Motoring Monday: 2019 Lexus ES 350 Ultra Luxury – You want this car!

Over the years, I have truly come to like and appreciate the Lexus ES 350, the midrange, midsized luxury sedan from Lexus that is just about right for everyone who can, admittedly, afford one.

The ES 350 is fully redesigned for 2019 and this is the first year Lexus has offered an F-Sport for the 350. The luxury and the joy just keep getting better, so again, if you can afford one (I can’t) this is one of the best cars to consider for your money. This is a show pony and not a work horse, so if you do have to work (ugh) and have the money, maybe you need both.  Just a thought…

I have often described these luxury vehicles (heck, even the promotional materials call this one ‘Ultra Luxury’) as driving a living room worthy of hosting royalty, ya know, like Duchess Meghan Markle or Flo from those Progressive Insurance commercials. Smooth, elegant, quiet. You can hear every note from the baby grand piano and never fear spilling a drop of the imported English gin your passengers are drinking from their Joan Crawford flasks. That’s how smooth the ride in the 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport is: I never once spilled my Slurpee.

Back when Darrin and Samantha Stevens of Bewitched fame were driving Tabitha and Endora around town, this is the family car they probably would have chosen had it been available: plenty of room for Endora’s wigs and gowns, and even more room for Tabitha to practice her childhood magic.

There is also plenty of room even for people with a lot of padding around the middle.  Luxury is everywhere inside the car, and both beauty and brawn are on the outside as well. It’s a sedan, so the rough and rugged work that most bears do (i.e. weekend trips to the big box stores, helping friends move every six months, hauling equipment for shows and dance parties) might be a challenge and slightly inappropriate for this thing of beauty. (For example, the rear seats do not fold down but the trunk is quite large and there is a pass-through.)

The 2019 Lexus ES 350 ‘Ultra Luxury’ F-Sport is for both moving fast and showing off, sorta like when you are taking pictures for your locked internet profiles. You’ll want to show off your pride and joy and spirit, not how hard-working you are. This is the car for that.

The F-Sport is a trim that is available on most Lexus models, and its designation is for going fast and for showing your engine prowess. This one starts at $44,135, and with the F-Sport designation you will get suspension tuning, performance dampers (front and rear), aluminum trim, aluminum pedals, a rear spoiler, that distinctive F-Sport grill and 19-inch split five-spoke alloy wheels.

Your race engine is a 3.5-liter V6 Dual OverHead Cam (DOHC) offering 302 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. Paddle shifters, pre-collision, pedestrian detection, lane departure, intelligent high beams, one-touch power moonroof, Mark Levinson audio, voice command, Apple CarPlay, Siri eyes-free…. lotsa good stuff is included, and for the price, it makes sense.  calls the 2019 Lexus ES 350 “luxury on a budget” and technically, that is true, depending on your budget and who your accounting firm is. And U.S. News & World Report feels that “because the ES has the best combination of quality and value in its class, we named it our 2019 Best Luxury Midsize Car for the Money.”

Throw in an F Sport (not an F bomb, unless it’s one of praise), and you have yourself something special, mister.

Just be sure you can afford it.  Driving around in something snazzy when you can only afford to eat tuna fish and stale crackers really won’t help you find Mister Right.

Really, I know.



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