The 2019 Lexus ES is all-new with significant updates that make this entry-level luxury sedan a more appealing option. In addition to bolder styling and a new F Sport trim, the ES boasts a luxurious interior that feels anything but entry level.
It’s hard to miss the ES 350 with its big spindle grille. This gives it a sporty, performance look regardless of the trim you choose. The ES is longer, lower, and wider with a longer wheelbase that further enhances its aggressive stance.
The new F Sport takes that idea a step further with a unique grille, dual-spoke 19-inch wheels, trunk lid spoiler, and dark accents that give the F Sport its own special appeal. It’s not just about looks, however, as the F Sport also gets adaptive variable suspension for superior ride quality.
The lineup includes a range of four trims – three of which are also available as a hybrid – with the base Lexus ES 350 starting at $39,600. This keeps it a smidge under the 40K mark while the top ES 350 Ultra Luxury starts at $43,250. We had that top trim as our test car and spent our time feeling quite coddled.
The interior is beautiful and quite befitting of a luxury car. There’s a standard 14-way power driver’s seat with 4-way lumbar, 10-way power front passenger seat, semi-aniline leather trims, heated and ventilated front seats, wood trims, and memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and steering wheel. It’s an impressive sight when you open the doors.
Seating is comfortable and supportive with adjustability that works for drivers of any height. The seat cushion extender on the driver’s side, which is also standard, is a welcome addition for those with longer legs.
Ambient lighting helps set the mood and a power rear sunshade with manual rear door sunshades add to passenger comfort. A luxury car should look and feel the part, even if it’s entry level, and the ES3 350 delivers a true luxury car experience.
While an 8-inch color display screen with 10-speaker audio is standard on the top trim, our tester featured an upgrade to a Mark Levinson system with 17 speakers and a 12.3-inch display screen. The sound quality is fantastic as it was tuned specifically to the ES and it’s a great addition if you’re prepared to pay for the $3,000 package. This is also the first Lexus with Apple CarPlay, but no Android Auto yet.
Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque paired to an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission. That’s ample power to move this sedan confidently into highway traffic with the transmission doing its job quietly in the background.
A luxurious look and feel is only part of what you expect in a car like the ES 350. It also needs to drive like a luxury car. This means a smooth ride that evens out the bumps, keeps the cabin quiet, and lets everyone enjoy the trip.
The ES 350 delivers on this expectation and offers a drive mode selector so you can further tailor your drive experience. Choose from Eco, Normal, or Sport modes on most models. Those equipped with adaptive variable suspension lose Sport and gain Sport S, Sport S+, and Custom modes. You can make your ES 350 as sporty or as easygoing as you choose.
The ES also features Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 with pre-collision system, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, intelligent high beams, parking support and Lexus Enform Safety Connect. That’s a strong base offering, but you can opt for additional safety features including blind spot monitoring, park assist sonar with pedestrian detection, and a panoramic view monitor.
The all-new 2019 Lexus ES offers the complete luxury car experience in a range of four trims. It looks like a Lexus and feels like a Lexus, it just doesn’t have the more expensive pricing of models that sit higher in the lineup.
If you’re looking for your first luxury car, then a test drive of the 2019 Lexus ES is in order.