The Lexus is one of the most popular vehicle brands in the Middle East and this is mainly because of its reputation as a reliable car that combines class and practicality. The seventh generation Lexus ES was recently unveiled in Saudi Arabia and it is packed with a host of changes, including a stylish new look and improved performance as well as driving dynamics.
Styling and interior
Departing from its traditional subtle style, the 2019 Lexus ES 350 spots a more aggressive new look. It borrows its styling from the Lexus LC and LS models. It features sharper edges and angular headlights which are combined with the new aggressive Lexus grille, making it more conspicuous than its predecessors. The rear has also been given sharper angles while its roof outline features more raking. Further to this, the new Lexus is bigger in size with an additional 1.7 inches, and 2.6 inches to its width and length respectively. Lexus has added a new trim level to this range, the F-Sport in addition to the base model, ES 350 and the ES 300H. The F Sport is the only model that will be availed in metallic color accents.
Lexus has not compromised on its reputation for combining class and comfort. The new ES features the signature Lexus leather seating, only in more upscale material and different color combinations. These have been paired with classic wood trimmings to complete the look. The F Sport will stand a class apart from the rest with its red leather seats and Hidori Aluminum accents instead of the wood trims. Ultimately, the new ES does not lose the cool and classic Lexus interior appeal.
While the seating is comfortable and roomy, the higher trim features 10-way ventilated power seats that can be heated for the driver and the front passenger. The larger cabin allows for more headroom and legroom for every passenger in the car. A handsfree trunk cover and panoramic sunroof are also available in the higher trims. The control knobs, buttons, and touchpad are all at the front, within easy access and reach for the driver.
Lexus has used the new GA-K (Global Architecture-K) platform on the 2019 ES to create a longer and wider model as well as better drivability and handling. In addition, the suspension system of the new ES has also been changed and now employs the Dynamic Control shocks that can smooth out every bump with ease. Both the 350 and the F Sport are powered by a 3.5l 302hp V6 engine that is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Drivers also have a variety of driving mode options. The ES 300h, on the other hand, is powered by a 2.5l 4-cylinder Atkinson engine paired with a 29.1 KW motor to deliver 215hp, which is 20 more than what the 2018 model can produce. In a smart move, Lexus has also shifted the battery pack storage to underneath the rear seat hence retaining the same trunk size as the ES 350. The fuel economy of the ES 300h has been touted at 44mpg which is quite economical.
Infotainment and Safety
Lexus adds the Apple CarPlay for the first in history to its models and this will ensure that drivers can connect to their phones while driving. Apart from this, the ES comes with a 12.3-inch screen that can control-click sensitivity and has zoom options to enable drivers to control the navigation and entertainment system. This is paired with several separate control buttons and complemented with a Qi wireless charging pad and a 17-speaker, 1800-watt audio system by Mark Levinson. The Lexus Safety System +2.0 is standard in all 2019 ES models and features adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, pre-collision system, oncoming vehicle detection, pedestrian detection and 10 airbags amongst other features.
With all these features, there is no doubt that Lexus intends to give rivals in the midsize luxury segment such as Genesis, Audi and Mercedes Benz a run for their money. The price for the 2019 Lexus ES 350 in the UAE starts at Dh. 195,000.