Seat Time: 2016 Lexus ES 350 – My Kind of Boring

August 10th, 2016 at 3:25pm

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Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Lexus ES 350
Price: ~$39,000 (as tested)

Final Impression:

Ever since the beginning, all the way back to 1989, the Lexus ES has been based off the Toyota Camry platform. But the car has started to pull away from its roots. In 2013 the ES was switched over to a modified platform with a nearly 2-inch longer wheelbase than the Camry. The move has pushed the ES more in line with the full-size Avalon.

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And to keep it more in line with its newest offerings, Lexus slapped a bigger and bolder version of its spindle grille on for the 2016 model year. It also received some minor tweaks to the rear fascia and interior as well. But the big change was the grille. And while I generally hear how bad the spindle grille looks, sales of the ES have not changed all that much since the switch. They’re down only slightly through the first seven months of the year and were actually up over 8.5% in July compared to the month before.

And I think I know why people are still flocking to the car. Because the Lexus ES is boring. Now, before you go thinking I’m messing with you, let me explain.

Aside from the grille, there is absolutely nothing on this car that will make you go, WOW! It’s not all that fast. The suspension is too soft to push the car hard into corners. The dash layout looks old and outdated. And there’s no sweet new technology that you can’t get from the competition.

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But what this car will do for you is, get you from Point A to Point B reliably every time. It will do it with adequate power and have enough on tap if you need to get up and go. It will do it with a smooth ride and comfortable seats the entire way. And the buttons and knobs for controlling functions, like the vents and infotainment screen are mostly intuitive and easy to use.

So, while the Lexus ES maybe a boring car, it’s the kind of boring some people can really get behind.

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