By KBB.com Editors
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 It 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.Favorite Features
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.