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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    But one of the best ways to tell what packages are offered in different areas of the country is to traverse the "build a lexus" links at, entering zip codes for the various areas. The packages change all the time.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Note to Edmunds: In both your recent review of the ES 300 and your entry-luxury car comparison, you stated the headrests in the ES 300 do not articulate.

    Not true!

    The headrests do articulate from the bottom.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The best way to make sure the editors "hear" you is to follow the Help link at the top of this page (there is also one at the very bottom).

    Under "Information" you'll see a link to "About the Editors" - if you know which editor you'd like to address, you can find his or her email address at that link.

    Then there is a section below that titled "Talk to Us" - you have several options there to provide feedback.

    Check it out.
  • This is for Texas83: why do you suspect that your transmission problems may be related to the dealer? From your research, do you think this is a problem with the ES300 line in general? Confined only to 2002? What would you recommend to someone looking at a 2003 ES300?
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    There are two problems with my car. The transmission and an extremely annoying rattle in my ceiling console. The dealership has nothing to do with the cause of the transmission issue. But, it would be nice if they at least tried something, since my situation appears to go beyond the problems some are having with their car. From my recent posts, I could see where you might have misunderstood.

    My main animosity lies in the fact they will not return calls about this and about my ceiling rattle. You see I bought the car from a dealer out of town, because this dealer would not negotiate at all plus had expensive additions, and it appears I'm getting retaliatory service. I've called so many times, I wrote a letter, but only through pressure from Lexus Quality Service and the Dealer where I bought the car, have I been able to schedule appointments. Their adjustments in the ceiling have only been temporary and I've been in five times now. They acknowledge the problem and agree it shouldn't be there. After the last failed attempt, I talked to them two weeks ago. They said they needed to talk with a Lexus Engineer and then blew me off again, which is why I'm fed up. Like I've said, I believe this dealer to be an isolated problem, because I've never had this problem with any dealer before. The noise in the ceiling sounds like the twang of a door stopper when I shut the car door, and can hum steadily when I'm waiting at red lights. It would seem so easy to correct.

    Ironically, it's the transmission issue that warrants the most cause for concern, but it's their refusal to handle the ceiling problem that really irks me.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I'm sorry, I realized I didn't answer all your questions.

    Lexus fully acknowledges this to be a problem with the 2002 model. My understanding is that this car came out last October and by February Lexus had enough complaints to know there was a real problem. I drove two different loaner cars and found both had different levels of the problem. One was almost as bad as mine. Therefore, the problem is systemic but variable. There are an incredible number of reasons that this can be a great car, but I wouldn't buy this car until they correct the transmission problem. Since June, I've been told almost every month that the next month a fix is coming out. One other thing, the car handles like a big car, not a sports car so take that into consideration. Sitting in traffic as much as I do, there's no real need for performance.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Went into the Edmund's town hall archives to see if there were many squawks against the GS 300 - GS 400 transmission in the 1998 - 1999 time period. I did this in an attempt to corroborate what the service manager at my Lexus dealer told me.

    As an ES300 owner, I feel very lucky because, although Lexus replaced the ECU on 1998 GS transmissions, and although there were some complaints by GS owners on the transmission, the $45,000 GS seemed to have so many more problems than the $35,000 ES300 has today. On the Edmund's board at the time, the biggest complaints were: rattling glovebox, rattling moonroof; wind noise, and steering wheel and accelerator vibration. These problems were bothersome enough to cause a fair number of board members to demand that the dealers do something about them, and a fair number of respondents claimed that their glove boxes, moon roofs, etc had been repaired or replaced. A couple of board members complained of sluggish transmission, but relative to the other complaints, the transmission issue paled in comparison.

    By contrast, our 2002 ES300 board has a minute number of complaints about noise compared to the those on the transmission. This could be interpreted a couple of ways:
    1) The 1998 GS transmission problem was not as bad as that of the 2002 ES300.
    2) The other GS problems bothered GS owners so much that it diminished the impact of the transmission problem.

    From my own standpoint, I would not exchange the squeaks, wind noise, bad moonroof and bad glove boxes for the transmission symptom I feel today.

