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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • I haven't really noticed additional noise although it seems like I hear a bit more noise in general in sloppy weather. I'm not sure how they would compare to the other tires you are considering with respect to noise.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For those interested, the new ES 300 had a very good introductory month. Sales for October for the ES and some of its competitors:

    Acura TL -- 5793
    ES 300 -- 5726
    Mercedes C-Class -- 5391
    Infiniti I35 -- 3732
  • So What? Ford sells the most trucks. Does that mean they are the best?
    Besides that, the Infiniti has the highest reliability. Does that mean I should buy the Infiniti because it's the most reliable or the Acura because it sells the best?
    I guess if you own the company, the sales figures mean something.

    I remember way back in 1987. I bought an Acura Legend that impressed everybody else but me. I was influenced by its sales figures and what everybody was saying about the Legend. I won't make that mistake again.
  • You will laugh at me, but one of the reasons why I got my 2002 ES was because I could get it with ML. Being somewhat of an audiophile, I am familiar with ML home stereos, and while I realize that nothing like one of their "real" systems would be put into a mass-produced car, still I was expecting the sound quality to blow me away.

    Well, it didn't. The best test of a stereo system's clarity (which is almost synonymous with quality) is how discernible low-level detail is at low volume. If you need to keep cranking up the volume to hear music clearly, the system is bad. Another criterion is the "brightness" of high-frequency sound -- if your ears start hurting after listening to music at half-decent volume, then the tweeters sound bright (those with Bose stereos know exactly what I am talking about). This makes you want to turn the volume down (and why women tend to do it much more often than men -- they hear high frequencies better), but of course if clarity is bad, then you lose detail. Unfortunately both of those "features" are present in my ML...

    Another problem (though I am hoping that I just have a defective unit) is lack of low bass. I put in a test CD this morning, and a 100 Hz test tone was barely noticeable, whereas the 50 Hz signal could not be heard at all. That is terrible !

    Also at a certain frequency the sound from the tweeters "breaks up" -- I am not sure if it's related to the crossover or to the native resonating frequency of the tweeter, but in either case it's bad design.

    And I haven't even mentioned a couple of annoying buzzes and rattles in doors that detract from listening.

    Do other people with the ML have had similar experiences ? If yes, then maybe we can get Harman International (which owns ML) to do something about it...

    Oh, and I love virtually everything else about the car (engine could be peppier and transmission could shift a bit quicker but these are minor quibbles for me -- much less important than the stereo! :) ). Interior is the best of ANY car I know regardless of price. I had an LS400 prior to this car, and the ES has better interior IMHO than the LS430, so there you go.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I simply posted the sales numbers because some people are interested. I never said anything about the best selling car being the best. Or that somebody should make a purchase decision based on the sales numbers.

    It's just for informational purposes and that's all. Nothing else.
  • My only unhappiness with our leased 1999 ES300 is with what "feels" to me to be a somewhat crowded front seat. The sunroof robs nearly 2-in and the side-to-side seems to me to be about 2-in too narrow.
    Would one of you new 2002 ES300 owners give me a few words on this?? Is the new car any larger, either actually or apparently?? I'm returning the 1999 car in two months and am begining to think about a replacement.
    Bill, Ft Lauderdale
  • Are there others who have purchased the 2002 ES with the Mark Levinson? How do you feel about the system?
  • Just turned in my 98 RL and leased an ES300. I really like the styling of the new ES300, mine is Blue Onyx Pearl. I think a luxury sedan looks richer in a dark color and the Blue Onyx looks black at night but deep pearlescent blue in daylight. The headlights and trim show nicely against the dark navy blue. It is really beautiful.

    But quite honestly, the ES300 is no Acura RL. Yes, it is newer in design and styling, less expensive by $5k but falls far short in quietness of ride, richness of interior and elegance of weight on the road. The stock sound system is weak, no bass, and the door sounds a little tinny when the handle is released and the door is closed. The ES was delivered to me with 38# tire pressure but I dropped it to 29# and it rides much quieter.

    I will learn to like the ES300 and there are many great, gee-whiz features such as dual climate control, multi-display modes, auto wipers, etc., but I am a little disappointed in the Lexus at this point and would reconsider the RL with the special lease incentive by Acura. I expected more from the ES.

    I leased it at a cap cost of $1300 off MSRP.
  • About the sound system in the new ES...I was also disappointed by the sound quality of the standard audio system. The standard audio system in a 12 year old LS400 sounds much better than this.
    As for ML, I haven't listened to it yet. From what I've read, it seems reviewers are dissapointed by the system though. Keep in mind that they are comparing it to the ML system in the much more expensive LS430.

    <<Is the new car any larger, either actually or apparently??>>
    Yes to both.

