The Lexus ES 350 is an interesting car. It combines the niceties of a luxury sedan like wood trim, heated and cooled leather seats, and large amounts of posh with the humble underpinnings of a basic, daily commuter. That’s not to say the car is bad, but it certainly creates an interesting combination. I recently spent a week getting to know the ES 350 pretty well and I came away with mixed emotions.
Based on the Toyota Avalon platform, the four-door sedan affords plenty of legroom both front and rear with generous amounts of hip and shoulder room as well. Its ride falls somewhere between luxurious and sporty. It somehow tastefully walks the fine line between the two, never offending the senses nor outright pleasing them.
Come to think of it, non-offensive is a good way to describe the ES 350. It coddles its occupants from its garage within the gated community to the theater or museum with no fuss. It’s torquey 3.5-liter V-6 does a swell job of propelling the car forward without exerting an exceeding number of revs while its six-speed transmission shifts like warmed butter — firm but not hard; soft but not squishy.
The amenities list on my tester was long. In fact, the panoramic glass roof and 18-inch wheels seemed to be the only notable features missing. The remaining options made for a comfortable ride with enough gadgets to satisfy my inner geek. I did have one complaint about my ES 350 , and it centering on the most important human-car touch point within the vehicle.
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