The 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport really cements that “driving like a Lexus” now means one thing far totally different than it ever did earlier than. It isn’t uninteresting, it isn’t nameless and previous women in all probability will not prefer it. It shouldn’t be painted pearlescent white. As an alternative, the brand new ES is genuinely partaking to drive, feeling each bit prefer it was spawned from the identical gene pool because the lustworthy LC coupe and surprisingly sharp LS flagship sedan. I truly loved driving it greater than the BMW M550i, and I favored driving that car fairly a bit. Critically. Nobody is as stunned by that assertion because the man who typed it.
It actually comes right down to what you are feeling via that F Sport steering wheel, by way of your heels planted within the flooring under, and the seat of your pants that is now positioned decrease in a sportier driving place. The 2019 ES 350 is a type of automobiles that manages to shrink round you as you hustle it alongside, feeling a lot smaller than its full-size sedan dimensions would point out. It might be based mostly on the Avalon, however that car by no means felt as lithe and responsive as its Lexus cousin. The additional structural rigidity of the ES is a part of the equation.
Now, to be truthful, the ES in query is the F Sport mannequin fitted with the non-compulsory Adaptive Variable Suspension derived from the divine LC, which little question helps the dynamics in comparison with lesser ES trims. However judging by the impressions of others, plus the remainder of Lexus’ redone lineup, decrease-trim ESs appear to drive properly. Even the bottom automobiles include novel swing-valve shock absorbers designed to ably take in bumps whereas protecting issues degree round corners.
The electric energy steering motor has additionally migrated from the column to the rack – a positive hearth method to enhance steering really feel. And that it does, plus Lexus has a knack of tuning the varied steering settings (Regular, Sport and Sport+) to be delicate of their improve of effort. There isn’t any overly stiff weighting to fulfill the notion that “sporty” steering equals “stiff” steering, as is usually the case in automobiles with variable drive settings. Appropriately, I drove in Regular round city and in Sport+ on my mountain street analysis route. The variations aren’t night time and day — it nonetheless feels such as you’re driving the identical car — it is simply been tweaked barely for preferrred efficiency.
These drive settings additionally modify the adaptive suspension, in that case outfitted. One potential disadvantage to the F Sport and its superior dealing with capabilities is that even in Regular, you are feeling much more street imperfections than in ES fashions of the previous. In Sport+ it may possibly truly be disagreeable. There are those that could also be distressed by this and will in all probability skip this sportiest of trim ranges. Nonetheless, it does not endure from the stiff-legged harshness of some early F Sport fashions just like the earlier-era RX. An Particular person mode additionally lets you combine and match numerous dynamic parts.
The three.5-liter V6 engine is one factor wholly shared with the Avalon alongside, with its eight-velocity automated and entrance-wheel drive. Its 302 horsepower is greater than succesful for a car with such surprisingly sharp driving dynamics. Nonetheless, that Toyota eight-velocity cannot match the best-now responses of the ten-velocity discovered within the LC and LS, and the entrance-drive format nonetheless results in some torque steer when powering out of a nook.
Perhaps sooner or later sooner or later, the ES will undertake the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system provided in its new platform mate, the 2019 Toyota RAV4. Including it to the ES might make an amazing driving car even higher, whereas permitting the F Sport to be extra significantly in comparison with an Audi A4 or different entry-degree sport sedans. Maybe it isn’t technically possible, however given the elevated significance of all-wheel drive out there, including an ES 350 AWD mannequin looks like a good suggestion for causes past the mitigation of torque steer.
Lexus now provides Apple CarPlay, and Apple CarPlay now presents Google Maps (proper). You continue to need to pay additional for the Lexus navigation system (left) and it is sadly tied along with the superb Mark Levinson sound system.
If there’s one let-down, it is the cabin. The design is a bit uninteresting compared to the sensational LS and LC, and though all the things appears screwed collectively to the standard Lexus standard, the supplies lack a sure richness. It appears nearer to the admittedly excessive-high quality Camry and Avalon than it does a junior Lexus LS. You additionally need to cope with the Distant Contact interface and its abysmal touchpad controller. Positive, it now features Apple CarPlay, nevertheless it does not do a superb job of truly controlling it – very similar to the remainder of the infotainment system’s numerous features. I might reside with Distant Contact in a sports activities car just like the LC, however in a every day driver just like the ES? It might be a deal breaker.
And breaking a deal for the ES 350 F Sport can be an actual disgrace, as a result of it is really one of many extra satisfying automobiles I’ve pushed this yr. I additionally think it appears fairly good when painted within the test car’s Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.zero, and who can argue with a full-size sedan again seat? Most significantly, although, it drives like a Lexus.
Lexus ES 350 Info
– 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport Quick Spin Review –
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