Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 9:21 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
Apr 26, 2002 (5:59 pm)
Go to the "Lexus LS" board for a detailed discussion on the woes associated with getting upgrades to the Nav DVD. Apparently, the LS has had a Nav system in it for longer than the ES, and there is a larger experience base there than on this board.The discussion occurs during the last two weeks of April; from about the 13th to the 26th.
Apparently, some folks have a 2002 version of the DVD. I have a 2001 version, even though I've only had my car for a month.
Owners on the "Lexus LS" page complain that dealers promised free upgrades for a period of time, only to have the dealers back out.Upgrades cost anywhere from $300 - $500, which everyone pretty much agrees is outrageous. One of the posts referred to subscribing to LLink, but I don't know what that is.
#2570 of 5443 atoews - noise
Apr 26, 2002 (11:08 pm)
The vibrating noise comes from the passenger door I think. It happens even on smooth roads. I don't think it's the seatbelt because even when seat is occupied and seatbelt fastened, noise is still there. It's also not things from the console. I'll have it checked out on my 1000 mile service.
As far as tranny, I guess I just miss my 99 honda accord ex v6 coupe - in my opinion has a smoother transmission and stronger acceleration. I always believed Toyota built better transmissions than Honda but Lexus proved me wrong.
I guess I expected much more from a 36K vehicle. After all, shouldn't a 36K vehicle be better at EVERYTHING compared to a 25K vehicle in a lower class? Apparently not.
Well, such is life - can't win 'em all, nothing's perfect. Life goes on. Lessons have been learned. There are far more important things than worrying about the car I am driving. I should just be thankful I HAVE a car. And it's a Lexus to boot. I'm done whining.
#2571 of 5443 atoews--transmission
Apr 27, 2002 (11:16 am)
Toyota's transmissions are, in general, first rate. There is obviously a glitch on the new ES300. Consumer Reports says that the 4-speed transmission on the Camry is better and smoother than the 5-speed on the ES300, and that likewise the transmission on the previous ES300 is better than the current one. Strange. Maybe they will modify it some time during this model year (or next).
I'm going to check with local dealer and see whether I can order an ES300 with a different array of options than the two you mentioned. I don't want the Levinson, NAV, or the wood steering wheel, but do want xenons and skid control.
Thanks for your help.
#2573 of 5443 More on transmission
Apr 27, 2002 (2:36 pm)
Check out the following excerpt from Message 30, Sept 13, 2000 on "The Lexus LS" board. The description of the way the LS transmission worked sounds similar to that of the 2002 ES300. I can't say the problems were/are the same, but the symptomes sound similar.
"....It was obviously not a simple defect, but a basic design problem. I’ve been driving the car for 18 months and 30,000 miles, all along hoping I would get used to this quirk, but that hasn’t happened. An avid reader of Car & Driver and Road & Track, I read each issue hoping to find a reference to this problem, anywhere, with regard to any vehicle. There was never any mention of it in regard to LS 400s, but there were two references to it, about other vehicles.
The problem? What the technical people refer to as “throttle tip-in.” I noticed almost from the beginning that it is impossible to drive my
LS400 both quickly and smoothly. I had to choose one or the other. Quick means quick, not fast. When you push the accelerator pedal the car lunges. Only by pushing very gently can you avoid the lunge, and the few seconds, or even tenths of a second lost inthat way deprives the vehicle of quickness.
Example: You get a brief chance to jump into an adjacent lane while moving in slow, jammed freeway traffic. You hit the pedal
hurriedly to take advantage of the brief opportunity before the car behind closes the gap. The LS400 lunges forward awkwardly into the lane, and then you have to hit the brake with a jolt to avoid hitting the car in front. Instead of a smooth zip zip operation, it’s a
lunge-jolt maneuver. You look and feel clumsy.
Example: You’re driving in heavy but steadily moving traffic on the freeway when you notice that there’s a jerk in an adjacent lane who is thinking about jumping in front of you, even though you have left less than a minimum safe distance between you and the car in front. If he succeeds in doing this, you will be forced to apply the brake. (I consider being forced to apply my brake to accomodate a lane changer as being “cut off,” because I devoutly believe that one should only make a lane change when he/she can do sowithout affecting the forward progress of the car you are pulling in front of). So you hit the accelerator to close the gap even further in an attempt to deter the jerk. The LS 400 lunges forward and then you have to brake because you got too close, to quickly to the car in front. If the attempt to gain speed quickly results in a throttle downshift, then there is a hesitation, a roar, and a lunge, which is even worse.
Let me note in fairness to the LS 400 that in the vacinity of 50-60 mph and faster there is usually enough torque in 5th or 4th gear so
that the car will gain speed smoothly and quickly without having to experience the lunging, which usually occurs at lower speeds.
Now I know that this lunging doesn’t have to be. I previously owned an ES300 which was both smooth and quick. The maneuvers I described above could be accomplished with that car with ease. The ES300 lacked high-end poop, but that’s another story."
