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The redesigned-for-2002 ES300 is an easygoing, quiet, comfortable cruiser. With a nicely-furnished, accommodating cabin, it offers a well-rounded package, with very few flaws. As a result, it scored very high in its class.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2002. Rear side air bags available from 2007. ESC available, standard from 2007.
Road Test

The redesigned-for-2002 ES300 is an easygoing, quiet, comfortable cruiser. With a nicely-furnished, accommodating cabin, it offers a well-rounded package, with very few flaws. As a result, it scored very high in its class.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3-liter V6 (210 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Lexus ES owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

“I did not know one of the engine mounts had failed or was failing until it failed inspection. This is the ONLY problem I've had with this car in 15 years!”

Anonymous, VA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“Top engine mount failed, causing undue vibration of the engine”

Anonymous, MO (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Fuel leaks

“The fuel pressure damper failed, causing a fuel leak in the engine compartment”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

“It leaks oil, about 1/2 quart every 5,000 miles”

Donna H., WI (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“Small oil leak required new seals”

Kathleen D., AL (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“Oil leaks all over the engine and transmission. Cost of repairs is more than the car is worth”

Devin S., TX (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“I believe this is emission control. My catalectic converter went out”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“I received ab engine check light in 2015 and they replaced the catalytic converter with an after market converter, I kept getting an engine check light over the course of 2016 and they kept replacing the catalytic converter...when they finally replaced the catalytic converter with a genuine lexus part, i never had another problem”

Philipp B., NC (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Fuel injection system

“Fuel injection system shock absorber failed”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“Transmission heat sensor set's off check engine light. no descernable issues with the operation of the car”

Anonymous, MO (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

“In daylight can't read the digital readouts for "range", trip mileage, etc. Dashboard lights are too dim”

Ted T., TX (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Headlights

“Horribly yellowed”

Anonymous, PA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Interior lights

“Trunk light did not work - tried lamps from Autozone, O'Riley's, and Lexus. None worked and blew a fuse that lit the interior lights, the trunk light, that operated the lock - unlock feature of the key fob, and the clock - could not release the cover of the interior fuse panel. Finally, had to have my body shop replace the fuse”

Ted T., TX (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“CD player would not change or play CDs. Dealer could not repair or replace at any cost”

P P., CA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Radio

“The on off button for radio/CD stopped working. Not able to turn on”

Anonymous, OH (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“Battery cell was defective. Battery was replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)
Starter

“Had to replace the starter motor”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

“The belt didn't fail but the bearing on the belt tensioner did”

Anonymous, WA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

“belt broke”

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“My AC starting leaking into the car. So much that there was an inch of liquid in my back seat floor and the interior windows would frost up or get covered with condensation, making me clean them every day before I could go anywhere”

Cynthia W., MA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

“Sometimes when shifting gears the car will TEC high then jerk as it shift to the next gear almost as if it is slipping. Mechanic wasn't able to identify the issue”

Devin S., TX (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Parts needed replacement”

Michele K., NY (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“After more than 16 years and 280 thousand miles, the drivers window gasket broke. Certainly nothing to complain about”

Kathleen D., AL (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint is peeling off in large sheets mainly on horizontal surfaces. I asked a dealer to take care of it two years ago. He would not”

Eric B., PA (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

“The plastic black molding between the window and the body of the car looks like it kind of melted and then got stuck in the window. There is now a wind noise that is constant, and one can see that the seal when the window is shut does not fully close. However, there is at least no water leakage into the car when it rains”

Suzanne G., HI (2002 Lexus ES 300 3.0-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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