    I say all of this because it gives one hope: not only that the transmission issue will be fixed, but that from here on out, the ES300 will continue to get better so that the next time I buy a new car, it stands a good chance of being (almost) perfect
  • Any ideas where I can find an OEM CD changer for my 95 ES300 (other than a dealership).
  • Perhaps Lexus will make transmission changes on the '03 model. I'm waiting for reports by '03 buyers on their experience with the transmission. It will probably be a few months before we get reports here on the '03, don't you think?
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Pat - Thanks for telling me how to write the editors. I was able to send a note to Erin (wrote the comparison test), but Christian's address (wrote the test drive) was not listed.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Glad that I half-helped. :)

    You could also use the Feedback Form and you could send a letter "to the editors" from that page.

    I don't know why Christian Wardlaw is not listed - that's odd.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    Well... I talked with an attorney and he said for the problem to qualify under the Texas Lemon Law, which is probably similar to other states, it cannot be a production flaw. Another words, since this problem is systemic (though variable)to this make and model, it doesn't qualify under Lemon Law protection. If it were an individual problem it would. However, he felt there may be grounds for a class action suit, which he didn't have the resources to handle. So... I'll be looking into that.
  • wayn1wayn1 Posts: 69
    Hi. Does anyone know of a company that makes a cable to fit you car's computer diagnostic connector under the dash so you can use your handheld PDA to read trouble codes?
  • My wife drove a 2000 Solara (2 door Camry) with every option available ($30+k). The comparison between the Toyota/Lexus looked good on paper and we thought a 2 door might be fun again (wrong). Traded for an 01 ES300. The Toyota was very, good. The Lexus is excellent. Can't compare a new Camry to a new Lexus but as far as the last generation......EVERYTHING about the Lexus is better.
    Somebody said "God is in the details." I must agree. Add the great customer service at Lexus compared to the "get in line" attitude at my local Toyota dealer, and I'm happy to cough up another 5k for a Lexus. IMHO
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    If you live in southern california, you can probably find an 03 ES300 on the dealer lots. I know for a fact that there was at least one 2003 at Lexus of Cerritos a week ago, because I saw it with my own eyes.

    You could probably call a dealer and find out about the 2003's or if you live in So Cal, you could probably test drive one.

    I doubt that the transmission has changed. As lenscap or kreativ said in a previous post, the only change is the addition of a power adjustable accelerator. And lenscap and kreativ are pretty much on the money.

    If you are interested in buying a car, I recommend you do the following: call around Southern California Lexus dealers until you get a service manager who agrees that there is a transmission issue, and then ask if it is fixed in the 03 models. You could start with Lexus of Cerritos and ask for Steve, whom I have had good luck with. He'd better admit the transmission problem, since we discussed it in my car.

    The reason I recommend So. California is because their car inventories tend to be huge. Try Lexus of Cerritos and/or Crown Lexus in Ontario. I also think Lexus of Riverside is huge, too. Their turnover is so great that they are likely to have already seen and sold 2003s.
  • Dealer just offered me an 02 with everything but adjustable suspension for 35,750 plus tax, title and insurance. Are they much better offers out there?, I will appreciate any info!
  • I'm in northern NJ!
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Yes, the side view mirrors dim too.
    You should be getting a loaner for any warranty work that's done. You might have to call in advance to reserve one. If they still don't give you a loaner, then that particular dealer sucks.
  • Thanks for the tip. I don't live in southern California any more, but have family there and on the next trip out may look into the dealerships you recommend. Apparently because of the tremendous supply there, prices are likely to be the best. Meanwhile, I'll wait to see what '03 buyers say about the transmission. I can't imagine with all these complaints, many of which I'm sure Lexus has heard, that they will just do nothing. On the other hand, they're selling so many they may feel complaints comprise just a tiny percentage of buyers.
  • Car is due for service so while in dealership, complained to them again about the shuddering/jerking transmission. Like before, they said they cannot duplicate the problem. They said they reset the computer so it starts the learning process over. This may improve the feel of the car. It didn't.

