2012 Lexus ES 350 iGuida | Electric Cars and Hybrid Vehicle - Green energy

2012 Lexus ES 350 iGuida

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Lexus ES Electric Cars

2012 Lexus ES 350

Last Oct 12, 2011

What’s in the driveway? The of entry-premium cars. The Lexus ES 350 for was the reasonably priced luxury car which all rivals were

A competitor that was quieter or comfortable than an ES 350 deserved the award. One with higher value was a residual superstar. a competitor that handled was merely midpack.

The 2012 ES 350 in the is ample proof that lovely sedan hasn’t an iota of the refinement and quality made it a class benchmark. The is: who still wants this of spongy luxury? The last the ES finished as high as No.

2 in sales in its set was 2006, when it was runner-up to BMW and its much broader lineup. The is still the category sales but the ES has been lapped by the Mercedes-Benz Infiniti G, Cadillac CTS, and A4. What do all those interlopers that the Lexus does Rear- or all-wheel-drive-based European-flavored manners. Younger-skewed styling.

And basic designs.

The 2012 ES 350 is a gussied-up version of the 2007-2011-genertion V-6 sedan from Lexus’s parent, Toyota. Don’t that against it. The roomy Camry was an excellent starting and Lexus remains convinced the ES has enough extra jewelry and prestige to justify a 20 percent over its Toyota cousin.

But Toyota has redesigned the Camry for 2012, giving it a new look but the basic front-wheel-drive architecture by the outgoing model — and by the ES 350. Other than of a Touring Edition trim the Lexus stands pat for model-year awaiting its own remake for model-year

Every 2012 ES 350 employs a V-6 used in numerous other and Lexus vehicles.

Output is middling for the entry-premium class, but the ES to squeeze more performance its 268 horses and 248 pound-feet of torque many engines with power numbers. Lots of goes to the smooth six-speed transmission. The 2012 ES 350 in the driveway a dignified business-suit shade Nebula Gray Pearl.

The is nicely matched in light-gray perforated leather complimented by Bird’s-Eye Maple trim.

How does it cost? Base for the 2012 Lexus ES 350 is $37,600, Lexus’s mandatory $875 fee. The cabin comes in leather upholstery, genuine accents, and real wood

The front seats have power adjustment and are heated; the side features memory. The column is a power tilt/telescope the windshield wipers automatically on when it rains, and keyless unlocking and pushbutton ignition you to enter the car and start it without the keyfob from your or pocket.

Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, USB iPod interface, and a moonroof are standard, too. one wheel and tire combination is 17-inch alloys wearing sized 215/55R17 all-season

The ES 350 in the driveway sparkles with an $8,237 in options. Almost that goes to the $4,065 System/Mark Levinson Audio It includes a navigation unit both by voice command and a dashboard touch-screen that displays a backup camera.

It the Lexus Enform safety-alert and service and a cracking 14-speaker, sound-system upgrade by high-end brand Mark Levinson.

Our car also has the $3,535 Ultra Package, which enhances the with richer semi-aniline with contrasting stitching and wood to the steering wheel and shift knob. It replaces of the roof with dual-panorama panels (the front adds xenon headlamps swivel with the steering, and the alloys with a sexy Graphite finish. Rounding out the spiffs are the $500 Intuitive Assist, which doesn’t park the car but encircles it with sensors that audibly and warn of nearby obstacles.

A net ($64) and trunk mat ($73) the total manufacturer’s suggested price for the 2012 Lexus ES 350 in the to $45,837.

Is it worth it? Just. no questioning this car’s to cocoon you and yours for hours in refinement. There’s little to criticize its quality, no cause to about its powertrain or fuel

But the 2012 ES 350 is a six-year-old design and ancient in auto years. If the type who updates your by surrendering to what’s new in the window at Brothers, this is the near-luxury car for You can spend lots more and not be as


But if you possess a jot of imagination, wait to see Lexus does with the 2013 ES.

