2006 ES 330 New Car Test Drive
Living with the Lexus ES 330 is easy. Understand that statement, and you understand the essence of this entry-luxury sedan.
The ES 330 may be the smoothest, quietest car in its class. It's easy to drive smoothly, keeping passengers comfortable and making the driver look like a pro. The 3.3-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission are refined and responsive. A supple suspension gives it a civilized ride on rough city streets, beat-up freeways and poorly maintained back roads. The brakes are easy to modulate for smooth stops in everyday driving. The ES 330 is front-wheel drive and its emphasis is on convenience and comfort.
The seats are comfortable, the leather-trimmed upholstery is nice, and the rich-looking interior is accented in wood and aluminum-toned brightwork. Its controls are straightforward and easy to operate. An excellent Mark Levinson stereo is available as a factory option, and satellite radio can be dealer-installed. The rear seats are roomy and comfortable and feature outboard seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters. The trunk is a decent size.
True to the Lexus legend, refinement, quality, fit and finish, and attention to detail are evident throughout. You see, feel, and even hear the quality. It can be heard in the solid sound the doors, trunk and hood make when they're closed.
Lexus freshened the exterior appearance of the ES 330 for the 2005 model, and upgraded some of the interior appointments. No additional changes have been made for 2006.
The 2006 Lexus ES 330 comes as one well-equipped model ($32,300).
It comes standard with many of the same luxury and convenience features found in higher-priced Lexus sedans: handsome, high-quality leather upholstery with wood trim, automatic dual-zone climate control with interior air filter, power windows with auto up/down and jam protection, a power moonroof, and an AM/FM/CD/cassette system with 86 watts and seven speakers.
Options include a 240-watt Mark Levinson audio system, six-disc CD changer and XM Satellite Radio. Other options include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control and Brake Assist; Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS); DVD satellite navigation; power-adjustable pedals with memory; power rear sunshade; high-intensity discharge headlamps with rain-sensing wipers; heated and ventilated front seats; wood steering wheel and shift knob; and 17-inch wheels and tires.
New for 2006 is the ES 330 Black Diamond Edition, a package ($600) that features exclusive Black Diamond paint, black Birdseye maple wood trim, and other distinctive touches and includes an exclusive Tumi luggage set.
Safety was a top priority when designing the ES 330. Standard passive safety equipment includes dual front airbags (mandated), seat-mounted side-impact airbags (for torso protection), and front and rear side-curtain airbags (for head protection). Three-point seatbelts are provided 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 help reduce whiplash. The outboard rear seatbelts are fitted with force limiters and pre-tensioners. To help the driver avoid accidents in the first place, the ES 330 comes standard with such active safety features as anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Optional Vehicle Stability Control is designed to improve driver control by reducing skidding in turns.