Overview & Reviews
If the marketing term "entry-level luxury sedan," were something you could look up in a regular dictionary, you would undoubtedly be referred to an artist's rendering of the Lexus ES 330. Few cars throughout history have offered such a by-the-book interpretation of affordable luxury.
For Lexus, the near-luxury experience implies supreme comfort, capable performance and impressive fuel economy. And so like every ES sedan before it, the Lexus ES 330 was a softly suspended, front-wheel-drive sedan with a creamy V6 engine and an automatic transmission programmed to shift for smoothness and efficiency rather than maximum acceleration. Inside, the ES 330's midsize dimensions provided room for four adults to bask in leather seats cushioned to sectional sofa standards. Painstaking use of noise-dampening insulation ensured a serene highway ride for all.
Although it brought calm and relaxation to many a frazzled commuter, the Lexus ES 330 was not an entry-level luxury sedan for everybody. In its quest to deliver the most luxury possible, it sacrificed driver involvement and enjoyment. For anyone with enthusiast leanings, the un-sporty ES 330 was a dull drive.
It's no surprise, then, that Lexus made the ES 330's successor, the ES 350, quicker, more agile and a bit more engaging. For consumers who aren't worried about sport-sedan pretensions, though, the Lexus ES 330 is an excellent choice for a used car purchase, particularly when you consider its first-rate reputation for reliability.
Most Recent Lexus ES 330
Sold from 2004-'06, the Lexus ES 330 debuted during a mid-model-cycle refresh for the fourth-generation Lexus ES sedan. The last full redesign had been in 2002, and '02 and '03 models wore the ES 300 badge and were powered by a 210-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. With the name change to ES 330 came a new 3.3-liter V6 with 225 hp and considerably more low- and midrange torque. (Note that this engine was re-rated at 218 hp for the '06 model year in adherence with new SAE certification standards.)
Lexus also increased equipment levels in the ES 330 transition, as must-have items like leather upholstery and a moonroof became standard fare for the first time. On the safety side, larger side curtain airbags were fitted.
Other standard equipment on the Lexus ES 330 included 16-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-speaker CD/cassette audio system and convincing faux walnut trim sprinkled throughout the cabin. Major options included a higher-wattage Mark Levinson sound system, a navigation system, heated front seats, a real wood/leather steering wheel, xenon HID headlights and a stability control system.
Chrome wheels were optional as well, though on '05 and '06 models they measured 17 inches in diameter. Ventilated front seats became optional in '05, and satellite radio joined the list for '06.
Like all ES sedans, the Lexus ES 330 was based on the Toyota Camry, so driving characteristics were similar, though Lexus buyers could look forward to an even plusher, even quieter ride. Zero-to-60-mph times were in the mid-7-second range on both cars. Those wanting firmer handling around corners had the option of ordering an adaptive suspension, which varied the shock absorber damping according to road conditions, vehicle speed and driver input.
Consumers shopping for a used Lexus ES 330 should feel free to select from any of the three model years, as substantive differences were minimal. Lexus did give the ES some cosmetic upgrades for the '05 model year: The front and rear fascias were revised and fitted with new lighting elements, while inside, buyers could opt for bird's eye maple wood-grain trim in lieu of walnut. In addition, prospective ES 330 buyers who want a factory-installed navigation system may want to focus on '05 and '06 models, as they had voice activation technology.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 420.00
As Comfortable as Promised - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By over 50 - December 29 - 2:00 am
Comfortable and affordable luxury with a history of low maintainace and high reliablity.
Bad Vision - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By J Fisher - December 29 - 2:00 am
This car has a terrible blind spot on the drivers side rear.
millies ride - 2005 Lexus ES 330
By e caparro - November 25 - 8:46 pm
This is my first luxury vehicle plus first Toyota product. The car feels like a high quality piece of equipment. The performance is somewhat modest, however it does have a good bit of low-end torque. Handling is only fair, but then again its a luxury car. The cabin is vey quiet. Visibility while inside the car could be better.
A thrilled customer - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By jim040558 - November 16 - 2:00 am
Luxury at this price point is unbeatable. If you have a wife or if you have shorter legs, the $140 adjustable pedals are a must have. The variable suspension on the fly is great fun. Build quality is superb, and I've never owned a car so quiet. Front wheel drive handling isn't torquey, and the options, like NAV and Mark Levinson are well worth the price. External styling is sporty but refined. Inside the car you are enveloped by a luxury that no other competitor at this price point can touch. Lots of wow factor at a very reasonable price.
Recent Lexus Buyer - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By G. F. Weeks - November 16 - 2:00 am
I find the car to be less quiet and comfortable than expected. There is too much interior noise and road noise for an entry level luxury car. The motor, though powerful enough for city and highway driving, seems to strain when accelerating. Some good points include the A/C and stereo systems and ample trunk and passenger room. Overall, I find the car very average.
ES330 - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By Rafael Mejia - November 5 - 10:00 am
THE LEXUS ES330 (SPORT DESIGN) IS A SPORTY YET VERY CLASSY VEHICLE. IT GIVES ME THE SPORTY HANDLING THAT I LIKE WHEN I DRIVE AND LUXARY WHEN MY WIFE DRIVES. THE ES330 COMES WITH MANY FEATURES (i.e. NAVIGATION SYSTEM)THAT MAKE DRIVING SAFE AND AT THE SAME FUN. OVERALL I AM VERY HAPPY WITH MY PURCHASE OF THE LEXUS ES330 AND OF THE A1A SERVICE THAT CAME WITH IT.
Can't beat it! - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By roho - October 31 - 5:16 am
Bought new just before the '05 version took over, and still love it! Tires (Michelin) have gone away quickly; could it be the driver? The car is divine. Driver's seat was replaced at one year of age when power lumbar support died.
Rock solid - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By Bilfire - October 16 - 6:56 pm
My second used Lexus, what else can be said? Rock solid, comfortable, very good on gas. I will have a third someday.
Worth Every Penny - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By Heartsurgeon - October 16 - 10:00 am
Just switched out of unreliable German performance to the hush quiet and fit and finish second-to-none Japanese. For my money you cannot buy a better car. Flawless fit and finish, comfortable seats, super value and fine performance. You don't need more and you certainly can pay a lot more and get a lot less. Well done again by those who relentlessly pursue perfection.
A fine car - 2004 Lexus ES 330
By Casseleyot - October 10 - 2:00 am
For me, size of car is near perfect- roomy cabin without the bulk of luxury car land yachts. The ride is what I wanted - quiet, smooth, with a solid feel. Although not an excitement machine, power is ample and is delivered velvety smooth. Fit and finish are exemplary, and cabin styling is excellent.