The 2019 Lexus ES 350 is a big step in the right direction for the Camry-sized sedan. It looks eons better than the last ES, and it has the Lexus ride and luxury to back it up. Lexus redesigned the mid-size sedan for the 2019 model year, putting it on Toyota’s TNGA platform. It’s a good place to be, as every new Toyota that has come out on this architecture is more dynamic and comfortable than the last. Lexus even went so far as to add optional adaptive shocks to the equation, which stiffens up the ride in Sport mode. Our first tester was this gorgeous, blue F Sport model, which is comparable to the one West Coast Editor James Riswick drove last year. Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski tested an ES 350 with Lexus' top Ultra Luxury package. Our blue test car came with the aforementioned adaptive suspension, but the F Sport also gains 19-inch wheels and trim-exclusive sport seats. A Sport+ driving mode is added with the adaptive suspension, as well, joining the existing Sport, Normal and Eco modes. Without options, the ES 350 F Sport is a $45,160 car. All our tester's extras brought the final price to $54,450. The most expensive addition was the Mark Levinson audio system, combined with navigation for a hefty $2,900. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert costs $1,065; triple-beam LED headlights are $1,515, and the adaptive suspension is $750. A swath of unnecessary accessories balloon the price even higher, but it’s still cheaper than many of the German sedans. A generously equipped car could come in right around $50,000 if you’re willing to compromise on a few amenities. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I’m going to zero-in on the infotainment system's touchpad, which sits to the right of the driver. It’s tricky to use, especially while driving. To be fair, I didn’t spend a ton of time in this otherwise enjoyable ES 350 F Sport, but tuning the radio and toggling through the different sources (FM, XM, etc.) shouldn’t require all that much education. There are redundant controls for some of the functionality, but this still isn't great. You can do a lot of things with this touchpad -- flick, zoom, scroll -- it’s good in theory. But in practice, I find it annoying, and in traffic it can be distracting. There are simpler solutions that are better. Toyota has plenty of good tech hardware. The next day I drove an Avalon hybrid and had no issues with the touchscreen-operated infotainment. There was almost no adjustment period. That's the way to go. Assistant Editor Zac Palmer: Lexus knows how to make seats. I’ve never sat my bottom down in a Lexus cushion that didn’t make me happy, and the new ES 350 is more of the same. Not only are these "sport seats" plush and relaxing, but they also held me in well around corners. Somehow, Lexus has managed to hit the best of both worlds with these chairs, and I love it. The …
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|MPG||22 City / 33 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||302 @ 6600 rpm|
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