2010 LEXUS ES 350 SEDAN
Used Car - 2010 Lexus ES 350 Sedan in Lisle, Il
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2010 Lexus ES 350 ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
Smooth luxury sedan gets fresh styling.
The Lexus ES 350 delivers exactly what you would expect of a Lexus: It's smooth, quiet, sophisticated, competent, and comfortable. It doesn't have the firm ride or quick responses of a German sports sedan, so you can safely sip a cappuccino on the way to work. The ride is smooth and even, the engine is velvety and powerful, the six-speed automatic transmission is flawless, the comfort is supreme, the trip is quiet, everything works the way it's supposed to, the total experience is superb.
The ES 350 is quick and responsive, benefitting from a silky V6 engine that makes 272 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Lexus says the ES 350 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, a solid performance. Yet the ES 350 is also certified to the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standard.
2010 brings significant changes inside and out.
The 2010 Lexus ES features new front-end styling, with revised headlamps, a new grille and grille surround, chrome body-side molding, and new front bumper with revised lower air intake and integrated fog lamps. Side mirrors now include integrated turn signals, and there are new taillamps for 2010. Additionally, there are new color choices.
Inside, for 2010, there are revised steering-wheel controls, the center console offers more storage space, and there are new wood trim choices. On the technology side, the navigation and entertainment capabilities have been expanded for 2010, and the optional navigation system has improved Voice Command recognition to make its operation more convenient. There's a new memory system, which stores settings for the driver's seat, mirrors, and steering-wheel position, and rain-sensing wipers are now standard equipment. Also, rear seat-mounted side airbags, which were optional, are standard equipment on the 2010 Lexus ES.
When Toyota launched the Lexus brand in 1989, its entry-level model was the ES 250, with a thinly disguised Camry chassis and powertrain under a mildly upgraded body and interior. With each succeeding generation, the ES has better met the needs of the entry-luxury segment, with more room, more space, more power, more standard equipment, and more safety features. The Lexus ES was most recently redesigned for the 2007 model year, with fresh styling and interior revisions for 2010.
The 2010 Lexus ES 350 ($35,175) comes with leather seating surfaces and trim, 10-way power front seats; power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel; dual-zone automatic climate control; power glass sunroof; eight-speaker AM/FM/6CD, XM Satellite Radio, and MP3/iPod input jack; programmable SmartAccess keyless entry; and all the other amenities one would expect. Tires are P215/55R17 all-season radials on 17-inch split five-spoke alloy wheels.
Option packages: The Lexus Premium Audio with Navigation ($2,465) includes Bluetooth, HDD Navigation with touch-screen, rear-view camera, Lexus Enform with Destination Assist, eDestination and Safety Connect, Lexus Insider, voice command casual language recognition, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, and XM Sports/Stocks. The Navigation System/Mark Levinson Audio Package ($4,065) includes all the features of the Premium Audio with Navigation, and adds Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio with DVD Audio/Video, 14 speakers, and 5.1-channel playback.
The Ultra-Luxury Package ($3,535) includes 10-spoke alloy wheels, black and saddle interior with double-contrast stitching for seats and trim, High Intensity Discharge headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting, a panorama glass roof, power rear sunshade, semi-aniline interior, and wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob.
Other options include wood and leather shift knob ($330), heated and ventilated front seats ($640), Intuitive Park Assist ($500), High Intensity Discharge headlamps ($815), and the Lexus Pre-Collision System ($1,500). Additional options and accessories are available.
Safety features that come standard on the ES 350 include dual front airbags, dual front knee airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags (for torso protection), curtain airbags (for head protection), electronic stability control, traction control, antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitor. A two-chamber passenger airbag is designed to stop the passenger's upper body and torso with minimal facial contact and neck stress on deployment.
The optional Pre-Collision System includes a radar-based cruise control that automatically maintains a preset distance between the ES 350 and the car ahead. If the system senses an imminent collision, it retracts all the outboard seatbelts and initializes the brake system for full panic-braking power.
