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2014 Lexus ES 350: A sedan that's easy to like

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Lexus ES 350

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Large sedans are sort of like cardigan sweaters: they are typically comfortable and functional, even if they don't always score a whole lot of style points.
In the case of the Lexus ES 350, you certainly get the comfort and the functionality, and as for style, well, it ain't too bad in that area either.
The ES got a welcome redesign in the previous model year that gave it a sleeker look. This year, not much else has changed - the availability of bamboo interior trim, LED fog lights and heated and cooled seats.
The ES is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 268 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The cool thing, though, is that the ES takes regular gasoline; you don't have to use premium fuel like you do in so many luxury models. That will save you a bunch of bucks.
The ES is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, so don't expect a whole lot of thrills on the road. Then again, you wouldn't wear a cardigan to compete in a track meet, would you?
On the inside, you'll find faux leather seats standard, with real leather as an option, wood trim and steering wheel and a power rear sun shade.
On the outside, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 18-inchers optional, and there are dual exhaust tips and LED taillights.
Lexus says the ES has 10 airbags as a standard feature, and there's an emergency communication system with a free one-year subscription.There's also a very useful blind spot warning system as well as a rear cross traffic alert that comes in handy when you're backing out of a parking space in a busy lot.
The ES gets 21 mpg city and 31 highway,which is impressive for a sedan of this size. And again, you'll realize further savings by not having to purchase a higher grade of fuel.
But if you want to save even more fuel, there's also a hybrid version of the ES.
The V-6 engine accelerates smoothly and confidently, and braking is solid. But otherwise, this isn't a car that you would necessarily take out on a twisty road or a track to make tires squeal.
But that's OK, because what you do get is a comfortable and attractive interior, roomy trunk and a quiet, pleasant ride - all the things that Lexus became famous for years ago.
Plus, the ES is very reasonably priced, starting at around $38,000 and ranging to around $44,000.
The Lexus ES 350 presents one of the best values among large luxury sedans, so if that's what you're in the market for, you'd be hard pressed to find a better choice.

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