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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    ..I consider the NAV systems to be like any other very immature technology. That is, they will become obsolete very quickly, improve rapidly and become cheaper and more widely available.

    What looks like hot stuff today, will look ancient in no time!!

    That said, I think it is better to have an older NAV than none at all!
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    .. based upon my experience in the software industry.

    If Toyota is smart, their software is designed with a "layer" that speaks to the individual user interface. But the underlying stuff is the same for all vehicles.

    For example, in 2002, the Avalon, Camry, ES300, LS, IS, GS all had NAVs with the same underlying maps and turn by turn direction software. But their user interfaces (buttons, selection, voice control, etc.) were all different.

    If this is the case, there will be a different user interface layer for the 2002 vs 2004, but the software will accommodate updates to the underlying capability.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    DVD Navigation System: Lexus offers an optional DVD-based global satellite positioning (GPS) navigation system in all models for 2004, and was the first company to offer this technology across its model line. The system is standard on the SC 430 hardtop convertible and the LX 470 premium luxury utility vehicle. In all applications the system uses a DVD disc for map data - one Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) can hold all the map data for the contiguous United States, plus additional areas in Canada.

    Several Lexus models for 2004 incorporate Bluetooth® wireless technology and updated features, including a larger point of interest (POI) database, improved screen graphics, phone number-based address location and building footprint display. Bluetooth® technology uses radio signals to allow Bluetooth®-enabled cellular telephones to wirelessly connect with the navigation system to synchronize phone books and to make hands-free phone calls.

    The DVD map database in the new system now contains more than five million POIs, compared to two million for the previous system. The map database for Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and New York features new "building footprint" graphics, which shows a 3D rendering of the building in its location. This feature can be useful for identifying buildings and their surroundings - helpful for example, when looking for nearby landmarks. Additional functions of the navigation system vary by vehicle. The LS 430 features a large seven-inch screen and incorporates voice command recognition. The driver can operate the system totally hands-free using 300 different voice commands. The navigation systems offered in the ES 330, SC 430, GS sedans and RX 330 feature touch-screen technology. =2004lexus_tech
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    would you get some of the new features? I'd think as least POI and more updated addresses can be obtained as such. Anyone tries that and knows how much does the updated DVD cost?

    Yes I am sure Nav will just keep getting better like all the e-gears. But I have not seen this built-in auto. Nav getting much cheaper yet. Still a $2K+ proposal in new ES and TL...

    BTW, gekko2, seven-inch screen Nav that incorporates voice command recognition is already in TL and TSX, so I'd think ES will get that down the road. Did you actually try enter MacD or safeway or Walgreen and it finds the cloest one to yours? This got to be using one or two of the extra 3 mil POI. Nice.

    Wonder how one of these mobile navs stack up?
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I am quite surprised that the price of navis have not lowered much since their introduction, say around 96? I remember I had to pay $750 (about 12 years ago) when I bought a car with ABS. Now, even below average cars (cost wise) come standard with ABS. Consider the nominal price of DVD drives and LCD screens (and perhaps the GPS software also), navi and auto manufacturers are making good profits on these gadgets. Just like the price of a factory installed car entertainment system as compared with a home entertainment system, the former is at least 4 to 5 times more expensive, while giving less features and inferior quality than the latter.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    ...For the DVD, would be $224 quoted from Motor City Lexus in Bakersfield, California.

    The new NAV in the 2004 ES330 has all the upgrades igiban referred to, I believe. Also, in order to save screen real estate (for lenscap's info), some of the selections are now on the push buttons and not on the touch screen. For example "DEST" is a hard pushbutton on the 2004, whereas on my 2002 ES300, these buttons are on the touch screen.

    I suspect that some of the new features require a new NAV front panel, such as the Bluetooth wireless interface, so if you have an older NAV, you would not be able to avail yourself of it without purchasing some new hardware.

    My 2002 ES300 would not be able to accommodate the bluetooth.

    However, I believe that you CAN get updated software with more POI, etc. for older vehicles.

    On my last service maintenance, I was able to demo the 2004 ES330 NAV, but I was looking for specific errors to be fixed, so I did not pay much attention to the different user interface.

    It turned out that the major errors (which are in the map itself) were NOT fixed and the turn-by-turn and map data were not updated my rural area, so I did not pursue any more questions on the possibility of upgrading the softare on my 2002.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    if they go like computers, the price will not tend to go down - rather you will continue to get increased capability for the same price.

