Take A Private Test Drive, All Alone
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Few premium automotive brands have as varied a lineup as Lexus does. Instead of offering one entry-level luxury sedan, Lexus offers two. For buyers who put the highest priority on comfort and luxury, there is the midsize, front-wheel-drive Lexus ES 350 sedan, while those desiring a harder-edged sport sedan can go with the company's compact, rear-drive IS series.
Today's Lexus ES 350 is the latest version of the company's long-running ES series. Like its predecessors, it's roomy, quiet, comfortable and assembled with care. Lexus offers plenty of standard and optional upscale amenities for the ES 350, but adding a few of the option packages can quickly drive up the price. However, for consumers seeking the utmost in refinement and relaxation in their next entry-level luxury car, the Lexus ES 350 is certain to have just as much appeal as every ES sedan before it.
Current Lexus ES 350
Debuting as a 2013 model, the current-generation Lexus ES 350 maintains its familiar and successful formula. That means it's a well-crafted, well-equipped luxury sedan that puts more emphasis on quiet, comfortable motoring than it does on athletic handling. Styling is evolutionary and handsome, while the cabin boasts a modern and interesting aesthetic.
For power the ES 350 relies on a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. As before, the transmission is a six-speed automatic transmission and all ES 350s have front-wheel drive.
Standard feature highlights include 17-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. Options include a panoramic sunroof, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, real wood trim, a rearview camera, a navigation system (includes the Lexus Enform suite of Internet-based apps), a Siri-based control system for iPhone users, a Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated seats and a power rear sunshade. If certain options are ordered, the ES 350 also features Lexus' mouselike Remote Touch multifunction controller.
In reviews, we have found that the latest ES 350 delivers a refined driving experience that's bolstered by the smooth and energetic V6 engine. Handling is more buttoned-down than before, which we appreciate. Still, this is no sport sedan. The ES continues to provide a very quiet drive that's ideal for consumers ranging from harried commuters to families who enjoy frequent road trips. All told, Lexus has updated and thus increased the appeal of its popular entry-level luxury sedan without abandoning its core character that has endeared it to its massive, often repeat-business customer base.
Read the most recent 2014 Lexus ES 350 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Lexus ES 350 page.