Seat Time: 2016 Infiniti QX60 – Achtung BMW, Infiniti Is Closing The Gap!

September 27th, 2016 at 2:47pm


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.

John McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Infiniti QX60
Price: $59,345 (as tested)

Final Impression:


You’ll notice it as soon as you slip into the driver’s seat and close the door behind you. There’s a solidity to Infiniti’s these days. They feel crisp, purposeful, taut. This is the kind of feeling you get in a car designed for those who take their driving seriously. Everyday commuters are invited to look elsewhere.

Infiniti is a brand that’s still trying to define its image but there is a personality that starting to shine through. And you can probably trace the change to Infiniti’s sponsorship of the Red Bull Formula One racing team in 2011. Infiniti even named Sebastian Vettel, then Formula One world champion, as its director of performance and he consulted with the company on how to improve the dynamic performance of its cars. Last year Read Bull and Infiniti decided to part ways, but the seeds had been sown. Some of that Formula One DNA rubbed off on Infiniti.

You feel it in simple ways such as the firmness of the foam in the seats, the grip of the small steering wheel, and the closeness of the cabin. Even though the QX60 is a decent sized SUV it feels fairly compact.


Once underway, the steering effort, the suspension settings, and the brake effort all impart a sense of confidence in the driver. This car feels like it knows what it’s doing. It encourages you to pick up the pace. And yet unlike so many other premium SUVs the QX60 doesn’t feel heavy or overly-muscled. It has the build of an Olympic sprinter, not an iron-pumping gym rat.

You see it in the styling as well. Infiniti’s are starting to mature into graceful looking cars with interesting details. Thanks to the guiding hand of chief designer Alfonso Albaisa they’re shedding the overly busy lines that gave them a jarring appearance. They still very much look like Infiniti’s, but much better than they looked before.


BMW should take note of what Infiniti is doing. Though the Japanese brand is in no position to challenge its German counterpart on the sales charts, its cars seem to be more in tune with the public’s taste in the premium segment. You could say the difference is in being svelte, not swarthy. Infiniti is delivering a delightful driving experience without resorting to big doses of testosterone. I think that approach especially resonates with women, and they account for more than half of all car purchases.

Now if only Infiniti would unbundle some of its option packages. If you want its suite of safety technologies get ready to pay through the nose. Oh, they’ll throw in some maple wood accents and heated rear seats, but the package will set you back by $6,900. Seems to me they’d do a better job of selling these options by offering a la carte pricing.

There’s a great precedent for doing this. Ever since Johann de Nysschen took over at Cadillac it started unbundling its option packages and instantly saw a big jump in take rates and transaction prices. You remember Johann. He’s the guy who used to run Infiniti.


Seat Time: The Aurora Borealis of Britain – 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman

September 23rd, 2016 at 1:00pm


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.

Chip Drake
Vehicle: 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman
Price: $32,530 (including $850 Destination)

Final Impression:


Though its sales might not exactly show it, there’s a cult of personality that surrounds the MINI Cooper. It starts with a simple wave… by passing MINI motorists and moves onto hundreds of owners who vacation together by driving cross-country in what’s called MINI TAKES THE STATES.

But how does a brand ignite such a passion? Well it’s got to start with the car so let’s look at my recent MINI loan and try to figure it out.

I drove the 2016 Cooper S Clubman with MINI’s 2-Liter twin turbo 4-cylinder engine and a manual transmission. This powertrain always delivers a very high “fun quotient” whichever Driving Mode you’re in: Sport, Mid or Green.

But despite the “cuteness” inherent in the MINI – it is a great looking design – I find the car a tad heavy when it comes to ride and handling. The suspension seems ultra stiff for my taste. And when you try to close those exclusive Clubman Split Rear Doors, it helps if you’re bench-pressing about 300 pounds – they’re not exactly feather-light.


And though you can’t complain about the upgrades that BMW continues to pump into the brand’s interior, for some reason I just don’t feel comfortable in the cabin. Whether it’s the legroom, headroom or some other reason, even though I like the brand and its vehicles, they’re just not for me.

But they do seem to be for a lot of other people. So why is there such love for the brand? I can point to a couple reasons.

First, you can customize the heck out of the car. Want a Cooper Hardtop 4 Door in Electric Blue? That’s the easy part. From there it gets a little tougher since you’re choosing from a possible ten million combinations. That’s a bit overwhelming for me but many MINI owners seem to like it.

MINI enthusiasts also seem to like the special editions the brand releases as well. Like the “Highlands Countryman” or the “Carbon MINI Hardtop 4 Door” and “Seven Edition” available on several cars.


