First Drive – 2013 Lexus ES 350

Completely redesigned for the 2013 model year, the newest ES delivers unprecedented levels of luxury and style never before seen on an entry-level luxury vehicle.  It’s worth arguing that while the ES was once the only vehicle in the Lexus line-up that wore the crown with the words “entry-level” inscribed upon it, there are now two other models in the range with lower price tags on them, namely the CTh and the IS.  Nevertheless, during the vehicle’s world debut, Lexus General Manager Mark Templin announced the new ES as “an entry-level vehicle that is anything but.”  For the record, that’s a statement we’ll stand behind.

The exterior of the ES is characterized by a bolder, more masculine design augmented by increased exterior dimensions, giving the vehicle a more substantial on-road presence than in previous generations.  The front projector-style HID headlights feature Lexus-signature LED daytime running lights that are found on every vehicle in the range, and the front fascia is framed by the new Spindle Grille, which compliments the look of the vehicle.  Around the sides you’ll notice that Lexus has chosen a more conservative design technique devoid of a strong character line across the middle.  Instead, the sides are smooth and uncluttered with the exception of a subtle shoulder crease right below the windows that connects the front and rear perfectly.  Around back you’ll notice that the ES now features wraparound LED taillights joined by a chrome accent that lines the trunk.  Further empathizing the vehicle’s sportiness, the ES’s trunk features an integrated spoiler.

Climb inside the new ES and you’ll find a very luxurious interior that feels at least a class above what you’d expect to find.  The dashboard, seats, and door panel trim have been lined with NuLuxe material, an eco-friendly synthetic leather developed by Lexus that’s literally softer and more resilient than real leather.  The wood trim inside the ES is absolutely exquisite, demonstrating Lexus’ attention to detail.  Although Lexus’ wood trim pieces have always been “matched” (the pieces in any given car come from the same very tree to ensure matching grain, texture, and hue), but this technique is very evident in the ES. The ES also features Lexus’ very own Drive Mode Select system that allows the driver to choose a driving setup to suit their mood – Available modes include Eco, Normal, and Sport.  The higher you go in modes, the steering and throttle response sharpens, thanks in part to very sophisticated and efficient electronically assisted power steering.  The ES comes standard with a power moonroof; a panoramic moonroof is also available.

Driving the ES is pleasurable thanks to a very quiet cabin, thoughtful placement of all the infotainment and telematics controls, and all of the luxurious touches inside the car.  The suspension delivers a comfortable yet confident ride, and acceleration is brisk but not harsh.  The ES is one of those cars that simply obeys driver input and complies.  The body roll is minimal compared to what you might expect out of a vehicle this size, and while the V-6 engine is powerful, it’s efficient – it’s capable of up to 31mpg on the highway, and achieves 21mpg in the city (24 mpg combined).

The 2013 ES is now available at Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis.  Please feel free to come in and test drive a new ES for yourself.  Until then, please enjoy our high-resolution photo gallery below and be sure to watch our video review.

Source – Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis

Speak Your Mind