Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events

Redesigned Lexus ES 350 better than ever

One of the saddest days for my wife as a car owner came when her Lexus sedan got totaled in an accident. She vowed that day to replace the Lexus ES with another one.

With a daughter fully immersed in her college career, financially the time hasn't been right for us to purchase that Lexus replacement. But after watching me test drive the 2013 Lexus ES 350 last week, the goal hasn't changed - my wife wants another one.

And frankly, who can blame her? She isn't alone in her opinions. The ES model is Lexus' top-selling car for a reason.

The front-wheel drive ES makes a great first impression on looks alone and provides a similar feeling once behind the wheel.

For knowledgeable ES folks, an exterior change arrives with the redesign, the first one since 2007. The ES takes on a little different look with sharper features. The styling borrows from Lexus' signature hourglass-shaped grille, which Toyota's luxury division public relations department describes as a "spindle."

The 2013 ES has also added an inch in length and the wheelbase has been increased by nearly 2 inches. The other new facet with the ES 350 is its being paired with the new ES 300h, a gas-electric hybrid.

2013 Lexus ES 350

  • Performance: 3.5-liter, V-6, 268 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 21-31 mpg
  • Price: $36,100
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 4 years/unlimited mileage; maintenance 1 year/10,000 miles

Note that both the ES 350 and the 300h come in one trim model only. You either like them as is or you don't.

There has been no change in the ES 350 engine makeup; it's still a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It's plenty quick, going 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which matches most of its competitors.

Although it has three alternatives, I had it in Eco mode and the ES 350 provided such good performance that I literally forgot to try the other two drive mode options - Sport and Normal.

The hybrid ES 300h is a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder that pairs with an electric motor for a combined 200 horsepower. The 300h is connected to a CVT transmission that some testers felt responded like an automatic.

Previously a luxury version of the Toyota Camry, the ES 350 now utilizes the Toyota Avalon's longer platform.

The ES 350 interior has also been altered. A more simplified cockpit has been replaced by one with more sophistication, and not surprisingly a more difficult learning curve with the controls. It features the Remote Touch electronic interface, which I think is too much of a distraction while driving.

But not everything has changed with the ES interior. It still features leather and soft materials that make for a very appealing combination.

Driving the ES has never been considered sporty, and that hasn't changed despite the redesign. But the new Avalon suspension and some steering changes have improved the way the ES handles overall. The braking remains good and even at high speeds the ES provides a quiet ride.

The redesign was a welcome change for the ES 350, which needed a little more modernization. The improvements keep the ES right where it has always resided as a great selection in the entry-level luxury midsize sedan field.

Follow on Facebook

Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.

Placer County News Headlines

Downtown Roseville Oktoberfest this WeekendRoseville, CA- Get ready for Oktoberfest this Saturday October 22 at Downtown Roseville's Vernon Street Town Square.

Jack Reacher Opens at IMAX in SacramentoSacramento, Calif. - Set four years since the first film events, Jack Reacher is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit, but reveals that he is now

Genetic Testing Could Prevent DisabilityRecently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar service

Remodeling Your Kitchen - Think WhiteRoseville, CA- Sacramento Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the basics of remodeling kitchens to get the most out of your investment when selling a home.

Desert Trip: You Just Might Find, You Get What Ya NeedIndio, CA- "Any more fun and we'd be in trouble". Perhaps it was the heat of the desert sun speaking, but

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road provides good versatilityRoseville, CA- Toyota enjoys huge sales numbers in the U.S., where reportedly half the midsize trucks sold are Tacoma models

Placer Gives: Local Resident Leaves Lasting Gift for Disadvantaged YouthRoseville, CA - For Irmgard ("Else") Schichtel a childhood in Nazi Germany set in motion a circuitous path towards a permanent fund at Placer Community Foundation that

Salmon Advocate at Next Rooster Tails BreakfastThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge on October 21.

Ridge Tahoe's Dan Garrison Retiring after 34 YearsDan Garrison, the Ridge Tahoe's senior vice president/general manager, will retire in December following a storied 34 years at the resort.

Citrus Tree Quarantine Now at 118 Square MilesAfter the discovery in September of an insect that can carry a disease fatal to citrus trees, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has placed trees in a 118-square-mile area near Lincoln

Mountain Mandarin Festival Seeks VolunteersAs the Mountain Mandarin Festival, slated for November 18-20, has grown from several hundred visitors to 30,000 visitors, the need for volunteers has multiplied.

Sierra College Press Release: King SequoiaRocklin, CA - Sierra College Press has published "King Sequoia" by author and retired national park ranger, William C. Tweed.

NEWS: In Case You Missed It