Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Here's what the latest issue of the Consumer GUIDE car review says about the LS430:

    "...the transmission is sometimes slow to downshift for passing."

    For each car they test they list the pros and cons. For this car there are only two cons, one of which: "automatic-transmission performance."

    Sound familiar?

    Maybe we've got a generic Lexus transmission problem that includes the LS430 as well as the ES300. What do you think?
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Is anyone else bothered how much alike the ES is with tne new Camry? I love the interior of the ES, but from a distance, it looks like a Camry (especially from the rear...)
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Is anyone else bothered how much alike the ES is with tne new Camry? I love the interior of the ES, but from a distance, it looks like a Camry (especially from the rear...)
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Lexus has raised the base price of the ES300 .4% to $32,200.
  • tclemonstclemons Posts: 31
    It's really none of my businesss, but just curious, since you own a 2K2 ES300, why did you choose to vacation in a rental car rather than your car? Was it to keep the mileage down? My wife has a 98 ES300 and I would much rather drive it than a rental.
  • My car is at 10K now. I'm ready to do the second oil change at the Lexus dealership. They recommend I do a 10K service at a cost of about $100 (oil change/tire rotation/fluids check). The oil change alone costs about $50 (and tire totation is another $25). Personally I'm not ready to spend $100 for some routine maintenance at only 10K. Any opinions?
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    To me, the front view looks a bit like the Camry but the rear isn't even close to being the same. The Camry's rear looks like that of the Taurus. Also, the interior (the dash at least) looks very different from the camry.

    Am I bothered? I am bothered that the lower (class?) priced Camry has a better transmission than the ES. (Everyone who is familiar with my posts saw that one coming.)

    Before I decided to buy the ES, I've already accepted that it's just a Camry in Armani. But the Camry isn't bad to begin with so it makes the ES close to perfection.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Forget the "10K service," which is probably an invention of your dealer. (Is it in the manual?) Have your oil changed elsewhere for $20 or so, including fluid checks, or check the fluids yourself. I also think tire rotation is unnecessary and a waste of money.
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,229
    I have my tires rotated every 5k miles. If you didn't rotate a 5k, at 10k they are due to be done.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    Motor Trend reports that the 2004 Lexus ES330 will have a 240HP V6.

  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Re: Oil change interval

    mmccloskey -
    Follow the guidelines in your owner's manual as to whether you should change your oil every 5K (severe conditions) or 7.5K. With your type of driving, 7.5K sounds like the right one.

    Here's what Honda has to say (they were easiest to quote off one of their web pages):
    "Following the "severe conditions" guidelines won't help your Honda unless you really do drive under those conditions. Many vehicle owners waste time, money, and oil on unnecessary oil changes, for example. The quality of engine oil and filters has steadily improved to keep pace with the requirements of new engines."

    Some have been brainwashed by the oil change industry's ancient 3000 mile recommendation (they're after the $$$). Heck, I knew about "change your oil every 3K" before I even cared about cars just from the advertising alone. For others, they find it gives them peace of mind, which to them is worth the extra cost (and waste) regardless of any real-world benefits.

    I have a friend with a '90 Lexus LS that has run his engine up to 200K miles with a consistent 7.5K oil change interval. Not surprisingly, there's no problems with the engine whatsoever. Believe'll have problems with the rest of your car well before you have problems with a Toyota engine.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Re: Routine maintenance

    Only go to the dealer for routine maintenance if:
    a) You don't know of any trustworthy independent mechanic
    b) You have no clue when a routine maintenance procedure is done correctly or incorrectly.
    c) You're not willing to watch as they do the oil change or tire rotation, if you haven't yet established a good relationship with an independent mechanic.

    Taking it to any 'ol gas station or a quick lube place without an idea of what to look for is a bad idea. You could be given recycled motor oil, the wrong weight oil even though you specified to them you wanted 5W-30, and a poor quality oil filter (not that one should expect much out of those $1 filters).

    On the other hand, I think being clueless and getting ripped off at the Lexus dealer is also not a good idea. Don't think you're getting the service center's more experienced mechanics to do these routine maintenance items.

    Personally, I take it to an independent mechanic for routine maintenance not because it's cheaper, but because I'm assured of service that's up to my standards. It's just a bonus that the cost is 75% less at times. I buy my own oil, filter (always Toyota/Lexus OEM 90915-20004, Made in Japan by Denso), and pay for labor.

    For tire rotation, make sure your lug nuts are hand-torqued to 76 lb-ft (the official Lexus spec). Does the Lexus service center do this for you? Doubtful. Given that at most lexus service centers, your car is out of sight when being serviced, it's hard to say.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I'd say that the ES300 bears a family resemblence to the Camry. However, just as a beutiful person can "look like" and even be confused with, a less attractive family member, so can the same phenomenon apply to cars.

    I think that the ES300 is just a significantly more attractive member of the Toyota family than is the Camry.

