Lexus ’ goal of becoming a player in the luxury market has received a shot in the arm with the arrival of the 2014 ES . Not only is it more dynamic looking, thanks to its adaption of Lexus’ new design ideology, but it also has all the luxury amenities and requisite technology to lock horns with the big boys of the market.
Say what you want about the 2014 ES 350, but you can’t deny that it has arrived and made its intentions known that it’s not going away anytime soon. The limited engine choices could be a drawback, given how versatile and generous other models are in in their drivetrain variety.
All that being said, though, the ES definitely qualifies as a true luxury contender. It’s revised looks and incredibly detailed interior is already enough to justify that billing.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus ES 350.
The 2014 Lexus ES 350 personifies the reinvention of luxury. While it still carries some traits from the 2013 model, which ushered in the sixth generation of the ES, the 2014 model makes use of a more pronounced spindle grille that has become a staple of the automaker. You could make a case that it’s got the potential to rival BMW’s now iconic kidney grilles.
The 2014 Lexus ES 350 personifies the reinvention of luxury.
Likewise, the higher-than-usual beltline, coupled with the revised flared fenders, makes for a sportier look for the ES, an important characteristic if it wanted to be taken seriously in the luxury segment. With this upgrade, the ES looks more and more like a true luxury sedan.
Around back, the design doesn’t change much, other than the varying tailpipe configurations. That being said, the overall look of the 2014 ES is a testament to an ambition realized for Lexus.
2014 Lexus ES - Exterior Dimensions
|Overall Length||192.7 inches|
|Overall Width||71.7 inches|
|Overall Height||57.1 inches|
|Tread Width||Front 62.6 inches |
Rear 62.0 inches
2014 Lexus ES - Standard Exterior Features
- 17-inch alloy wheels with split six-spoke design
- Crisp, high-shouldered cut-line along flanks
- Distinctive wrap-around LED taillamps
- Dual-exhaust with seamless tips
- L-finesse inspired long, sleek cabin look
- Spindle grille design with incorporated Lexus logo
- LED foglamps (bulbs changed to LED)
- HID headlamps (w/LED DRLs)
- Shark fin antenna
- Side mirrors with integrated turn signals
In keeping with its dynamic look, the interior of the 2014 ES is all sorts of sophisticated
In keeping with its dynamic look, the interior of the 2014 ES 350 is all sorts of sophisticated, further adding even more weight to its arrival in the luxury segment. Every design was made with the intention of presenting a clean and classy look, highlighted by an intricately designed "layered" dashboard that smartly makes use of the spaces created.
The digital display is neatly tucked in an area that’s clearly visible for everybody, but has the appropriate shade so as not to let the sun get in the way of making visibility a problem. From there, gauges and buttons have been neatly designed, eliminating the illusion of clutter.
And the seats are really comfortable, making a ride inside the ES feel like you’re wrapped in a cocoon of soft leather with ample space for your legs.
2014 Lexus ES - Interior Dimensions
|Headroom Front||37.5 inches (with moonroof) |
37.7 inches (with glass roof)
|Headroom Rear||37.5 inches (with moonroof) |
36.9 inches (with glass roof)
|Legroom||Front 41.9 inches |
Rear 40.0 inches
|Shoulder Room||Front 57.6 inches |
- Rear 55.0 inches
|Hip Room||Front 54.8 inches |
Rear 53.8 inches
|EPA Passenger Volume||100.1 cu. ft.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||15.2 cu. ft.|
2014 Lexus ES - Standard Interior Features
- Assist grips (4): two front and two rear
- Contrast stitching on Instrument Panel
- NuLuxe interior available in Parchment, Light Gray, or Black
- Heated and ventilated seats available in NuLuxe
- Perforation added NuLuxe-trimmed seats (with heated/ventilated front seats only)
- Metallic and leather-trimmed shift knob
- Rear coat hooks
- Piano black trim for instrument panel, doors and upper console (wood trim is optional with PM package)
- Drive Mode Select (Normal, Eco, Sport)
- Automatic climate control display: fan speed and air flow indicators
- Battery, oil level, seat belt, brake, airbag SRS, side airbag SRS, engine, oil pressure, low fuel, tire pressure and tire slippage (with TRAC) warning lights
- Cruise control indicator lamps
- Door open, TRAC off, high beam and hazard lights
- Eco Drive indicator
- Headlights-on indicator in instrument panel
- LCD-type electronic digital twin trip meters and odometer display
Here’s where the gushing for the 2014 Lexus ES slows down. The ES comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. On its own, the output is a little low for the vehicle and the 0-to-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds is on the lower end of the scale in the class. Add to that a top speed of 130 mph, and you can see why the ES falls behind in this department.
