2023 Lexus  ES350 F-Sport adds higher performance

BY H. THROTTLE
AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST

A 7th-generation Lexus ES350 F-Sport was the test car of the week and a pleasurable test drive. 

This Lexus is a sleek, four-door sedan with ”Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint,” and final assembly in Georgetown, Kent.

This F-sport is a faster ES model capable of 131mph as the top speed and zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds. 

Doing the hard work is the 3.5L/ V6 engine that produces 302hp—pushing an eight-speed variable transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters. This is a sports edition yet aimed for comfort first with heated and ventilated front seats, teamed with high performance. I was surprised to find the base manufacturer’s suggested list price at a modest $47,900. Adding some extra options can increase the price, such as triple beam LED headlights and a panoramic view monitor, edging up the price at the buyer’s discretion.

The Lexas ES350 is a sassy-looking car with a menacing sport appearance with a mesh grill and black graphite 19” split five-spoke alloy wheels. It is the driver’s choice of the three drive modes, eco, normal or sport. Fuel economy depends upon mode choice and averages 31 freeway and 22 city, with an overall 25 mpg. However, traffic is moving at very high speeds these days on all major highways.

The cabin is plush with 10 speaker sound system, a 12.50-inch color touchscreen, and a pleasant surprise with the USB phone charging pad moved up front next to the console armrest. 

Many of these ES models are on the road,  standing for “Elegant Sedan,” a Lexus best seller now challenged by hybrid choices. 

No safety rating on this 

F-Sport just released the 2023 model,  but it will be five-star. The F-Sport has the Lexus Safety Sense system that includes all bells and whistles like pedestrian detection and radar cruise control.

This is a wise choice for fun, family outings, and business. It will turn heads at the valet station.