Essentially unchanged for 2009, except for a new "matador red mica" paint color, the Lexus ES 350 is an entry-level, 4-door luxury sedan that can accommodate up to 5 passengers. It is powered by a 3.5L V6 engine that commands 272 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy and 22 mpg combined. Lexus ES 350 safety features offer standard antilock disc brakes, stability control and a complete set of airbags, including dual front knee, front-seat side and full-length side curtain. Optional safety features are rear-seat side airbags and a pre-collision system that uses the optional adaptive cruise control system to sense whether a collision is imminent and then automatically tightens seatbelts and applies full-power braking power when the driver presses the pedal. In government crash tests, the ES 350 scored five stars in the frontal-impact category for both driver and passenger, as well as in side-impact tests for front occupants.
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