NEW FOR 2009:

– Heated and ventilated seats replaced with heated seats
– New Navigation Package replaces Premium Package, includes heated and ventilated seats
– Premium Package with Navigation and Ultra Premium Package with Navigation add heated and ventilated seats
– Exterior colours: Matador Red Mica added; Royal Ruby Metallic deleted

Redesigned in 2007, the Lexus ES 350 is unchanged for 2009, with only minor changes to its option packages. The base MSRP is unchanged from 2008.

Based on the Toyota Camry, the ES 350 comes in a single trim line and uses a 3.5-litre V6 engine with six-speed automatic transmission and manual shift mode.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and wheel-mounted controls, heated ten-way power leather seats, keyless entry, Optitron gauges, auto-dimming mirror with compass, power up/down on all windows, leather-wrapped power tilt and telescopic wheel, woodgrain trim, driver’s footwell lamp, floor mats, pushbutton start, cruise control, garage door opener, driver and passenger knee airbags, auto-dimming heated mirrors, water-repellent front door glass, power sunroof, variable intermittent wipers, automatic headlamps and fog lamps.

Three option packages are available. The Navigation Package adds AM/FM stereo cassette, Bluetooth connectivity, heated and ventilated seats, and DVD-based navigation system with backup camera. The Premium Package with Navigation builds on that with a wood steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, rear seat side airbags, driver’s power variable cushion length, passenger seat memory, clearance and backup sensor, power rear window sunshade, rain-sensing wipers, and adaptive Xenon headlamps, while the Ultra Premium Package with Navigation goes further with premium alloy wheels, Mark Levinson AM/FM stereo cassette with CD/DVD auto-changer and 14 speakers, premium leather seats and panorama glass roof.

While it is based on the Camry, the ES 350 offers Lexus-specific items, including styling cues, suspension tuning, sound deadening and luxury interior features. The ride is smooth and comfortable, handling is sharp, and engine performance is good. Test-drive both the loaded Camry and base ES 350 if the budget is a concern.

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