Lexus ES Fifth generation (XV40)
|2007 to 2012|
|Production||March 2006 – 2012|
|Assembly||Japan: Miyawaka, Fukuoka (Miyata plant)|
|Designer||Kengo Matsumoto (2004)|
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Toyota K platform|
|Related||Toyota Aurion (XV40) |
Toyota Camry (XV40)
|Engine||2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4 |
3.5 L 2GR-FE V6
|Transmission||6-speed U660E automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,776 mm (109.3 in)|
|Length||4,854 mm (191.1 in)|
|Width||1,821 mm (71.7 in)|
|Height||1,450 mm (57.1 in)|
Lexus unveiled the fifth-generation ES in February 2006 at the Chicago Auto Show for the 2007 model year. The line initially consisted of the ES 350 sedan, which as per previous models, featured front-wheel drive and a V6 engine—now displacing 3.5 liters. The line was refreshed in 2009, during which more features were added, and a four-cylinder variant, the ES 240, was introduced for Asian markets. The fifth-generation ES remained Lexus' top-selling sedan model in the North American and Asian markets, anchoring the marque's entry-level model lineup. Like previous generations, the fifth-generation Lexus ES was geared towards the comfort luxury segment, favoring a soft ride over sporty performance. It continued the previous generation's direction of moving the ES more upscale in its design and features; Lexus touted the ES 350 as faster, more powerful, more aerodynamic, and more quiet than the original LS 400 flagship. Like its predecessors, the fifth-generation ES continued to be made in Japan, at the Kyushu plant in Fukuoka, Japan. Despite being built in the country, the ES 350 is left-hand drive only and was not sold in the Japanese market, as well as the other regions with right-hand drive, although the country allows both RHD and LHD vehicles on their roads.
The fifth-generation ES (GSV40) debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006 as the ES 350, featuring a six-speed automatic transmission with a front-wheel drive 272 hp (203 kW) aluminum 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 engine with intake and exhaust variable valve timing. The exterior design featured an all-new body in the style of Lexus' new design philosophy, L-finesse. The new design was sleeker than its predecessor, with a streamlined cabin and character lines across the hood, fenders, and rear pillars. The Lexus emblem returned to the grille for the first time since the first generation, and was placed at the center of a five-bar horizontal grille. For the debut 2007 models, Lexus introduced a number of unique colors exclusive to the ES 350, including Aquamarine Pearl, Royal Ruby Metallic, Moon Shell Mica, and Amber Pearl. The drag coefficient was Cd 0.28. Compared to the preceding fourth-generation ES 300/330, the fifth-generation ES 350 was 51 millimetres (2 in) longer and 10 millimetres (0.4 in) wider overall, but with shorter overhangs.
The ES 350 interior featured walnut wood accents, leather seats, dual zone climate control with air filter, an MP3 player auxiliary input, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and eight standard airbags. A keyless entry and ignition system, Lexus SmartAccess, which does not require the electronic remote to be taken out of the driver's pocket, was standard. Available new features included a 300-watt, 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, power seat cushion extender, radar-based adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power rear sunshade, DVD navigation system, and Lexus Park Assist, a sonar-based warning system with backup camera. For the first time, the ES offered an "Ultra Luxury Package," which featured many of the aforementioned options along with a three-panel panoramic glass moonroof. The ES also featured a secondary start system, that runs on battery, so that the driver does not have to use the engine for accessory functions. The secondary system allowed the driver use the radio, GPS, Bluetooth, and air conditioning/heating. The instrument panel used Optitron gauges and LED lighting.
Lexus estimated that the ES 350's engine-transmission combination allowed acceleration to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 7 seconds, but tests netted the ES 350 as being one of the fastest front-wheel drive luxury sedans then available. 0–60 mph was acquired in as little as 6.2 seconds by auto magazines, and the car showed a strong point of high-end power as it cleared the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds while traveling at almost 100 mph (160 km/h). Fuel economy was estimated at 21 mpg-US (11.2 L/100 km; 25.2 mpg-imp) in the city and 30 mpg-US (7.8 L/100 km; 36.0 mpg-imp) on the highway. Some commentators have complained that so much power to the front wheels has produced uncomfortable torque steer in both the new ES and Camry.
The ES 350 arrived at U.S. dealerships in late April 2006 as a 2007 model. The 2007 base price in the U.S. was $33,470. That year, the ES 350 was launched in North America, the Middle East, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea and Taiwan. At the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, Lexus debuted a Pebble Beach Edition ES 350, produced in partnership with the Pebble Beach Company. The Pebble Beach ES 350 came in either Truffle Mica, Pearl Silver, or Obsidian Black exterior colors, with exterior and interior badging, along with the choice of either travel or golf products by the Callaway Golf Company or Viking Range cookware.
