No Lexus is Spartan when it comes to interior amenities, and for 2014, the ES has upped the ante. The cabin's design is sophisticate yet still logical and easy to figure out. The more contemporary design boasts clean lines and soft surfaces. All models employ a dial above the shift knob that can set the car to "normal," "sport" or "eco" modes, and hybrid models have a button that allows the car to drive a short distance on battery power alone, similar to the Toyota Prius. The seats are comfortable for four adults thanks to a roomy back seat.
One look at the front of the 2014 Lexus ES is all it takes to know this is not the Lexus of old. Up front the ES shows of a dynamic spindle grille that is defining new Lexus models. On the sides, flared fenders and a high beltline give a slightly aggressive impression. Around back, the snubbed trunk flows smoothly from the C-pillars. The ES 350 has twin tailpipes peeking from beneath the bumper, while the ES 300h hybrid has just one that is hidden below a spoiler running under the bumper. The Lexus ES rides on low-resistance tires and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, with larger wheels optional.
Notable Standard Equipment
Even a base model of the 2014 Lexus ES comes well equipped with push-button start/stop, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and smog sensor, a moonroof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, HomeLink garage door opener, and an 8-speaker AM/FM/6-CD/satellite radio audio system with USB and iPod inputs. Seats are now trimmed in Lexus' NuLuxe material, with leather optional. On the safety front, the 2014 ES has 10 airbags, a backup monitor, and a service that offers emergency assistance at the touch of a button, and Lexus' Automatic Collision Notification in the event of an accident.
Notable Optional Equipment
The Lexus ES can go from good to grand via a handful of packages or by checking off the boxes on individual options. Among the amenities you can add are a navigation system, heated and ventilated seats, a panorama glass roof, a power rear sunshade, and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. Drive-centric options include lane-departure warning system, radar-based cruise control, parking assist, and blind-spot monitoring.
Under the Hood
Lexus ES 350 models use a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes an ample 268 horsepower and is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Though this is the same engine and transmission as the last-generation ES, fuel economy has improved through the use of low-friction materials. ES 300h models use a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and battery-powered electric motor that creates a total of 200 horsepower. The hybrid model uses an automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT). Both models can run on regular 87-octane gasoline.
Lexus ES 350
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg
Lexus ES 300h
2.5-liter inline-4 + hybrid electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery module
156 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm (gasoline engine alone)
Total system horsepower: 200
156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (gasoline engine)
EPA fuel city/highway fuel economy: 40/39 mpg
The base manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for a 2014 Lexus ES 350 starts just under $37,500, including destination charge. The MSRP on a 2014 Lexus 300h hybrid is just a shade over the 40,000 mark. At these prices, the Lexus ES is comparable to the Acura TL and Cadillac CTS, higher than the Buick LaCrosse, and below the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Infiniti Q60. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are actually paying for the 2014 Lexus ES in your area. Down the road, resale value of the Lexus ES is expected to remain strong.
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