    Asked about the firmware updates and they haven't heard of such a thing. The tech said in his many years of working at that dealership, they have never received a firmware update for trannies for any model - even the GS. Some people mentioned here that the older GS models had firmware updates but this may be turn out to be BS. If the older GS models trannies did not use fly-by-wire, there wouldn't be anything to update, right? I mean, if the computer didn't use to control the transmission, how would a firmware updgrade make it shift better?
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    What price would be good for a new 2002 ES300 with the premium package and MSRP of approx. $35,100?
  • I am getting quotes ~33k from most dealers in NJ. Anyone getting a better deal... please share?
  • Loaners: my dealer give laoners as standard practice once ther ecar is there for more than a couple hours. Plus there loaners are 02's ES 300's, pretty good I think.

    HakPoon: Those rates sound pretty good, it looks as though you have just the premium package ordered, and I guess you still have to put tax on that. I'll take it and run if you can!

    I'm also looking to buy, problem is, not many 02's remaining, which is where you can get better prices. I'm in NY, so we are not as lucky like those guys in CA.

    I also must have those HID's, wood steering, and most importantly, Trac and VSC with the all season tires. Good luck with your purchase.

    Kymmy123, does that include nav, if so, where is delaer located?
  • IMHO one of the best thing about Lexus (at least at my dealership) is the loaner perk. If I call for an appointment even to get the oil changed they'll give me a loaner. They've also washed the car each time I've had it in! We've had the car 18 months (01 end of year model). Not a single issue so far....just the initial check-up and 4 oil changes (10k miles). I thought Lexus micro-managed their dealerships. Surprised to hear about bad service. My dealer, Alderson Lexus in Lubbock TX, absolutely treats you like a king. My math tells me Lexus can only do this if they make trouble-free vehicles. I'm sure keeping a fleet of loaners is expensive.
  • Yah.. i am also looking for one with traction control. However, most dealers don't have them in stock for 2002 model, unless going for navigation package which would be another 3k out of pocket.
  • don't even want to mention dealer name, now they were saying my brothers deal for 35,750 was based on an 02, and because he took too long to make his mind up, they are no more optioned the way he wanted, and that an 03 will be more. So basically he's stuck with a higher price, and thinking will options he will have to drop, which also might mean a special order! Thing is, there are certain things that are a must, like the premium package, but he also want the traction and VSC, and those beautiful and efficient HID's!

    He really wanted the 02, seeing there is more room to negotiate, especially when the 03 is the same exact car. We went to 5 dealers, I guess we'll check a couple more. Worse yet the colors we want are hard to come by (gold/ivory) or mystic sea/ivory). Wish us luck!
  • that is why after your earlier post, I told you if you can get that deal, take it and run. There really isn't all that choice out there now. I'm thinking of getting a more loaded 2002 rather than giving dealer more profit on an 2003. After all, they are basically the same car, aprt from being able to order adjustable pedals, which I dont want anyway.

    According to a couple dealers, there are no more 2002's to come in, only 2003's.

    Looks like Mark Levinson and I will be getting to know each other soon. Let me know how it goes!
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Since it's essentially the same car (except for the new pedal option), I don't think '03 pricing can stay at an inflated level for too long. After the initial sales to people who don't know it's the same thing as an '02, prices should fall pretty quickly. If you can wait a couple months, you should be able to get good pricing on an '03. Or as they say, the best time to buy a car is the last day of the year. Dealers are most willing to cut a deal and get a sale on that day (and to a lesser but still significant degree, on the last day of every month).
  • Did I read somewhere here that next year's 2004 model will have a 3.3 V6 and an MP3 player as the only significant changes to the 2003 model?
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    That's the first I've heard of an MP3 player for '04. I seriously doubt that'll happen. This is a car for older people, most of whom have never made an MP3 CD in their life (nor care to). Built-in MP3 support is found in cars targeted for the youth market, such as the Mazda Protege MP3. For those kind of cars though, you might as well buy your own MP3 deck and put it in. It only costs $150 for one these days, which is far cheaper than the markup put on by the auto manufacturer. The MP3 CD unit in the Protege MP3 is pretty much just a Kenwood aftermarket unit.

    Back to the topic, the V6 3.3L putting out an estimated 240hp is the only news so far on the '04.
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