Remember the nineties, when super-plucked eyebrows were all the rage and a certain luxury car burst onto the scene? The Lexus offered one of the first two-toned paint jobs I noticed at the time. Back then, most of us could only dream of the day when we could drive a Lexus. Alas, the future has arrived. Our eyebrows are all grown out and require more maintenance than ever, and now Lexus is raising them with its 2015 ES 350 model and ES 300 hybrid.
As always, Lexus does not fail to disappoint with the amount of options available for this vehicle. This is a car company that is not afraid to outfit an automobile with the small touches that make each model enticing. In the case of the ES 350, there’s the ultra luxury package, the premium package, and the plain old luxury package. The “basic” luxury package (if you can call it that) boasts many dazzling features, including front seats that are heatedand ventilated. A quick step up to the premium package ensures that the driver receives all of the above benefits, with a telescopic steering wheel and authentic wood accents to boot. A leap to the ultra luxury package is a delight, with attractive add-ons like a panoramic glass roof and ambient interior lighting.Although the car’s exterior may not be considered particularly remarkable by those who would normally dish out $35k+ for a small sedan—the lines are fairly consistent with those of past model years, and nothing necessarily jumps out as spectacular—it compensates for this with extraordinary safety features.
The advanced airbag system, which comes standard on the ES 350 and ES 300 hybrid models, includes ten airbags. The driver and front passenger seats even boast knee airbags. The traction control system (TRAC) is another standard feature for both models. This technologically advanced system senses which wheel has better grip, and automatically sends power to it when there has been a loss of traction control for whatever reason. In addition to this feature, there is even a vehicle stability control system, which can sense issues with cornering and guide the car to self-correct with the selective application of brakes and modulation of the engine. Other standard safety features include an advanced braking system, a tire monitoring system, a rigid body structure, and more.
Lexus really pulled out all the stops with the ES 350’s safety systems! Literally. Smart stop technology comes standard, and some of the optional safety features include: a blind spot monitor, park assist, a backup camera, and HID headlamps.
For those who want to do the school run in style, the ES 350 and ES 300 hybrid are exceptionally well-suited to carting around the kids. The specially treated glass ensures that the little ones don’t get harmed by the sun’s harsh rays, and front and rear dual cupholders can be very helpful after soccer practice. The power trunk, which is capable of opening and closing, is optional but definitely worth its weight in gold after a trip to the grocery store. One touch of the fob and…voila! The trunk will do as you wish. We truly are living in the future.
Speaking of groceries, the cargo space is more than adequate for a family of four. There is a “roomy” feeling in this model, and even the center console can be used to store a few handy-dandy items, such as tissues or snacks.
After the kids have been dropped off at school, though, a parent’s got to have fun, too. The entry to I-75 is the halfway point between my son’s high school and our house so I’m often tempted to veer onto the entry ramp and drive north toward the North Georgia Mountains. It’s cars like the gorgeous, smooth, quiet, and speedy Lexus ES 350 that make that veer feel almost uncontrolled, as if an entity has taken over me and made me forget about the work that waits me in the office. This is where the ES 350’s 3.5-liter V6 engine comes in, whisking you down the highway with the added bonus of slick suspension and aerodynamics that are built for speed. This is a family car that performs. Also, with an mpg of 31 on the highway and 21 in the city, it won’t be necessary to stop for fuel constantly.
Incredibly, the ES 300 hybrid model also sports an impressive, powerful engine. In just 8.1 seconds, the ES hybrid goes from 0 to 60. With four driving modes and an EPA combined estimate of 40 mpg, this hybrid is the complete package.
Although pricing has not been released yet, the ES 350 is expected to start at around $37,000, while the ES hybrid should hover at around $40,000 for a base model. These certainly aren’t the least expensive cars in the world, but they are attractively priced for the luxury sector. The enhanced safety features alone provide an excellent value for savvy consumers, not to mention the fact that you’ll be a proud, luxurious Lexus owner. Aren’t you glad you live in the future?
Visit your local Lexus dealership to test drive a Lexus ES 350 and learn more about the ES 350 sedan on Lexus here.