The Lexus Elegant Sedan (ES) model debuted in 1989. Through its more than quarter century of upgrades, various trims and six generations it remains the standard in the entry level luxury sedan segment.
The 2015 ES 350, first offered as a 2007 model, is now in the fourth year of its current generation. It features new upgraded upholstery, a standard touchscreen “Display Audio” tech interface and some optional technology upgrades.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
Powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 with 268 horsepower, the 2015 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize, five-seat luxury sedan. It’s front-wheel drive and has a six-speed automatic transmission.
It’s available in one trim with several optional packages that further enhance an already extensive standard features list.
My weekly driver test vehicle, like every vehicle in the Lexus lineup, was handsomely appointed with quality features and high-end materials.
Beyond the extensive standard features list, which includes some items only available as options among competitors, the Lexus ES 350 also has several options. They’re offered in different regions throughout the country.
The Navigation Package, featured in my vehicle, included: a larger 8-inch display screen, the Remote Touch mouse-like electronics interface, a navigation system, voice controls, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, text-to-speech functionality and the Enform suite of smartphone-connected apps and concierge services.
The Luxury Package, also included, added: plus parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery and a power rear window sunshade.
Beyond its handsome but subtle exterior styling and well-crafted and extensively equipped interior, the Lexus ES 350 drives with the characteristics that made Lexus well respected in the Luxury segment.
There are more powerful and higher performance luxury sedans as several well-established auto publications have noted. But is being the fastest that important in a luxury sedan? The ES 350 is fastest enough, and for those unimpressed, consider a more desirable luxury vehicle quality — the ride.
The Lexus ES 350 is appreciably quiet, particularly at freeway speeds. And it provides a smooth, confident ride. It’s a cruising sedan with lots of comfort. It’s ideal business vehicle. And it’s a long haul wonder, the comfort, security and elegance of a spruced-up family room on four wheels.
Comfortable, handsome interior design.
Strong, confident engine with steady acceleration
Smooth, quiet ride.
Analog clock in the center of the dash looks classy.
Seat warmers great, but at the highest setting butts may burn.
Steep learning curve for some infotainment features.
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.5 seconds.
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 31 mpg (highway), 24 mpg (combined).
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $37,550.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.lexus.com.
Price As Tested: $43,660.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/70,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
“The ES represents the kind of luxury on which Lexus built its brand, and it continues to be a good choice for those more interested in comfort than performance.” — Cars.com.
“While not as engaging to drive as a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Cadillac CTS, the Lexus ES has a reputation for reliability, comfort and a strong resale value that continues to resonate.” — Kelley Blue Book.
“The 2015 Lexus ES 350 remains the standard-bearer for relaxed, luxuriously insulated transportation.” — Edmunds.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“As an affordable, efficient, no-nonsense midsize luxury sedan, the Lexus ES 350 is the real deal for thousands less than competitors.”