The Lexus ES dates back to the launch of the Lexus brand as one of the two original models. It stands for “Executive Sedan,” which aptly describes this luxury sedan. In the current Lexus lineup, it’s positioned between the flagship LS sedan and the sportier IS model. The ES is now in its sixth generation and has grown in size over the years.
Lexus has become much more aggressive in its styling cues with the front spindle grille, and you can see that with the ES, which definitely has more interesting design when compared to previous models. Still, these new design features are not as aggressive as what you’ll see on the sportier IS, which makes sense given the broader target audience for this model. The elegant look of the vehicle is certainly worthy of a large, luxury sedan that the executive and professional classes will appreciate.
The Lexus ES is all about luxury and comfort, and there’s plenty of room for families and adult passengers. For the driver, you get all the simple luxuries and perks you expect from a luxury vehicle. Our test drivers were certainly happy to have this vehicle for a week, and we took it on some long drives. It was too cold to appreciate the moonroof, but we certainly appreciated the heated seats. Both the driver and passenger front seats featured 10-way controls for maximum comfort.
If you’re looking for a sport sedan, the ES probably won’t be at the top of your list, but the ES 350 has plenty of power and should satisfy most drivers who have high standards for the driving experience. The model we tested features a 3.5 liter, 268 horsepower V-6 engine and has impressive acceleration in all circumstances. It also features 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque for excellent responsiveness. You’ll love driving this vehicle on the highway or for long drives, and it powers past other vehicles with ease when you want to pass someone. The fuel mileage is solid with 24 mpg combined, 31 mpg/highway and 21 mpg/city.
We’re big fans of the trend towards various driving modes, and frankly, it’s hard to imagine buying a new vehicle without this feature. We certainly appreciated it in the ES, which features Sport, Eco and Normal modes. The modes let a driver tailor powertrain response and other settings. Eco mode adjusts engine response and climate-control settings to help maximize fuel economy; Sport mode sharpens throttle and transmission response for a more engaging driving experience; and Normal mode is designed to provide an ideal balance of performance and efficiency. Naturally, the Sport modes adds to the fun, though in city traffic, it’s nice to have that Eco mode as well.
The ES has many of the advanced driving features we’ve come to expect in luxury cars, including a Pre-Collision System and Lane Departure Alert. Optional features include Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
With the new design changes, we’ve become much more interested in the Lexus brand, and the offerings are positioned very well. When you’re looking for a luxury sedan, you have some great options with the luxurious ES, the more performance-oriented IS and the flagship LS.