2014 Lexus ES 350 Luxury Sedan Road Test and Review: Introduction
Looking at my weathered face in a mirror, I wonder where the time has gone. I’m 46 years old now, and my reflection contains an aging, out-of-shape, bleary-eyed and balding father of four who has loved cars all of his life but now, having spent a week and hundreds of miles behind the wheel of the 2014 Lexus ES 350, actually likes it. Ouch. It almost hurts to hear myself think that out loud.
I’ve got a couple of decades on the Lexus ES, which debuted at the same time Lexus did, back in 1989. Briefly, from 1992 to 2001, the ES was a style leader in the entry luxury segment, sleek and upscale even though it was based on the Toyota Camry. Thereafter, bland design turned the ES into an anonymous luxury car, yet it remained an empty nester’s favorite upgrade from a Camry once the college tuition bills stopped flowing into the mailbox.
Last year, Lexus redesigned the ES, moving it to the Toyota Avalon platform while simultaneously giving it more expressive styling. Now, before you start feeling drowsy, or you decide to stop reading, you should know that the Lexus ES is a pretty terrific luxury car, even if it’s not very exciting to drive. Give me a chance to explain why. But first, a few housekeeping details…