2017 Lexus ES350

Susan Frissell
www.womenwithwheels.com

As is the case with most, if not all Lexus products, it’s just hard to go wrong with whatever model you choose; particularly, the ES350. Not a sedan we have been very excited about in the past-notwindstanding all its good points-the new 2017 styling finally hits the mark. Just driving it this morning, I was thinking to myself, “I could drive this every day and be very satisfied.”

Consumers will be well-satisfied once at least giving the competition a test drive, including the Acura TLX, Buick Lacrosse and Genesis G80. Die-hard Lexus buyers won’t have to question themselves. As many do, they just trade in the old one for a new model: Always the same ES, never dissatisfied. Some are just creatures of habit!

While there are a number of pros to the 2017 ES350, we found a few small frustrations, such as the optional remote touch interface, less than “exciting” handling, and a trunk that is smaller than most. We prefer a performance sedan, yet, the ES350 appeals, probably, to a great many more drivers; especially when in it on a daily basis.

On the other hand, there are ‘pros’ worth noting, and not a surprise to ES350 groupies, such as a quiet and well-equipped cabin, enthusiastic and quiet V6 engine and powertrain, and an expected Lexus-like tops in ride quality. Lexus’ 3.5-liter, V6 engine has been a great engine, dependable and trouble-free, and acceleration is impressive.

Legroom in the ES350 is generous and will be appreciated by those with long legs. The advanced electronic safety systems on the ES are standard equipment, and the interior is upscale and well laid out. The luxury version of the Toyota Camry, the ES350’s looks do vary some, and the new styling on the Camry is probably a tad more attractive.

We resonated with the updated interior design, soft materials and top stitching. The stitching design has crossed manufacturer lines and we like it, in general. It not only adds a luxo-touch, but it is also sporty. And perhaps a little European? Many don’t appreciate the Lexus mouse-like remote touch interface, but we’re accustomed to it now and find it fairly easy to manipulate, even though easier done when not behind the wheel.

Standard features on the ES350 include four wheel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist. Safety features also include dual front airbags, dual front knee airbags, front/rear seat-curtain airbags, Supplemental Restraint System, and 3-point safety belts for all passengers. Vehicle Stability Control with traction, Smart Stop Technology, Pre Collision System w/pedestrian detection, high-speed dynamic radar cruise, lane departure alert with steering assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps are also standard.

One of the optional packages on our test 2017 Lexus ES350 included the Premium Package (Lexus Memory System for driver’s seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, wood interior trim, remote keyless entry-linked memory, $730). Other options included the Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross Traffic Alert ($500), 18-inch wheels with High Gloss Finish ($880), Navigation System/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package (Lexus Enform Destinations, Lexus Enform App Suite ($2,590), Intuitive Parking Assist ($500), Wood/Leather-trimmed steering wheel ($300), carpet trunk mat ($105), Illuminated Door Sill ($379), and Body Side Moldings ($199). A lot of options at high prices. While one could do without many of them, try finding a ES350 equipped with less.

The 2017 Lexus ES350 is a desirable sedan that many consumers opt to drive, year after year. And though there are others now in this category just as nice, it would be difficult, if not impossible to convince any long-time ES owners to defect to the other side. Admitted, we hated giving it up after the week.

SPECS

MSRP: $38,900; total vehicle price $46,058, destination $975
Engine: 3.5-liter, 24-valve, V-6, all-aluminum construction, Dal VVT-I, 288 hp.,
Transmission: six-speed shiftable automatic
Wheelbase: 110.2 in.
Height: 56.3 in.
Length: 184.3 in.
Width: 71.3 in.
Wheels: 17-in. aluminum alloy, split 10-spoke
Tires: 215/56R17 all-season
EPA fuel economy: 21/30 mpg., avg. 24 mpg.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 gal.
Curb weight: 3,593 lbs.
Warranty: 4 yr/50,000-miles basic; 6 yr/70,000-miles powertrain

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