Then, of course, the other attraction for many is the quirkiness of the brand, which is still evident in today’s design. The toggle switches throughout the cabin are an homage to the ‘60’s version of the MINI as is the large dial on the center of the I.P. But where that dial used to be the speedometer – which is now in the traditional spot — today it is home for the technology center with Navigation, Entertainment and a Rear View Camera among others situated there. And just to prove that not even technology can escape the MINI touch, the dial is encircled by what’s called a LED Center Instrument ring, which changes colors with systems and functions.

For instance, the Park Distance Control can flash from red to yellow to green when in reverse each color denoting distance. In fact, those same colors also represent the three Driving Modes as well. And still other features like the Audio System, Climate Control and Active Driving Assistant each have several different colors associated with a function. All in all, we guessed about 50 different color combinations, but even that might be conservative.

If I were in MINI Design I might ramp up all those colors and lights mentioned above, and release an Aurora Borealis Edition. And to make it even more exclusive – it would only be available at the lone MINI dealership in Alaska (Anchorage). Now you’ve got to say, that’s quirky.


Seat Time – Shattering The Minivan Stigma With Styling: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

September 16th, 2016 at 8:30am

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

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.

John McElroy
Vehicle: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Price: $48,455 as tested

Final Impression:

Minivans have a problem. Even though they are one of the most practical vehicles you can buy, most people would not be caught dead driving one. They don’t want the stigma of being branded as a soccer mom or a baseball dad, even though that’s exactly what they are. That’s a key reason why minivan sales are half of what they were 20 years ago.


But maybe Chrysler has cracked the code of how to get rid of that stigma. The new Pacifica looks nothing like the boxy Town & Country it’s replacing. That’s largely thanks to the jaunty angle of the D-pillar, and the wraparound look of the backlite and taillights. It looks more like a premium CUV than a minivan, especially in profile.

The stigma issue also explains why Chrysler enlisted the help of comedian Jim Gaffigan for its Pacifica television ads. His wry sense of humor (he can’t seem to remember his kid’s names) is aimed squarely at dads to convince them that it’s cool to drive a minivan.

The striking styling is more than skin deep; the interior is gorgeous. Or it least on the top-of-the-line Limited model it is. Sumptuous is a word that comes to mind. Every surface seems to be wrapped in leather or some kind of soft-touch material. The styling lines and color combinations are soothing, inviting and decidedly upscale. Lower-level models look good, but use a lot more hard plastic.


The Limited version I drove came with the “Uconnect Theater and Sound Group” option which transforms the middle seats into a multimedia entertainment center. It features seatback video screens, HDMI outlets, USB ports, Blu-Ray and DVD players, a 115 V power outlet, wireless headphones, remote control and a 760 W amplifier. The option costs $2,795 which is awfully pricey but probably worth every penny for anyone traveling with kids. Maybe not just kids. On one long drive I found myself back there playing solitaire on one of the video screens.

Chrysler continues to have an edge on its competitors with its Stow ’N Go seats that fold into the floor. On the Pacifica the rear row can be electrically operated. No more full body stretches to reach into the back. No more tugging on straps or latches. Even the valets were impressed to see it in action, and they see everything.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica drives as good as it looks. It’s noticeably quiet inside partly thanks to the use of noise cancellation.It provides good command-view seating, all-around good visibility and does not feel overly bulky when you’re trying to park it.

On the open road its 3.5 L V-6 provides plenty of power. I was stunned to see it deliver 27 miles per gallon traveling 80 miles an hour on a long highway drive. That’s partly due to its 9-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler has had a lot of problems with this transmission in other models and there were a couple of times where I thought it shifted funny. If they offer an extended warranty, I would take it.

Even so, I’m impressed by the Pacifica. Chrysler closed the quality gap considerably to the Toyota Siena and Honda Odyssey, especially with the interior design. But you pay for what you get. The Limited model that I drove came with a sticker price of $48,455. That’s a lot of money for a family hauler, even though it’s quite competitive with comparable Siena and Odyssey models.

Now I can’t wait to see how it sells. If the styling truly does shatter the stigma the Chrysler Pacifica could bring a lot more soccer moms and baseball dads back into the segment.


Seat Time – Fighting For Luxury: 2016 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD

September 12th, 2016 at 10:11am


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.

