The sole upgrade for the 2006 Lexus ES 330 is XM Satellite Radio, which is available as a dealer-installed option. An all-new model is scheduled for the 2007 model year.
Launched in the fall of 1989 as the second vehicle in the initial Lexus lineup, the ES has been the sales volume leader for the brand. Today's ES 330 is still an entry to the brand for many Lexus buyers.
The 2006 ES is available in one trim level, the 330, which is powered by a 218-hp, 3.3L V-6 engine matched to a five-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic (which delays upshifts to sustain power on inclines and holds lower gears on descents for increased engine braking), driving the front wheels. The four-wheel independent suspension is mounted to anti-vibration sub-frames to help reduce NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) levels.
Standard safety features include dual-stage front air bags, front seat-mounted side air bags, and side curtain air bags that extend from the A- to the C-pillar. Active safety technology includes daytime running lights, anti-lock braking system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability and Traction Control are options.
Standard amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration; mirror and seat memory; tilt side mirrors; a one-touch power moonroof with sunshade; multi-information display with trip computer; Homelink-compatible garage door opener; electrochromic auto-dimming inside and outside rearview mirrors; and a compass integrated into the rearview mirror. The power windows provide one-touch up/down control with jam protection on all four doors, and the front door glass is water-repellant. Notable options include rain-sensing wipers, choice of interior wood trim, navigation system with tilt screen and voice activation, power adjustable pedals with memory, XM Satellite Radio, a premium Mark Levinson audio system, wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated front seats, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, adaptive suspension, and a choice of summer or all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
J.D. Power and Associates Research
What do owners think about the quality of Lexus ES Series as it comes off the assembly line
The ES ranks highest in initial quality in the midsize premium car segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Initial Quality Study.SM The ES performs well in the HVAC, the driving experience, and seats categories. The ES performs better than segment average in all categories, including audio/entertainment/navigation systems, interior, HVAC, the driving experience, features/controls/displays, exterior, seats, and engine/transmission.
The ES competes in the Midsize Premium Conventional segment with 12 other vehicles. This segment accounts for slightly more than 2 percent of all sales, but is a highly competitive and prestigious category.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the ES leads this category with 67,577 sales in calendar year 2005. Next are the BMW 5 Series (52,722) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (50,383). Additional players are the Cadillac STS, Lexus GS Series, Infiniti M-Series, Volvo V70, Lincoln LS, Audi A6, Acura RL, Volvo S80, Jaguar S-Type, and the Saab 9-5.