The 2007 Lexus ES 350 comes as a single front-wheel-drive model with a 272-horsepower, 3.5L V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. Both the engine and the transmission bring improvements in performance and fuel efficiency, while the new six-speed has fewer parts and better drivability than the five-speed it replaces, according to Lexus. The ES is slightly longer and wider than before, with swoopier styling and a shorter rear deck to fit in with the so-called L-finesse design theme.
The ES 350 comes with a very generous list of standard equipment inside, including dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat ducts, 10-way power front seats, and steering-wheel-mounted controls for the audio system and trip computer. Other standard amenities include soft-tone LED interior lighting, lighted cup holders, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated compass.
A push-button start system with SmartAccess keyless entry, which allows the driver to enter and start the vehicle without ever removing the key fob from a pocket or purse, is also standard.
The ES comes with more available luxury features and high-tech gadgets than most cars in its price range. Most notable is the new Pre-Collision System (PCS), which uses sensors from the dynamic radar cruise control to help anticipate an impending collision. If PCS determines one is unavoidable, it retracts the seatbelts, primes the brake assist feature, and can automatically apply the brakes to a degree if the driver does not react.
There's also an available intuitive park assist feature that uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects ahead of or behind the vehicle, showing the distances in a dashboard display.
There are also several packages that bring additional luxury and convenience features. The Premium Package adds rear side air bags, Bluetooth wireless capability, and memory functions for seat, mirror, and steering wheel adjustment. The Premium Plus package adds a driver's seat cushion extender, rain-sensing wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, among other features, while the Ultra-Luxury Package also includes the panorama glass roof, rear backup camera, perforated leather seating, a power rear sunshade, HID headlights, the navigation system, and wood and leather trim.
Other options include high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with an intelligent adaptive lighting system that swivels the headlamps into corners, heated and ventilated front seats, and a large panorama glass roof.
An available 300-watt, 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system appeals to audiophiles, with 10 channels of amplification and an especially low level of total harmonic distortion. Both sound systems accept iPods and portable MP3 players, and include a six-disc changer.
Eight air bags are standard on the ES, including new knee air bags for the driver and front passenger, along with front side air bags and full-length side curtain bags. Rear-seat side air bags are available. The front air bags for both the driver and passenger can deploy with variable force, depending on the severity of the accident.
To complete the array of safety features, stability control is now standard on the ES 350, along with antilock brakes and integrated electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), and brake assist.
Other clever safety features include a special coating on front side windows to help keep them clear of rainwater, and a rear backup camera that's included with the optional navigation package. The navigation system has been upgraded with a new display and more points of interest.
The luxurious, comfort-oriented Lexus ES is completely new for 2007. Out is the ES 330, replaced by the ES 350, which has different proportions and sleek styling that likens it to the larger LS 460. A larger, more powerful V6 engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission, and several important new safety and convenience features round out the revamping.