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2009 Lexus ES

Overview
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2009 Lexus ES Review

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Where its competition caters to drivers preferring a more sporting driving experience, the Lexus ES 350 makes no apologies for its heavily weighted luxury trappings, cocoon-like cockpit and velvety smooth ride. Although this front-drive four-door still shares basic platform engineering with Toyota's best-selling Camry, the mid-size ES 350, on top of its premium Lexus pedigree, offers numerous additional refinements. While these comprehensive upgrades have helped maintain the ES 350's position as the volume leader of the Lexus sedans, the largely unchanged 2009 version continues to face tough challenges from a formidable field of international competitors, including the Acura TL, Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37, Lincoln MKZ and Saab 9-5.

You'll Like This Car If...

The ES 350 does an admirable job of defining the term "affordable luxury" as it applies to a premium mid-size sedan. Offering a sophisticated driving environment, innovative design features, impressive build quality and well-proven Lexus dependability, its appeal remains strong to buyers seeking their own slice of the automotive good life.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some buyers may find that even with its evocative sheetmetal, the ES 350's appearance still remains a bit too conservative for their tastes. Those who demand a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration should consider alternatives like the Audi A6, BMW 528i, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G37 or Mercedes-Benz C350.

What's New for 2009

A new color, Matador Red Mica, is added to the color palette.

Driving the ES

Driving Impressions Smooth, quiet and impressively quick, the ES 350 excels in effortless cruising, across town or cross country, boasting sufficient power and responsiveness to master virtually any kind of traffic challenge....

Despite a comfort-tuned chassis, the ES 350 can still negotiate twisty roads with a fair bit of enthusiasm – accompanied by some expected body roll as you push more intensely into corners. The stability control system helps prevent surprises for those who exceed the grip limits of the ES 350's tires, and the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are quite capable, offering both Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to optimize their stopping potential under nearly any type of road conditions.

SmartAccess Keyless Remote Entry/Starting
A standard that grows more appealing with each use, the SmartAccess system lets you lock and unlock the ES 350's doors or start and stop the engine with a simple push of a button – while the key fob remains tucked away in your pocket or purse.

Optional Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
These optional leather-wrapped 10-way power seats add all-season appeal by providing three levels of warming when it's cold outside or three stages of cooling air flow to help beat the summer heat.

2009 Lexus ES Details
2009 Lexus ES photo Interior

Subtle but meaningful details add appeal to the cabin of the 2009 ES Series. In front are supportive 10-way power seats, and the 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat has the head and leg room to accommodate two average adults or three kids and makes the 14.7 cubic feet of trunk capacity even more usable. Real walnut or maple accents add richness to an already well-appointed interior, whether paired with standard cloth or optional leather. There's fundamental user-friendliness in the basic control and switchgear layouts, although the white-on-black electroluminescent main gauges are better in bright-sun legibility than the center stack displays for the radio, air conditioning or available navigation system.

Exterior

The ES 350's bodywork embraces the division's L-Finesse styling cues to impart the kind of bolder, more contemporary flair that many found lacking in its predecessor. Rising front quarters team with a flowing roofline, short deck and pronounced shoulder ridges to give this Lexus four-door a mild wedge shape that splits the visual difference between the edgier IS and the more conservative LS sedans. Despite its sleek profile, the ES 350's ample greenhouse still provides the driver with relatively good sightlines in all directions. Accenting the look are projector-beam headlights, wraparound rear lamps and a choice of 215/55 all-season or performance "summer" tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Although offered in just one trim level, the ES 350's aspirational character is well reinforced by a full range of creature comforts. Heading the list are 10-way power front seats, tilt and telescoping steering wheel and power moonroof. Other highlights include SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button starting, and premium eight-speaker audio package with an in-dash six-disc CD-changer, MP3/iPod capability and speed-compensating Automatic Sound Leveler circuitry. Key vehicle dynamic assists include stability and traction controls plus enhanced four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The ES 350 also is fitted with front, front-side, side-curtain and driver and passenger knee airbags.

Optional Equipment

Personalizing the ES 350 can be done with both "stackable" packages and individual extras. Packaged options include leather upholstery and various supplemental memory functions as well as auto-dimming exterior mirrors with tilt-down function, heated and ventilated front seats, HID headlamps, rear-seat side airbags and a panorama glass roof. Stand-alone options include the navigation system – with or without a 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium Surround Sound audio setup – Pre-Collision system with distance-sensing Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and XM Satellite Radio.

Under the Hood

Motivation for the ES 350 comes from an all-aluminum 3.5-liter V6 that turns out 272 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Fitted with continuously variable valve timing that helps optimize its low and mid-range response, and backed by a computer-controlled six-speed automatic transmission, this free-revving engine hustles the ES 350 from zero to 60 miles per hour in about seven seconds. It also generates EPA fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, figures that are slightly better than most of its current competitors. As a further enticement, the well-proven reliability of this potent powertrain is reinforced by a supplemental six-year/70,000-mile warranty.

3.5-liter V6
272 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27

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Buying this car?

2009 Lexus ES Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 202 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Smooth and reliable

By on Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth and quiet"

Cons: "Dashboard controls, lacks lumbar support."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Very smooth ride. Steering is a bit stiff compared to my BMW, but still very nice. Don't like the master control on the dash. Have to push with one's fingers to work the climate control, radio etc. Plan to keep this vehicle for a long time as long was it lives up to it's reputation of reliability. The reliability, the smooth riding are the high points of the Lexus. Great local dealership with a beautiful lobby area. Sound system not as good as the Harmon in my BMW, perhaps there is an upgrade. I don't care much for the low seating compared to the Honda and certainly to other SUV seats. With lower back pain, it has little Lumbar support, not great for long distance traveling. That factor itself will make me look for other models as a replacement in the future. But it is the wife's car and she loves it."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The single best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, and roomy."

Cons: "Newer ES is a bit gadgety but still reliable as hk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am a car nut and needed something reliable for long daily commutes. After I paid the car off I decided not to sell it and get a new one because this is an incredible vehicle and I am convinced I can put 300,000 miles on it at least. I do regular services through an independent mechanic and my costs are brakes, tires and oil changes. Amazing car! I get 24 miles to the gallon on average and use the car every day. Don't hesitate. Lexus ES rocks! We have owned BMW, Mercedes, Audi and many makes. This single car has made us big believers in Japanese automotive engineering. No problems just pleasures."

My second Lexus, problem free on both. best ride

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I ONLY NEED A SMALLER CAR. AM NOW RETIRED. My second Lexus. Great Car. Hate to sell it, but it is too big just for me. Don't travel much anymore"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

nices car i`ve ever bought

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I don't own this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price , smooth ride & lots of power"

Cons: "good size but not quite big enough for me & family"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought a car that was the right size for me but my family has grown since then ,so I`m going to sale this one or trade it for a bigger car or truck"

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Very good car. Lexus has good cust serv

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Both front window clips failed and Lexus fixed them for free even though the car way out of warranty"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent quality, very quiet and comfortable ride

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Wireless Bluetooth/ phone, power, quiet, handling"

Cons: "Smaller interior than full size sedan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Excellent quality, very quiet and comfortable ride, but the cost of high octane gasoline can add up to a substantial amount over time. This car is smaller than a full size luxury car, but it's handling is superb with quick pick up for passing and easy highway driving."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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