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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 227 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 car for comfort, safety and reliability.

By on Monday, May 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "size, style, comfort, good pick-up, ample trunk"

Cons: "newer models offer more with safety features"

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

"I have thoroughly enjoyed this car. It is a pleasure to take on the open road, handles nicely, not a sport sedan. The passengers always have ample room and the trunk is spacious. The styling is timeless, always looks good. Like the silver color, shows little dirt."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

2007 ES 350 is much better than later years

By on Friday, April 01, 2016

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very solid large size; extremely powerful engine"

Cons: "none"

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

"The 2007 Lexus ES 350 is an extraordinary car. It is a solid, good-sized car with an incredibly powerful engine. Later year models suck big-time by comparison. They are much smaller and have a much weaker engine. IF YOU OWN THIS CAR, DO NOT SELL IT FOR LESS THAN $40,000. THE 2007 LEXUS ES 350 IS A COLLECTOR'S ITEM AND WILL ONLY GO UP IN PRICE IN COMING YEARS. Mine is Absolutely NOT for sale. I expect to own it for at least another 30 years,"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

best car I've owned

By on Wednesday, March 09, 2016

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This was the first Lexus I've owned, and have to say its the most comfortable, smooth, and quality car I've had."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 255,000

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: "Excellent quality and reliable"

Cons: "I'm digging her but tires are expensive"

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

"I have had this car for 9 years and love it. It is very high quality, is incredibly reliable, and I love the way it handles. I really can't say anything negative about this car, it's just been phenomenal. I've thought about getting a new car since this is a bit old and has high mileage and has been loved so much that its interior is starting to show some wear, but I'm afraid I won't get another car as good as this one is."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Nice Car, Few Problems

By on Monday, February 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent, Reliable Car for the Money"

Cons: "Few, read comments"

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

"I bought the car used in 2009 with 42k miles. Excellent ride, not a sports sedan, but handles adequately for most road and driving conditions. Strong engine, which contributes to my only real problem with its driving dynamics -- traction control in wet weather from a standing start. It is way too easy to spin the wheels on wet pavement and the car will not automatically compensate for it. Poor front brakes -- within the first year or so the front end began to shimmy and shake under moderate braking downhill, warped rotors -- brake job on front end solved problem for awhile, but has resurfaced recently. I do mostly freeway driving and do not ride the brakes hard or over-brake. Visibility out the rear is difficult when backing up with the large side posts and sloping rear window. Other than that, it has been a great car. Easily the best I have ever owned."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

red, tan leather, cooled seats, only 61000 miles,

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

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
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great car and price"

Cons: "needs new tires"

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

"beautiful red, never wrecked, imaculate condition, cooled seats, dual seat memory, parking sensors, 6 disk cd changer, nothing ever went wrong with the car, owned for 3 years."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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