What’s to like? really is an impressive powertrain. The V-6 is as as they come and though the isn’t a trendy seven- or unit, it is remarkably adept at the right gear for the situation at then seamlessly shifting to exactly the throttle response for more power.

And with of 19/28 mpg city/highway, 22 mpg combined, the ES 350 is among the most fuel-efficient car of this size and power, and it regular-octane gas. It arrows up the and glides effortlessly around too.

Road, wind, and noises are mostly rumors. The coddles and soothes. Flooded by light from the panoramic roof, it’s a cheery Every surface you’re to come in contact with is by pillowed padding flawlessly The seats are soft yet supportive.

mention is due the sofa-like comfort and of the rear bench. Nothing the driver’s outward visibility, and every interaction with the and controls bespeaks a sense of design. No Bluetooth system is to link-up or operate and no navigation is less frustrating to program, in large measure to what calls casual-language-based voice

And despite its age, the 2012 ES 350 look all that dated. The eye of an is evident in the subtly complex of the dashboard, for example (the designer who shaped it told me his was the gentle folds of a kimono). The wood and metal accents the feel of fine furniture. a gemlike quality to the careful use of on the grille, door handles, surround, and rocker panels. swipe at the lustrous paint to be it isn’t still wet.

And 10-spoke Liquid Graphite do look sharp.

What it need? Too bad those handsome don’t bespeak a suspension buttons things down when the road gets or wavy. Must the trade-off for level of bump absorption and running be a body that and nose that plows in approaching a hurried pace?

Is it too trouble to superimpose guidelines on the camera display? The best have overlays that your path, so you can more judge your course backing up. And what penny specified interior door that feel hard and and are covered in – gasp — fabric. Poke around and plastic panels reveal the downmarket cast.

Granted, you regularly touch these but when you do, the contrast with the of the cabin’s opulence is shocking.

Lexus ES Electric Cars

brings us to the elephant in the garage: is the ES 350 really distinct enough a top-of-the-line 2012 Camry XLE to its price premium? The Camry XLE with leather upholstery and a moonroof, though it isn’t with Lexus wood and accents, Mark Levinson panoramic roof, or as generous a You’ll sacrifice Lexus and the dealer experience, too.

But optioned with the same and Toyota’s next-generation navigation a 2012 Camry XLE V-6 lists for It’s enough to give the shopper pause.

What’s say? “The ES 350 entry sedan continues to be a Lexus with its comfortable cabin and ride.”

What do you say? an endorsement as reticent as the car itself.

next for the Lexus ES? To reassert the redesigned 2013 ES must be stylish, even more and use even less gas. will again base it on the platform, which means the ES will be saddled with a configuration that won’t the top competition for optimal sportiness. fields the rear- and all-wheel-drive GS to fight that battle.

But the seems committed to tightening up the steering, handling, and body And expect it to get a toned-down version of the 2012 GS sedan’s gaping, grille.

Look for a slightly interior, too, but very additional overall size or The next-generation in infotainment is probable, and spells deeper smartphone and wider connectivity opportunities. A engine isn’t really in car’s market profile, Euro rivals are turning to fours and one might become

Expect the 2013 ES to bow with a V-6 slightly more powerful today’s 3.5, with an of more than six speeds. A hybrid version is quite also.

Vital statistics

Lexus ES 350

Base price, manufacturer’s $875 destination $37,600

Price of test car options: $45,837.

Size: inches long, 109.3-inch 3,605-pound base curb

Engine: 268-horsepower 3.5-liter 6-speed automatic transmission; drive

Fuel economy: mpg city/highway, 22 mpg combined city/highway ratings)

Warranty: 4 years/50,000 bumper-to-bumper, 6/70,000 powertrain

journalist Chuck Giametta has the auto industry for more 25 years as a newspaper reporter, Auto Editor of Consumer books and magazines, and as Managing of iGuida.com. This test was provided by the manufacturer.

Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars

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