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Old 05-29-06, 07:45 AM   #16
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Default Review of ES350 by Jim McCraw

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Old 05-31-06, 06:24 PM   #17
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Metro News in Canada

http://www.metronews.ca/column_drive...6474&cid=11779
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Old 06-12-06, 10:15 AM   #18
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Default Chicago Sun Times Review :

Lexus ES continues to impress

June 12, 2006

BY DAN JEDLICKA AUTO WRITER

The ES is Lexus' top-selling car, and the sleeker, much-improved early 2007 model should allow it to hold that spot and help Lexus continue to be among the top-selling luxury nameplates in America.

Toyota's upscale Lexus division offers high-performance IS compact rear-drive and all-wheel-drive sedans, but the division is mainly known for larger, quiet, luxurious cars and upscale SUVs.

The front-drive ES long has basically been a luxury version of the Toyota Camry. Thus, while the new ES has fresh styling, additional power and more safety and convenience features, so does the 2007 Camry.

While there's a new gasoline/electric 2007 Camry hybrid, no ES hybrid is offered for 2007. If such an ES arrives, it probably will have a V-6 gasoline engine instead of the Camry hybrid's four-cylinder gas engine.
Quote:
2007 LEXUS ES 350
PRICES: $33,170

LIKES: Nicely restyled. More power. Roomier. Posher.

DISLIKES: Rather soft brake pedal. Notchy automatic transmission shifter.
Distance between axles of the new ES has been increased 2.2 inches to 109.3 inches for a better ride and roomier interior. The standard wheel size has gone up to 17 inches from 16 inches, although the wheels wear all-season 55-series tires designed more for ride comfort than handling.

A vehicle stability control system and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution are standard. But the variable-firmness suspension with driver-selectable shock absorber firmness is gone because of little buyer interest. Such a suspension is desired by sports sedan fans, who want to switch to a firmer-ride suspension for sharper handling. The typical ES buyer couldn't care less about such a feature.

The 2006 ES was called the ES 330, but the 2007 version is the ES 350 because displacement of its butter-smooth V-6 engine jumps from 3.3 liters to 3.5 liters.

Performance of the ES 330 was a weak point because it only had 218 horsepower and was fairly heavy at 3,472 pounds. The ES 350 is slightly heavier at 3,580 pounds but provides a considerable jump to 272 horsepower, and its larger V-6 generates more torque.

The 2006 version's five-speed automatic transmission has been replaced with a more modern six-speed automatic, which adds performance and improves highway fuel economy despite the more powerful ES 350 engine.

Estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway, compared with 21 and 29 for the 2006 ES.

The six-speed unit also is more responsive because it has an extra gear with which to work. The transmission's shift gate is notchy, though, and thus moving from one gear to another can be annoying. However, the notchiness can prevent a driver from sliding into the wrong gear. The transmission has a manual shift feature, although it's doubtful that many ES 350 owners will use it.

Newly optional is a pre-collision system that does such things as ready air bags, seat belts and brakes when, say, a skid is detected. It's paired with newly available adaptive cruise control to keep a set following distance from a vehicle. A $500 Intuitive Parking Assist feature helps take the tiresome judgment from parking, and there are available steering-linked headlights. A $2,650 navigation system includes a rear camera.

There are air bags galore: Standard front side air bags and curtain side bags are newly joined by available front knee air bags and optional rear side air bags.

The ES 350 has virtually flawless fit and finish, inside and out. It's loaded with standard comfort and convenience equipment. However, a new option is a $2,480 Premium Plus option package that contains such items as heated and ventilated front seats and a perforated leather trim interior. A regular power tilt-and-slide sunroof is standard, but a new option is a "panorama" roof that combines a sliding glass sunroof with a fixed glass rear panel.

While it's no sports sedan, the ES 350 is plenty fast. Merging into fast expressway traffic is easy, and strong highway passing is illustrated by a quick 65-75 mph time. The 0-60 mph time is only 6.8 seconds.

The steering is decent, with average preciseness. The soft ride is smooth, but not sloppy, and handling is good because the ES 350 has an all-independent suspension with gas-pressurized shock absorbers and front/rear stabilizer bars. Braking power is good, although the pedal has a rather soft action.

Starting now is done with a keyless fob and a dashboard push-button, which also stops the engine.

There's plenty of room for four tall adults, with an especially roomy rear-seat area, although the stiff middle rear-seat section is best left to the large fold-down armrest, which contains dual cupholders.

Large outside mirrors enhance rear visibility and clearly marked backlit gauges can be easily read under various lighting conditions. Major dashboard controls in the church-quiet interior are easy to use. So are the front cupholders, which have covers when not in use. A large, covered console bin can swallow objects such as cell phones and garage-door openers, and front doors have storage pockets.

