Lexus ES 350

The Lexus ES is based on a platform similar to the Toyota Avalon, and that car's longer wheelbase affords a roomier interior, particularly for rear passengers. The ES features independent suspension all around for a smooth, effortless ride.

The ES 350 comes powered by a 3.5L V6 that makes 268 horsepower and delivers an estimated 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. This is mated to a 6-speed sequential-shift automatic. The all-new ES 300h Hybrid utilizes a 2.5L 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that is paired with an electric motor. The duo produces 200 horsepower and returns an estimated 40 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. The 300h features an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission to deliver seamless, efficient shifts.

The ES is rich in standard equipment, with perforated NuLuxe upholstery, power locks and mirrors as well as one-touch up/down windows, 10-way power adjustable front seats, one-touch open-close power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, leather seating and much more. Technology features include steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control, Display Audio with a back-up camera, driver-selectable engine mapping, 8-speaker sound system, and Lexus Enform Remote, which allows ES owners to remotely view and control certain features such as the locks, engine stop/start, and climate control via mobile app. Bluetooth hands-free technology is also standard.

Options and packages take the ES to another level. Among the amenities available include hard-drive-based navigation with voice command, heated and ventilated leather seating, a panorama glass roof, a power rear sunshade and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. Other goodies include a lane-departure warning system, radar-based cruise control, parking assist and blind-spot monitoring.

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Editors' First Take

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The longevity of some cars tends to sneak up on you. Case in point: this 2019 Lexus ES. Can you believe you're looking at the seventh-generation model? The ES, along with the marque's flagship LS sedan, are the two longest-running nameplates in the brand's history, having been on sale since Lexus' inception in 1989. In more human terms, that means that the ES family is firmly Generation Y -- it's a millennial.

That may come as a surprise, because throughout its life, the ES has been seen as a conservative, staidly-styled offering. Historically, it's been a model whose appeal was that it was easy to recommend to buyers "of a certain age" who prioritized qualities like a cushy ride, quiet cabin and drama-free ownership over all other attributes.

Riding atop its new GA-K chassis, the 2019 model looks set to maintain those hard-won ES-family touchstones. After spending a day driving it in Tennessee, I can confirm that it is indeed unerringly serene, and it enjoys excellent ride quality and sound isolation. Further, there's no reason to assume that the new ES will deliver anything other than sterling reliability.

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