2007 Lexus ES 350 First Drive
Nothing 'near' about this new luxury sedan
Leveraging the might and reach of parent company Toyota’s manufacturing, design and engineering resources, it’s like Lexus has its own little global sales incubator, hatching hordes of luxury car intenders ready to trade up. And now, Lexus has Scion to get that whole “L-finesse” design vibe injected into kids’ craniums as early as possible. The result is a reputation for primo quality and ready-made buyers who start out with a Corolla, like it, go to the Camry, like it more and, in contemplating their first luxury car, have this choice to make: go for the unknown, or get the next thing in Toyota’s supply chain, the Baby Lexus.
The 2007 Lexus ES 350 ain’t anyone’s baby, not anymore, and it’s making the choice to stay in the Toyota family easier than ever. There’s nothing ‘near’ about the luxurious ES 350, nothing ‘entry’ about a luxury car that is better in virtually every way than the original 1990 Lexus LS 400 flagship and more powerful than most in its class.. Compared to the previous-generation model, the 2007 ES 350 is also bigger inside, resting as it does on a wheelbase two inches wider than before, which translates to added room front and back, and a more comfortable ride. Luxurious amenities like real wood trim, matched perfectly in grain and color, a panoramic roof, and more also helps to vault the ES 350 to the head of the class.
Class leader? Yeah – but what class? And think about this: it took all of 10 years to reach the point where Lexus now has two – count ‘em – legitimate entry-luxury sedans, the IS for thrill, and the ES 350, for chill. Call them bookends of mainstream luxury domination: the Lexus IS 350 and ES 350 go together like peas and carrots, as a famous Tom Hanks character would say, each different yet inexorably linked, a complete answer to your luxury car needs, a two-punch approach to beating down the competition: The new 2007 Lexus ES 350, for comfort. The Lexus IS 350, for carving.
It really must be good to be Lexus in the 21st century.