2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport Sedan

Susan Frissell, Editor

All-new for 2019, the once stodgy Lexus ES 350 has moved into the much-desirable category of sedans. Who says sedans aren’t a ‘choice’ of vehicle today? We understand that the stats show many drivers moving into SUV’s of all makes, but there are still some of us that prefer a beautiful luxury sedan; particularly one with sport overtones.

Our 2019 Lexus ES 350, with F-Sport package, is just that: A beautiful-and in our case-Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0-sedan. One will recognize the F-Sport version from the regular ES 350 with one glance at the grille; a blacked-out pattern. The F-Sport version also moves up to the LC-inspired 19-inch wheels.

Driving the 2019 Lexus ES 350 was a pleasure and took this writer just a short time to figure out how it all worked inside. As expected, the audio, high-tech Nav system are all available; standard with the Nav/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package, which was an option on our test ES 350 F Sport. The navigation with a 12.3-inch split screen multimedia, voice-activated Nav system that can map zillions of points of interest, traffic and weather, and display the current speed limit, as well as locate nearby gas stations.

Standard on our ES 350 F Sport was the Amazon Alexa, used just as one does at home. It also syncs to the Nav System, and can be used to control compatible Smart-Home devices, as well as listen to audiobooks, stream Amazon music and check weather, or news briefings. Among other standard and optional high-tech features are Enform Remote, Apple Car Play, Lexus Enform Wi-Fi, Lexus Enform Dynamic Nav, Enform App Suite 2.0, Lexus Enform Service Connect, Drive Mode Select, Custom Drive Mode, Sport S+ Driving Mode, and of course, SiriusXM Satellite radio, among other expected amenities.

No longer in the “dull” category, the 2019 ES 350 has every ‘extra’ you’ll need, and desire. Preferring a ‘performance’ car in our driving life, the ES 350, with F Sport felt much like a BMW in more regards than in the past. No longer ‘anonymous,’ the ES engages you when in the driver’s seat. Alongside the re-designed LS sedan, they resemble royalty in any garage.

Consumers won’t be disappointed in any of the ES versions, but if you want a sports-car feel, in a practical sedan, the F Sport model won’t disappoint. Equipped with the optional Adaptive Variable Suspension (of LC fame), the dynamics are much more fun. If you prefer a sports version, the F Sport is for you, without question. We prefer the Sport/performance version of most sedans. However, even the base ES sedans will please drivers; as they are equipped with swing-valve shock absorbers that soak up bumps well, while keeping the car on track. Side point: This is very important in Indianapolis as this is the city with the most potholes! No contest!

It is difficult to be critical about a Lexus product, although “purists” may argue this point. The ES F Sport, however, does resemble the BMW M550 in certain ways. Now, some may disagree, and that’s all right, since this writer isn’t a track champ. But if you’re also seeking luxury along with a sport feel and performance, the ES won’t disappoint. Take a test drive, preferably, back-to-back with the BMW M 550.

As the years have passed, the once “bland” Lexus products aiming to be ‘mainstream” have since evolved, considerably. They are worthy of most drivers who want excitement and challenge; anything different than the average 4-door sedan feel. If you need that sedan-to cart around your 90-year-old parents-you, at least will feel a compromise on the side of style and performance. Once you drop them off, you’ll want to push the pedal to the medal so it can do its thing. And for this writer, there is something about driving a beautiful automobile.

A lot of the ‘sport’ feel is sensed through the F Sport steering wheel, and through your heels resting on the floor. The new seating is placed lower and more comfortably, enabling the driver to handle this sporty sedan more confidently. The 2019 ES 350 is one of those cars that manages to feel smaller than it is and wrap around you as you guide it along. It may be based on the Avalon, but the large size Toyota never felt as graceful and responsive as its Lexus cousin. The extra structural rigidity of the ES is part of the equation.

This review is of course, based on the ES with the F Sport package. The sport model that is fitted with the optional Adaptive Variable Suspension derived from the beautiful LC, which no doubt helps the dynamics compared to lesser ES trims. For anyone who aspires to driving a car with a true sport feel, yet the amenities of a sedan, adding the F Sport is a must!

Frissell Friendly Fido Four

Nix. No pups in this luxury mobile. Period!


Pricing: $39,600-$44,135
MSRP: $44,035
Engine: 3.5-liter, V6 (shared with the Avalon), 302 hp., 267 torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, FWD
Wheelbase: 113.
Height: 56.90
Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs.
Length: 195.90
Width: 73.40
EAP fuel economy: 22/32/26, highway 33
Tires: 235/45/R18
Wheels: 18-inch split 10-spoke alloy wheels with Dark Silver and machined finish
Gallons per tank: 15.9 gal.
5-Seat sedan, 4-door
Warranty: 48-MTHS/50,000-/100,000 HYBRID, BASIC: 72 MTHS/70,000-MILES POWERTRAIN, 8 YRS

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