    A Mac Classic computer cost about the same as my current G4 notebook, for example.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    That is a very poor example. A Mac Classic is more comparable to an iMac (which is cheaper). You are comparing to costs of a notebook.
    Even though most nav hardware should be getting cheaper, the cost of maintaining and updating the map and POI data remains high. The manufacturers have to pay high fees to the companies who produce the maps.
    $2000 is overpriced though. That's what's keeping it from being more popular. How overpriced it is is reflected in how little of the value of an optional nav system is retained at resale time. A car that might normally hold over 50% of its value after 3 years might only retain only 30% or less of the additional cost of the $2000 nav system. The same is true of other gadgets such as expensive rear seat DVD entertainment systems in SUVs. They are also a turn off for some used car buyers because they don't want to deal with the repairs after the warranty expires.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    ..maybe the details aren't exact, and I've only made a prediction, anyway.

    My prediction is that the price probably won't drop anytime soon, but the features will improve.

    And I still think it is more than a repair issue - it is an issue of technology obsolescence. That is just an opinion of course.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think it will get cheaper with time as technology improves.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "..I consider the NAV systems to be like any other very immature technology. That is, they will become obsolete very quickly, improve rapidly and become cheaper and more widely available. What looks like hot stuff today, will look ancient in no time!! That said, I think it is better to have an older NAV than none at all!"

    Just to comment on this, I also agree that it is better to have an older nav than none at all. It really does not matter to me how much better the system improves. I bought my system and no matter how much better navs get it will not diminish what I have.

    As another example, I still have a VCR from the late 1980s. Yes, VCRs have gotten better and cheaper. But this VCR still does what I bought it to do...record TV shows and play tapes. So even though navs will get better, my nav will still get me where I need to go with amazing accuracy and speed.

    I don't agree that my nav will become obsolete in the foreseeable future. With nav updates available (which I don't even need) the system should work well for many years. As far as I know there is no new operating system on the horizon to replace the DVD.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    about obsolescence. I have heard many people say that any computer is obsolete at the time one purchases it.

    However, the obsolete computer is still useable to the new owner!!

    Regarding NAV - I think we are likely to see a lot more in the way of flexibility in routes and voice control, for example. If the laws become such that we can no longer "mess" with the NAV controls while we drive, that would mean that the only NAVs that would be legal would be those with voice control - and we are out of luck unless we want to spend a fortune upgrading our hardware.

    We are already missing some satellite options, and our vehicles are only a couple of years old. I still suspect that in 8 - 10 years' time, our NAVs will look pretty ancient.

    Perhaps in 10 years, you and I will still be posting to this site, and we can compare notes then!! It will be interesting to see who is closest to being correct.

    Of course if the gas situation continues in the same vein as it has in the recent past, things might start resembling the way they were in the 1970s, where large cars were very much out of style. The ES300 would have been a large gas guzzler by the 1970s standards. If hybrids come into vogue, the ES300 may look pretty clunky, and the NAV would be the least of our problems! (I always pray that the ES300 will not appear like a "boat" with respect to future auto style.)
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    consider the Garmin street pilot. It is portable and does not run from a DVD. You can download the latest software from the web.

    Of course, there are recordable DVDs but our NAVs are not currently based on these. We'd need a hardware upgrade to switch to a writeable DVD I am sure.

    Also, I can't believe that you think the POIs in your system would be acceptable in 5-10 years.

    Regarding the issue of whether you need upgrades, I guess it is easy to say that when you are not driving in out of the way places.

    I hope you are correct when you say that our systems will likely stay upgradeable throughout the next 10 years. However, I would not be surprised if getting upgrades for our car's NAV becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Yes, it is very likely that when the "next generation" Nav system comes out for your car, they will stop creating updates compatible with the older units.
    So, don't plan on new DVD map and POI updates being available for more than a few years.
    The system may still "work," but you will missing lots of road updates and all the new businesses that come and go over the years.
    What good is a 5 to 10 year old phone book or paper map? The same will apply to an old nav system.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    "The system may still "work," but you will missing lots of road updates and all the new businesses that come and go over the years.
    What good is a 5 to 10 year old phone book or paper map? The same will apply to an old nav system."

    I disagree. In my area, new roads are not built very often. So I will not be missing "lots" of updates. And even if they are, the old roads still exist. So if need to go somewhere 10 years from now my nav will still be able to get me there.

    Further, the 10 year-old phone book analogy is not a good one. If a new restaurant opens you're right, it will not be in an old phone book. But if a new restaurant opens, all I need to do is put the address in my nav and I'm on my way. Sure, the restaurant won't be in the database. But as long as I have the address I can get there. I for one do not use the nav to "pick" a restaurant for me...I know which restaurant I want to go to and almost always plug the address into the nav.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    opens on a newly established area with a new address then....

