March 1, 2020

2017 Lexus ES 350 Sports Luxury Review

2017 Lexus ES Road Test and Review…

The Lexus ES is the more luxurious and comfortable version of the Japanese premium brands mid-size sedan.

This, to me at least, was even more obvious after the recent week I spent with the Lexus IS (review here).

The biggest difference between the pair is the driveline – the ES gets front-wheel drive and the IS, showing its sporty side, is a rear-wheel drive offering.

With the Lexus ES I had the ES 350 Sports Luxury, the upper-spec version of the two variant ES range in 2017 and a model that carries a $72,650 starting price.

The starting point in the ES range is the ES 350 Luxury, an offering that kicks off from $64,700.

So, what’s it like? Well, it’s a well-crafted, well-equipped luxury sedan that puts more emphasis on quiet, comfortable motoring than it does on athletic handling.

Styling is evolutionary and handsome, while the cabin boasts a modern and interesting aesthetic.

It exudes a sense of luxury, combined with the brand’s reputation for good engineering and quality finish.

Under the bonnet of the 2017 Lexus ES, in both model grades, is a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine.

204kW and 346Nm means it’s no slouch, despite being a vehicle aimed at cruising along comfortable, rather than ripping around race tracks.

Fuel economy, as is common with the Toyota/Lexus V6 petrol engine, can be an issue.

Expect to use on the other side of 13L/100km in the city.

Though on the highway you can expect to use somewhere around 8L/100km.

Overall the feel of the car is very refined, especially given how well sound-proofed the ES cabin is.

The transmission, a seven-speed auto, is smooth as well.

Is it worth opting for the more expensive ES 350 Sports Luxury? Well I’ll leave it up to you, but what I can say is that the entry-level model is exceptionally well equipped.

Those standard features include:

  • 17” alloy wheels
  • Eight-speaker stereo
  • Powered rear blind
  • Low speed collision mitigation
  • Distance control cruise control
  • DVD player
  • Electric/heated front seats
  • Sunroof
  • Sat-nav
  • Lane departure warning
  • Digital radio
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear cross traffic alert

While the ES 350 Sports Luxury adds:

  • Fifteen-speaker stereo
  • Multi-zone climate control
  • LED headlights
  • Heated rear seats
  • Partial leather seats
  • Woodgrain interior highlights

Lexus is also happy to throw in Ivory or Topaz trims in the Sports Luxury as a no cost option.

Either way you go there are some interesting touches in the ES 350.

One is that sun shade on the rear window, reducing glare when driving.

When you pop the vehicle in reverse, the shade automatically lowers, and rolls up again automatically when drive is engaged.

While the outside mirrors fold on locking, a bonus when parking in supermarket car parks.

Options boxes that you can tick at your Lexus dealer include; Premium Paint ($1,500) and a Panoramic Roof ($2,000).

And there isn’t an ANCAP safety rating for the 2017 Lexus ES.

Summing it up; the comfy edition of the mid-size Lexus luxury sedan is a well-equipped and pleasant vehicle to drive and ride in.

Not as crisp and interesting as the IS, for those who aren’t in a great hurry and more interested in arriving in comfort, then this is the one for you.

The downside is the engine, powerful yes, but not particularly technically advanced or efficient.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Lexus ES

Engine: 3.5 litre V6 petrol producing 204kW and 346Nm

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: 4yrs/100,000km

Origin: Japan

Price: from $64,700 (Luxury) and $72,650 (Sports Luxury)

About Garry Fabian 115 Articles
Garry is a contributor to Behind the Wheel. He has been a freelance journalist for over 25 years across a wide range of subjects, including technical and health areas.He has written weekly car reviews and automotive articles and historic features for a number of newspapers and magazines.

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