Friday, April 5, 2013

2013 Lexus ES 350: Remade Sedan Remains a Winner

The Lexus ES 350 sedan has long been one of the more popular choices in the luxury sedan market. For the 2013 model year, it gets its first restyling since 2007, and the result should please longtime fans and perhaps win over a few new ones.

There is also now a hybrid version, the ES 300h. Our tester was the regular ES model.

The ES features a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The ES is rated at 21 mpg city, 31 highway.

The driver can choose a fuel-efficient or sport driving mode by pressing a button, depending on preference.

On the outside, the ES’s body is an inch longer and wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer. That added length brings about a half inch more space of legroom for rear seat passengers.

Up front, the control panel is easy to use, with knobs, rather than the annoying touch screen panels favored by a growing number of automakers today. There is also the Lexus Remote Touch control, that functions similar to a mouse and lets you control some settings.

For options, you can choose from premium stereo, backup camera and voice-activated navigation, among other items.

And safety options include lane-departure warning and precollision and blind-spot warnings.

The ES starts at around $39,000 and ranges into the low $40s.

For comfort, safety and an attractive design, the ES 350 is a great choice among luxury sedans.

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