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2020 Lexus ES 350 Ultra Luxury Test Drive Review

By Omar Rana | August 06, 2020

When I learned Lexus had done away with their GS sedan, it was a pretty sad day. The GS was one of my favorite luxury sedans, and with its RWD and AWD configurations, it  was one of the most exciting vehicles in the Lexus lineup. Not to mention, the Lexus GS F was one of my personal favorite performance sedans, as it was one of the few available with a naturally aspirated V8.

Now that the GS is gone, it's up to the ES to fill its shoes. And while it might not be as exciting as the GS, the ES is a smooth, comfortable sedan with a quiet and spacious interior.

Among fans of the brand, the Lexus ES is known as the baby LS, which is Lexus's flagship. So let's take a closer look at the 2020 Lexus ES 350 Ultra Luxury and see if this thing can fill the gap left by the GS.

2020 Lexus ES 350 Exterior

Image of 2020 Lexus ES 350 exterior

The latest Lexus ES looks absolutely amazing, as it’s a perfect balance of aggressive and elegant.

The front end of the Lexus ES features the brand’s signature spindle grille, which folks tend to love or hate. Personally, I think it looks absolutely gorgeous on the Lexus ES. From the side there’s a sloping roofline, and the sculpted decklid gives the rear an athletic edge.

My test model came with a few optional extras, like the panoramic roof, and triple-beam LED headlights, and 18-inch wheels. According to Lexus, these are “noise reduction wheels,” and given how insanely quiet they are, I have no reason to doubt they aren’t.

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2020 Lexus ES 350 Interior

Interior view of the 2020 Lexus ES 350

Take a seat inside the 2020 Lexus ES 350, and you’re welcomed by a very luxurious and comfortable cabin. To be honest, Lexus’ interior designs might not be as forward-looking as those from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz, but the interior quality is some of the best in the industry.

There’s a great use of high-quality materials throughout the cabin, and the way the designers have blended away all the gaps and cracks is truly extraordinary.

Heated and cooled seats are optional on the base ES, but my Ultra Luxury test model had them as standard. To add a heated steering wheel, you’ll have to pay an extra $480. There’s loads of rear legroom, and my test model also came with automatic rear shades and manual side shades if you’re looking for a little privacy.

When it comes to tech, there’s not too much excitement. The gauge cluster isn’t as fancy as the digital instrument displays that you see from German rivals, but you do have the option to add on a giant 10.2-inch heads-up display. When it comes to the infotainment system you have a 12.3-inch display but it’s not a touchscreen.

Nonetheless, you do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Amazon Alexa so you won’t be missing out on much.

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2020 Lexus ES 350 Performance

View of the engine in the 2020 Lexus ES 350

Unlike the Lexus GS, which was available with rear or all-wheel drive, the Lexus ES is only available with front-wheel drive. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 making 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and working together, they’ll send the ES 350 from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 6.6 seconds. Top speed is 131 mph.

As a daily driver, the Lexus ES ride quality can be best described as magic carpet like. It handles bumps and imperfections on the road with such ease, it’s incredible, and is one of the most comfortable options in this segment.

When it comes to fuel economy, the 2020 Lexus ES 350 averages an EPA-rated 22/32 mpg (city/highway).

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2020 Lexus ES 350 Safety

Seatbelts and safety equipment in the 2020 Lexus ES 350

When it comes to safety, all 2020 Lexus ES trims come standard with the Lexus Safety System 2.0 which includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, and automatic high beams. Other features, like blind-spot monitoring or a panoramic view monitor are optional extras.

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2020 Lexus ES 350 Overall

Body and exterior of the 2020 Lexus ES 350

If you’re in the market for a new mid-size luxury sedan, you should definitely put the 2020 Lexus ES 350 on your shopping list. Prices start at $39,900 for the base ES 350, but as tested here, you’re looking at over $50,000. Visit your local AutoNation Lexus dealership and test drive the new 2020 Lexus ES 350 today!

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2020 Lexus ES 350 Specs


4-door Sedan


Regular Unleaded V-6, 302 @ 6600 hp, 8-spd Auto w/OD


22/32 mpg (city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★

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