The 2007 Lexus ES 350 comes as a single front-wheel-drive model with a 272-horsepower, 3.5L V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. Both the engine and the transmission bring improvements in performance and fuel efficiency, while the new six-speed has fewer parts and better drivability than the five-speed it replaces, according to Lexus. The ES is slightly longer and wider than before, with swoopier styling and a shorter rear deck to fit in with the so-called L-finesse design theme.
The all-new 2007 Lexus ES 350 made its public debut today at the Chicago Auto Show. The all-new, fully redesigned ES marks the fourth Lexus sedan to benefit from the L-finesse design language. Going on sale in late April, the fifth-generation ES improves upon every level
of comfort, safety, performance and craftsmanship in the elegant five-passenger sedan.
The 2007 Lexus ES 350 is based on Toyota's popular Camry platform, as were the five generations before it, but this time, the near-luxury sedan stands apart from its down-market sibling. Fresh styling that integrates nicely with other Lexus models in what the company calls helps set the tone, and the unique interior clinches the transaction. Lexus has positioned the ES 350 as comfort-luxury to separate the model from the sport-luxury offerings that have begun to dominate the segment. That's good news for techies who want a host of equipment in a reasonably affordable car. Notable standard features include stability and traction control, as well as eight air bags with dual-chamber front and separate knee protection. Dynamic cruise control with precollision and rear air bags are optional for those who want enhanced safety. Keyless entry with pushbutton starting is also standard, along with 10-way power front seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and a power moonroof. Options such as voice-activated Bluetooth cell phone connectivity are available separately or can be bundled with packages. Plus, all audio systems have an auxiliary input for iPods or MP3 players. The 3.5-liter, 272-horsepower V-6 is silky smooth and moves the Lexus to 60mph in 6.8 seconds. Handling is competent and controlled, balancing ride a bit above performance. Fit and finish are up to high Lexus standards, and ergonomics are well engineered, with tactile switches and a reasonably clean user interface that keeps you from resorting to knob twirls and clicks.
Upside: The 2007 Lexus ES 350 feels like a much more expensive luxury car. In fully equipped models, options such as the Mark Levinson 5.1 sound system and the Panorama glass roof add to that high-luxury sensation. The car is smooth and quiet over a variety of road surfaces, paying off the comfort-luxury promise with conviction. If a buyer is prudent with option choices, the Lexus ES 350 is a solid value, especially when the dealer experience and resale are considered.
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