Following its April debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, the refreshed 2016 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h Hybrid have been presented in U.S. trim. No surprises on the visual front - or rear, for that matter. Like the China preview, the revamped versions of these mid-size luxury sedans have a new fascia highlighted by a bolder, one-piece version of the division's signature "spindle" grille now framed in a satin chrome and flanked by new LED headlamps and repositioned fog lamps. The tail tweaks, while less pronounced, include edgier L-motif rear lamps along with rectangular chrome-finish dual exhaust ports. Rounding out the remix are four new colors -- Autumn Shimmer, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl -- plus restyled optional 17-inch alloy wheels. 

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Inside, the already well-appointed cabin of these 2016 Lexus ES sedans benefit from additional soft-touch surfaces, a new multifunction steering wheel and shift-lever knob along with enhanced color/trim treatments that include Linear Dark Mocha, Illustrious Piano Black in place of basic Piano Black) and Bamboo with a matte rather than the existing gloss finish. While content of the Navigation and Premium Package carries over unchanged, the Luxury and Ultra Luxury Packages add wood trim and revised embossing on the seats and the latter three can be further upgraded with a glass Panoramic Roof as well as the 15-speaker/835-watt Mark Levinson Premium Sound system as an upgrade to the basic navigation kit. The standard Display Audio setup now comes with an expanded Lexus Enform package that adds more apps and Safety Connect to the basic services as well as Service Connect that automatically delivers various maintenance reminders and alert notices. On the passenger-protection front, the 2016 Lexis ES 350 and 300h Hybrid will be available with the Lexus Safety System+, a grouping that brings together a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Bi-LED Intelligent High Beam headlamps and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

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No changes are in store for the powertrains of either Lexus vehicle. The ES 350 will continue with a 268-horsepower/3.5-liter V6 backed by a 6-speed sequential automatic transmission while the 300h uses a 2.5-liter/4-cylinder engine teamed with an electric motor to develop 200 total system horses that gets shipped to the front wheels via a CVT automatic. On sale later this year, pricing for the 2016 Lexus ES 350 starts at $38,940 while the 2016 ES 300h Hybrid is set to open at $41,860, upticks of $315 and $355, respectively over their 2015 sticker numbers.


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