Whats it up against?

This ones tough to answer: The ES doesnt really have many direct rivals aside from the Ford Fusion-based Lincoln MKZ, the Cadillac CTS , the Acura TL and the Volvo S80 since the segment is all-but ignored by the default German luxury carmakers and even those four really take on different roles.

The redesigned MKZ has a capable chassis and a nice V6, but it trails the competition in terms of interior appointments. The CTS has wowed us over and over by being so, well, un-GM, but its rear-wheel-drive sportiness might turn some shoppers off. The controversial TL abandoned its conservative roots for 2009, but like the ES, it offers a lot for the money. The S80, also fresh off a makeover for 2010, might be the ES 350′s most direct rival thanks to its sophisticated and quiet demeanor, but wed be surprised if theres truly much cross-shopping between the two brands.

Any breakthroughs?

Lots of luxe for the cash thats the ES promise. You wont find much thats truly groundbreaking, but you will find the coddling of the larger LS in a less expensive package.

    See also:

    Child restraint systems
    A child restraint system for a small child or baby must itself be properly restrained on the seat with the lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt. The laws of all 50 states of the U.S.A. and Canada no ...

    2010 Lexus LX 570 review
    The 2010 Lexus LX 570 is a vehicle of extremes. It's the biggest Lexus on the road, and it has a massive V-8 engine to go with it. It also has tons of cupholders, stereo speakers, air vents, ride- ...

    Front passenger occupant classification system
    Your vehicle is equipped with a front passenger occupant classification system. This system detects the conditions of the front passenger seat and activates or deactivates the devices for front pa ...