    I think the ES300 fits into the Lexus branch of the family a lot better than it does the Toyota/Camry branch of the family. In my opinion, the ES300 looks more like it belongs on the Lexus lot than it does on the Toyota lot.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    I don't think the Camry and ES 300 have ever looked less alike.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I Second that. The Camry and ES300 have never looked this distant. But some things are going to give the 2 away. The general proportions are similar, like wheelbase, width, height, and length are similar. And I think alot of people see similarities because they know the 2 cars are built off of the same platform. If people didn't know that, I bet most wouldn't see any similarities.
  • This week I have my LS 430 back at the dealer for its 1,000 mile check and they gave me a 2000 ES300 as a loaner. It's a neat car but there is a whole lot more in common with the Camry than just a "resemblence". The windows have "Toyota" written on them, the tail-light lenses are embossed "Toyota"; under the hood, the radiator is stamped "Toyota" and the battery is from "Toyota Motor Sales". This is only from a quick glance. I bet if I took the time to look I'd find Toyota stamps all over the place. Sure, usually there is a Lexus sticker next to the Toyota label but one wonders how much original Lexus stuff there is in here. One of the reasons I found the ES so easy to drive is that the lights, turn signal, windshield wiper controls and even the windshield washer fill tube are identical to the Celica I had been driving for 5 years. Now, I'm not knocking the car, but I would have thought that, with the exception of the interior luxury appointments and some of the gadgets, there would have been at least some design separation from the Camry.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Your post 2946 suggests that Lexus should change the ES300 lights, turn signal, windshield wiper and windshield washer to distinguish them from Celica/Camry. What's wrong with these items and how would you change them for the better?
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Probably been asked before: When are the '03 models coming out and what changes are made from the 02s? Will the transmission downshift/delay problem be addressed?
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    And adjustable pedals are available.

  • Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Toyota fan. I think the Camry is the best car made in America. I also love Lexus. When I was in a position to buy any car I wanted, I chose Lexus over MB, BMW, Audi and Jaguar. I wouldn't dream of suggesting to Lexus how to build or market a car, they certainly know much more than I about these things. Its just that almost since their inception, Lexus has been criticized that their various models of ES's have been warmed over Toyotas. I always denied that. I had always thought that Lexus took the basic Camry design, the power train and chassis and built a Lexus around it, maybe borrowing a piece of sheet metal here or there. This week I have found that not to be true. The ES is indeed just a Camry with a nicer interior, an extra electronic do-dad or two and a "L" on the hood rather than a "T". I can't fault Lexus for that, it's still a super car. Just a little disappointing is all.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Lexus IS Toyota. It is merely the brand name that Toyota uses outside of Japan to help differentiate its offerings. Toyota Celsior = Lexus LS, Toyota Windom = Lexus ES, Toyota Altezza = Lexus IS, etc.

    But I agree that if they're going to make the brand differentiation, they should relabel all viewable parts to reflect that as well. After all, this labelling has caused you to change the way you perceive the ES. And it all comes down to consumer perception.

    The current trend in car manufacturing is all about sharing: the same platform, the same parts, etc. You'd be surprised at what cars are or will be sharing the same platform.

    And it's obvious that Lexus needs to do more to get consumers to perceive the ES as a different car than the Camry. No one has ever mistaken the interior of the new ES for the new Camry, but the exterior design could use more separation.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Lexus learned its lesson. This year's ES300 has "Lexus" stamped all over its windows, etc.

    I had a friend who owned an older ES and it pissed her off that "Toyota" was stamped all over the parts. She was probably not the only one who complained

    Personally, I think the older LSes look more like the older Camrys than the new ES looks like the older Camrys. The LS is boxy, like the older Camrys, and older ES300s, but it is bigger. The new Camry and ES are not boxy.

    I think it interesting that Toyota views the American psyche differently than that of the Japanese. Status apparently means more to us, and Toyota shrewdly developed the Lexus line to capitalize on that attribute. I can understand how the Japanese might view this tendency as affected and kind of silly.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    kreativ is an LS owner, and it did not stop him from buying and loving his ES300!!
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Well, after researching many cars, I finally purchased the 2002 ES 300 in LA on Monday for $100 over invoice. It is completely loaded with Nav, VSC and AVS and chrome wheels. List was $39,963 (ex chrome wheels which cost me $850).

    Mine is silver with grey interior. The Nav is great and user friendly. Have already used it 4 times in 2 days.

    All I can say is this is one great car. Although it may lack some power, I am delighted with the purchase. It is gorgeous inside and out and the ride is superb.

    Now the bad news. It is in the shop after owning it for all of 36 hours. When I put the gear shift into drive, it registers 4th gear. The dealer informs me that they need a cellenoid which has to come from Japan and the car will not be ready for me until next Wednesday. So I will have had the car for 36 hours and the dealer for 7 days. This is not a good start but hopefully is the only thing that goes wrong.