With Infiniti’s new Q50 belting out 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, it would’ve been nice for the ES 350 to boast that much power, too.
|Type||Materials V6 aluminum block and cylinder heads|
|Valvetrain||DOHC 24-valve with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)|
|Bore x Stroke||3.70 in. x 3.27 in.|
|Horsepower (SAE)||268 hp @ 6,200 rpm|
|Torque||248 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm|
|Maximum Engine Speed (redline)||6,300 rpm|
|Fuel System||Electronically controlled sequential fuel injection (SFI)|
|Fuel Requirement||Regular 87 octane unleaded|
|0-60 mph Acceleration (mfr. estimate)||7.1 sec|
|0-1/4 Mile Acceleration (mfr. estimate)||15.1 sec|
|Top Track Speed (mfr. estimate)||130 mph (electronically limited)|
|EPA Estimated Fuel Economy (City/Hwy/Combined)||21/31/24|
|Coefficient of Drag (Cd)||0.27|
Another unfortunate reality about the Lexus ES is the lack of variety as far as versions are concerned. For the 2014 model, Lexus is only offering two of them, the ES 350 that carries a price tag of $36,620 and the ES 300h, which is a little more expensive at $39,500.
|Luxury package 2||$7,463|
|18-inch split-10-spoke alloy wheels with high gloss finish||$880|
|17-inch split-10-spoke alloy wheels with high gloss finish||$110|
|Cargo net - envelope||$64|
|Carpet trunk mat||$105|
|Glass breakage sensor||$329|
|Remote engine starter||$499|
|All weather floor mats||$110|
|Illuminated Door Sills||$379|
|Body side moldings||$199|
|Door edge guards||$139|
|Rear bumper applique||$76|
|Paint protection film||$429|
|Remote engine starter+||$799|
For all the leaps Lexus has made into turning the ES into a bonafide luxury car, it still has its hands full against a fellow new arrival to the market, the Infiniti Q50.
The new Q50 received its own smooth yet new and dynamic design language, highlighted by new LED-infused headlights, a "double arch" grille and a crescent-shaped C-pillar. For the interior, Infiniti has placed higher-quality materials and user-focused advanced technology. On those two ends, we can call it a wash between the two.
But the engine is where the Q50 has the legs over the Lexus ES, thanks to its updated 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers a total of 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. No performance numbers have been announced, but we estimate it to be much quicker than the ES with a 0-60 mph time of about 5.5 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.
Oh, and here’s another advantage for the Q50: variety. All in all, Infiniti is offering a whopping 10 different trims of the Q50 spread between the 3.7 gas and the hybrid version. The base model, the 3.7 RWD, sells for $36,700 while the top-of-the-line 3.7 AWD sells for $45,000.
Gallery Infiniti Q50
Likewise, the hybrid models enter the market at $43,950 for the Q50 Hybrid Premium all the way up to $48,150 for the Hybrid AWD model.
Here’s the disclaimer when it comes to the 2014 Lexus ES 350: it looks really good, but so does the rest of its competitors. No more is that evident than with the all-new Cadillac CTS.
Featuring a long-overdue new look that ushers in a new design era for Cadillac, the 2014 CTS now features a long, lean and sexy exterior, thanks to its stretched body and a 1-inch-lower roofline and windshield cowl. The new headlights add to the sleek look as does the LED strips that outline the outer edge of each taillight and run down the side of the front skirt, giving the CTS a more modern look that was becoming more and more absent on the old stylings of the sedan.
More to the 2014 CTS’ renewed appeal is the variety of engine options, something the ES doesn’t have. The standard powertrain is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a 272 horsepower output that allows the sedan to hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. From there, buyers can opt for a beefier 3.6-liter V-6 engine pumps out 321 horsepower, which, if you’re doing your math, blows the ES’ performance numbers out of the water.
The ES can take comfort knowing that the CTS is a more expensive model, with a base price of $46,025 for the 2.0 Standard all the way to $65,425 for the 3.6 Premium.
Gallery Cadillac CTS Sedan
Lexus did a fantastic job dressing up the ES 350 and adapting its new design language to the luxury sedan. But its hard to go around the fact that its limited in the engine department with only one gas version at its disposal. That lack of variety could be turn off for those looking for more power from their new sedan.
But other than that, the ES should hold its own against an influx of new rivals. The lengths Lexus has achieved in becoming the brand it’s been aiming to be is definitely reflected in the ES.
- Fantastic look
- Clean and sophisticated interior
- Very competitive price
- Competitive market
- Lack of engine choices