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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • stejstej Posts: 4
    I test drove a loaded 6 cyl. Camry and an ES before ordering the ES. Yes, they look a little alike. Yes, they share some parts. But the similarities end there imo. I found the Camry, even with the 6, a little underpowered for my taste. The 18 hp made a difference for me. The leather interior was ordinary -- not bad, just ordinary. All the interior appointments are nice, but not the quality of an ES. The Camry is quiet, but the ES is like a library.

    That being said, the Camry is a great car for its market. But I did not want to buy a $31,000 Camry when I could get an ES for a few thousand more.

    The ES is NOT a sports luxury sedan. If you want one, I would buy an i35 or G35. They are both excellent cars with 255-260 hp, but they just lack the refinement of the ES. You can probably get a great deal on the i35 as it is being eclipsed by the G and its rwd platform. (I have not driven the TL or the 3 series lately so I cannot make a fair comparison.)
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    the Camry and ES300 sharing a platform is that is reduces the price of the ES300. If the ES300 was a unique platform (like the LS), there would be fewer units over which to spread development costs and the ES300 would cost more. To me, the platform sharing makes perfect sense. Want a Camry, but don't want to pay more than 20K? Get a 4 cylinder LE. Want more options and are willing to pay 25-30K? Get a V6 Camry XLE. Want better materials, more options, and better treatment at the dealer? Get an ES300.
  • nschulman3nschulman3 Posts: 125
    I lease an IS 300 sportcross. Last week, I had an ES 300 loaner from lexus for 5 days. The car was so smooth and quiet. I really enjoyed it. That being said, I was very happy to get back into my is 300 yesterday. Granted the cars are not similar at all, but they're both excellent.
  • sage5891sage5891 Posts: 9
    Have a '98 ES300 which also had some light scratching and swirl marks on both the wood console and door handle area. I used GS27 and the results were fantastic. I simply followed the instructions by rubbing the product in a circular motion lightly over the damaged area and wiping dry w/ a soft cotton cloth. As an added benefit, the resultant shine was just like new.
    IMHO, this product doesn't work very well for it's intended purpose, i.e. scratch removal on metal surfaces. But it worked great for me on the ES300's wood surfaces.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    You got some huevos!!!! I'd be scared spitless to try that on the wood!!!
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Be careful which products you use to remove scratches and swirl marks from your wood. Scratch/swirl mark removers work through microabrasion, meaning you'll be removing some of the top protective clear coat to reduce the appearance of scratches and swirl marks.

    Personally, I wouldn't let them "fix" the problem for you. They could get the scratches out as long as they're not too deep, but they're not going to care how much of the clear over-layer they're removing. As long as they remove enough so that the scratches and swirl marks "disappear" and that you're happy visually with it. And I doubt you'd want that.
  • jbrettzjbrettz Posts: 3
    My wife just ordered the ES 300. She loves the ride, the luxury and the quiteness of the car, plus the NAV system. She currently drives my 740i Sport which she likes but tires of the tight firm ride. Once she drove the ES she fell in love with it. Yes it's power is no where near the BMW but it's good enough for her. She didn't consider the GS because we already have the BMW, she wanted a totally different ride. The NAV system on the Lexus is light years ahead of the BMW sad to say.
    Summing up, it really depends on what kind of ride a person desires most.
  • wwh11wwh11 Posts: 7
    Folks - I'm in the market for a 2002 ES300. The MSRP says $32,080 (include destination charge), but I call my local dealer (upsate NY), and was told to expect $38k. If any of you wouldn't mind sharing the info on what you paid for your ES300, and where you got it from, it would be extremely helpful to help me negotiating and making decision. Particularly folks in upstate NY and NJ area, your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank. WHH
  • rdl40rdl40 Posts: 60
    lenscap, what if (hypothetically) you blindfolded your wife had her drive both cars
    (fully equipped) Camry and the ES one after the other.
    Do you think she would "really" notice the difference? Could she tell that the ES had the 5-speed and "evs" whatever that is?
    That one feels more quiet than the other?

