If you're looking for midsize luxury sedan that embodies quiet, comfortable transportation, the 2017 Lexus ES 350 is a fine choice. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
BRYN MACKINNON: I'm Bryn MacKinnon and this is an Edmunds expert rundown of the 2017 Lexus ES 350. [MUSIC PLAYING] As ever, the ES is the luxury version of the Toyota Camry. But the current ES generation moves even further away from those pedestrian routes. The styling's a bit more adventurous, for one thing, but we're more impressed by how convincing this car is from the driver's seat. The ride is smooth, yet controlled, and just about everything around you screams real luxury, not gussied-up family sedan. It's easier than ever to justify the stretch for the full Lexus treatment. Under the hood is the tried and true 3.5 liter V6, which remains a world-class engine with potent acceleration. [MUSIC PLAYING] Also familiar is the ES's aversion to twisty roads but, hey, that's not why you buy this car, right? Just hop in and enjoy the ride. You'll certainly enjoy it from the spacious back seat, which is big enough to impress a chauffeur. Up front, it's really striking what Lexus has done with the design and materials. This is a bona fide luxury car, from the soft panels and stitch accents to the artful styling details. The only bummer is the mouse-like remote touch interface that comes with the navigation package. It's just too fussy to operate when you're driving. The bottom line with the ES 350 is that it's just hard to go wrong with it. It's worth test driving rivals like the Acura TLX, Buick Lacrosse, and Genesis G80, but it's no surprise that a lot of shoppers end up back at the Lexus dealer. For more Edmunds expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
The 2017 Lexus ES 350, the most popular midsize sedan from Toyota's luxury brand, may not be the quickest or sportiest vehicle in its class, but it offers a winning combination of style, comfort, a long list of features and a quiet ride. Add in the Lexus reputation for quality and reliability, and it's easy to see why the the ES appeals to large numbers of buyers in the market for an elegant yet practical five-passenger sedan.
Outside of a few minor cosmetic changes, most improvements to the ES for 2017 are in the area of technology and safety. The infotainment system, with upgraded graphics and menus, now includes smartphone-enabled navigation. And the Lexus Safety System Plus ? with advanced features like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection ? is now standard equipment.
The only engine available in the ES is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Although it propels the 3,571-pound sedan to 60 mph in a respectable 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, its forte is really not outright performance. Rather, the powertrain excels at remaining smooth and quiet under virtually all road conditions.
The gentle, compliant suspension system is tuned more for comfort than handling. Although the ES acquits itself reasonably well in the corners, it genuinely comes into its own on the highway, where driver and passengers can relax and enjoy the premium sound system while watching the miles roll by.
Inside, the 2017 ES 350 certainly won't disappoint entry-level luxury car shoppers. The roomy interior shines with a host of standard comfort and convenience features, such as high-quality materials, 10-way power-adjustable front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Available interior packages and options allow buyers to ramp up the luxury with extras that include leather seating and genuine wood trim.
Fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive Lexus ES 350 is EPA rated at a combined 24 mpg (21 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway).
The ES 350 only comes in one trim level, but a large selection of premium, luxury, comfort and convenience packages ? as well as a long list of optional accessories ? makes it easy to customize the Lexus to suit individual preferences. Whatever your particular needs, Edmunds can help you find the right 2017 Lexus ES 350 at the right price.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.