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 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.
The ES' options and packages take the luxury to another level. Among the amenities available: 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 tech includes a lane-departure warning system, radar-based cruise control, parking assist and blind-spot monitoring.
The ES 300h is the more fuel-efficient version of Lexus' midsize sedan, with its hybrid powertrain burning about 40 percent less fuel than the gas-only ES 350. That makes it one of the most fuel-efficient luxury cars out there. Sure, it's down on power compared with the V6-powered ES 350, but thanks to an all-new platform and sportier suspension tweaks across the board, the hybrid luxury sedan is surprisingly fun to drive.
Embarking on its seventh generation for the 2019 model year, the Lexus ES is far less a geriatric proposition than before.
The 2019 ES is one of the most comfortable cars I've ever driven. A pleasant antidote to failing infrastructure, the ES makes Los Angeles' 405 freeway's unevenness inconsequential. Not even sharp speed bumps can upset this Lexus.
The Good Terrific suspension soaks up the biggest bumps while still offering fun-to-drive handling. The seats are coddling, too.
The Bad You can't fold the rear seats down and the tech interface might be the worst on the market.
The Bottom Line If you want an efficient, plush car with a prestige badge, this is the one you should pick.
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