2018 Lexus ES ES 350 | Platinum
Lexus debuted the refreshed style for the 2017 ES at the Shanghai Motor Show with a much more prominent take on the company's spindle grille.
The 2017 Lexus ES is a comfort-oriented luxury sedan based on the Toyota Avalon architecture. The ES serves as a softer, more comfort-minded counterpoint to the performance-oriented IS and GS sport sedans in the Lexus lineup.
While it retains a relaxed driving demeanor, you might be surprised by how athletic the ES has become when you really need it to hustle. The ride is firm enough to create a buttoned-down feel but not so much as to mess with comfort. Straight-line tracking is quite predictable, and the steering is nicely weighted and fairly quick.
Beyond the updated looks, the other major change for the ES is the availability of the Lexus Safety System+ suite of tech. It includes a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. If all that isn't enough to make you feel more secure behind the wheel, a blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert is an additional option.
The improvements to the interior aren't quite as drastic as the outside. There's a redesigned steering wheel, shift knob with a leather boot, and more soft-touch materials around the console. New trim colors include Linear Dark Mocha, Illustrious Piano Black, and matte-finish Bamboo.
The ES's look has traditionally been conservative, but a 2017 update gives it a more aggressive nose highlighted by LED headlights and a larger version of Lexus' signature spindle grille. These changes, teamed with the shape the car received with its 2014 redesign, mean the ES is no longer an accessory to slab-sided boredom.
Other available models from Lexus ES