• 2018 Lexus ES 350: As Smooth, Quiet and Comfortable As You’d Expect? [Review]


    2018 Lexus ES 350
    [Photo: Lexus]

    WHAT’S NEW

    The Lexus ES 350 leads off the company’s family of luxury sedans as the entry level model and adds a new Premier Package, which provides a wide array of features including heated and ventilated seats, driver seat memory, leather-trimmed steering wheel with power tilt/telescopic and memory, Park Assist and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

    Additionally for the 2018 model year, Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect now become complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership. Both were previously offered with a one-year trial period. The singular styling change for 2018 is the deletion of the dark metallic paint finish inside the headlight surrounds on bi-xenon lamp fitted vehicles. All of the ES 350’s metallic, pearl and mica exterior paint finishes utilize self-healing clear coat technology at no extra cost.

     

    2018 Lexus ES 350
    [Photo: Lexus]

    COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

    Moving into the cabin, the wide, horizontal dash’s contours and curves of the give the ES a feeling of spaciousness, and the high-mount hooded navigation system and the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel serve up an elegant yet practical aura.

    Standard equipment list is generous with features such as 10-way adjustable power front seats; automatic climate control; NuLuxe perforated upholstery with glossy Piano Black trim elements; a power tilt-and-slide moonroof; power-adjustable outside mirrors with turn signals and defoggers; remote-linked power windows and moonroof opening, as well as Lexus Personalized Settings to customize select electronic functions.

    The 2018 Lexus ES 350 is no stranger to advanced safety technologies. Lexus Safety System+ features a Pre-collision System, Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Brake Assist. Intelligent High Beam technology senses headlights from oncoming traffic and the taillights of the vehicle traveling in front, adjusting high- and low-beam illumination automatically. The 2018 Lexus ES also includes Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

    The eight-inch screen may be divided into up to three sections, showing different functions simultaneously. The 2018 Lexus ES 350 comes standard with an eight-speaker stereo system. However, a 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson premium audio system is available. The navigation system itself provides 3D map with bird’s eye views, predictive traffic information, detour preview, ETA calculation and fuel station locations. Unfortunately, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not supported.

    My test 2018 Lexus ES 350 4-door sedan wore and Atomic Silver metallic exterior finish, complemented by an Ivory and Charcoal-toned interior with polished wood trim elements. The base price was set at $38,900, with the final sticker totaling $50,177 after adding optional features and destination charges.

    2018 Lexus ES 350
    [Photo: Lexus]

    PERFORMANCE

    The ES 350 draws its motive force from a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, driving the front wheels through a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The engine makes 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, while developing 248 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm.

    The 2018 Lexus ES 350 4-door sedan seats four adults quite comfortably, and five in a pinch. The ES350 falls in between the top level Toyota Avalon and the higher-end Lexus luxo-rides.

    The ES 350’s 3.5-liter V6 delivers a totally satisfactory level of acceleration along with a reasonable fuel economy rating. The ride quality is smooth and comfortable, while also delivering a stable posture during a more spirited driving attitude.

    Steering is responsive and reacts readily to input, but keep in mind that this is a car whose intent is on luxurious transportation rather than on sporty performance.

    2018 Lexus ES 350
    [Photo: Lexus]

    TFLCAR’S TAKE

    All in all, the 2018 Lexus ES 350 is an admirable form of luxury transportation intended to deliver several years of dependable service. It’s not the most dynamic Lexus on sale, but it’s a comfortable mid-size sedan with a healthy range of features and options.

    The warranty program is 48 months/50,000 miles basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles, 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage and 72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Lexus ES350

    On Sale: Now
    Base MSRP: $38,900
    Price as Tested:
    $50,177
    Engine: 3.5-liter V6 with Dual-VVT
    Drivetrain (Layout): Transversely mounted front engine, front-wheel drive.
    Horsepower: 268 hp @ 6,200 rpm
    Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
    Transmission: 6-speed automatic
    Suspension: Front: Independent MacPherson strut

    Rear: Dual-link Independent MacPherson strut

    Brakes: Power assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, Traction Control and VSC.
    Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4 P225/45 R18
    Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons
    Fuel economy (EPA): 21 City / 30 Highway MPG

    Dimensions:

    Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
    Length: 193.3 inches
    Width: 71.7 inches
    Height: 57.1 inches
    Turning Circle: 18.7 feet
    Curb Weight: 3,571 pounds

     

    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.
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