Chip Drake
Vehicle: 2016 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD
Price: $90,000

Final Impression:


Like any good Ultimate Fighting Championship Match…
when the fighters enter the Octagon the action is fast and furious and can be over in a matter of seconds. After driving the 2016 Jaguar XJL I thought that maybe JLR might consider a UFC edition since there seems to be an internal battle going on within this $90,000 luxury automobile.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one tremendous vehicle. Beautifully styled on the outside – our loan was painted in British Racing Green-Metallic – and equipped with a 3-Liter supercharged powertrain with 340 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic transmission. This combination allowed our Portfolio AWD edition to slip through city streets – taking it easy on the mpgs with its Intelligent Start-Stop function.

But as beautiful as the Jaguar is on the road, when you open the driver’s door it’s as if you’re entering a suite at the Four Seasons. A beautiful interior with wood trim encompassing the cabin, sweet heated and cooled front and rear leather seats, and a panoramic roof that yields a captivating view.

But it’s technology that everyone is talking about these days, be it a sub-compact cutie or a long-based beauty like this XJL. And that’s where the fight begins.

In the past, Jaguar always seemed lagging when it came to the multimedia command center in the center console. But to its credit, the company recognized those inefficiencies and upgraded the 2016 version with what it calls its InControl Touch Pro.


This was to be the answer to all those technological hiccups over the last few years. And when it comes to Bluetooth – Hallelujah – it worked well. No confusing seven step process to link your phone, just a clean couple of taps and you were in. But unfortunately, the marks for Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro went downhill from there.

Though our local radio stations were not affected, I can’t recall how many times the satellite radio feed froze after a mere touch of my finger; Yes, whether it was Wilco or the Weather Channel – whatever the broadcast – it just disappeared, turning the touchscreen into a punching bag for my index finger attempting to reboot the system.

But the fight didn’t stop there; Other times, you would try to change categories – such as moving from Pop to Rock – but nothing would move: the screen was frozen in time and didn’t return to life until the XJL itself was restarted

In addition, there were a handful of times that rear view camera didn’t engage as I backed out of my driveway.

Now obviously the pleasantries of the XJL far outnumbered any disappointments, however, when you’re paying almost $90,000 for a luxury car you shouldn’t have to be fighting with your 8” Touchscreen. Worse yet, stopping your car to reboot the system.

Earlier I suggested perhaps a Jaguar UFC edition might make sense. If so, to take full advantage of the power of the Octagon, a slight name change for the InControl Touch Pro would be in order.

How does “InControl Tap Out” strike you?


Seat Time – 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

September 1st, 2016 at 8:00pm

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

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.

John McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Price: $64,000+

Final Impression:

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

What a beast! It’d been a couple of years since I’d been in a Hellcat and I had forgotten just how big this car is. While the Mustang and Camaro have slimmed-down and lost weight the Challenger still sits on the same platform that dates back to the DaimlerChrysler days. That puts it about 750 pounds heavier than the pony cars it competes against.

That means this is a car that’s best suited for straight-line speed, not for tossing side to side as you zip through the twisty bits. And with 707 hp on tap you get up to speed mighty quick, even hauling that much weight around.

The Challenger Hellcat is a lot more comfortable than the Mustang or Camaro. It has a surprisingly supple suspension and seats that are comfortably cushy. Three kids will easily fit in the back seat, whereas practically no one can fit in the back seats of the other two cars. In other words, the Challenger Hellcat is perfect for a family of five with the need for speed.

The Hellcat can be loud as you row it through the gears. But once you slip it into fifth or sixth it cruises quietly, making this the kind of muscle car that you could live with every day.

Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 ho

But you better be prepared to make frequent stops at your favorite filling stations. It’s rated at 16 mpg overall but I never got close to that number. The best I could manage, even driving with a light foot, was 14 mpg. And if you really want to step into it, it’ll easily drop below 11. That’s one reason why this car comes with a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

I suspect anyone seriously interested in buying this car is not worried about the fuel economy or attracted to the big back seat. They’re attracted to the well proportioned styling, the bragging rights that 707 hp bring, and the visceral feeling you get in your gut when you fire this beast up.

The Challenger Hellcat comes with a price tag just over $64,000. It’s kind of a bargain for what it is. And even more amazing is that it holds its value better than most other cars.

It’s hard to imagine that today’s modern muscle car era is going to be around forever. And while I wouldn’t exactly call the Challenger Hellcat a dinosaur, if this is the kind of car you aspire to own you better buy one before it goes extinct.

