With a base price of just $39,500 the all-new seventh-generation 2019 Lexus ES is certainly one of the best luxury car values that we’ve test driven in a long time. It’s a medium sized package that’s full of big luxury – a mastery of luxury that is the cornerstone of Lexus. We like the whole Lexus line (which has earned the JD Power Gold award), and the ES is one of our favorites of them all.
Sporting a new coupe-like silhouette, artfully designed interior and dynamic driving capabilities, the new ES boasts advanced technologies and amazing comfort, refinement and luxury. It rides on an all-new chassis that allows for a more dynamic exterior design.
In April of this year, the 2019 Lexus ES 350 F SPORT was awarded first place in the Mid-Size Luxury Car category at this year’s Texas Auto Writers Association Auto Roundup.
The ES 350 is built on the all-new Global Architecture – (GA-K) platform in Georgetown, Kentucky. Susan Elkington, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky said, “We strive to capture the Lexus mindset with every vehicle we build. We craft in quality, innovation, and delight for all the senses, for every customer.”
In the ES, the driver’s focus is kept on the road ahead by placing the center display screen, instrument panel and available head up display in a tight cluster in the driver’s field of view. Front passengers, on the other hand, get a more open and spacious environment that promotes relaxation. Rear seat passenger comfort has long been a hallmark of the ES and the seventh-generation model still prioritizes rear package capability despite the sleeker exterior roofline. It’s a comfortable, cozy interior.
The starting point of the new ES is the newly developed GA-K chassis, an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis. Various grades of high-tensile steel reduce weight versus previous platforms while additional enhancements like an all-new multi-link rear suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat gave the engineers the flexibility to tune the ES with a newfound level of precision.
All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that is designed to deliver commanding acceleration along with an invigorating sound. With an update to D-4S fuel injection, the impressively smooth engine now develops 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque.
In addition to the boost in power, the ES 350 also benefits from a new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. With a wider spread of ratios, the new eight-speed transmission is able to utilize high torque gears on the low end for quick starts and tall gearing on the high end for optimum efficiency.
Despite the significant boost in both power and torque, the new ES also delivers better fuel efficiency than before with EPA mileage numbers of 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
Overall, the Lexus ES offers a high-value luxury package that has proven itself over the long haul – seven generations worth. We like the styling, the interior setup, and the driving dynamics.