Lexus’ midsize sedan gets more than a nip and tuck.

The seventh-generation Lexus ES has finally reached the Philippines through a quiet and exclusive launch at Lexus Manila in Bonifacio Global City. Lexus’ executive sedan has been rolling off the assembly lines for 30 years, and this latest iteration offers the most refined experience yet. After all, 30 years is a lot of time to get things just right.

The 2019 Lexus ES 350 is now sleeker and sharper, sharing the latest design philosophies with its bigger sibling, the LS. The ES gets a more dramatic spindle grille treatment, flanked by slim LED headlights and L-shaped running lights. Built on the GA-K platform, the ES shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Avalon and Camry. This allows the new ES to be 66mm longer, slightly lower, and 46mm wider, summing up the dimensions at 4975mm long, 1865mm wide and 1445mm tall. These changes allow the wheels to be pushed closer to the corners and gives the car a solid profile and more legroom, creating a wheelbase of 2870 mm. From the front to the rear, the sleek, aerodynamic profile creates a sloping effect, coming together at the rear with redesigned tail lights, reminiscent of the LS and touches of LC. It’s dramatic enough to give off a four-door coupe vibe without the limitations of coupe cabin space.

The 2019 Lexus ES comes with a 3.5L V6 that makes 300 hp and 357 Nm of torque. Shifting is done via an automatic 8-speed gearbox, and offers several driving modes via a rotary knob near the instrumentation.

On the inside, the changes are significant. The extra space generated by the optimized platform create a roomy cabin for passengers. Chassis rigidity has been improved and so has noise reduction. There are 10-way adjustable seats up front with heating and cooling functions and a power-adjustable steering column, plus the rear passengers get to enjoy a recline function. Rear passengers can control their climate control and adjust volume and media controls from an interface built into the middle armrest. Optitron gauges and ambient lighting create a nice hue in the cabin, adding to the plushness of materials and surfaces. There are a wide array of color options for the interior, from black to tan or dark brown. Aluminum touches and matte bamboo touches are also available as options.

Apple CarPlay is now offered for the first time in a Lexus with the ES, and the new 12.3-inch wraparound infotainment system offers the latest iteration of the Enform touchpad system. From here, you can adjust climate, audio, seat ventilation, and vehicle settings. Audio is played through a premium 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround system.

The 2019 Lexus ES is priced at P4,308,000, just undercutting the European rivals in its class by at least P100,000. If the global reviews are any indication, this new ES is the best one yet, and a solid choice in the executive car segment.

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