    Thanks for the figures. I agree that they were just an interesting tidbit and nothing to get riled up about. If the ES hadn't sold so well, I could've expected dealers to start discounting the car a lot sooner. Although, this car is already getting quite heavily discounted in southern California.
  • I am just a little hesitant to lease the ES300. I have a 3.2TL. Lease to end January 31. $16,475 buy back if I want it. Car now has 48,000 miles. I was thinking of waiting to see a redesigned 3.2TL for 2003 and extend the lease six months if Acura will do so. I test drove the ES. True, I was behind the wheel only about 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes I thought the power felt weak and the car hesitated when pushed to get on the highway. If I go with ES I also like the dark blue. Dealer wants MSRP for lease and $500,refundable, to go on a waiting list. Says the blue is the hot color. I told him no way I will give a $4,000 profit no matter how hot he thinks car is. How do you find the engine performance so far?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You claim the ES is no Acura RL, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion (especially having owned an RL).

    But keep in mind most people only cross-shop the ES and RL because the RL is discounted so much. I've heard of people getting discounts of $10,000.
    The RL was really Acura's V6-powered answer to the LS 400. The car still stickers for around $44,000 and therefore on paper competes more with the GS 300.

    The ES is a direct competitor in every way with the TL. And the prices are not that different. A loaded TL Type-S is about $34,000, while a comparably equipped ES is only a few thousand more (not adding equipment the TL does not offer).

    In any event, I do hope you enjoy your new car. And I do like the RL. It is unfortunate that the car never enjoyed the success Acura had hoped for.
  • 'davidh44' writes: "From what I've read, it seems reviewers are dissapointed by the system though. Keep in mind that they are comparing it to the ML system in the much more expensive LS430."

    Can someone please point me to these reviews of the ML in ES ? And other than 7 speakers instead of 9 (because in LS rear passengers get a separate tweeter) and less power (which in itself does not degrade sound quality unless music with a lot of bass is played at high volumes), what are the differences between the ML in the ES and in more expensive Lexi ?
  • I find the power of the ES300 adequate. Remember the weight is only 3439# so the horsepower to weight ratio is pretty good. The 5 speed transmission is smooth and transitions well on acceleration. I am sure that a V8 or more horsepower would be desirable but what do you expect for the low end luxury sedan. I did not worry about leasing the ES300 because the residual ($17,700) seemed low enough to make purchase or sale at the end seem reasonable. My 1998 Acura RL had too high a residual for me to purchase vs. market price.

    To Lenscap: I agree, the ES300 is not the direct competitor of the Acura.....except in price. The lease cost of the 2002 RL for me was going to be $30/month more than the ES300. That's not much, and that is due to the discount and subsidy that Honda puts on the Acura lease.

    The ES300 is a nice car which I will enjoy but it does not blow my socks off, even at the price.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Several of you have expressed an interest in having wood trim panels on the door by the window/lock switches. Here's a site for you to check out that offers such an item:

  • mbbenzmbbenz Posts: 47
    I just purchased a set of 4 winter tires for the wife's 99 ES300. I did extensive research on the web and went with the Yokohama Guardex F720 over the Blizzaks and Arctic Alpins. The Blizzaks handles great in deep snow and slush but is supposedly lousy on dry roads and wears quickly. The Arctic Alpins are better on dry roads but not as good in deep snow and slush. Both of these tires the micro pores (sips) are only cut halfway therefore when half the tread is gone they are a normal winter tires and nothing else. The Guardex 600 and F720 the microscopic pores goes all the way thru. Discount Tire Direct picked the Guardex 600 over both the Blizzaks and Arctic Alpins. It supposedly handles as good as the Blizzaks in deep snow and as good as the Alpins on dry roads. The Guardex F720 is the replacement model for Guardex 600. I have yet to put them on but I am betting either ones (Blizzaks, Alpins and Guardex) will be significantly better than the all season Michelin that comes from the factory.
  • cecconceccon Posts: 22
    Can you post the terms of your leases? I'm probably going to be negotiating for an es 300 soon.

  • picking up my garnet black with nav/ML, all the goodies (AVS was not available--so lenscap gets it:)--- I also got the gold package and the chrome wheels (I like the ES ones because they are multi-spoke)
    the car has landed at the dealership and I hve to pick it up on Monday--gosh! this is the first time I am waiting for Monday to come and the weekend to pass quickly :)
    will let you all know more when I pick it up--my wife is already jealous that I am paying the car more attention--even sleep talking about it :)
  • Im a guy who really takes care of his car considering buying an 02 ES300 and keeping it 20yrs for you people who own one out there is this possibble is the car that good or over rated
    comments please
  • cecconceccon Posts: 22
    My 1993 es 300 has 154,000 and shows no signs of quitting. My dad has a 1993 Sc 400 with over 210,000 miles and it is still running strong.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    Just came back from an auto expo event. Present were many cars including the 02 ES, RL, x-type Jag, etc. Figured I'd share some thoughts on the above. First time in an 02' ES, one word, Whoa! Compared w/ the Acura RL more amenities(granted 7 yrs newer), IMO more plush, larger feeling interior. Styling while being a subjective point ES had a more sculpted edgy look, while the RL had a creased style. Interior again, quality I was not impressed w/ the RL at its price point ($43000). ES felt no different than the almost twice as expensive LS 430. I also got the same impressions between the MDX and RX (which I currently own) favoring the RX overall. For anyone considering the X-Type as an alternative to either an ES/RL/TL/etc. don't bother. x-type feels more Ford than Jag, very small interior and feel of the dash area was cheap IMO.

