Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Miscellany: 2019 Lexus ES350 review - Granny Car 2.0

When it comes to car-buying, Mom is of the old-school, brand loyal, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. So, when her old Lexus ES350 got rear-ended by an inattentive driver, she went back to the well and bought a more recent version of the same thing:

How does the 2019 model year car compare with the old? Mostly favorably. The engine is the same smooth V6 Toyota's been using since the Bush administration, but it develops more horsepower in this iteration and feels a little peppier overall. In "Sport" mode with the pedal to the metal, the new ES can keep pace with my BMW F30 328i.

The 2019 ES also handles a bit better. While it's not as nimble as a true sport sedan, the turn-in is sharper and the car feels less like a boat.  Brakes are solid and stopping on a highway off-ramp is a lot less nerve-wracking. 

That's not to say the car is any smaller. Actually, this year's frame grew by several inches, and the sucker just barely fits in Mom's garage. That means rear seat space is pretty good, though:

Perhaps the only remaining complaint I have about the car is the infotainment system - it was outdated in 2019, and it's even more behind-the-times now. I really don't like the trackpad Lexus foists on us, and the system as a whole lacks responsiveness, to the point of being distracting. If you can deal with that foible, the 2019 ES is a fine car for the granny in all of us.


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