Extraordinary Rides: Lexus ES 350 Ultra is a nice ride

By C.A. Haire

This Lexus ES 350 is one of the better luxury cars sold today.

For 2022, it gets better with some updates. The refresh includes redesigned wheels, stronger headlights, reshaped grille and interior changes. The list is short, because the vehicle is so good, few changes are needed.

This is the ultra-luxury version. It has a long list of goodies that are too long to print here. However, we were not too happy to see many of these fancy items are optional. The LED headlights are $1,215 extra alone. Add Smart Access card, Navigation, Mark Levinson 1800-watt stereo, premium paint, rear spoiler, and glass roof, the tab jumps from $49,000 to $55,000. Still, this is a lot of car for the coin.

Under the hood is a proven 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 302 horsepower. It is hooked to a nice 8-speed auto transmission. There are paddles shifters on the steering wheel for those who want to pick gears manually. Fuel economy is claimed to be 22/32 mpg. In real world driving, we saw 34 mpg on freeway trips.

The infotainment screen can still by operated by a clumsy finger touchpad. But this year the driver can also bypass it by using a direct touch screen mode, which is a blessing. The base screen is a small 8-inch unit, but this luxury pack provides a larger 12.3-inch-wide unit that is a welcome addition. The quality of cabin materials and workmanship is excellent.

This car was driven for a full week in many conditions. It has plenty of power, a smooth ride, quiet cabin, and outstanding sound system. Those who look forward to taking long trips will get their money’s worth here. Plus, there is the outstanding build quality, proven reliability record and high resale value. Overall, this is a very nice ride.

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