The Lexus ES has, in some methods, been a model ambassador because it reaches into the entry-level of automotive luxurious and expands upon it with a automobile identified for its class-leading reliability and distinctive construct high quality. For the 2020 mannequin yr, the Lexus ES 350 doesn’t change from its 2019 redesign, persevering with the seventh technology’s newfound persona and availability of a sportier F-Sport mannequin.
In my current week, I had the prospect to expertise the 2020 Lexus ES 350 in its top-level Ultra Luxury trim with each choice added on outdoors of what you get within the sporty F-Sport mannequin. The Lexus ES 350 doesn’t depart removed from a components that has labored nicely to win over conservative luxurious seekers. Most of what’s beloved in regards to the ES 350 is retained, reminiscent of its stitching machine-like 3.5-liter V6 engine that now touts 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque despatched by way of a smooth-shifting 8-speed computerized transmission earlier than the facility reaches the entrance wheels.
Power from the sleek V6 engine comes on robust and, at occasions, will break the entrance wheels lose and much more so whenever you come out of turns. Here, the Lexus ES 350 flashes off its strong naturally aspirated energy, the place a restricted slip differential may very well be useful however just isn’t provided. The welcoming energy of the ES 350 retains it on tempo with what is anticipated from such a luxurious automobile. Handling is extra on the relaxed facet of issues the place the F-Sport trim fills a spot for individuals who want a sportier character not just for appears to be like however within the division of being a bit extra steady and assuring with retuned suspension that includes adaptive dampers, one thing that’s not out there on different ES 350 trim ranges. For probably the most half, the driving expertise within the ES 350 Ultra Luxury is numb however exudes a luxurious character for refinement, distinctive quietness, and ease of maneuverability. The solely fault I discover is the entrance wheels are desperate to spin even with mid-level throttle inputs. The stability and traction management steps in softly most occasions however could minimize the throttle when an abundance of wheel spin is detected. If you retain the ES 350 in a straight line and lay into the throttle from a cease, you’ll count on to stand up to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds.
Fuel financial system has been a brilliant spot with the ES 350 and even higher within the out there ES 300h hybrid. The ES 350 will get 22 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway, and 26 mixed, when you enhance these numbers with the ES hybrid getting a mixed 44 mpg, which can price about $2,000 greater than the traditional ES 350.
Outside, the Lexus ES 350 Ultra Luxury builds upon the type that Lexus is understood for in lots of current years that includes its space-dominating spindle grille up entrance and new bi-LED computerized highbeam headlights. The newest ES 350 can virtually be labeled as a modern-day traditional because the designers have methodically sculpted the physique traces however to not put off what’s recognizable by most for it being a Lexus. There is a brand new coupe-line silhouette by way of the sloping roofline that’s to be observed within the seventh-generation ES, and a better-looking rear-end that appears sportier in any trim degree.
The bigger proportions of the midsized ES 350, with class-leading leg room up entrance and out again, almost rival full-size luxurious automobiles. The lengthy doorways are virtually a giveaway to the ample house within the brand new Lexus ES 350. The seating is snug, and in my Ultra Luxury take a look at automobile, there’s a bit of additional therapy given with semi-aniline perforated leather-based entrance seats with 14-way energy adjustment for driver’s seat and 8-way entrance passenger’s seat. There’s additionally computerized heating and air flow for the entrance seats, handbook rear passenger sunshades, an influence rear window sunshade, a massively huge power-sliding panoramic glass roof with an influence sunshade, and an influence opening and shutting trunk lid. All of the opposite anticipated luxurious facilities and options can be found, reminiscent of a heated steering wheel, a huge 10.2-inch colour heads-up show, Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system, wi-fi telephone charger, a bevy of energetic security options, and a brand new 12.3-inch infotainment display.
The downfalls I discover in my eye with the Lexus ES 350 is a surprisingly excessive seating place for the driving force’s seat and the quirky infotainment system that needs to be operated by a central distant contact management touchpad. The infotainment system, which in any other case has a good interface onscreen fed by way of a relatively huge excessive decision 12.3-inch display, continues to be cumbersome and distractive at occasions utilizing the touchpad with its adjustable haptic suggestions. While there are simply sufficient bodily controls for the audio and local weather management system, navigating the infotainment unit continues to be cumbersome. Here, Lexus may enormously profit by giving us a touchscreen – they don’t even need to revamp the general onscreen interface – simply make it a contact display. It appears Lexus is slowly taking such recommendation and rolling out a brand new touchscreen interface on some automobiles, reminiscent of the brand new RX, which the following yr’s ES may enormously profit from in the event that they select to take action.
The Lexus ES has been tweaked a tiny with every technology and people tweaks go the space to maintain with the traditions that work for luxurious patrons. Though, with such tweaks, Lexus has managed to extend the pricing because the top-level 2020 ES 350 Ultra Luxury will set you again $54,050 for my loaded-up take a look at automobile. Still, the ES 350 at its base degree might be had for the beginning value of $39,900 and nonetheless will get the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus award partly because of the normal energetic security gear.