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Car reviews - Lexus - ES - 350 Sports Luxury


The feature-packed Lexus ES350 puts space and luxury ahead of on-road dynamics

6 May 2014

LEXUS missed the ES mid-sizer during its seven-year absence from Australian showrooms, so much so that the company’s local arm lobbied hard for its global parent to reverse a decision to axe right-hand drive production and send it here.

This new one, based on the US-market Avalon sedan, slots into the local range between the IS and GS, and offers a more conservative experience than either – in our minds an olive branch to Lexus’ loyal band of older clientele that may not be entirely behind the more aggressive design of some of the company’s other new models.

Here we drive the flagship $74,000 ES350 Sports Luxury with a potent V6 petrol engine, though an entry $63k hybrid version can also be had for those on a budget.

Let’s make this clear: dynamically, the ES falls well short of its Germanic rivals – and the local VF Commodore, for that matter – but it comes with a long list of equipment, a remarkably spacious interior with rear legroom on par with a Mercedes S-Class, and a level of refinement that none match.

So then, if you want a sports sedan, steer clear, but if you want a plush and cushy limo with some badge cred and don’t mind the conservative image, then maybe the ES is for you.

Read on for drive impressions…

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Model release date: 1 November 2013 to 1 August 2015

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