The ES 350 form seems to emanate from the grille and flow back over the car in unbroken lines. The look includes a wind-tunnel-proven drag coefficient of just 0.28, making the ES 350 inherently quiet and fuel-efficient.
The changes for 2010 enhance the image of sleek, elegant, luxurious, and very well detailed. There's quite a bit of sculpting of metal going on along the sides, lending a lot of visual interest without making it seem overly detailed or finicky. It has the look of a high-end car.
Over time, the ES 350 has grown to where it is now a full-fledged luxury sedan, both in size and content. And it has an upscale look that is entirely appropriate for its market segment. Part of this is helped by its relatively long wheelbase, which adds to its impressive stance.
About the only exterior customizing you can do other than paint and wheels is a choice of forward lighting, from standard projector beam to optional High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with an adaptive lighting function, which swings the headlamps through an arc of up to 15 degrees when turning. There are 10 exterior colors from which to choose, from fairly subdued tones to a quite bright red, which makes the ES 350 really stand out.
The Lexus ES 350 is roomy and comfortable, with ample headroom and legroom for both front and rear-seat passengers. Furthermore, its rear floor is flat and has plenty of room for feet under the backs of the front seats.
The interior of the ES 350 is superb, with good sightlines, hooded instruments and crisp graphics, 10-way power seats and standard tilt/telescope steering wheel. Fit and finish inside are exemplary.
The real wood trim is from a matched set that is serial-numbered for future replacement, if necessary. The thick, fat steering wheel is a pleasure to use. There are four interior colors from which to choose, with walnut trim.
The instrument panel and center stack are driver-centered, engaging and functional. The instruments are deeply tunneled, using white LED lighting and the Optitron electroluminescent displays that are part of all Lexus models, with their eye-pleasing startup routine. The trip computer monitors a dozen functions. The ES features push-button engine starting and the SmartAccess key fob.
The few interior enhancements for 2010 are welcome, with more storage, new steering-wheel controls, and increased ease of use of various functions.
With 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space, there is enough room for a reasonable amount of luggage.
The ES 350 is quite well insulated; at cruising speeds, it's extremely quiet, in part due to its acoustic-control laminated windshield.
The Lexus ES 350 engine is silky smooth and comes paired with a six-speed automatic. The 3.5-liter V6 is an all-aluminum, double overhead-cam engine with all the latest technologies.
Step on the gas pedal and the ES 350 is quick to respond. The engine is as smooth and quiet as you would expect, and the transmission operation is flawless, in automatic or manual mode, downshifting or upshifting. The engine and transmission are isolation-mounted with an electro-hydraulic system to cancel vibration at idle. Lexus quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, which is competitive in the segment.
Traction control and electronic stability control adds to the driver's confidence. The front struts and multi-link rear suspension are both very well isolated from the rest of the car, making for a quiet, smooth ride, with good control of pitch and body roll during enthusiastic driving. We'd like a little more steering feel in corners and on the highway, but otherwise the speed-related power steering is good and solid.
The brakes are average in size for this class, but we saw no sign of brake fade after a hard workout. The ABS, traction control, and electronic stability control are programmed to intervene early to keep the car going in the intended direction.
The Lexus ES 350 is quick and quiet at the same time. It's screwed together better than a Swiss watch, and it has sex appeal. With its elegant design and extensive list of standard equipment, it ranks among the top competitors in the entry-luxury segment. We think it's an excellent choice among luxury sedans, particularly when comfort and ride quality are priorities.
New Car Test Drive correspondent Jim McCraw filed this report.
Lexus ES 350 ($35,175).
Options As Tested
Lexus ES 350 ($35,175).The Lexus ES 350 is a luxury sedan that is renowned for its refined driving dynamics, elegant appearance, and craftsmanship. The ES 350 is offered in one model with the opportunity to layer luxury by adding the Ultra-Luxury Package, or by selecting a wide range of standalone options. Power is provided by an all-aluminum 272-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Safety features that are standard on the ES 350 include dual front airbags, knee airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and a tire-pressure monitor system. The 2010 Lexus ES 350 receives a new front fascia and taillight design, as well as, new interior enhancements. Also, memory system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and XM satellite radio, are now standard.