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2009 Lexus ES

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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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2009 Lexus ES Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 221 Ratings for the 2007 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Saturday, December 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 326,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great to drive"

Cons: "Can't think of any"

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

"My wife never intends to drive a vehicle unless it has the Lexus name on it. No major repairs in 326,000 miles. In fact I can not even name a repair to this vehicle. No rattles, no squeaks. Replaced the battery once, oil change every 5,000 Miles and several sets of tires. I highly recommend this vehicle and intend to replace it with another Lexus when this one finally stops running, which I do not see in the near future."

15 people out of 18 found this review helpful

IT'S A LEXUS IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THAT

By on Saturday, November 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, economy, safety, convenience-pleasure!"

Cons: "Can't think of any."

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

2009 LEXUS ES350 BLACK SAPPHIRE PEARL

"The 2009 Lexus ES350 lacks the overall elegance that my 2004 ES330 has, but adds a lot upgrades and amenities, and the new styling that I find more modern, sporty and almost European in it's overall look, especially in the dark Black Sapphire Pearl color, with it's dual exhaust and swept-back angular headlights. More importantly, however, are the many other reasons that compelled me to buy a Lexus to begin with: safety, economy, comfort, performance. When comparing the Lexus ES to other cars, many of which are both more and less expensive, many with "economical" 4-cylinder engines, I was amazed that the Toyota V6 beats all but the most economy-minded vehicles, like the Corolla or the Honda Civic. The V6 not only has the added power necessary for passing on the highway, but it adds a smoothness and quietude that can never be achieved with a 4 cylinder. The ES350's safety rating is one of the best. Comfort? It doesn't get much better, and I will say that my 2009 ES350 seems to be somewhat quieter than my 2004. And, as other owners have mentioned, you are treated like royalty when you take your Lexus in for service. Let's face it, it's a car with panache that takes the owner to a higher level of respect. After all, in the US car culture we are mostly judged by the car we drive."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2009 LEXUS ES350 BLACK SAPPHIRE PEARL

best ever

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great car"

Cons: "none"

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

"Excellent condition. well cared for. no accidents. a beauty in and out. Only 9000 miles. Always upgrade after 5 years."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best car ever, hard to even consider a new model

By on Thursday, November 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Truly a great investment, Quality everywhere"

Cons: "No cons. I get great gas mileage."

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

"I love my car. This was my first car purchased all alone. I bought mine used, with 54k. Now I have 97k and still going strong. I traded in a Camry for this car, I have the 2008 model year. The braking in rain or snow has always been amazing, and literally never slid or skipped a beat. I can't tell you how safe I feel. Having multiple side airbags front and back, even head side airbags AND body side airbags for both back seats.. (and front seats) is amazing. I just love this car. I was hit from the back by a Honda CRV and pushed into the car in front of me. I cracked their bumper in half (in front of me) but literally no damage to my front bumper at all.. it was amazing. My back bumper was also totally fine, just had the imprints from the license plate behind me. Wow! Best car ever.. Also this model has a timing chain and NOT a timing belt... which means less maint cost to change The only thing you have to do is oil, tires, spark plugs and a water pump if you need one Mine has 97k and so far, my water pump is great Love this car and engine always strong and clean.. beautiful wood interior, and you sit so low you feel so safe Best car ever Hope to make it to 200k ALSO, this is a V6 engine with 4 valves per cylinder which is a lot, 270 HP - and although it's rated 19 in the city and 31 on the highway, I've easily averaged 27 and 34 on the highway.. no problem If you look at my "average tank mpg" it says 29 right now :) also love the "miles until empty" feature.. and it also alerts you if your moonroof is open when you leave the car ;)"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Value

By on Sunday, August 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value and mechanically very sound"

Cons: "Control screen very distracting"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Mechanically this has been a great vehicle. This is our first front wheel drive vehicle and probably our last. The audio, navigation and cooling/heating system, in order to operate you have to take your eyes off the road temporarily. Very distracting to use. We've always had luxury cars, mechanically this beats out the Mercedes but equal to the Jaguar. Performance wise it comes in third Mercedes second and Jaguar(XJ) first. Style wise the Lexus has come a long way,But,still looks like every other car out there. and poor color choices, other than different shades of black or gray."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best Sedan

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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
10/10

Cons: "No XM Radio"

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

"Lexus made the '09 through '12 ES too good. It was much less expensive than the LS, but was close to as luxurious in ride, comfort and appearance. When the new (2013) ES came out, some of the luxury features were reduced. (See Consumer Reports for details). I purchased the car at Carlsbad Lexus and was treated like a king there. My wife and I live in the central San Joaquin valley and when we take the car to Lexus here (Lexus of Fresno), we are treated like a king and queen, in spite of the fact that we didn't purchase the care there. My next car will be a '12 ES350."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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