2009 Lexus ES 350 Review
Velvety smooth, luxuriously comfortable.
The ES 350 benefits from an all-aluminum engine with all the latest technologies built in. This engine is a honey and comes paired with a six-speed automatic.
The ES 350 is quick to respond, the engine is as smooth and quiet as you would expect, and the transmission operation is flawless, automatic or manual mode, downshift or upshift. Engine and transmission are linked by several electronic modules and the electronic throttle, and there were no glitches we could find. The engine and transmission are isolation-mounted with an electro-hydraulic system to cancel vibration at idle. Lexus quotes a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, which is competitive in the segment.
Traction control and electronic stability control adds to the driver's confidence. The front struts and multi-link rear suspension are both very well isolated from the rest of the car, making for a quiet, smooth ride, with greater control of pitch and body roll than in pre-2007 models. We'd like a little more steering feel in corners and on the highway, but otherwise the speed-related power steering is good and solid.
The brakes are average in size for this class, but we saw no sign of brake fade after a hard workout. The ABS, traction control, and electronic stability control are programmed to intervene early to keep the car going in the intended direction.
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