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Seat Time – 2017 Subaru WRX – Affordable Performance

August 30th, 2016 at 6:00pm


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: Seamus McElroy
Vehicle: 2017 Subaru WRX
Price: $27,515 (Base)

Final Impression:

The Subaru WRX has always been one of my favorite cars to drive. And the new model didn’t disappoint. Sure there are more powerful cars and ones with sexier styling but unlike the WRX those won’t come cheap. There aren’t too many cars for enthusiasts that start in the mid-twenties like the WRX.

Powering the car is a 2.0L four-cylinder turbocharged BOXER engine that’s offered with a six-speed manual or a CVT. It cranks out 268 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque. And as you’d expect from a Subaru it comes in all-wheel-drive. I drove the manual and thought that it performed well. Shifting in and out of gear is very smooth. While I didn’t get a chance to completely open it up, I still found it to be a fairly powerful engine. Fuel economy is 20 MPG in the city, 27 on the highway, which is good for a combined average of 23 MPG.

The only differences between the new model and last year’s model, is an updated version of its EyeSight driver assistance system and its STARLINK multimedia platform, along with a few other minor changes.


Inside is where the WRX is a bit lacking but this is an issue with just about every car in Subaru’s line-up. Sure its got sport seats, a sportier steering wheel and other WRX specific trim but overall the interior is fairly ho-hum and nothing special compared to other cars in its price range. But if you’re like me this won’t bother you too much because the point of this car is to have fun, and a lackluster interior won’t deter from wanting one.

The WRX is on sale now with a starting price of $27,515.

Seat Time – DOUBLE VISION: 2016 Honda Civic EX & Apple CarPlay

August 16th, 2016 at 2:11pm

2016 Honda Civic Sedan

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.

Chip Drake
Vehicle: 2016 Honda Civic EX
Price: $22,875

Final Impression:


A tried and true storytelling vehicle for many a television or movie script has been the doppelganger. Now if you don’t recognize the technique by its Germanic name, chances are you will by this American description: that’s when there is a double of one of the lead characters inserted into the storyline usually for nefarious purposes.

Well recently, I encountered a doppelganger of my own and it all started on a trip to Carmel, California, better known as Clint Eastwood’s backyard.

This hamlet is a good 90-minutes or so from the larger Bay Area airports on some nice driving roads. So to take advantage of them, our friends at Honda loaned me a 2016 Honda Civic EX to drive to the event.

What could be more fun, right? A Civic equipped with Honda’s 2-Liter 4-cylinder 158 horsepower engine and a CVT tackling those great roads I mentioned before. Add to that the car had Honda’s Sensing Package with 6 safety features like Lane Keeping Assist, which gave me even more confidence that it was going to be a pressure-free drive.

But that’s when I experienced the doppelganger.

As I checked out the Civic prior to leaving the airport, I noticed that it didn’t have its own navigation. Since I needed help getting to my destination, I thought that the car might be equipped with Apple CarPlay. Though the monroney didn’t list it, knowing that Civic sales are heavy on millennials, it made sense it would it would be part of the package. I opened the center armrest storage unit, found the USB outlet and plugged in my phone. But much to my surprise nothing happened.


This was a true head scratcher because when I clicked “Settings” on the 7-inch Touchscreen Display, I got a dialogue box telling me that I needed an iPhone to engage CarPlay, which is what was already plugged into the system.

Well, I had to get to my event, so I did the next best thing which was to use my iPhone by itself. The challenge was the directional voice was not coming through the Civic’s audio system, so for the entire journey I was dividing my attention between driving and reviewing the phone’s map.

After finally arriving, I reviewed a video that a Honda Communications representative had sent me in response to my query about the setup of the Civic. It was a simple “How to use Apple CarPlay.” As I watched it a light bulb went off; it wasn’t a problem with my phone, the problem was the Civic’s doppelganger.


Yes, it turns out that the outlet I was plugged into – in the Center Storage bin — was the wrong USB. I should have hooked up in the USB port underneath the Center Stack. Once I plugged my phone in there, Apple CarPlay lit up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

And thank goodness it worked because I needed it. Having to leave at 4am on my return trip to the airport, CarPlay took me right there. With turn-by- turn directions on the Touchscreen and Siri doing the audio backup, it was heaven compared to the drive down. In fact you might even call it fun.

So the moral of my story is beware of doppelgangers. Whether you experience them through famous episodes of the original Star Trek (“Mirror, Mirror”) or comedies like Seinfeld (“The Bizzaro Jerry”), remember that it’s not just a TV Series that can create confusing doubles; Sometimes they’re disguised as harmless USB ports as well.