The large trunk has a wide, but rather high, opening. Covered trunk lid hinges avoid damaging luggage, and the lid has a large inside handle to help close it without getting hands dirty on outside sheet metal.

The hood smoothly glides open on twin struts to reveal easily reached fluid filler areas and an engine with a big plastic cover to hold down noise levels.

Toyota has distanced the ES from the Camry with each new-generation model, but sharing a basic design with the Camry has held down the cost of the ES. And that's been a definite benefit to ES buyers.
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Old 06-14-06, 01:03 PM   #19
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LOL....and DETnews thinks the ES350 FAILS to impress.





Product Preview
Lexus ES 350 fails to impress
Uninspired, costly sedan has no shock-and-awe features, but engine is powerful
Anita Lienert / Special to The Detroit News



Click the image to open in full size.







Quote:
LAKE LAS VEGAS -- In the past, I've glowingly compared the entry-level Lexus sedan to a little black dress. That is, a versatile, elegant workhorse that can take you from client meetings to a cocktail party with ease.

So I wasn't surprised when a Lexus executive took me aside at the March launch of the redesigned, fifth-generation 2007 Lexus ES 350 and asked if I could see "the kimono" outline in the instrument panel.

The instrument panel was created by one of Toyota's female designers and she apparently worked hard to achieve a crisscross effect in the cabin that mimics the folds in a traditional Japanese robe. The idea, I'm told, is to avoid the boring, symmetrical look of the instrument panels found in Buicks and Hyundai sedans.

But I'm sorry. The kimono effect was lost on me. I looked out from behind the steering wheel of the ES 350 and all I could see is that giant "snowshoe" that holds a lot of the controls. Or maybe it looks more like an alien's head.

What I am sure about, though, is my overall reaction to the new ES 350, so named to reflect the bigger 272-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine. In a word, lukewarm.

But instead of rushing to judgment after half a day in the car here, I waited for a second opportunity to drive the Lexus for a week on my home turf. Lexus loaned me a "royal ruby metallic" model loaded with eight options, including a $2,650 navigation system bundled with a rear camera and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system; a $500 "intuitive parking assist" system and a $330 wood-and-leather steering wheel. Bottom line: $41,249, including a $695 shipping charge.

The base ES 350 starts at $33,865, including shipping, and is on sale.

After a week, my reaction is about the same.

The ES 350 is competent and impressive in some ways, especially in terms of gas mileage with such a powerful engine. But it's not compelling and it's just too expensive when you start adding options.

My thinking is that if the Toyota Avalon has a reclining rear seat, wouldn't you expect to see such a feature in the automaker's upscale sedan, with which it shares a number of underbody pieces? But you don't get it in the ES 350 and you don't even get a split-folding rear seat either, only a small pass-through for skis. That's the micro side of my review.

The macro side is the ES 350 isn't nearly as good a value as more affordable and intriguing offerings such as the Hyundai Azera, which starts in the mid-$20,000s.

The ES 350 is capable but uninspired, from its interior and exterior styling to its new engine, which is powerful, but not particularly quick.

The entry-level Lexus is powered by twin-cam V-6 that delivers 272 horsepower and 254 pounds-feet of torque. That's considerably more power than last year's 3.3-liter V-6, which made 218 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet.

Lexus says the ES 350 has a zero-60 time of 6.8 seconds, but it doesn't feel like a rocket when you try to launch it past an 18-wheeler on the freeway. One boy-racer touch in the cabin is the pushbutton start.

Because the ES 350 is equipped with a new six-speed automatic transmission, which it shares with the redesigned Toyota Camry, the fuel economy is impressive at 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 30 miles per gallon on the highway, according to the EPA. Those are outstanding numbers for a midsize luxury sedan with this much power.

Ride quality is comfortable and predictable, thanks to items like gas shocks and front and rear stabilizer bars.

Less noteworthy is the look of the ES 350, which fails to turn heads. The nicest thing I can say about it is that it looks more substantial than the previous model, even though the overall length is virtually unchanged from the old ES 330.

The headlights and the taillights lack drama. And I still think it's ridiculous to put twin exhausts on any vehicle that does not come with a V-8 engine.

The cabin's styling mirrors that of the exterior, with no "shock and awe" features that will catch your eye or get your neighbors talking.

It's a Republican Party sort of cabin -- conservative being the operative word -- with wood and leather, but no unusual or unexpected materials that would make you catch your breath.

The cabin is equipped with 10-way power adjustable front seats, a standard premium audio system with a six-disc CD and cassette with iPod connectivity and a standard moonroof. One of the best options is a glass panorama roof.

