they were available, I would have bought them. But the factory spoked alloys are growing on me.

    My comments on Gambhir's Wish List:

    >>Wood power window area plates are a must>> I don't miss this because I haven't gotten used to them in another car.

    >>Steering must be power tilt away and telescopic 4 way>> Yes, this would be great. I'd settle for adding telescoping only.

    >>Beef up the premium package--add heated seats and hid, wood steering to package to give more savings to consumers (inflated right now)>> I agree completely. Heated seats are superfluous here in Scottsdale ;-) - HIDs should be standard on a car in this price range. My HIDs are awesome, like flat laser beams; they are one of my favorite and useful features.

    Parnola asked about discounts. I sure haven’t heard about any. These cars are so new they are going for list. I was really torn between buying an 01 ES at a great discount, or paying retail for the 02. With the 01, I would be driving a beautiful new Lexus with the old body style. The new one will hold its value and look new much longer. The novelty and "Wow" value of this car was definitely worth it to me. I get the most earnest and admiring looks from M-B owners and other Lexus owners.

    I will keep this car for at least five years. Based upon my visceral feelings so far, I'll still be smiling then when I slip behind the wheel. To quote Mr. T: I pity the fool who's driving anything else!


  • parnola,
    Pricing will be different depending on where in the country you are. For those in southern California where cars generally tend to be cheapest, you should at least get $1500 off list price now. The discount has increased steadily since its introduction. The first day the ES was in dealerships, without negotiation, my friend was offered $500 off list. Make sure you don't act too excited about the car around your Lexus salesman...the more eager you appear to be to drive off in a new ES, the less of a discount they'll be willing to give you. If the dealer refuses to give you the above discount, tell him you'll go elsewhere. There's plenty of Lexus dealers in the LA area.

    If the ES turns out to be a dud, you'll see prices drop even further in a couple months. While I plan to get the new ES, I haven't gotten many positive comments from people I show pictures to. Then again, I do believe the car looks better in person. And the interior everyone can agree on.
  • suv2002suv2002 Posts: 20

    An update. I ordered a new ES300 and I should get it in about 2 weeks. It's part of the dealer's allotment. I'm getting either alabaster or millennium silver, depending on delivery dates and which color is available first. Interior will be light charcoal leather. It has almost everything except AVS, nav and Levinson. Price was $1100 off list. Dealer is in New Jersey.
  • suv2002,

    Good deal on the car you got! How much bargaining did you have to do?

    The Alabaster metallic color has the interior color options of ivory or black. So if you're set on the light charcoal leather, then go with millennium silver.

    If you've seen the Alabaster in person, would you describe it as a darker (or lighter) silver? Lenscap described it as a "dove grey." The thing is, I don't know what dove grey looks like. :)
This discussion has been closed.