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 A more simplified cockpit has been replaced by one with more sophistication, and not surprisingly a more difficult learning curve with the controls.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.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesJazz Sampler Concert Sunday in RocklinRocklin, CA -The Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Sampler Concert on Sunday, September 25th
WJU Opens New Science LabROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University recently announced the opening of its new Gandy Chemistry Lab to students this semester, thus paving the way
Sacramento Capital Cup Fundraising Shatters $500,000 Goal Roseville, Calif. - Organizers of the Sacramento Capital Cup announced that they have surpassed their $500,000 fundraising goal
Lincoln Showcase Tonight at Beermann PlazaLincoln, CA- Lincoln Showcase returns to Beermann Plaza tonight with local food, wine and craft beer and live music.
Weekend Starts Here: Autumn Kicks Off with Fun EventsRoseville, CA- The first weekend of autumn will see a return of warmer weather along with a fun assortment of local events in the Roseville and Rocklin area
Video: Roseville State of the City AddressRoseville, CA- Roseville Mayor Carol Garcia kicks off the 2016 State of the City address highlighting the city of Roseville's strengths.
Oktoberfest at The Village at Squaw Valley September 24thSquaw Valley kicks off fall with the return of Oktoberfest, featuring authentic German craft beer, food, music and Bavarian-themed competitions.
Paid Placer County Poll Workers NeededAUBURN, Calif. -- Can't get enough of this year's election? The best seats in the house on Election Day are still available - and we'll pay you to take them.
Free Design & Engineering Advice in Rocklin and SacramentoRocklin, -- In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, on October 7, 2016, Sierra College, SME Sacramento Valley and Hacker Lab
Trash Talk Community Meeting in Roseville October 4thRoseville, CA - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority will host its sixth annual community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. to discuss odors and other operational issues
Mazda CX-9 a major hit with redesignRoseville, CA- The V6 engine is gone and the horsepower has been reduced, which leaves one wondering just what the heck Mazda was thinking when it put together the redesigned CX-9
Free Health & Wellness Fair September 23 in RocklinRocklin, CA -- Did you know that right here in Placer County there are a wide range of Health and Wellness services designed just for seniors and their caregivers?
NEWS: In Case You Missed It