The Lexus ES series is a family of mid-size sedans produced by the Lexus division of Toyota from 1989 to the present and built in Tsutsumi, Japan. The series has always been built off of the Toyota Camry platform with a V6 engine and automatic transmission. For long, it had been Lexus's entry-level car, competing with the Infiniti G20, I30 and Acura TL until the arrival of the Lexus IS in 2001. The ES 250, built from August 30, 1989 until July 5, 1991, shared the body style of the contemporary Camry, while the Toyota Windom, a Japan-only model, shared the ES's body style from the second generation onwards. The fifth-generation ES 350 was unveiled in the spring of 2006 as a 2007 model, and is a major redesign.
Fourth generation (2002-2006)
A year after the Lexus IS became Lexus's entry-level car, a larger, fourth generation ES (designated MCV30) debuted in 2002. The presence of the IS in the Lexus lineup enabled the company to give the ES a more upscale image and luxury feel by excising the sporting pretentions of the previous ES models. Compared to its predecessor, the new ES possessed an interior with a greater emphasis on comfort, superior NVH isolation, larger, softer seats, and improved interior materials. Despite the additional features and added weight neither the acceleration nor the handling of the ES suffered. Other new features included a drive-by-wire electronic throttle, a five-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist as well as stability and traction control. In Japan, the MCV30 Windom received a 2-star LEV rating.
For the 2003 model year, the US and European markets received a new 3.3 L engine producing 225 hp (later revised to 218 hp, because of changes in SAE horsepower testing procedures), and the car was renamed ES 330. In the Middle Eastern and Asian markets, however, the 3.0 L engine was still available. In 2005, the ES received a facelift with new front and rear fascias, clear taillights, projector headlights, and a redesigned grille. Inside, several new-for-the-ES features included power adjustable pedals, heated and ventilated front seats and rearview mirrors that would automatically tilt downward in reverse gear. Additionally, new bird's-eye maple trim brightened the interior and integrated satellite radio was offered as an option.