Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
#3538 of 5443 envoydrives
Feb 12, 2003 (6:53 pm)
I bought a 2002 ES 300 in 5/02. I do not have the tranny problem, but I have learned to have more responsive acceleration I need to manually downshift to third.
But I have had an assortment of other problems with the car and poor service from the Lexus dealership. I sold an Infiniti to buy the Lexus. The Infiniti dealership in Richmond, VA offers far better service than Lexus.
I drove the G35 and came close to buying it, but I didn't care for the interior.
I still own a 1991 Acura Legend (original owner, 93,000 miles) that is close to bullet proof. And the Acura dealership has a better service department than Lexus.
Obviously, I would not buy the ES 300 if I had it to do over again.
You might want to consider waiting for the new Acura TL coming out soon as an early 04 model. I may be trading the Lexus for that. If you can live with rear wheel drive and like the interior, you will not be disappointed by the customer service at Infiniti.
Feb 13, 2003 (6:55 am)
At the Chicago Auto Show yesterday, Lexus execs said AWD will be available soon on several Toyota and Lexus models, including the Camry.
That would lead me to think it will be offered at some point on the ES as well. It's fairly well known, although not confirmed, that the LS 430 and next GS 300/430 will offer AWD.
#3540 of 5443 Transmission problem for potential owners
Feb 14, 2003 (12:08 am)
I'd like to reiterate that despite the complaints about the transmission, there have been fewer than five owners on this board who are so disgusted with the transmission that they would consider selling their vehicles.
Most of us feel a slight hesitation, and many don't feel any symptom at all.
Feb 14, 2003 (8:19 am)
Thanks for your last post. The ES300 is currently one of the new vehicles that I am strongly considering. The transmission issue is one that I have been following for quite some time. It is always hard to figure out if a "problem" is really a problem on these sites or just a conceived problem. The other vehicle that I am also considering is the Acura TL which also has the transmission issue. I sure would hate to pay that amount of money and have the transmission become an issue. I will keep following the posts and other news on these issues.
#3542 of 5443 ES300 transmission
Feb 14, 2003 (1:35 pm)
Try this simple test: Take the car gently up in speed till it shifts to fifth gear and locks up the torque converter. This usually happens at about 37-43 mph with a warm engine on level terrain. If you are fine with it, buy the car. If you feel a shudder in the drivetrain, with low frequenct booming, you will not be a happy camper later on.
I was able to repeat this on several new ES300s, and thus ended up with a different car.
If you are fine with this unfortunate "characteristic" of this drivetrain, or can't feel it, you have a high likelihood of liking the car.
Feb 14, 2003 (8:12 pm)
Monday the dealership called and said they still don't have a fix for the transmission, and didn't know when one would be available. I told him it was no longer material because I was going the Lemon Law route. Actually, I was surprised he called because service has been so bad in general. Like I say, I think I'm just working with a bad dealership. As to the transmission.... I've driven two loaners. For one car I didn't notice the shifting problem, the other had it but definitely not as bad as mine. If one has the money and time to deal with the possibility of the problem, then feel free to buy it. There are many things to like about the car, but when interacting in traffic, your transmission is very important.
Feb 15, 2003 (8:12 am)
I can't wait to hear the flood of complaints once the RX330 gets on the road the new 5-speed trans. People will be wishing Lexus left well enough alone with the old 4-speed.
#3545 of 5443 fredvh-tranny probs.
Feb 15, 2003 (12:00 pm)
Why don't you put worries to rest, maybe you should consider a 3 series or C class with the manual transmission.
Can't go wrong with the rear drive and the stigma of camry twin.
Feb 15, 2003 (1:49 pm)
J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Lexus Continues to Set the Industry Benchmark
In Long-Term Vehicle Dependability
Problems Reported at Four to Five Years of Ownership
Drops 7 Percent for the Industry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2002
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.—Lexus ranks highest in long-term dependability for the eighth consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Vehicle Dependability Index (VDI) StudySM released today. All of the top five ranking nameplates in the study are Japanese brands, with Infiniti, Acura, Honda and Toyota following Lexus, respectively.
#3547 of 5443 fredvh - Yes, I've seen your posts for quite awhile..
Feb 17, 2003 (2:27 pm)
Although I said that there are few on the board who report complete dissatisfaction with the transmission, I never in any way implied that there is not a problem, or that the problem is in somone's mind. There IS definitly a hesitation problem, which I have been able to repeat in every 2002 ES300 I have driven. You can, too, on a road test, as recommended by vcheng above.
I bought my car with reliability the number 1 issue. I love BMWs, and owned a 320i, but I live far from a BMW dealer, and BMWs simply need more expensive repair/maintenance than Lexus.
I will be the first to say that anyone who purchases an ES300 for its handling is bound to be sorely disappointed. And none of us likes the idea of a "luxury" car with a hesitating transmission. If you want great handling, you'd better go for a different vehicle.
All in all, despite the fact that I experience the hestiation problem, I am satisfied with the car I bought, love my car, am comfortable in my car, and would purchase the vehicle again if I had the decision to make over again. That said, I really wish Lexus would issue an ECU fix for the ES300 transmission.