Apr 27, 2002 (3:39 pm)
I've had my car about six weeks. On the plus side, it rides smoother than any car I've ever had, has an outstanding stereo system and the decor is exceptional. It also gets pretty good gas mileage.
On the downside my sunroof rattles and the dealership doesn't know how to fix it. They think they will have to replace the whole thing. A Lexus engineer will be in sometime next month to look at it. The ground noise is annoying. I've seen some really stupid posts on this board about their cars being so quiet that they are noisy. Sorry, that's the biggest oxymoron I've ever heard. The quietness is above average at best, but definitely not exceptional like noted in Consumer Reports. I drove a loaner for a bit and found it to be the same. My test drive was on very smooth concrete, so I wouldn't have noticed. Also, there seems to be a rattle in my right passenger door, but I can't seem to identify it. The wood trim scratches easily and Lexus has no way to remove the scratches. A carwash brushed the vacuum hose across my console wood and scratched it. Lexus said sorry. That'll be $900 to replace it. I'm taking it up with the carwash.
The transmission is a piece of crap. About one in five times, when I need accelleration, I can give it the gas and nothing happens for a couple of seconds. The RPM's jump to nearly redline and then the car begins to accelerate as the RPM's fall. That's just the opposite of how it should happen. Nearly caused me to get rear ended when I tried to change from a lane that wasn't moving to a lane that was. Also, it downshifts at times. When I accelerate for a bit and release the foot feed after a couple of seconds the car suddenly slows as the transmission downshifts. I can watch the RPM's jump as it does this.
To say the least, I'm very frustrated. The dealership told me that Lexus recognizes the problem with the transmission but they don't know how to fix it. At least that's what they say. Lexus is monitoring the problem, and with enough complaints, will hopefully do something about it. Not all cars have this problem and the loaner they gave me shifted fine.
Please loudly complain to your dealership about the transmission. I think it's actually a dangerous issue. The more we complain, hopefully, Lexus will take some action.
#2575 of 5443 atoews--2 trim packages only on ES300
Apr 27, 2002 (9:12 pm)
You're right. Despite offering a slew of individual options, Lexus now is building the ES300 in only two packages. If you want xenons, instead of paying just about $500 for them, basically you're going to have to buy virtually every other option, whether you want them or not. Thus, I don't want NAV, Levinson, wood steering wheel, etc., but if I want xenons, that's what I have to get. In other words, xenons are going to cost me $3,000-$4,000, packaged with other options. No way. And with the transmission problems, I'm reconsidering. Consumer Reports said that the loaded V6 Camry actually ranked higher than the ES300, has a better transmission, handled better, etc. And next year they'll probably have xenons as a stand alone option (for $500-$600).
#2576 of 5443 tiger8 on ES300
Apr 27, 2002 (10:29 pm)
Do you not want the Nav/ ML or do you just not want to pay for it? Both are great.
I disagree that the Camry handles better. I tested the Camry VLE and SE several times before I opted for the ES300, and even considering the transmission issue, I prefer the ES300. My boyfriend, who is very picky, drove my car for a whole weekend, and even though we both noticed the transmission problem, it did not bother us. Both of us, however, are "smooth" drivers. If you like to "dart" around, don't get the ES300.
I do NOT like the ride of the Camry V6 XLE at all, and the SE, although it handles better than the XLE, is too rough for me to enjoy on a day-to-day basis. Had I not opted for the Lexus, I would probably have bought the Camry V6 SE.
Another note on the Camry - my boyfriend, who owns a 1994 Camry V6 XLE, pointed out that although they made the new Camry bigger, they did not increase the power on the engine to match.
I did not test an LE, but I understand they did upgrade the 4 cylinder engine, and it is quite peppy.
Apr 29, 2002 (8:46 am)
I agree with tiger8 on this. I am a smooth driver and havent been bothered by the transmission. Just my .02, but if you are really concerned about "closing the gap" to stop some jerk from squeezing in front of you, then you should rethink your priorities. If you stop the guy what did you save? maybe 1/10th of a second?
Apr 29, 2002 (8:57 am)
Sorry to hear your problems. My car has about 3400 miles on it, and so far I haven't noticed any significant problem with the transmission. Yes it's a little sluggish on occasion, but the response has been good in general (I drive moderately aggressively). I also didn't experience the noise in the passenger door as others have posted.
I did notice another problem in my car though. When I accelerate from a full stop, I sometimes hear a short clicking noise from the back of the car. This happens only when there's a full tank of gas. When I asked the service rep to check it out, he said it's probably due to gas lushing in the tank, which I find a bit odd. Another gripe I posted earlier about his car is the brake pedal making noice every time you step off it. Well I'm almost used to it now, and it's not getting on my nerve that much.
My experience with this car has been mostly positive. I like the new exterior design a lot more now than before. The head light looks quite good, especially against a lighter color (mine is millenium silver). The best thing is there are still relatively few new ES300 on the road, compared to the like of BMW or Acura, which are everywhere you look.