Freshened styling marks the midsize, front-wheel-drive 2005 Lexus ES 330. Changes include a revised grille with more horizontal bars, larger fog lamps and revised headlights with projector low beams. A new steering wheel contains integrated controls, and voice activation has been added to the available navigation system. Six-spoke 17-inch wheels are newly available.
In 2004, the installation of a new 3.3-liter V-6 transformed the ES 300 sedan into the ES 330. The ES 300 and ES 330 have been geared toward providing a passenger experience closer to that of the company's more costly LS 430. Burled walnut wood decorates the interior, which can be equipped with an optional DVD-based navigation system and a Mark Levinson stereo. In recent years, the ES has by far been the company's most popular passenger car.
Sharp contour lines are evident up front, and chiseled character lines run down the bodysides. Optional high-intensity-discharge headlights are packaged with rain-sensing wipers.
Narrow body gaps add to the sedan's precision appearance. Riding a 107.1-inch wheelbase, the sedan measures 191.1 inches long overall. Aluminum-alloy wheels hold standard 16-inch tires, and a one-touch power moonroof is standard. An optional Adaptive Variable Suspension continuously changes shock absorber damping in response to road conditions, speed, steering, braking and vertical vehicle movement.
Five occupants should have ample space inside the ES 330. California walnut trim is used on the center console and all four doors. Both front seats are power adjustable, and leather seat upholstery is standard.
Standard equipment includes auto-dimming heated power mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control with air filtration, one-touch up/down power windows, a cassette/CD stereo and a HomeLink programmable garage-door opener. A powered rear sunshade, power-adjustable pedals, a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and a DVD-based navigation system with a three-position tilt screen are optional.
Under the Hood
A 225-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 produces 240 pounds-feet of torque and meets ULEV-II emissions standards. The engine teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. The drive-by-wire throttle system was borrowed from the LS 430.
Antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, side-impact airbags for the front seats, and front and rear side curtain-type airbags are standard. All seating positions have three-point seat belts. Lexus' electronic stability system, which controls wheel slippage to help stabilize the vehicle, is optional. The system includes a brake assist feature that applies full braking force in emergency stops if the driver fails to apply sufficient pedal pressure.