But the driver's seat felt a bit too cramped and the rear parcel shelf obstructs your vision. The armrest was too far back and didn't slide forward, and the shift lever didn't have enough heft.

The ES 350 shines in terms of standard safety equipment, though. You don't pay extra for vehicle stability control, antilock brakes or traction control. Also standard are driver and front passenger knee air bags, front side air bags and side curtain air bags for all outboard passengers. You can also order an optional "precollision" system that cinches up the seat belts and prepares the brakes for maximum effort before a crash.

As Lexus launches its redesigned entry-level sedan, it wonders aloud in its marketing materials whether it's "possible to engineer desire."

"Lexus has always been respected for engineering vehicles with unmatched levels of luxury, dependability and quality, but not necessarily for their emotional appeal," it writes.

After test-driving the ES 350, it's clear that the emotional side -- as well as some practical matters -- may need a bit more work.


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Old 06-14-06, 05:48 PM   #20
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Exclamation Ah Ha

Quote:
Originally Posted by magneto112
The instrument panel was created by one of Toyota's female designers and she apparently worked hard to achieve a crisscross effect in the cabin that mimics the folds in a traditional Japanese robe. The idea, I'm told, is to avoid the boring, symmetrical look of the instrument panels found in Buicks and Hyundai sedans.
This @ least explains the slanting wood down the middle. Altho I give them credit for trying something daring but umm ... I do not think it worked out too well. Most people I know say it looks odd & do not like it.
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Old 06-14-06, 08:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magneto112
LOL....and DETnews thinks the ES350 FAILS to impress.
This was weird review of which I disagree with most of it. And it's clearly not my observation as far as turning heads: http://www.clublexus.com/forums/es350-2007-2012/215663-the-es-350-causes-people-to-stare.html
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Old 06-15-06, 08:23 PM   #22
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Just realized who wrote that arcticle in the DETnews. Her opinion holds no weight.
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Old 06-21-06, 11:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amf1932
This morning my dealer called me and told me that they just got in a ES350 with the top UL package. It was the only UL equipped ES that they received delivery on, and they just put it on the showroom floor. I told him that I wasn't too interested in getting that package because I wasn't too keen on the massive moonroof,aside from the fact that the MSRP was $44,084.00! I also found out that you can't buy an ES350 with a Mark Levinson Surround Sound System unless you order any of the UL packages. I ran right down to the dealer and immediately fell in love with the color of this car plus all the goodies that this package afforded. After some bickering about my trade-in of my '03 ES, we came to a decent price, so I bought it.
The car was on the showroom floor for less than 2 hours, and after the deal was made they immediately removed the car for it's final prep. I'm picking it up tomorrow at 2:00PM!! Yea
At this point I can't report about too many things since there will be a learning curve on some of the accessories, and I won't be able to take pictures this weekend since rain is forecast, but I will report back with my findings on this beautiful piece of machinery.
Welcome to the ES350 club
Will enjoy reading your next post and seeing pictures
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Old 06-22-06, 08:10 AM   #24
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Default Need Voice Recognition Command List

I just purchased my ES350 this week and am trying to get familiar with the voice recognition of the NAV system. Can anyone tell me where I can find a list of all the voice commands recognizable by the NAV, Climate, and Audio systems?

Thanks.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:27 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by tomrhyne
I just purchased my ES350 this week and am trying to get familiar with the voice recognition of the NAV system. Can anyone tell me where I can find a list of all the voice commands recognizable by the NAV, Climate, and Audio systems?

Thanks.
Tom
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Simple.

Just push the "voice" switch on the steering wheel and then hit the "help" button on the nav screen. What will come up will be a list of functions and the associated commands that the nav system will recognize/respond to.

Just be prepared for the ones for the climate control system not to work. It's apparently a known software glitch that they are working on and expect a software patch for in the near future.
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Old 06-22-06, 08:39 AM   #26
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Thanks, I was aware of that and should have said so. I was looking for a hardcopy of them.

Tom
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Old 06-22-06, 08:49 AM   #27
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yea that detroit review was particulary badly written, writer has no idea how to properly review a car, calling a push button start a boy racer feature, so Mercedes Benz must be boy racerish. Yea sure

I will test drive a ES350 one of these days
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Old 06-22-06, 09:42 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrhyne
I just purchased my ES350 this week and am trying to get familiar with the voice recognition of the NAV system. Can anyone tell me where I can find a list of all the voice commands recognizable by the NAV, Climate, and Audio systems?

Thanks.
Tom
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Welcome Tom-
You can look here for a list of voice commands that I posted awhile back>> http://www.clublexus.com/forums/es350-2007-2012/219473-print-es-350-command-list.html
BTW: I think that visiting your website was a great experience. Thank you.