    Still I don't undertsand why they would make the new Nav DVD with new maps, addresses, and POI not usable for older Nav unit. People are not going to buy a new car just because the older car's POI on Nav is outdated, but they may spend $200 to get it updated. Good business for 'parts' sales!
  • <repost: edited>


    I found a 1997 Lexus ES300 for sale for only $7500. It has 120k miles and is loaded. It also appears in really good shape (clean, shiny). The issue is why the owner is so ready to offer it up for $7500? Seems rather low. He didn't mention any damage, but that doesn't mean much.

    If anyone has unlimited Carfax access, could you run the VIN# ?
    VIN# JT8BF22G7V0030888

    Also, how were these years for the ES300? Any problems/issues?

    Thanks all!
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    I have a '99 ES300 with 53,000 miles that has been making a humming noise in the rear at different speeds. It has been diagnosed to be bad rear (both) wheel bearings at about $400 each. Anyone else ever have this problem? Seems strange for such low mileage.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    That seams a bit premature. They should last well over 100K miles on a Lexus.

    It's kind of strange that both went out at the same time. That is rare.

    You may want a second opinion as to whether or not it is the bearings on both sides.

    I've had the problem on other cars. One bearing on my last car went out at about 50K miles.
  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    I had my 2002 ES300 cracked windshield replaced with a non-Lexus windshield and my rain sensor along with my intermitent wiper stop working all together. I was told by the Dealer that it may be because of the different thickness or reflection of the new windshield which affected the rain senser's operation. And the only way to fix it is to replace it with a factory windshield. Right now I only have 2 fast speed on my wiper, not even the manual intermitent is working.

    Any owners have similar problem or suggestion?
  • gambiamangambiaman Posts: 132
    I bought an interior AC filter for both my RX and 02 ES from Irontoad. I found and replaced the one in the RX with no problem but couldn't figure out how to replace the filter in the ES300. Is it behind the glovebox and if so how do I get access to the filter? Or is it elsewhere?
  • neuroguyneuroguy Posts: 34
    Yes, the cabin AC filter is behind the glove box in the '02 ES300. Instructions for accessing it are in the owners manual, section 2-1 under "Air Conditioning", pp 169-70. If you do not have an owners manual...
    1. Open the glove box
    2. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw on the right side of the glove box
    3. On the upper inside of the glove box, there are two black plastic pins. Turn them counter-clockwise and pull to remove them.
    4. Then lower the glove box out of the way
    5. The filter will be in a tray, upper left. Pull out the tray and remove the filter from the tray

    The owners manual, with pictures of the above is available online at the Lexus Owners site:
    If you have not registered there, you'll need your vehicle's VIN number.
  • sbarnthosbarntho Posts: 1
    I have a '04 ES330 that I purchased last December. I've been really pleased with the car. I've noticed a peculiar sound from the steering wheel/dash area. The sound reminds me of the sound a ball makes when it rolls around. The sound is noticeable when I turn the steering wheel. Has anyone experienced this?
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Was in service the other day and used that chance to check out the new Nav DVD with supposedly lots more POI. I am in Bay Area and it finds the closest Walmart in Bakerfield, Costco 25 miles away (when there's one in 5 miles), Safeway for 20 miles (yes there are plenty in 5-10 miles), and top choice of MacD in Inglewood (long berger I guess). It's not much better based on that test. Want $200+ for the DVD, passed.
  • bjk2001bjk2001 Posts: 358
    Is it worth to get a Nav at all? Looking to buy ES330 debate w or w/out NAV.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Depends on how you and your family use the car. How often do you use the car to go to unfamiliar places, when Nav can be very helpful and give you a peace of mind everywhere you go. Plus, to get the super nice ML audio (if you like music in car) you've to get Nav, tho it'd be too pricy if you mainly just want ML.
  • solara00solara00 Posts: 81
    I think the NAV system in the Camry XLE is similar to the Lexus ES system. The Lexus may be slightly better, but overall, I think they are pretty close. I've heard the LS 430 system accepts voice commands and may be even more advanced than the ES or Camry systems. But here's what I can tell you about the Toyota DVD Navigation after 800 new miles and I think the ES 330 info would match most of this, except for price:

