2004 ES 330 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus ES 330 is the smoothest, quietest car in its class. Smooth and quiet are good because it can be a rough, noisy world out there at times. This quietude can be shared with others. The ES 330 is a four-door mid-size luxury sedan that seats five.
Last year's ES 300 becomes the ES 330 for 2004 due to the introduction of a larger and more powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine. The 2004 Lexus ES 330 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph nearly a full second quicker than last year's model, which is a significant improvement that can be felt by the driver. More important, the ES 330 is more responsive when driving around town. The five-speed automatic transmission has been revised for 2004 for smoother shifting and improved response. Our overriding impression of the engine and transmission, however, is their smoothness. The Lexus ES 330 is so smooth that at times it feels seamless in operation.
The 2004 model year brings a host of other advancements that improve on this luxurious mid-size sedan. Among them: new and improved airbags, an upgraded passenger seat, and an enhanced navigation system.
The ES 330 delivers a compelling combination of quality, comfort, refinement, and value. Lexus has a reputation for exceptional quality and behind the high-quality fit and finish is a great deal of careful design and detail work. Living with this car is easy. It's loaded with features that make life more convenient. The lighting package, for example, is extensive, so when you shut off the car and open the doors the interior and perimeter of the car are illuminated so it's easy to see when you're getting out at night.
The ES 330 comes in one well-equipped model ($31,725), loaded with luxury and safety features found in higher-priced Lexus sedans.
Handsome, high-quality, leather upholstery with wood trim comes standard. Also standard are automatic dual-zone climate control with interior air filter, power windows with auto up/down and jam protection, and a power moonroof. An AM/FM/CD/cassette system comes standard with 86 watts and seven speakers. A 240-watt Mark Levinson audio system is optional.
Options include Vehicle Stability Control with traction control and Brake Assist ($650); Adaptive Variable Suspension ($620); DVD satellite navigation ($2,220); power-adjustable pedals ($140); power rear sunshade ($210); high intensity discharge headlamps with rain-sensing wipers ($640); heated front seats ($440); wood steering wheel and shift knob ($330); chrome wheels with all-season tires ($1700).
Safety was a top priority when designing the ES 330. Standard safety equipment includes the full complement of airbags: dual front airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and front and rear side-curtain airbags. (Curtain airbags are very important for their ability to provide head protection.) It comes with three-point safety harnesses for all five seating positions; be sure to wear them as they are your first line of defense in a crash. The front seats are designed to reduce whiplash. To help the driver avoid accidents in the first place, the ES 330 comes standard with anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).