Alan
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Old 06-24-06, 05:38 PM   #29
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About the detroit reviewer, it especialy surprised me at the part where she wrote:

"And I still think it's ridiculous to put twin exhausts on any vehicle that does not come with a V-8 engine."

Oh boy, she must hate a lot of cars then. There's plenty of cars out there with V6 and dual exaust, and even 4-Cylinders with dual exausts (e.g. Acura TSX). That review was just rediculous - too subjective and opinion biased to hold much weight.
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Old 06-25-06, 10:27 AM   #30
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Default Lexus ES350, for buyers who want more comfort than sport

The Lowell Sun

LEXUS ES350: The ES350 has rounder sides and a longer body than the other small Lexus, though the design cues are similar. The ES350 has a more laid-back look.

By CHRIS JACKSON

Special to The Sun


We suspect a lot of folks are wondering when "entry-level luxury" turned into "BMW pretender." Most of the class of affordable luxury cars -- Infiniti, Cadillac, Acura -- have gone after the performance end of the market, with taut suspensions and race track reflexes. What's a buyer who doesn't want a 3-Series wannabee to do?

Fear not, traditional-luxury fans. Lexus hasn't forgotten you. While its IS class goes off to play on the race track, the ES class has remained behind to fill the needs of folks who aren't in such a hurry. The ES350 is the luxury half of Lexus' unique two-model mid-size luxury sedan lineup. It's got a reputation as being a tarted-up Camry, and Lexus is trying to move beyond that.

Why do people say, "tarted-up Camry" like it's a bad thing, anyway? Toyota's Camry is almost enough luxury for many buyers all by itself. Taking the same chassis above and beyond only sweetens the pot. All-new for 2007, the ES350 gains a great deal more distinction from its platform-mate, as well as increased size and a smoother ride that make it a viable alternative to many more expensive cars.

Lexus' new design language borrows from its show cars -- a common practice among luxury cars these days. The strong V-shape to the front end evokes that of the IS, and bisects the front bumper.

The ES350 has rounder sides and a longer body than the other small Lexus, though the design cues are similar. Where the IS looks like it's ready to rumble, the ES350 has a more laid-back look. Shorter overhangs and a wider, larger body than before reduce the ES350's cigar shape and improves interior room.

A panoramic glass roof is optional, and adaptive lighting and high-intensitydischarge headlamps are also available. From the rear, the ES350 has softer lines, and a nice wheel-to-body ratio.

Slip inside and it's clear that the ES350 is about comfort before speed. The lovely instrument panel features brown walnut wood, chrome and satin-finish gray trim to good effect. The wood trim's grain has even been matched for an upscale, handbuilt look, and the ES350 features a windshield that's been treated to reduce noise.

Our only gripe was a slightly undersized rear window that constricts visibility to the rear slightly. Rear side airbags are available, while front, side, knee and curtain airbags are standard. Opt for the panoramic glass roof and there are skylights for front and rear-seat passengers.

The ES350 is arguably more comfortable than the original flagship LS400 when it was introduced. It's certainly better-equipped, thanks to advances in technology. Keyless engine start is standard thanks to an intelligent fob.

Lexus offers MP3 and iPod connectors on the audio system and of course the available Mark Levinson 7.1 channel audio system. Radar-guided cruise control, a navigation system that will also play DVDs, a backup camera and Bluetooth hands-free phone capability are all available.

The 3.5 liter V6 is all new, and generates 272 horsepower. Dual overhead cam construction and variable valve timing improve fuel economy and emissions. Electronic sequential fuel injection is used to further boost the engine's efficiency.

The ES350 returns 21/30 fuel economy, as well as better straight-line performance than past V8-powered Lexus models. What the ES350 does best, of course, is move smoothly and silently -- this is drama-free driving at its finest.

The six-speed automatic transmission is less complex than its five-speed predecessor, and is maintenance-free for the first 100,000 miles. It doesn't even have a dipstick for checking the fluid level. What you'll notice from the driver's seat is...not a thing. Shifts are nearly imperceptible.

The fully independent suspension is tuned for a smooth and soft ride. This is not intended to be a handling car -- that's the IS' purpose in life. On the road the ES350 is buttery-smooth, which is no surprise. Stability control and traction control are standard, also not a surprise. It stops smoothly and without drama even in emergency situations.

Smooth as silk and packed with premium materials, the ES350 is a luxury car without a hurried bolt in its body. By splitting its entry-level luxury lineup into two distinct vehicles, Lexus is able to directly target two distinct groups of buyers, and the ES350 is for buyers who want more comfort than sport. Pricing starts at $33,170.

source : http://www.lowellsun.com/automotive/ci_3979377
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