Car Review: The Lexus ES 350 F Sport is more luxurious with an upgraded driving experience

If you want a luxury sedan, the Lexus ES fits the bill as a relaxed cruiser. But Lexus has taken a turn lately leaving their conservative thinking behind. The New ES sedan is no different. With a more expressive and daring style, it stands out now. There’s a sportier version of the ES sedan called the F Sport that has big 19-inch wheels and an egg crate grill, and there is even a rear spoiler on the trunk. Inside racy red leather is loud and the heated and ventilated seats are very comfortable. The ES 350 F Sport is very spacious. The trunk is large but the rear seats don’t fold so you really can’t transport longer items. Also, the touch pad that controls the NAV and other systems on the large 12.3″ screen is finicky to use at first.

One thing that I don’t remember about past Lexus ES sedans is good handling. But the new ES 350 F Sport surprised me. This is no German luxury sedan in the corners but it’s much better than before. The adaptive variable suspension is improved at carving corners and is still comfortable for normal driving. The V6 is a smooth operator providing good punch for most drivers but it could handle a few more ponies under the hood. The eight-speed automatic provides seamless shifting. When I used the paddle shifter it provided quick firm shifts.

Cost: $44,635; as tested $53,120

MPG: 22mpg city, 31mpg highway; I managed 23.3mpg in 620 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, Smart Stop Technology, Blind Spot Monitor/Cross Traffic Alert and intuitive Parking Assist, Whiplash Injury Lessening front seatback, Pre-Collision System/Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning

Options: $2,900 navigation/Mark Levinson premium audio package; $1,515 premium triple beam LED headlamps; $550 power open/close trunk with kick sensor; $500 10.2″ head-up display; $180 F- Sport perforated leather heated steering wheel/ wiper deicer; $1,065 blind spot monitor/ cross traffic alert and intuitive parking assist; $750 adaptive variable suspension with Sport S+ mode; $75 wireless charger

Things to know: The once sleepy, yet comfortable luxury ES sedan has a new look. Now with the new F Sport trim level, the ES sedan has a more compelling driving experience than before.

Pros:

  • Luxurious, comfortable interior with high end materials
  • F Sport trim level has buttoned-up handling
  • Style in F Sport trim level is unique compared to other ES 350 trim levels

Cons:

  • Rear seats don’t fold down so hauling longer items could be a problem
  • Isn’t very fuel efficient
  • Touchpad interface is a pain to use at first

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