The first through fourth generation Lexus ES sedans shared body styling elements with Japan-market Toyota sedans, and a domestic market equivalent, the Toyota Windom, was sold until the launch of the fifth generation ES in 2006. The fifth generation ES 350, featuring Lexus' own L-finesse body styling, was unveiled in the spring of 2006 as a 2007 model. Like the previous generation ES 330 model, the fifth generation Lexus ES is geared towards the comfort luxury segment, with an emphasis on interior amenities, quietness, and a smooth ride.
The first Lexus ES (codename VZV21) debuted in January 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as part of the launch of the Lexus division. In order to avoid introducing the nameplate with only one model, the LS 400, Lexus debuted the ES alongside their flagship sedan. The smaller representative of the initial two-sedan Lexus lineup was designated the ES 250, and powered by the Camry's 2.5L, 156hp (116kW) V6. The ES 250 was partly based on the Toyota Vista, a Japan-market sedan which was never sold in the United States, which in turn shared the chassis of the Toyota Camry.