    As far as comparing audio systems from my experiences with the Nak. in the RX. the sound quality of the same systems in different cars (ML in LS compared w/ ML in ES) depends greatly on the design of the interior. Also, if anyone has info regarding if Levenson actually designed this system or Lexus simply paid a fee to use the name. It seems to me that the only differences in audio systems in mass produced vehicles is the increased audio level at which one can listen (clearer @ higher levels in Optional audio system)
  • Just went to the Auto Expo in New Haven, CT and was REALLY impressed with the ES300. I liked it much better in person. The interior is incredible. Lexus is the hands down winner when it comes to interior design. Just 2 points:
    1. I agree that the window switch panels should have wood around them.
    2. Directly across from the top of the center console ashtray, there is a seem where the dashboard leather meets the leather side pieces from the middle console. The previous generation ES had the same arrangement except that it was up higher. Anyway, The previous generation had a problem with alignment between these 2 pieces. Many people complained about it and I personally saw it on dozens of cars I looked at. WELL, I noticed similar problems with the 3 2002 ES300's I have looked at so far. They are not off alot but the center console is so clean and perfect that this slight imperfection really detracts from it IMHO. Since Lexus knew about the problem in the previous car, I would have thought they could have done something differently. On my '99, I was told that it was because the upper dash and lower console pieces were made of different materials so it was hard to get them to line up exactly. The LS and the GS use a different arrangement where I believe there is some overhang to eliminate this. Maybe they could have put a thin chrome filler strip between the 2 pieces. Am I being too picky or does this bother anyone else or am I just seeing early production hickups?
  • Has anyone who has special ordered the car gotten their car or heard when they might be getting it? I ordered mine Sept 6th and am still waiting on it.
  • gdb55gdb55 Posts: 14
    Gambhir: I recall your saying you are also in Portland, OR. How much of a discount off sticker price did you get on your new ES300?
  • rleongrleong Posts: 41
    Does anyone know if I can order an 2002 ES300 with cloth seats? My local dealer said I cannot do this or select the options I want. Is this true?
  • I love my Blue Onyx color and the styling of the newly redesigned ES300. The interior is huge, front and back. The instrument panel is bright and stylish. The ES is loaded with features and amenities. The stock radio is marginal. The radio and climate system instruments are impossible to read on a bright day, especially when wearing sunglasses. This should be fixed.

    The engine and transmission are very smooth and reasonably powerful. The transmission is especially smooth and quiet when accelerating through lower gears.

    Road noise is too great and and the doors are too metallic sounding when the door handles are opened and released. The car seems light in weight on the road. I expected the Lexus to be quieter and more substantial.

    I am satisfied with the HID headlights and wood steering wheel option.

    Coming from an Acura RL I believe the two cars are priced about right. The RL nets at $39k without Nav and is worth it. The ES300 was $34k with $1293 off MSRP and is worth the savings.
  • gambhir got a special deal on his because he has some connection with his local dealer.

    I can tell you that my friend in California just got a new ES for $2600 off list. If you're in one of the competitive areas for car dealerships, don't settle for anything less than $2000 off list! And brush up on your negotiating technique before you head over to the dealer.
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    The dealer is lying--not wrong. If they advertise leather as an option, which they do, then cloth must be available. However, it will be special order and take some time from Japan. I have seen RX 300 and ES 300 with cloth (pre 02's). I for one do not see the point. Resale will suffer much more that the cost.
    A sunroof is not nearly as critical. many do not like them.
  • inky, Cloth is available. But you cannot get alot of options if you get cloth trim. I think that is what he meant.
  • mbbenz, did you put the Yokohama's on your car yet? I was wondering if they are noisy since they look like they have a fairly aggressive tread design. Also, where did you get them? I live in New Haven, CT and I can't find any place that carries them. Did you get them mail order? If so, did you have any problems with the delivery experience, e.g., damage to the tires?
  • mbbenzmbbenz Posts: 47
    I got them at and they were $460 delivered (free shipping till end of the year). They are Yoko Guardex F720 mounted and balanced on steel wheels with 15" Toyota styled hubcabs. It was delivered via FeDex and arrived 2 days after ordered. I live in central Mass. They were wrapped up pretty well. No damages whatsoever. I have yet to put them on since I want to minimize the use of them if there isn't snow yet. They did ship me the hubcabs I didn't want so they shipped out the correct ones and told me to hang the ones I didn't want up as souvenirs. Other than that I can't really tell you how they handle in the snow/ice or how noisy/quiet they are. I need to pick up a hydraulic jack before I can tell you.
This discussion has been closed.