The Lexus ES F Sport combines sporting prowess with luxury, says Katie Brooks.
Price: $39,000 in the US for the standard model. UK prices and availability to be confirmed. Engine: 3.5-litre V6. Torque: 267 lb ft.
Moving the midsize saloon this deep into the sport space has taken seven generations, says Alisa Priddle in Motor Trend. The idea behind the 2019 Lexus ES (“executive saloon”) was to take the model – known for its luxury, quiet and comfort – and “pump up the driving dynamics”. And while previous Lexus F Sports have been “stiff and rigid”, combined with the comfort of the ES, Lexus has found the sweet spot in its new ES F Sport model.
The car remains faithful to the philosophy of the saloon – so much so that when driving it “calm is the first word that springs to mind”, says Pat Devereux in Top Gear. Indeed, the car was deemed “too quiet” during production, leading to concerns that passengers would experience car sickness from feeling too isolated. At 80mph, you can have a conversation with any one of your three passengers without going above regular volume.
Calm, however, does not mean boring. The Lexus team has taken to heart a directive that “boring designs would no longer be tolerated”, says Chris Paukert for Cnet’s Roadshow. Not only do the blacked-out mesh grille, lower fascias and rear spoiler add visual drama, they also nudge up the dynamic quotient.
It’s with this combination that Lexus hopes to attract younger buyers, adds Laura Burstein in the Robb Report. Driving it should give you the same feeling you get “when you put on your favourite shirt”, Yoshihiro Sawa, president of Lexus International, tells Burstein. “The one that fits perfectly.”