    Maybe it's just the Lexus badging that makes you think so. Because she'd rather tell her friends
    and neighbors that "yes" I drive a Lexus rather
    than a Toyota Camry.
    Car companies are clever indeed in their marketing ploys and strategies.
  • lexus411lexus411 Posts: 12
    See post 2217..

    You should know the car without a special order is built in basically two configuration. One without the Nav/ML Audio and one with. In all cases the car comes with leather. The MSRP is about 34,xxx(No Nav/ML) or about 38,xxxx(no VSC) to a little over 39K(with VSC).
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I'm seeing the "ES is a Camry with an L badge" comment again, just slightly reworded.

    Telling between a Camry and an '02 ES blindfolded is too easy.
    But why would you think of going blindfolded when the interior quality, luxury, and visual appeal help set the two apart?
    It's like telling someone to not consider the power of the engine in a Porsche to make a comparison.

    And yes, there certainly is a price to pay for the name brand alone...which applies to any luxury brand.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Posts: 1,352
    Why don't YOU do it and let us know what you find.

    Better yet, instead of starting crap with people who overwhelmingly love their cars, why don't you blindfold your wife and compare the BMW to the much less expensive Japanese sport sedans and let us know those results.

    I find it amusing that you tried to rattle the cage with the ES's lack of performance....the owners here agreed with you. Than you go after the price difference....think it was shown there is some extra content for the extra 6K (not the 15K like someone mistakingly(?) reported.

    Now it's a challenge that lexus owners couldn't tell the diff blindfolded between an ES and Camry.

    You sir are here for one reason.....and it's called being a troll.

    Go buy the BMW, it's what floats your boat.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    Are you kidding? If you test drive the Lexus ES 300 and a Toyota Camry and can't tell the difference, then you're a total and complete idiot. Blindfolded, you can feel the difference in weight. And the quietness and the smoothness and the power. And if you're not blindfolded, as you shouldn't be when driving, and you can't SEE the difference, then you really are blind and should not be driving at all.

    I test drove the two (basic ES, loaded Camry), back to back, and your supposition is completely ludicrous.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    A few responses to your comments:

    1. I am not married (have a girlfriend though), so nobody drives my car but me. Therefore, the only person that cares whether or not it's a Lexus is me.

    2. I've driven the new Camry, and there is a difference. In particular, there is a huge difference with the AVS option, especially when it is set on the "sport" mode.

    3. Why did I but the Lexus over the Camry? Here are just a few reasons:

    - I much prefer the outside styling
    - The Lexus interior in world's ahead of the Camry's in look and feel
    - I wanted HID headlights
    - Having owned a Lexus before, I love the service and treatment at the dealer
    - I like being able to get a loaner car (a Lexus no less) for items as simple as an oil change so my schedule is not disrupted

    I could go on, buy suffice it to say those are the major reasons.

    4. As far as saying I drive a Lexus vs. any other car, I could really care less. I am not like that and really don't like people who are. You are dead wrong in inferring I would rather drive a Lexus than a Camry. That had NOTHING to do with my purchase. My life does not center around impressing others.

    5. You're looking as the car as a nicer Camry. However, many people see it as a bargain compared to other luxury cars. My girlfriend's father has a 2001 BMW 740iL, and he actually likes my car better when the price is taken into consideration. Nicer interior, better NAV, better stereo, better dealer service, better build quality, etc. I'm not saying the ES 300 compares to a 740iL, but you get my point.

