The team at Lexus haven’t just pulled the letters and numbers used to name their luxury vehicles out of a hat. For example, in the Lexus ES 350, the ES stands for “elegant saloon” (or “elegant sedan”) while the 350 lets you know that the engine concealed under that elegant exterior has 3456 ccs of capacity.
The E for elegant is certainly well chosen, as one has to comb through the thesaurus to find other adjectives to describe the exterior styling of this sedan. Elegant it certainly is, although one could also refer to it as suave, sophisticated, refined and classy. Some of this goes back to the design process. When being briefed with the concept of the ES line, the design team were told not to go to their computers to start designing but to spend time in swanky Californian beachfront mansions to give them a taste of true luxury that they then had to transfer to the vehicle design itself. Certainly, the exterior styling has managed to capture some of this atmosphere, as the vehicle looks like an objet d’art. The lines are seamless and subtle, and there’s something semi-sculptural about the hourglass-shaped front grille (they call it spindle shaped) set among the headlights, the jewel-like daytime running lights and the fog lights.
The luxurious design brief has also been carried into the interior styling, and it shows up in the very generous amount of leg and head room (including plenty for the passengers in the rear – you can imagine this vehicle being driven by a uniformed chauffeur) and the upholstery in leather in ivory, light grey or black, with piano black, birds-eye maple or “bamboo” trim. The rear armrest in the Sport Luxury variant of the Lexus ES 350 also suggests the possibility of chauffeur driven pampering – the presence of audio controls and air-con controls in the armrest give that suggestion, along with the heated outer rear seats in the top-of-the-line Sport Luxury Lexus ES 350. Unlike some other seats in luxury vehicles, the seat design doesn’t seem to have drawn inspiration from marshmallows. Instead, the styling is squarer and more restrained, but still very inviting and very, very comfortable.
Elegance is all very well, but the primary purpose of a car is to go places. Does the Lexus ES 350 have what it takes to be more than just something beautiful to look at and sit in? Indeed it does. Under the subtly sculpted bonnet and behind those pretty lights on the front, you’ll find quite an impressive petrol engine with V6 configuration, 24-valve DOHC, chain drive and dual VVT-i. Does this engine do the business? Judge for yourself: maximum power of 204 kW at 6200 rpm, maximum torque of 346 Nm at 4700 rmp…. and a combined fuel consumption of 9.5 L/100 km. Couple this up to the driving wheels (the front wheels, in the case of the Lexus ES 350) with the 6-speed ECT automatic transmission, and all this power could be at your fingertips. After all, when did power and luxury not go together? Three driving modes can be selected as you prefer: Eco, Normal and Sport, allowing you to adjust the responsiveness of the engine to your driving style and current situation.
It would be a shame if the power of the engine led to the beautiful exterior being spoilt in a crash, so there is an ample selection of safety features in the Lexus ES 350. Chief among these would have to be the braking/stability package, which includes ABS with brake assist, EBD, traction control and vehicle stability control. However, other driving aids do their thing to ensure that this beautiful car stays that way, including the pre-collision safety system, the rear view camera with rear guidance, ventilated disk brakes at the front and solid disk brakes at the back, the active cruise control, clearance and reversing sonar, and the blind spot monitor. If all goes to crème brûlée (something as refined as the Lexus ES 350 is going to go to anything as vulgar as custard) in spite of all these systems, the Lexus ES 350 also has 10 airbags that kick into action, and the very comfy headrests are also designed to protect your head and neck from whiplash.
Needless to say, the array of comfort, convenience and entertainment aids inside the Lexus ES 350 is also to be admired, and many of them can be controlled by the Lexus remote touch controller device – rather like a familiar remote controller but installed securely where the driver can reach. Dual zone climate control (tri-zone in the Lexus ES 350 Sport Luxury), four-door smart entry and smart start, a tilt and slide glass moonroof with a handy sunshade, the electrically controlled rear sunshade, two information display screens (one measuring 8 inches; the other being 3.5 inches), HDD sat-nav, voice control for several functions, Bluetooth connectivity and driver’s seat memory all do their bit to keep you (and your passengers) comfortable. You can also take things up a notch with the Lexus ES 350 Sport Luxury, which upgrades the 8-speaker sound system to a 15-speaker Mark Levinson system, High-Intensity Discharge headlights instead of halogens, power boot lid, passenger seat memory and a manual rear side window sunshade.
And what colour would you like your Lexus ES 350 to be? There are ten shades on offer: classics like white, black (two shades of black) and red; a dark blue; a light blue; three greys and a deep bronze.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Lexus ES 350, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Lexus dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!