    I will let this forum know more about the car when I have had a chance to drive it more than a 1/4 of a tank.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    atoews - I've heard the reason Toyota doesn't use a separate luxury brand in Japan is that their name is already so strong there. Same goes for Acura in Japan.

    But yes, the Lexus does carry snob appeal, especially in places like southern California which have a strong emphasis on cars. Where else would you find 15 Lexus dealers clustered in one area. =)

    cwdavis1 - Congrats on your new ES! I have the same exterior/interior colors as you. Sorry to hear you have to wait another week to get it back. Were you the one that moved to LA not long ago? If you are, sounds like you benefited greatly from waiting until you got here to purchase the ES at $100 over invoice. =)
  • allencdallencd Posts: 1
    I now have about 3300 miles on my black 2002 Lexus ES300. The driving is enjoyable, especially for longer trips.

    I understand the first oil change (at 5K) is free. But I don't know if it is worthwhile at all to change the oil at a Lexus dealership. What about a Toyota dealership? What is the cost difference?

    Zaino... I've seen several mentions of this product by fellow ES owners. It looks like Zaino is only available by mail order. Is it such a great car polisher worth spending ~$70 for a set?

    Clear Bra for the car...
    I was pitched to pay $895 for a 3M clear bra for the car and another $595 for the lights. I didn't go for it due to concern of cost, benefit and whether it looks good/transparent on a black car. Does anyone here get the clear bra? Is it necessary at all?

    Your opinion is appreciated, always.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    The '03 ES300 appears to have arrived at dealers already. The only new option is the adjustable pedals. It is controlled by a rocker switch to the right of the brightness adjustment for the instrument gauges. The variance is about 4". The window sticker lists the option at $120. Personally, I would've preferred Lexus making the steering wheel motorized rather than the adjustable pedals.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    allencd - As far as an oil change is concerned, the ES is exactly the same as a V6 Camry. By going to a Toyota dealer for an oil change, you give up the nice customer lounge and the privilege of paying a "Lexus" price. That's about it.

    Zaino and Klasse are the top 2 polymer sealants. Why the high price on Zaino? Just marketing. Take a good car care product, sell it in small amounts at a hight price, and people who only want the best for their cars will come. Porsche bug and tar remover, anyone?
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Lexus vs Toyota - If using Toyota labeled parts helps keep the costs down, I'm all for it. Who cares what the window label says? Are you buying the car for the car or for the label? A Lexus IS a Toyota after all, just a rather nice one. And that, in my opinion is not a bad thing. Toyota has built an incredible reputation for reliability. My Lexus spends no where near the time in the shop my previous MB did.

    I would highly recommend Zaino. I've used it for about 3 years now, and doubt I'll ever go back to something else, as long as it is availabe. I find it to be much more durable and easier to use than other products. Visit the Zaino discussion thread elsewhere on this site.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Your observations of your 2000 ES 300 loaner need some clarification. I was at the Lexus dealer last night comparing the 2002 ES 300 to the 2002 LS 430 sitting right next to it on the showroom floor. Here's what I saw:

    1. "Lexus" is on every window of every Lexus. The last time "Toyota" was used on Lexus cars was 2000 (and that was on every car, including the LS I believe).

    2. "Toyota" is not stamped anywhere on the taillights.

    3. The battery says "Toyota Motor Sales Lexus Division." Guess what it says on the LS 430's battery? The exact same thing.

    4. You say the lights, turn signal and wiper controls are the same in the ES 300 as your old Celica. Well, then the LS 430 must borrow parts from the Celica as well. Both the ES 300 and LS 430 have the exact same stalks on either side of the steering wheel (there is a color difference; in the ES they're black and in the LS dark gray).

    I looked all over the ES 300 and could not find any Toyota reference anywhere on the entire interior or exterior. Just one or two places in the engine compartment, where the LS 430 had them also.

    People are influenced by what they read and hear. Often their perceptions are not fact, as your statements exemplify. Apparently you think the ES 300 is more like a Toyota than Lexus, yet your LS 430 has some of the very same qualities you knock on the ES 300.

    The fact is, of course the cars will look somewhat similar. They are made by the same company. And they are the same size. To my eye, only the headlights are similar. The rears are totally different. The sides are totally different. The ES has a massive crease down the side, the Camry is more slab-sided. The ES has a very rounded roof line, the Camry's is squared off. But when it comes down to it, all they share is a platform and some unseen parts - a total of about 15% of the car. That means 85% of the two cars is different.

    And by the way, the Camry happens to be an excellent car, both mechanically and visually (in my opinion at least). I see nothing wrong with sharing unseen components between the two.

    One other quick note: I noticed the LS 430 uses the same construction on the headrests as Toyota, where the two pieces of leather (top and sides) are simply placed next to each other. The ES 300 uses the nicer stiched look. Interesting that this nice touch would be on the ES 300 and not the LS 430.
This discussion has been closed.