    Anyway, I could go on, but suffice it to say I love my car, it was right for me, and that's that. If you don't like the car, that's fine too. But the car is selling well enough to prove that Lexus has hit the target with this car.
  • I am interested in leasing the new ES300, sat in it while my RX300 was in the shop (excellent SUV), and came away perplexed. Due to the rake of the windshield and the high instrument panel, there was very little room to see out! I raised the seat enough to almost hit my head on the roof, and still felt restricted. My dealer said several other people (including one who sat in it after me!) complained, too. How can Lexus design cars this way? Has anyone else had this problem? I had to cross it off my list!
  • dknndknn Posts: 6
    As luck would have, my car is due for state inspection this month and my driver side turn signal is flashing quicker than the right. When I visually inspected the light, it is still working but it is dimmer than the passenger side. When you turn on the headlights, both sides have the same output. My problem is that when I tried to change the bulb, its impossible. There is also a technical service bulletin on signals flashing abnormally. My car is still under warranty, do you think the dealer will fix for free?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I actually like the seating position of the ES 300, and I keep my seat as far down as possible.

    For one, I can see out just fine. Second, the seating position, with the high dash, imparts a more luxurious feel. Cheaper cars (and this is not a knock on any car) typically have lower cowls and superior visibility.

    It may all be what you're used to. When I get an RX 300 for a loaner I'm thinking how can someone drive this? But if I had one for a while I'd get used to it.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    If your car is still under the basic (so called "bumper to bumper") warranty, the dealer HAS to fix it for free. Maybe there is something I don't know about the Lexus warranty, but I thought "free" within the specified time/milage is what defines a warranty.
  • wwh11wwh11 Posts: 7
    Did ES300 get a facelift in 2001, or 2002? Thanx.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The ES 300 received a facelift for the 2000 model year. That version was also sold in 2001. Then, of course, the all-new 2002 came out.

    Revisions added to the 2000-01 models included:

    1. Wood trim on the entire center dashboard
    2. Revised tailights w/clear turn indicators
    3. ES 300 badge moved from the trunklid to the taillight
    4. Revised front bumper and grille
    5. Newly optional HID headlights; if the car has them the headlight cluster is different than non-HID cars
    6. Newly optional 16" wheels with a design different from the 15"
    7. New-style rear seat headrests

    There may have been more minor stuff but these changes were the more noticeable ones.

    Hope this helps.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    I am considering buying the 2002 ES300 or a used 2000, 2001 ES300. I see that you had both. How does the old generation compare to the new? What has been the mpg with the old vs. the new? Is the new 5-speed more economical than the old 4-speed or is there no difference? I am also considering the Acura 3.2TL, Infiniti I35, and the Toyota Camry and even the new (2003) Honda Accord. I would appreciate your thoughts on my concerns. I am sensitive to mpg based on what can happen at any time to the cost of gasoline.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Of course I'll tell you how great I think the 2002 ES 300 is. I love the car. And it is a huge improvement over my 1995 ES 300. In addition to all the new amenities, the overall structure of the car is much more sound (and the 1995 wasn't bad). The 2002 is really like a baby LS 430, whereas I couldn't necessarily say that about my 1995. If you haven't already, I recommend taking one for a drive.

    As for mileage, I've only driven about 350 miles with the 2002, so I can't comment on that yet. I never calcualted the mileage with my 1995, but I think it was around 20 in mostly stop-and-go driving.

    I'm not sure about the mileage of the 5-speed vs. 4-speed, but the new transmission is smoother.

    As for the other cars you're looking at, here's what I think (just one man's opinion):

    1. Acura TL is a great car that is sportier than the Lexus and a little less expensive. My only hesitation would be that the car will be redesigned in a year or two. If that does not bother you this is a great car.

    2. I would not buy an Infiniti I35. First, the car is being dropped in a year or two. Infiniti even states in their full-line brochure that all their cars in the future will be RWD or AWD, meaning the I35 is gone. That will kill the resale value. Second, I am just not impressed by this car. Remember, it was designed and built when Nissan was in a financial crisis, and the cost cutting is evident. Sales numbers give a good indication of what the market thinks of a car, and the I35 doesn't sell nearly as well as the ES 300 or TL.

