Lexus ES 350, ES 300h underwhelm in New York
The 2013 luxury and hybrid models are at best inoffensive.
There was the promise of a "bold, courageous design" from Lexus group vice president and general manager Mark Templin today at the New York Auto Show. Then there was the 2013 Lexus ES 350 that appeared from beneath a Plexiglas trapezoid at the company's press conference.
The execution, I'm sorry to report, doesn't quite meet the hyperbole.
At best, the new ES 350 is an inoffensive design with conventional sedan flanks capped by the new face of Lexus at the front — essentially an Audi grille pinched in the middle to resemble an hourglass. Or a catfish, depending upon one's perspective. The powertrain is equally inoffensive: a 3.5-liter V6 backed by a six-speed automatic transmission, notable during a period when Lexus' competitors are rapidly moving toward 7-, 8- and 9-speed gearboxes.
Inside, the ES continues to offer the Enform multimedia system controlled by its fingertip mouse pointer. Good quality leather swaddles the surfaces, while a multi-tiered dash design at least feels fresh, even if it's not breaking any new ground. Of particular note, rear-seat legroom is outstanding even with a relatively tall passenger in the driver's seat.
Lexus also unveiled the new ES 300h, a hybrid version of the ES sedan. Don't be misled by the moniker: The ES 300h gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine coupled to the company's Hybrid Synergy Drive system for a claimed 40 mpg combined.
Yep, it's new product, and the brand faithful can breathe a sigh of relief that Lexus didn't go and do anything revolutionary to their transportation appliance. For enthusiasts waiting for signs of spice from Toyota's luxury arm, though, move along: Nothing to see here.
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Really?? Do you need your eyes checked Andy? Didn't you write “the overall look is attractive” about the Infiniti JX35? Yes I think you need your eyes checked.
Styling is subjective, so just because you think a car needs to have a lot of ridiculous unnecessary curves like the current crop of hideous Infinitis (which you seem to like) doesn't mean that a lot of other people agree with you. Actually, judging by the sales of these vehicles I think you are in the minority.
I think this new Lexus ES is not only one of the best looking Lexus sedans, but one of the best looking sedans currently on the market.
I like to think I have a little taste when it comes to car style; I drive a 1960 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 and a very nice BMW e46 cabrio.