The ES 350 is Lexus’ midsize luxury sedan that replaced the third-generation ES 330 for the 2007 model year. Offering more comfort, safety and performance features, the ES 350 is part of a two-pronged strategy from Lexus as the entry-luxury choice and the IS offered as a more performance-oriented sport sedan. The fourth sedan to incorporate what Lexus calls the L-finesse design language, the ES has a strong family resemblance to the GS, IS and all-new LS flagship sedan. The previous generation ES 300 debuted for the 2002 model year and became the ES 330 for 2004.
Lexus revamped its midsize ES sedan for 2007 with a larger engine and a new look. In keeping with Lexus’ naming conventions, the numeric portion of the ES name reflects the size of the engine: 350 designates a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The ES 350, which competes with the Acura TL and Lincoln MKZ, receives a few minor changes for 2008, including new side mirrors and reading lights for rear passengers.
Even after the 2007 redesign, the ES 350’s basic teardrop shape was still familiar to the brand’s faithful. The sedan is about the same size as its predecessor, although the car gained two inches in wheelbase and more than an inch of track.
The ES 350 can have an optional panoramic glass roof, which amounts to a standard sunroof and an additional glass panel above the rear seat. A traditional sunroof is standard, as are fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and dual exhaust tips.
The ES 350 has 42.2 inches of front legroom and 35.9 inches of rear legroom. Hip room is 52.8 inches in back and 55.9 inches in front.
There are also some nice features in that space. A push button lets the driver start the engine without taking the key fob out of purse or pocket, and the ES 350 has dual-zone automatic climate control and 10-way power-adjustable front seats. A 14-speaker, 300-watt Mark Levinson audio system and a navigation system are optional.
Under the Hood
The ES 350’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine produces 272 horsepower and 254 pounds-feet of torque. The front wheels are driven via a six-speed automatic transmission that has a clutchless-manual mode.
All-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard. The ES 350 also has eight standard airbags, including driver and front-passenger knee airbags, side curtain airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats. Rear side-impact airbags are optional. An Adaptive Front Lighting System, which allows the headlights to swivel when rounding curves; Lexus’ Pre-Collision System; and a rearview camera that’s bundled with the navigation system are optional.