You notice the new Lexus ES 350 at the approach, with its bold spindle grille and sleek, lined body, resting on a longer wheelbase (2,820 mm) and redesigned suspension system.
As the ES holds sweetly in the curves while it gobbles up the straightaway, a type of bonding is developed between the driver and the road.
The cabin has a spacious, modern interior with ambient lighting and piano-black seats wrapped in an innovative material called NuLuxe.
It also offers unprecedented convenience of mobile connectivity, with state-of-the-art technology like Bluetooth, Sirius XM radio, rear window defogger with timer, and driver mode select with ECO, Normal, and Sport as choices.
What is under the hood will help set you in the mood. The V-6 engine with aluminum block and heads and a 3.5-liter, four cam, four valves per cylinder (a total of 24) cranks out 268 hp at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb-ft torque at 4,700 rpm. It uses unleaded 87 octane gasoline.
The 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift puts power down to the front pair of the 17” aluminum-alloy split-6-spoke wheels wrapped in all-season tires, making for a fine driving experience.
The longer platform allows for a generous amount of shoulder room (front 57.6”, rear 55.0”) and leg room (front 41.9”, rear 40.0”).
Adding to the experience is the available 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio speaker. You feel the cabin disappear as the concert hall replaces the immediate atmosphere.
Choosing a song is not a problem. Using your voice, innovative Gracenote technology can search your playlist by artist, genre, or year, and even create mixes on the fly.
Several unique safety features include on/off projector-bulb headlamps with integrated fog-lamps/LED daytime running lights (DRL) and intermittent wipers with mist cycle. Direct tire pressure monitor and tool kit/first aid kit are a bonus and part of the standard package.
The ES has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $36,000. Blind Spot Monitors with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and power rear sunshade can add an additional $700.
The Luxury Package has items like remote keyless entry-linked memory, rear camera, heated and ventilated front seats, and power tilt and telescopic steering, adding another $1,000 to the cost.
The ES gets up to 31 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city for about a combined 24 mpg average in fuel.
The rigid body and dynamic suspension help deliver precise handling through highway encounters that will help guarantee driver success, yet never tax ES to the max.
This is a vehicle that is road quiet, fun to drive, and luxuriously attired, while priced at a pleasing level.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org