2003 Lexus ES 300 from North America - Comments

7th Feb 2006, 20:05

I'm afraid I have to agree with the original reviewer. A 3-second lag when you tromp the accelerator is unsafe, and a damned annoyance as well! Our 2005 Explorer does the same thing. Sometimes you need to move RIGHT NOW, but because of that lag, it leaves you hanging out there wondering when you'll be clearing the path of that semi bearing down on you...

8th Feb 2006, 20:11

The thing with the ES300 is it only hesitates when you give it gas off the line. If you take off slowly for about 2 seconds then push the pedal to the floor it will do fine. I'm very angry Lexus won't admit they have a problem. My 99 RX300s transmission went at around 70,000. I decided to give Lexus another chance after hassling with Mercedes on my 2001 S500. I'm very dissapointed Lexus won't admit their problem with transmissions. I will always drive a Lexus just as long as its in warranty, after the warranty expires its traded for a new one.

17th Feb 2006, 07:17

I have a 2005 model of ES300 and I enjoy riding on it. It hasn't got the problems that you had encountered. It could be that the recent models have made the rectification.

6th Jun 2006, 14:33

Try having your ecu flashed at the dealer. I thought that my ES had a slight lag when I got it, so I returned to the dealer. They told me that there is a fix for the issue. There is not a problem with the car, it is only a difference in driving preferences. By default, the car will be sluggish. When the dealer installed all new software for my transmission computer, my car immediately drove unmistakably different. After the car learned my driving preferences (which are: quick and responsive), the car memorized them after about 100 miles. ***My ES now responds immediately from a dead stop, and it also downshifts as soon as I hit the gas harder when I am already moving*** I am so spoiled, that when I get a loaner ES from the dealer, I can easily tell the difference.

6th Jun 2006, 18:54

That's inane. Learn to drive around a recall?

15th Jun 2006, 20:31

I have never thought my ES300s lagging was a problem becuause my 93 SC400 does the same. It does not bother me what so ever. People are so picky these days. I hear all the time that people take there car in cause the seat belt squeaks when being put on. Get over it.

23rd May 2007, 11:12

I am considering purchasing a 2003 Lexus ES300 to cut down on gas consumption over that used by my husband's V6 Dodge Dakota Quadcab half-ton truck and our V6 Winstar van. What is the typical mileage (mostly country, paved roads driving)?

Thanks... Arlene.

21st Aug 2007, 09:30

I am replacing the alternator today. I have less than 21,000 miles on my car. Am I the only one with this problem?

14th Oct 2007, 23:05

The alternator in my ES300 has developed a grinding noise (possibly due to worn bearings). It still puts out 14VDC, but I will be replacing it soon. The housing seems to be quite oxidized compared to other components. It has 35K miles on it. I read somewhere that ES300 that are driven infrequently, as mine is, or idle for prolonged periods have premature battery failure. There is supposed to be an improved replacement alternator for the vehicle.

1st Feb 2008, 06:46

Try resetting your ECU so it'll forget old driving habits, especially if you bought the car used. Just disconnect the battery for a while (10-15 minutes) and the ECU should forget it's settings. Keep in mind that your radio might will likely need it's unlock code, so have it ready if you decide to disconnect the battery!

I always tend to read similar complaints about Toyotas and Lexuses, but you have to realize that a lot of these "problems" are actually how the cars are supposed to be. The cars are trying to guess your driving style and learn to behave how it thinks you want it to behave, but at the same time you should be figuring out how it behaves when you behave a certain way.

I've even seen someone complain that the transmission might downshift when you brake hard-I've noticed the same thing happen once before in my car, but I figured that it was a feature to help slow the car down. I find it funny that people would immediately think something is wrong with the car when it's engine braking for you to try and help you out.

Anyways, if the car still doesn't learn to drive the way you want, you'll just have to learn to drive the way it wants I'm afraid. But try the ECU reset if someone else has been driving it a lot.

4th Jul 2009, 02:17

My 2003 Lexus ES300 IS THE WORST!

I have owned two Lexus ES300 before it; a 1998 and a 1994, and no problems, but this car is poor. The car has no power and shifts when you don't expect it to.

I have had over $1600 in repairs in 6 months.

The wheels are aluminum and all 5 (including the spare) are bent.

For those who wrote people are too picky due to the complaints on this vehicle, they are dead wrong as I pay more for a Lexus, but this year and model are below any standards of any vehicle except for my 1980 Chevy Citation (I have owned over 30 cars). No power, poor transmission, repairs, repairs, repairs, bent wheels, are my complaints!

30th Nov 2010, 08:37

The so called lag when pedal is pushed is is really a gradual acceleration that's part of the car's design for gas efficiency. By reprogramming the car's computer, it can be set up for a more abrupt blast of acceleration, which (no doubt) people will also complain about.

I don't find anything too bad about the transmission, except when the car down shifts and a "clunk" can be felt, but only occasionally.

The rest of the car is impeccably well constructed, smooth and refined.

Reliability is also highly rated for this model of Lexus. In addition, the ES 300 models don't require premium fuel, unlike more recent ES350 models.

Overall, though the car is not perfect (what is?), it's a sweet ride and attractive to the eyes, inside and out.

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