Safety features on the ES 350 included dual front airbags, knee airbags, side-torso and curtain airbags, along with traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). A pre-collision system (PCS), which incorporates a grille-mounted sensor and retracts seatbelts and triggers full braking power, was optional, and came with the distance-aware Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system. The front passenger airbag used a twin-chamber design for reduced occupant discomfort upon deployment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test results in 2007 rated the ES 350 the maximum five stars in the Frontal Driver, Frontal Passenger, and Side Driver categories, and four stars in the Side Rear Passenger and Rollover categories.
Toyota recalled and replaced 55,000 optional all-weather rubber floor mats from the Toyota Camry and ES 350 in September 2007, citing the risk of unsecured mats jamming the accelerator pedal. In August 2009, the NHTSA probed the ES 350 following 40 acceleration control complaints, eight crashes and 12 injuries, with floor mats implicated in most cases. An accident involving a loaner ES 350 killed four persons near San Diego on August 28. The NHTSA and San Diego County Sheriff's Department found that the car was wrongly fitted with an unsecured SUV rubber floor mat; the mat had jammed the accelerator, which an earlier driver had complained about.On September 29, a Toyota safety notice advised floor mat removal, shift to Neutral (N) gear in an emergency, with a 3-second push button ignition press for engine shutoff. On November 29, the 2007–2010 MY floor mat recall was revised to add shorter accelerator pedals, thinner replacement mats, and a brake override feature which ignores accelerator input when the brake pedal is depressed.
In 2009, the 2010 model year ES underwent a mid-cycle facelift. A slightly revised grille resembled that of the new Lexus HS, and the lower bumper and taillights were changed. Other exterior changes included chrome-trimmed side moulding, turn signal indicators on the side mirrors, and new split 5-spoke alloy wheels. Memory seating, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags were now standard. The steering wheel controls now had hard touch buttons as opposed to the previous soft ones. The navigation system shared with the then current Lexus RX now included upgraded VoiceBox speech recognition, Bluetooth phone book downloading, and Lexus Insider, XM Weather, Sports, and Stocks reports. Bluetooth streaming audio and a USB port that included iPod integration was now built into the stereo.
In 2010, the revised ES line gained a brake override feature which ignored accelerator input when the brake pedal was depressed, which was installed on new builds from January 2010. Debuting first in the Chinese auto market, the 2010 ES lineup added a second model, the ES 240 (ACV40), which was produced to comply with the country's new emission laws for luxury cars, making it the first gasoline four-cylinder Lexus since the 2005 IS. The ES 240 received a 2.4L 2AZ-FE inline-four engine producing 123 kW (165 hp) and 224 N·m (165 ft·lbf) of torque at 4000 rpm.
Several awards won by the fifth-generation Lexus ES include 2009 Best Upscale Car for the Money from U.S News & World Report, AutoPacific 2009 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Best Midsize Luxury Car, and Best New Luxury Car (under $50k) Award in 2007 at the Canadian Car of the Year Awards, selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. The ES 350 has also been named Consumer Guide 2008 Best Buy in the Premium Midsize Class, ConsumerSearch Best "budget" luxury sedan of 2008, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best New Car for 2007, and Best in Class Intellichoice Best Car Value Over $23,000 for 2007, and Polk Automotive Loyalty award for 2008.
|Drivetrain specifications by generation|
|Engine||2.5 L V6||3.0 L V6||3.0 L V6||3.0 L V6||3.3 L V6||3.5 L V6 (ES 350)||2.4 L I4 (ES 240)||3.5 L V6|
|Gears||4 (AT) or 5 (MT)||4 (AT) or 5 (MT)||4||5||5||6||5||6|
|Power||116 kW (156 hp)||138 kW (185 hp)||150 kW (200 hp)||160 kW (210 hp)||163 kW (219 hp)||203 kW (272 hp)||123 kW (165 hp)||200 kW (268 hp) @6200 rpm|
|Torque||220 N·m (160 lb·ft) @4400 rpm||264 N·m (195 lb·ft) @4400 rpm||290 N·m (210 lb·ft) @4400 rpm||300 N·m (220 lb·ft) @4400 rpm||330 N·m (240 lb·ft) @3600 rpm||346 N·m (255 lb·ft) @4700 rpm||224 N·m (165 lb·ft) @4000 rpm||336 N·m (248 lb·ft)@4700 rpm|