2015 Lexus ES 350 Review
A very spry couch.No Comments
This car is for those who prefer to drive from Point A to Point B in what amounts to a couch on wheels.
This is the Lexus ES. It's a platform relative of the Toyota Camry. As such, it carries just about the same level of excitement that a standard Camry does - that is to say, not much. In fact, that's what we'd say if somebody asked us what the changes for the Lexus ES were in the 2015 model year; the only changes come by way of the navigation system, which now includes a customizable home screen, 3D maps, and other small additions. Otherwise, the ES trudges into 2015 nearly unchanged.
That's a good thing, though, in a way; Lexus ES buyers are accustomed to a certain level of plush luxury, devoid of any mention of g-forces or spirited driving. Lexus really knows its market with the ES, which is why next year's facelift will be very minor at best. If you want a sportier experience, the IS is more for you. This car is for those who prefer to drive from Point A to Point B in what amounts to a couch on wheels.
However, if you need to push the gas pedal into the firewall, the ES 350 will show a surprising amount of hustle. With 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque coursing through the driveline to the front wheels, it's staggeringly easy to break the comfort-centric tires loose at lower speeds. If you prefer to rack up MPGs rather than speeding tickets, though, the ES 350 will still help you out. In our driving, we found it easy to achieve the car's EPA-estimated 21-mpg city rating, and we found it even easier to surpass its 31-mpg highway rating.
This might not be the car for you. But that's fine, because for somebody else, somebody with a different set of values, this car is like listening to Abbey Road for the first time. It'll hook you for life.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Power Output: 268 horsepower / 248 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 21 city / 31 highway
Base Price: $37,550
As Tested: $44,145 (incl. $925 destination)
Premium Package: Power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, seat-and-mirror-position memory linked to each key, bird's-eye maple wood trim
Luxury Package: Premium Package, plus perforated leather-trimmed interior, heated and ventilated front seats
Ultra Luxury Package: Luxury Package, plus semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, driver's seat power cushion extender, panoramic glass roof, power rear sunshade, ambient interior lighting
Navigation and Mark Levinson Package: Voice-activated navigation, eight-inch LCD display, Mark Levinson premium audio system, Remote Touch infotainment controller, Lexus Enform app suite
Individual Options: HID headlamps, forward collision warning with adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with automatic high beams, heated front seats, parking sensors, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, power trunk open/close, wood-and-leather-trimmed shift knob and steering wheel, power rear sunshade, rain-sensing wipers