    1. Toyota NAV added about $1000 to the cost of the car.
    2. It works very well in my area (Midwest).
    3. It sometimes states I've arrived at my location even though the location still may be up to 300 feet away. That's only happened a few times, but it has happened. I have always been able to see my final destination from that point. The INFO button gives you a lot of information about your destination, including a phone number if you need it.
    4. You can use "North up" orientation (like looking at a map), or you can use "Heads up" orientation that always shows the direction you are traveling. I like Heads Up better because it always shows the roads I'm coming to, but not all in my family agree. But with the push of a button you can switch either way.
    5. The Toyota NAV manual is 125 pages. You should read them all. Most have to do with using NAV, but you also have other features like the Calendar that allows you to schedule oil changes and other maintenance, dental appointments, write notes to yourself, etc.
    6. Would I spend the $1000 again based upon what I know now even though the system is not yet perfect? Definitely yes. The display along with the voice guidance is a big help when you are in areas unfamiliar to you. Could Mapquest give you the same thing? Somewhat. But Mapquest can't tell you when your turn is coming up, whether to be in the right or left lane, and written directions aren't much good when you are trying to decide which lane to be in at 65 mph. Knowing that my exit is 2 miles on the left can make a big difference if I'm in the far-right lane and need to get over to the left lane.
    7. You can choose from these routing options: Quickest, Shortest and I forget the other one! I like the "route preview", which allows you to see a video of your entire route from start to finish, no matter how far away it is. If I see the route takes I-270 around a city instead of I-70 through the city, I can alter my routing preference.
    8. If you miss a designated turn, the system will either tell you to take a legal U-turn or it will simply re-route you -- whichever makes the most sense. In some cases, if there is no U-turn, it will just recalculate a new route for you to the final destination.

    It's not perfected yet and you still have to use common sense. But if I only had a choice between a moonroof, or a CD changer, or leather vs. the NAV, I'd go for the Nav.

    Of course, if you never drive outside of your local area, you would probably never use it.

    I apologize for the excessive information, but i kinda bought this blind (because I do a lot of business travel) and maybe my experience can help you avoid that. I've used the HERTZ Neverlost system many times. It's very, very good. But the Toyota DVD system does everything the Hertz system does, does it better and easier, and does quite a lot more.
  • HELP! I am buying an ES330 on Sunday from my best friends ex-boyfriend (so things are very different). I really want a black garnet pearl w/ ivory and navigation. He says he doesn't have it on the lot and that navigation is only good for real estate agents and people in sales. The dealer only orders about 10% with NAV. He doesn't think that NAV is important. He does have a black pearl with ivory without/nav and he thinks this is a better deal. It is kinda hard since he is my friends ex to negotiate. Do I want the NAV since I am not in sales. Will it be useful for a 30 something that is at work most of the time? Please adivise.
  • solara00solara00 Posts: 81
    Wow, that is so hard to answer without knowing how close you are to a major city and other factors.

    But I had to go to St. Louis today which is about 150 miles from my home. I know the city okay, but nothing specific. Once I got my business done, I wanted to find an REI (outdoor recreation store) in St. Louis. I just punched in REI and it located the store address and phone number for me and routed me there with no problems. Then I needed to find an Office Depot or Office Max. Punched in Office Depot and it gave me the address, phone number and the route. If I had wanted to stop at an Italian or Chinese restaurant, the system would find those for me, too. But, I needed to get home, so I hit the memory button which stores 6 locations and punched in my home address. The system gave me 3 route choices, I selected the route I wanted and off I went. In 8 hours today, the system never gave me a wrong turn or any incorrect information.

    It's definitely a lot of money. But I travel to Chicago and St. Louis quite often and if I had the money, I would always choose the navigation. My daughter will be taking a job in Chicago and she is very bad at directions and orienting herself and she would be the first to admit that. Living in a city that size and not knowing how to get to a client would take some learning. The NAV would probably be a big help to her. As I mentioned previously, it's hard to read a map and drive at the same time. It's nice to have the voice tell you that your turn is coming up.

    Now if you never drive more than 25 miles from your home and you don't live in a metropolitan city, then I can't see a great benefit. I do think in 10 or 15 years NAV systems will be very common on most cars.

    If you live in a Texas border town, then I'd say pass. If you live in a metro area, I think the NAV might be beneficial. Just my opinion. But I sure like mine and I haven't second-guessed the money part of it since I first used it.

    I would ask the dealer to test drive any car with NAV first, if they have one on the lot. I drove a Highlander because the car I wanted didn't have it. Or you could rent a Hertz car for a day that has Navigation. If you like that system, you will like the LEXUS system even more. The Hertz system uses a joystick to pick letters for a street address, while the Lexus system simply uses a touch screen.

    Good luck.

    By the way, I won't demean this salesman. But I wonder what if he only had your color WITH navigation? He'd might be telling you never to leave home without it! Basically, they want to sell you whatever is on the lot and I don't blame them for that. Having to order you one, means you could look and buy elsewhere.

    One week a dealer only had a Red V6 I wanted and, of course, that was the most popular color. Two weeks later, he only had a Silver V6 on the lot and, of course, that was now the most popular color. So buy what you want and if you have to go somewhere else to get it, so be it. You'll have to live with it for awhile. Again, good luck.
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