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
Aug 29, 2003 (12:51 pm)
Here's what the Lexus press release says:
"You can find a Lexus has also revised the standard five-speed automatic transmission for the 2004 ES 330, matching it to the performance of the larger engine. Wider gear ratios take advantage of the increased torque while enabling the ES 330 to achieve virtually the same EPA-estimated fuel efficiency ratings as the previous model (20 MPG city/29 MPG highway vs. 21/29 for the 2003 ES 300).
New grade logic enables the five-speed transmission to provide improved performance in hills, delaying upshifts to sustain power on inclines and holding a lower gear for increased engine braking on descents. Shifting smoothness has been improved in all conditions."
Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought the 2003 'fix' involved programming. They claim wider gear ratios for the 2004. You can't do that with programming changes, can you? Seems to me that if the gear ratios are changed, there have been major changes in the tranny.
#4166 of 5443 Agree with texas83 -Don't hold your breath
Sep 05, 2003 (9:00 am)
Boy, the description of the ES330 sounds too good to be true doesn't it?
ES330 gets better gas mileage, more power, a larger engine and an upgraded transmission for LESS money?
I am wondering where the trade-off is. I wasn't born yesterday, and I KNOW there has to be a trade-off somewhere.
My view is that if a logic modification could fix the delay/shudder problem, then why is it so difficult to fix in the ES300?
Add that to the general report from Lexus service reps that the transmission is not thought by Lexus to be faulty - well, if the transmission is not faulty in the ES300, then why would Lexus need to fix anything for the ES330?
I suspect that the ES330 transmission will still exhibit delays/shudders, and that the symptoms will be just as bad, if not worse, in the ES330 than in the ES300.
Sep 05, 2003 (12:10 pm)
Feel free to be as pessimistic as you want. I own an ES330 and don't see any transmission problems.
But enjoy your half empty glass.....
Sep 05, 2003 (5:57 pm)
I think the trade off is called BMWs, Benzs, and TLs. Lexus Car sells are down 20% this year, unlike its SUVs. Unfortunately all cars are in their mid-life. so it is very smart of Toyota to protect itself with a lower price tag, more standard equipments. The upgrade of engine is just a small step, I don't think it can even be called a upgrade. On the other hand, TL is going to be out, and out with a higher price tag (near 33,000?) That will make the ES a lower entry therefore sell more vehicle.
I used to think the IP design of Euro car are the best, but now that I am a owner of a 02 RX, I feel the longer you sit inside a lexus, the more your are drawn to it. I once drove a ES300 home for one night (with NAV), and I am very impressed with what I see. In terms of driving dynamics and ride, it is not so "Lexus". I feel my RX rides better and quieter than the ES for some reason. One thing I don't like about is the color of the wood, seems fake. The wood in RX is better because it is more natural.
#4169 of 5443 jragosta - Transmission
Sep 05, 2003 (8:30 pm)
There are a lot of folks who do not experience the ES300 transmission problem, either.
However, for your sake,and for future ES330 owners, I really do hope the transmission issue has improved.
#4170 of 5443 Owners' comments on 2004 ES 330
Sep 10, 2003 (10:04 am)
I would really appreciate hearing the comments of owners of the 2004 ES330. I delayed buying a new Lexus to replace my Camry (although I have been very happy with my 2000 ES300) because I was concerned about the transmission issues in '02 and '03. ES330 owners, what is your experience? I see at least one happy owner, but I'd like to hear from more of you. Thanks!
#4171 of 5443 My 2004 ES330 performance :-)
Sep 13, 2003 (8:50 am)
I was undecided between a 5-series Bimmer and the ES. I was glad I waited for the 2004 ES.
I've read about the "transmission problem" on the 2003 ES and was able to duplicate the issue on several test drives at my local dealer. I wouldn't call the "transmission a problem" on the 2003 ES300 since I drove the demo like it was a sports car and figured it to be more of a driver preference issue. I then decided to look at a Mercedes and a Bimmer and spoke to a customer at a Mercedes dealership who indicated this was the 2nd time his car was in the shop for an electrical problem, so Mercedes was easily omitted from my choice after his comment and some research I did on the internet.
The Bimmer was nice, but wasn't as comfortable or my frame as the Lexus.
I've had my ES330 for 6 days now, and it now has 981 miles. I just had my first oil change today and promised to report my experiences to those on the ES300 column.
Since my last post on the transmission (on the ES300 thread), I reported no quirks with the transmission or engine. That was about 400 miles ago. Well as of today, I'm more impressed with the car! So far, I can't duplicate the "transmission problem" on my ES330 and have calculated that I am getting anywhere from 28mpg (mixed city/hwy) and 33mpg (hwy).
Upon acceleration, the car merges onto freeway traffic without a stumble or worry and shifts smooth. On deceleration, the gears shift smoothly and effortlessly.
I also discovered that the Variable Suspension is a nice feature to have depending on my driving mood. I also feel that the Navigation System and Mark Levinson was money well spent. It would be nice to have audio controls on the steering wheel, but the controls are already easy to reach. Does anyone know what the SAT button does on the Navigation or Stereo? Is that for Satellite radio?
The sunroof provides great ventilation and is well engineered for the car. When the sunroof is open, the wind noise is not overbearing like in other cars I own. In fact, it's the first car I've ever driven with the sunroof open and can hold a conversation with a passenger or on a cell phone without having to repeat myself.
So far, not one rattle, not one problem, and not one quirk - Then again, it's only been a week and about one thousand miles.
Does anyone know of a reputable Lojack dealer/installer in the Sacramento, CA area?
Spoiler? Window Tint? Chromed Wheels? What should I add to this car? Hmm....
#4172 of 5443 Iammikey....a few questions
Sep 13, 2003 (10:24 pm)
Sounds like you have a fairly fully-loaded ES. May we ask how much you paid off of MSRP?
Also, tell more about the variable suspension. What does it do that you notice and like?
How tall are you and do you have ample headroom?
Sep 14, 2003 (10:08 am)
I agreed not to post the discount off the MSRP with the dealership since they quoted me a lowball price - end of the month and quarter, I guess..
The dealers in the Sacramento, CA area are selling the car for MSRP, while in the Bay Area, the are giving $500 - $1000 discounts. My deal was over 3 times sweater.
Anyways, the variable suspension allows me to soften or firm the ride. I soften it on the freeway and firm it around town. Since this is my work car, I carry around 50lbs of case files plus my brief case in the trunk and usually end up with a firm ride. The ride is noticeably smooth for my 5'9" 230lb frame when I adjust the suspension.
As far as headroom, I have plenty. A 6'3" co-worker of mine took my ES for a test drive and said the headroom was okay until I lowered the seat to its bottom most adjustment.
#4174 of 5443 Adaptive Variable Suspension?
Sep 14, 2003 (1:04 pm)
I am in the market for a loaded 2004 ES330, but am concerned about the write up Consumer Reports gives to the 2003 ES300's adaptive variable suspension. "Adaptive variable suspension hurts the ride without improving the handling."
I have seen one message praising this option, would like to hear more about it from others.