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Might Buy 04 Or 05 Es330


nc211
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Since my wife's car (07' Mazda 3 GT) is now basically my car: And my car (05' 4runner V8), is her car: since she's now a stay-at-home mom, I'm starting to think about a little bit bigger car. I love the Mazda, but finding hard to ignore the market demand for smaller cars like that. Plus, I'm not 100% convinced it'll go the long-haul w/o some significant problems. It is, afterall, a Ford engine, transmission, etc.. And, it is a sports car, drives like one, and especially rides like one. Which is fun most of the time, but not all of the time.

So, I've been really thinking about a 04 to 05 ES330 with around 40-50k miles. But, I don't know a lot about them. I've read most of the sticky about the throttle lag, and have heard from other owners over the years that they either hate it, or simply don't give a flip. How about you guys? Do you all find the throttle lag to be a big enough issue to avoid the car in general? I've driven a few as loaners when I had my LS, and noticed it, but didn't find it all that too intrusive.

Any other significant flaws, issues, warnings you guys could advise me on regarding those two model years? As some of you know, i'm pretty handy these days with maintainace items, so tranny fluids, oils, etc... would be a problem for me to service.

Also....are these on a timing belt too, or timing chain? If belt, when do you change them? Water pump too?

Thanks guys!

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Since my wife's car (07' Mazda 3 GT) is now basically my car: And my car (05' 4runner V8), is her car: since she's now a stay-at-home mom, I'm starting to think about a little bit bigger car. I love the Mazda, but finding hard to ignore the market demand for smaller cars like that. Plus, I'm not 100% convinced it'll go the long-haul w/o some significant problems. It is, afterall, a Ford engine, transmission, etc.. And, it is a sports car, drives like one, and especially rides like one. Which is fun most of the time, but not all of the time.

So, I've been really thinking about a 04 to 05 ES330 with around 40-50k miles. But, I don't know a lot about them. I've read most of the sticky about the throttle lag, and have heard from other owners over the years that they either hate it, or simply don't give a flip. How about you guys? Do you all find the throttle lag to be a big enough issue to avoid the car in general? I've driven a few as loaners when I had my LS, and noticed it, but didn't find it all that too intrusive.

Any other significant flaws, issues, warnings you guys could advise me on regarding those two model years? As some of you know, i'm pretty handy these days with maintainace items, so tranny fluids, oils, etc... would be a problem for me to service.

Also....are these on a timing belt too, or timing chain? If belt, when do you change them? Water pump too?

Thanks guys!

nc,

I don't have the transmission lag on my 05......but ours here in Canada are 'tweaked' slightly different than the U.S. models for emission purposes so I can't comment. From what I have read about the issue however not all owners of the ES complain about this.....only some.

Only other issue is the steering knuckle that is very common.....have the dealership replace it, if not already done so. Get the service history & I suggest the 2005 model over the 04 because of the slight upgrades they made (new tail lights, facia & some interior items). The 3.3L V6 has a timing belt & needs to be changed at 90k miles.

Here is a link to some of the items that were updated on the 2005 model mid cycle 'refresh'...

http://www.canadiandriver.com/buyers-guide...lexus/es330.php

And a test drive link (keep in mind the price is in Canadian dollars)...

http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/bm/05es330.htm

And one more...

http://www.nctd.com/review-intro.cfm?Vehic...p;ReviewID=2765

Hope this helps & good luck!

:cheers:

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Thanks amigo for the info! I'm stunned at the mpg figures! They're right up there with the Mazda's 2.3 4banger! We've got about 24k miles on the Mazda, so I'm not too worried about trading for a little older, little more miles, Toyota product, seeing as how they're so good to begin with.

The question though remains in the financing options available today. Prices seem right for the model years I've cited, but I'm not sure if the lending dynamics will still work in the way I like. If it costs more, then we won't do it. But if they're the same or better, it'll be tough to ignore the possiblity of getting out of the Mazda early and into a nicer, obviously more reliable, and bigger car.

I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now. I've looked at Honda Accords V6, new-style Camry, and a couple Infiniti g35 sedans. All used of course. Don't care for the macho characteristics of the g35 'or the harshness of the ride. The Camry is enjoying the same market appetite the Mazda 3 is, so there really isn't a lot of good deals to be had. Same for the Honda, plus I'm not a fan of Honda's ride characteristics either, nor the noise. The ES however seems to be the sleeper value. Granted, a few extra bucks, but not many. I'll have to do some research with the bank. I'm not worried about trade values and sales prices, as dealerships are starving at the moment for business.

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Its a great car, mine's getting close to 120k miles and it runs and drives (and looks) every bit as good as new. Much cheaper to repair than the LS too.

I'd buy as new a one as you can afford (i.e. the changes in the '05) The '05 has some upgrades I like, such as the new fascia and rear lights, the radio controls on the steering wheel. Some I don't too, like the lighter silvery trim on the interior, and the wheels (but they can be easily replaced like LF did).

As for the lag, extensively test drive the one you're considering buying. The lag doesn't bother me...you get used to it.

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Thanks guys for the replies! Greatly appreciated information! Well, after some additional research, and of course the onslought of "follow up" phone calls from the two dealerships that have the ES330's "just checking in to see what I can do to get you into one of these fine automobiles? I call back later...", we've decided that we're just not ready to go down that road again. But, the main issue is the fact that the rear seats don't fold down "thanks for your reply Steve in my other post!". Now a days, with an infant and all the stuff that goes along with it, folding rear seats are pretty much a requirement, even though we have the 4runner. My wife just won't bite on a car that doesn't have that option, or at least not at the moment. I'm going to wait for the reality that the only other options are the Camry and Accord, if we truly need folding rear seats. We live in the suburbs which is full of minivans, camry's and accord's. She's not quite ready to buy into the main stream, yet.

I must admit, I like the 05' better, but like the headlights of the 04' better for some reason. I like the interior tweaks of the 05', and the wheels actually, but I like the big diamond looking headlights more then the narrow bug eye hids, although hids are better at night...strange, I know... :lol:

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nc, the wife & I have a 15 month old (Jack) & well when we go out for trips I will admit we do take her Subaru Forester more than the ES, but depending on what stuff you need to bring on said trip.....the ES will do just fine overall.....we haven't complained once about the lack of a folding seat to be honest. 2+ hour drives on the highway......the Lexus is our ride of choice however. ;)

:cheers:

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When I was a kid my Dad always had his luxury sedan that he used for work and my Mom always drove the family vehicle, a minivan or SUV. My Dad could take me and my friends places in his car, and he did, but when we went somewhere on a trip we always took the family car.

Even today, I have the Lexus and Carla has the Prius with the fold-down seats and the hatch. When we need to carry something or use the hatch for something, we drive the Prius. I don't understand families that have two of the same type of vehicle.

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