Seat Time – 2016 BMW 650i Coupe – A Jet On Wheels

August 12th, 2016 at 2:55pm

BMW 650i Coupe

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: Seamus McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 BMW 650i Coupe
Price: $91,500 (as tested)

Final Impression:

Once upon a time BMW used to make airplane engines. But even though the company doesn’t make those anymore, when you’re behind the wheel of the 650i Coupe it feels like you’re in a jet plane.

That’s because there’s a monster 4.4L turbo V8 under the hood that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. And as you can imagine it makes this rear-wheel drive car extremely powerful. The set-up cranks out 445 horsepower and you’re instantly thrown into the back of the seat when you stomp on the accelerator. That’s because this thing can do 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.5 seconds. But even though the car is made for speed, the ride is very smooth and refined thanks to the transmission and suspension.

Fuel economy isn’t great but it’s not terrible either. It’s rated at 17 MPG in the city and 25 on the highway, so you’ll average around 20 MPG depending on how you drive it. But if you’re buying this car, fuel economy is likely the least of your concerns. And speaking of fuel economy, unlike other BMW’s, especially past models, the start/stop system is very smooth and isn’t jarring when the engine kicks back on.

BMW 650i Coupe - interior

But the powertrain isn’t the only thing that makes you feel like you’re in a cockpit of a plane. Inside, the gauges and center stack are oriented toward the driver and the driver and passenger being separated by a large center console. But it’s still a luxurious interior, thanks to all the leather and other soft touch points.

Overall, I really liked the 650i Coupe. It’s got a great sleek design and it’s an absolute blast to drive, especially when you have the road to yourself. But at the end of the day, this is just a toy for someone wealthy enough to afford its $91,500 price tag.

BMW 650i Coupe

Seat Time – 2017 Audi A4 – How I Came To Hate Lane Keeping

August 11th, 2016 at 1:30pm


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: John McElroy
Vehicle: 2017 Audi A4
Price: From $37,300

Final Impression:

“What the hell is wrong with this car?” I asked myself. I was driving down the freeway at 70 miles an hour in a steady rain. And the car was wandering from one side of my lane to the other. It felt as if the steering gear had ground off half its teeth. The on-center feel was so vague that it felt like the steering wheel was loose.


So I quickly went through a mental checklist. Could I be hydroplaning? No way, I thought. It wasn’t raining hard enough and I wasn’t driving fast enough. Besides, this was an Audi with Quattro—all wheel drive—and Audi’s are exceptionally good all-weather cars.

Could it be bad EPAS calibration? After all, as cars have migrated to electric power assisted steering, there’s been a long learning curve as engineers try to get them to behave like good old mechanical steering. And it’s obvious that some automakers are much better than others at calibrating EPAS. But I quickly crossed that thought off the list, too. We’re talking about Audi, I told myself, and there’s no way they got the calibration this bad.

And then it occurred to me. It had to be some sort of lane-keeping system, you know, those systems designed to automatically keep the car in between the lane markers. But while I’ve driven lots of cars with lane-keeping, I had never come across anything this aggressive. It kept adjusting the steering even when the car was tracking in a straight line.


I quickly scanned the instrument panel to find a switch to turn it off. I couldn’t find a thing. Then I scanned the center console for a switch. Nothing. That’s when I gave up. I had to keep my eyes on the road instead of searching for a switch.

Later, back in the safety of my garage at home, I searched more thoroughly. I checked the bottom half of the instrument panel, especially to the left of the steering wheel, where most automakers put these kinds of switches. Nothing. I went through all the menus on the screen on the center console. Nothing. I looked in the glove box for an owners manual, always my move of last resort, but this car didn’t have a manual. Frustrated, I gave up.

The next day, a quick call to the helpful people at Audi’s public relations department quickly solved the problem. They confirmed that I was probably feeling the lane-keeping system and told me that I could turn it off with a button at the tip of the turn signal.


Now, before you think I’m a complete idiot, I hasten to point out that the steering wheel blocks your view of the end of the turn signal stalk. I never saw it. But sure enough, once I knew where it was, it was easy to turn off.

And that cured everything. Suddenly I went from driving a car with a propensity to wander within its lane to a proper Audi that steered exactly the way I wanted it to. What a difference! From total frustration to driving bliss. All with the flick of a switch.

After that all I can report about this car is that it’s everything you’d expect from an Audi A4. Well-crafted, visually appealing, responsive, nimble, um, what else can I say? It’s the kind of car that will appeal to almost every upscale car buyer…except when it’s in lane-keeping mode.


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

August 10th, 2016 at 3:25pm


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.


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.


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.