New for 2017

Changes for 2017 include the addition of the Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment, as well as some minor tweaks.

An Entry-Level Luxury Sedan That Offers More

Lexus takes a different approach to entry-level luxury than most other automakers. In the IS, it offers what you might call a more traditional entry-level luxury sedan, a car that emphasizes sporty handling rather than comfort. But Lexus also offers the 2017 ES, which proves that luxury cars don’t have to be sporty. The ES offers a remarkably spacious interior, a more luxurious ride, and more standard equipment than most other cars in the segment.

Performance

The ES is based on the same platform as the Toyota Camry, but it rises above its somewhat humble origins with a level of comfort and refinement to rival any other luxury sedan. The availability of a hybrid powertrain is an added plus for buyers who don’t want to sacrifice fuel economy.

That hybrid powertrain is available in the ES 300h model. It consists of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which send a combined 200 horsepower to the front wheels. Lexus says the ES 300h will do 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, and reach a top speed of 112 mph. It also features four driving modes—Normal, Sport, Eco, and EV—with EV mode allowing all-electric driving for short periods of time.

In addition to the hybrid, Lexus offers the ES 350 model. It uses a 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 sends 268 hp and 248 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. That will get the ES 350 from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, and its top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.

EPA-rated fuel economy for the ES 300h hybrid model is an impressive 40 mpg combined (40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway),* while the ES 350 and its non-hybrid V6 powertrain are rated at 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway).*

Features

The 2017 Lexus ES is a four-door, five-seat luxury sedan. Pricing starts at $38,900.**

The ES may be an “entry level” luxury sedan in terms of price, but Lexus tried not to compromise the “luxury” part just to achieve a certain price point. Consequently, the ES features an impressive array of standard equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights, moonroof, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, Siri Eyes Free voice control, analog clock, 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display, and Display Audio system with an 8.0-inch central display screen.

Lexus also offers a host of options, including heated and ventilated front seats, heated wood and leather steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, one-touch power trunk, power rear sunshade, panoramic roof, navigation system, and 15-speaker Mark Levinson® audio system.

Notable option packages include the Premium Package, which adds genuine wood trim, heated exterior mirrors, a memory system for the driver’s seat, and a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column. The Luxury Package includes those features and adds leather interior trim, additional wood trim, and more. The Ultra Luxury Package builds on that package, adding ambient lighting, a driver seat cushion extension, passenger seat memory, and more.

Design

The ES received a substantial update for the 2016 model year, giving it a sophisticated look that carries over into 2017. Lexus has really upped its styling game recently, producing more evocative designs that starkly contrast its more conservative previous efforts.

At the front, the ES has a distinctive face defined by Lexus’ trademark “spindle” grille and standard LED headlights, with an LED daytime running light signature. At the rear, the ES sports L-shaped taillights and (on non-hybrid models), chrome exhaust tips molded into the rear bumper, a styling element taken from Lexus’ flagship LS sedan.

Lexus also worked to make the interior as upscale as possible through its material choices. The ES cabin features soft-touch materials in places that get, err, touched often. Lexus is also one of the automakers to offer Bamboo trim as an option, and it’s much nicer looking than some of the more traditional wood trims offered by other automakers.

Most sedans in the ES’ class are compact models, but the Lexus boasts a generous amount of interior space. That includes 40 inches of rear legroom, as well as 100.1 cubic feet of total passenger volume and 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Lexus ES includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, and a full array of airbags. New for 2017 is the standard Lexus Safety System+, which bundles a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, and lane departure alert with steering assist. Optional safety features include park assist, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

Verdict

The 2017 Lexus ES carves its own path through the crowded luxury sedan field.

For more information or to schedule a test drive of the 2017 Lexus ES, contact us online or visit JM Lexus at 5350 W Sample Rd, Margate, FL 33073.

*EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary depending on driving habits and conditions.

**Prices listed are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the vehicle and options chosen by you. These prices do not include transportation, taxes, title, other options, dealer installation costs, or other dealer charges.

Image: Lexus