The ES330 provides one of the most quiet and comfortable driving experiences in the class. We like its smooth powertrain, impressive fit and finish, and fairly roomy interior. The then-new 3.3-liter V6 engine slightly improved acceleration and fuel economy over its predecessor. The ES scored very well in both government and insurance-industry crash tests.

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
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
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
2019
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?
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 ES330 provides one of the most quiet and comfortable driving experiences in the class. We like its smooth powertrain, impressive fit and finish, and fairly roomy interior. The then-new 3.3-liter V6 engine slightly improved acceleration and fuel economy over its predecessor. The ES scored very well in both government and insurance-industry crash tests.

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
  • 3.3-liter V6 (225 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Lexus ES owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Vehicle has been aligned 3 times and it still pulls left....unable to determine cause...replaced struts....bushings...motor mounts and tires"

Michael B., CA (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)
Ball joints

"rough ride"

Jim B., OH (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Bushings

"Replaced lower Control Arms (bushings torn), right front CV Drive Axle (boot torn and slinging grease), replaced engine & transmission mounts. Completed service with4-wheel alignment & reset steering angle sensor."

Roger E., AZ (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"Reasonable wear for mileage on car"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Due to leakage of power steering fluid onto the lower right side of the engine and suspension, the steering fluid pump was repalced with a non-Lexus brand pump at a cost of about $120, substantiall less than a Lexus brand pump. THe actual leakage was then found to be a metal line mounted on the lower frame near the wheel that returns fluid to the steering fluid reservoir. The offending metal line was about 14 long with a rubber hose at one end, with both portions having several bends. Cost was about $100 and only available from Toyota. I am speculating actual cost of the part was perhaps $10, so a very nice profit margin for Toyota! IT is hard to complain very loudly about this since my Lexus is now 15 years old and in generally pretty good shape."

Leon-Eleanor N., PA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Replaced all four struts, more expensive because electronically controlled from driver's console"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"At 131,307 miles both rear struts needed replacement. That they needed replacement wasn't the surprise. The replacement parts were expensive"

E P., NH (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)
Tie rods

"rough ride"

Jim B., OH (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-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

CD player

"Constant noise and difficulty handling all 6 CDs"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"The CD players is a 5 disc player. CDs get stuck in the player. The automatic insert/eject feature does not work."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"Quit working five years ago. would have to be replaced with after market equiptment"

Peter S., CA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"The navigation map is intermittent. I suspect that it is a problem with thecircuitry and not the DVD drive or the map DVD."

Anonymous, NC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Radio

"Radio and GPS do not work"

Peter S., CA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"My Mark Levison Navigation/Radio system amplifier failed. I replaced the complete system and added a back-up camera for the cost of replacing just the OEM amplifier."

Anonymous, CO (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"It chortles when accelerating - has been this way since we first leased it."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"I have experienced this problem usually when going up hill. But not that much of a problem that I had to have it in for repair"

Nate B., PA (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"Slipping gears is probably a computer problem but Lexus will not admit it"

Martin T., NC (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)
Transmission computer

"Lexus will not admit the computer is bad"

Martin T., NC (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"No real problem. I took the car in for a routine checkup the mechanic discovered the leak. I had it repaired"

Maggie H., NJ (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"Began leaking at approx 170000 miles. Stopleak fluid halted leak temporarily. Now leaks consistently and severely. May have to replace transmission within the next month."

Anonymous, NM (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"My mechanics inform me as to the wear on any systems, leaks, or other issues that are surfacing in order to keep my car in top performance. I have them replace worn items as they begin to show significant wear or leaks."

Kathy C., IL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Valve cover gaskets"

Thomas Y., AL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"warped valve covers"

Mark H., NC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"valve gasket had to be replaced multiple times with different brands before proper seal was achieved"

Anonymous, CO (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"the seals needed replacement"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-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)

"Hood color is gone"

Harold G., FL (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"fading, cracking, & peeling"

John H., OH (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"It is just age related paint fading, especially after the long years in Florida sun."

Harold G., CO (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Rust

"Rust developing on top of hood by windshield wipers and on side post between front and back side window doors"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-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)

"Original tubing had cracked and was leaking, causing a false Check Engine light"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"The PCV device was clogged with sludge causing an oil leak from the rear valve cover gasket. I replaced the valve; the leak stopped. It is likely that the EGR valve and tubing will need cleaning or replacement soon."

Anonymous, BC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"This has been a long and expensive issue to get resolved. The engine light still comes on and many of the parts have been replaced."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Got check engine light with the code for oxygen sensor. Able to reset. Don't know if the problem is real or not. Have not taken it to the shop to find out"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Calipers

"worn out too soon in my opinoun"

Margie W., NC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Held up for almost 100000....consider it good"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"Brakes seem to wear out more frequently than necessary."

Patrick O., NJ (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Squeaking

"NEEDED NEW BRAKE PADS"

Johnny A., NC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"front suspension"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"The interior valves for the heating/air condition system have started to make noise and the only way to prevent is to turn the heat indicator to HOT.....It is not the fan it is the valve motors"

Michael B., CA (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"rattle from left front wheel well"

Frank S., NV (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-L V6)

"The noise is coming from inside the dash and it is a loud clicking noise. It is my understanding the dash would need to removed to repair sometime of air vent."

Anonymous, NC (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-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

"Had to be replaced"

Luis P., FL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Heater system

"The heat worked on the passenger side ,but not the driver side at times. It worked okay for a time then did it again."

Brenda N., MA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"Heater was not working to produce heat. Upon Lexus maintenance they determined there was too much water in the coolant and could not determine why. Happily, All worked out well as they flushed the system several times and was able to restore system and produce heat"

Joanne M., NY (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-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.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"The universal flex joint on the right axle was worn and leaking oil. It had to be replaced."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"Problem was discovered when I had car in for regular servicing. I had not experienced a problem with it, but they noticed severe issue needing replacing."

Anonymous, IL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Relay failure"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-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

Headlights

"Clouding of plastic"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

"The plastic headlight cover on one side is aging, i.e. no longer clear, and is an inconvenient repair job plus hampers my night-time driving."

Anonymous, MD (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"It had developed a leak and had to be rep,aced"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-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

Sunroof

"Had an expensive to fix leak up in the roof behind the sun roof retraction system"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Lexus ES 330 3.3-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

"Timing belt did not fail, was just time to replace it since I had driven over 95000 miles on the past belt."

Kathy C., IL (2004 Lexus ES 330.0 3.3-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

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

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