Luxury, Emboldened: Lexus ES 350 Revs Up Style and Luxury for 2016

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 7/20/2015, 1:26 p.m.
Maintaining luxury leadership requires a relentless pursuit. Lexus, after giving the ES 350 significant enhancements for 2015, maintains its momentum ...
2016 Lexus ES 350

Maintaining luxury leadership requires a relentless pursuit. Lexus, after giving the ES 350 significant enhancements for 2015, maintains its momentum by endowing the 2016 ES 350 with a makeover for the front, rear and wheels; and new safety, connectivity and multimedia technology.

The Lexus ES 350 serves as part of the brand’s strategy in the entry-luxury segment, combining flagship-type comfort (including 40 inches of rear seat legroom) with front-wheel drive traction. The ES 350 delivers strong and efficient performance from a standard 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed to an ultra-smooth six-speed automatic transmission.

The current-generation ES 350 was already wearing the Lexus spindle grille, the brand’s signature design feature, and for 2016 it receives a more strongly styled, even bolder, one-piece version, framed by elegant satin chrome trim. New standard LED headlights give the ES 350 a steely stare at night. A fully redesigned front fascia puts the fog lights at the corners to accentuate the wide stance.

The 2016 ES 350 shows a more sophisticated look from the rear, too, with distinctive L-themed taillights and new chrome-tipped rectangular exhaust ports peeking through a restyled rear fascia, as on the flagship LS. The freshened design extends to new optional 17-inch alloy wheels and four new exterior colors. (It’s worth noting that all of the ES 350’s paint colors use self-healing clear coat technology.)

New Lexus Safety System+

Starting with 10 standard airbags, the 2016 Lexus ES 350 offers exemplary safety through its robust structure and a wide array of driver-assist technologies. For 2016, the new available Lexus Safety System+ Package combines Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control works at speeds over 25 mph. It tracks the speed of the vehicle traveling ahead and can adjust the speed setting accordingly to help maintain a preset distance. Should a vehicle enter or exit the lane or highway, the system responds with smooth acceleration and deceleration control.

PCS can detect vehicles – and in certain conditions, pedestrians – by using a combination of millimeter-wave radar and a front-facing camera. The system can warn the driver of a possible collision and can initiate automatic braking with Brake Assist if necessary.

Using a camera to detect visible lane markings, Lane Departure Alert will convey audio-visual alerts and vibrate the steering wheel if the systems determine that the driver unintentionally deviated from the lane. Lane Departure Alert, with Steering Assist enabled, can help the vehicle stay in the center of its lane by smoothly increasing steering torque a small amount to assist in maintaining course.

Also available on the ES 350 is Intelligent High Beam technology that senses headlights from oncoming traffic, and also the taillights of the vehicle traveling in front, and automatically adjusts high- and low-beam illumination.

And yes, there’s even more driver-assist technology available. The optional Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps detect vehicles in side blind spots and alert the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking space.