    3. I also love the Toyota Camry. The only thing you're giving up is the luxury-division image and service. If this is okay with you, you can't go wrong here.

    4. The 2003 Accord will no doubt be a great car and probably sportier than the Camry. As with the Camry, if you're okay with the non-luxury dealer this is one of the best cars you can buy.

    From a mileage standpoint all of the above cars should be close to each other. It just depends what excites you.

    Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
  • Don't know if others have similar problem, but the driver seat back on my 02 ES300 makes some squeaking noise when I lean hard against it. Took it to the dealer, and they had some seating expert in to repair it, but it's still there. In the end the dealer agree to swap it with another car. I also posted about a minor issue with the brake pedal making a clicking sound when released, I was told it's due to the brake pedal hitting the pedal stop (entirely normal). Indeed I tried a few other new ES300 (and even one LS430) and they all make that sound. Oh well, I guess Toyota isn't known for their brakes.

    In response to an earlier post about driver position, I don't find it to be a problem myself. In fact, I find it a lot better than that of Acura TL. It provides ample headroom for a 6' guy like me.

    This is my first Lexus, and so far I'm pretty impressed with the Lexus services.
  • lexus_onelexus_one Posts: 22
    Ruggedland: Same problem with the seat on my Lexus. The dealer repaired it at the last service, not sure what he did, he picked up and returned the car, never asked what the cure was.

    IMO the Lexus service department gives excellent service much better than the Toyota dealer with a previous Camry.
  • jmw4jmw4 Posts: 67
    The service offered by Lexus is good but they do find a way to charge for the free loaners and car washes. Charging $45.00 for an oil change and $99.00 if you add in a tire rotation and a check of fluid levels is rather hefty. The 15,000 mile checkup which includes the above plus some more inspect this, inspect that runs about $300. I was wondering if anyone has used the toyota dealers to perform much of the routine maintenance since they charge about 35 - 40% less for comparable service. Had an Acura TL before this ES and they were about the same on service cost as Honda while also providing loaners and washes.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    How did you like the 3.2TL? I am considering that auto along with the ES300? What year did you have? Any trouble? How does it compare to the ES?
  • orkinporkinp Posts: 15
    I had a 1998 TL (before model change): It ran absolutely perfectly: never even had an alignment, returned the car with the original tires after 39 months. Cost about $80 each time for maintenance. That's why I'm really pulled to Acura. I DO have an RX300, and that ran for 4yrs almost as well, except for much higher maintenance costs, and a second set of tires.
  • jmw4jmw4 Posts: 67
    I had a 99 TL for 3 years. Overall, I liked it slightly better than the 2001 ES I now have. I had not a single problem over the 30,000 miles I had it. The Acura was a little faster, and more fun to drive. Slightly less quiet than the lexus. Unfortunately, Acura does not put an 8 way power drivers seat on any of their cars for the passenger seat. Without being able to raise it up, it sits somewhat low and my wife would get a back ache when riding. I thought the drivers seat was much more confortable than the ES which I feel lacks some in thigh support. The ES does have the 8 way on the passenger side.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Did the 99 TL have the 5-speed? What kind of mpg were you getting on mostly highway driving? What mpg are you getting on the ES300?
    Here is my dilemma: I prefer the ES300 but that will run, at least for now, around 35K and will include higher maintenance and higher insurance costs than the TL. The TL will cost approx. 29K, has slightly lower insurance and maintenance costs but the warranty is only 4/4 whereas the ES300 has 4/6.
    Then the new Accord comes out in the fall of this year which certainly will be a worthwhile choice too since it will probably be better than the current Accord, which is still a fine automobile. Any opinions?
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    For those getting good gas mileage with your '02 ES, what has your avg. MPH been?
    I'm getting pretty lame MPG...15.x, at an avg. MPH a little under 20MPH. No, I don't drive like an old fogie. :) It's just been my local around-town car.
This discussion has been closed.