2020 Lexus ESShould you buy? Find out below..
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If it is variety you are looking for, then the 2020 Lexus ES has a line-up you will need to spend some time browsing. Now in its seventh generation (which just kicked off last model year), the ES offers the 350 and the 300h. The hybrid 300h actually is not too much more expensive than the ES 350, and both have base trims that are well-equipped. The downside to driving an ES? The rear seats cannot be folded down. Virtually every other vehicle has a folding back row of seats since that boosts cargo space. But Lexus did not equip the ES models this way. Had they done so, drivers would get a good amount of maximum cargo space. However, there are plenty of things to like about the ES 350 and 300h, as you will read about below.
What's New for 2020?
Since the ES was just revamped for its current generation last model year, no big changes have been made. Everything on the 2019 line-up carries over to the 2020 Lexus ES models.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Lexus ES – The Pros
1. Strong Acceleration
The ES 350 is quite powerful when it comes to its acceleration. While the 300h does not equal the 350's power, the 350 puts up a pretty good showing. It is equipped with a 3.5-L V6 engine, which generates an impressive 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Whether you are just scooting about town or getting up to speed on the highway, the power delivery feels nice and smooth. That is due in part to the 8-speed automatic transmission that is paired up with the V6. It is a smart match and certainly lives up to expectations that we have for a Lexus vehicle.
2. Excellent Steering and Handling
While the tires could give a bit more grip, steering and handling are both quite good on the ES. The ES feels well composed and sturdy as the steering wheel is perfectly weighted. And, as far as luxury sedans go, this vehicle exceeds expectations for handling. It can take on any road surface or condition with ease and lets the driver feel like they are in control of it.
3. Comfortable Seating
As you should reasonably expect from a luxury sedan, the 2020 Lexus ES is totally cozy inside. The front seats are plush and well-bolstered for support. The bolsters on each side of the seat are designed in a way that is not invasive so that you can easily slip in and out of the seats. The rear seats are slightly wide and flat, but they offer plenty of comfort as well. You can sit in either row of seats for a long road trip without feeling uncomfortable and weary.
4. Smooth Ride Quality
Speaking of comfort, the ride quality on the ES is super smooth. It absorbs bumps in the road without any issue and remains calm going over loose gravel. You will notice some wind noise coming in at higher speeds, but the engine is almost inaudible. You will have to listen closely just to remind yourself that the vehicle is, in fact, on - and that is definitely not a bad problem to have.
5. Getting In and Out is Easy
As already mentioned regarding the side bolsters, getting in and out of the 2020 Lexus EX is remarkably easy. The doors have wide openings, and the seats are positioned just low enough. This makes getting in and out simple for most people. Overall, you get a lot of space to enter and exit, and you're surrounded by plenty of space once you are inside the cabin. Even taller drivers will not have to worry about banging their heads or knees while entering or exiting the ES.
6. A Spacious Rear Seat
Of course, the rear seat's spaciousness needs more emphasis because this is not something you will find in every luxury sedan. Three adults can fit back there, and those who are 6 feet tall will not have to cram themselves in and try to make themselves fit. The vehicle offers them plenty of room for heads, legs, and hips. In fact, in this class, it is probably one of the more generously spaced rear seats that you will find.
7. Easy to Find a Good Driving Position
Finding the right driving position is no problem here. The 2020 Lexus ES has a driver's seat that is power-adjustable. Also, the steering wheel is both tilting and telescoping, making it easy for you to fit yourself comfortably behind the wheel. The view from the cockpit is pretty expansive, which certainly helps drivers out. You will not have to try to adjust the seat in order to see around bulky roof pillars or over a high hood.
8. Most Infotainment Features are Easy to Use
For the most part, the infotainment features on the ES are easy to use. Once you go through the learning curve, you will understand what does what. The touchpad screen is the only real problem here, but the rest of the controls are lit up on a bright screen with crystal clear graphic quality. The huge 12-inch touchscreen that you get on the higher trim levels is stunning, although the standard 8-inch screen is not too shabby either.
9. Child Car Safety Seats are Easy to Install
The 2020 Lexus ES has a spacious rear seat, which definitely helps with getting those bulky child safety seats locked in. The LATCH anchors are not buried between seat cushions, so you can easily access them. You will not have to fight with any anchors, and having that much space around you to get the seats in is nice. Plus the wide door openings make it easy to get your children in and out.
10. A Great Fuel Economy From the 300h
The 350 has a pretty average fuel economy for its class (with 26 mpg combined), but the hybrid 300h obviously does that number. It gets an EPA estimated 44 mpg combined, but tests have shown that it can do even better than this, getting between 46 and 47 mpg combined. This is a high number for the segment and one that will likely attract fuel-conscious buyers who still want something luxurious.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Lexus ES – The Cons
1. The Infotainment System's Interface
The 2020 Lexus LS does have a few pitfalls, the most annoying of which being the infotainment system's wonky interface. The touchpad is very finicky, and a dial and button controller would vastly improve the system's performance. There is a voice command feature, and using that for the controls is actually much easier than trying to fiddle with the touchscreen all the time.
2. The Rear Seats Do Not Fold Down
Another annoyance is that the rear seats do not fold down at all. This is highly unusual for almost any vehicle, as we all know that expanding cargo space is important. This means that the 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space you're given is all you get, period. This isn't a terrible number for the segment, but it will make storing certain items a bit difficult, if not impossible.
3. Acceleration is Slow on the 300h
If you get the 300h, bear in mind that it has a sluggish acceleration. It takes the vehicle about 8.3 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, which is slower than the 350. The engine and CVT are smooth enough around the city, but trying to get up to speed on the highway will be somewhat frustrating. And good luck trying to pass other vehicles; you will be the one getting passed.
4. Some Interior Materials Look Cheap
The 2020 Lexus ES has a few interior materials that look cheaper than they really are. The switch gear and buttons are what really feel unrefined when you take a look at them. Compared to the rest of the vehicle, they just seem slapped on as an afterthought. A few tweaks could have this array looking much more elegant, like the rest of the vehicle.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2020 Lexus ES vs. 2020 Audi A4
The 2020 Lexus ES gets stiff competition from the 2020 Audi A4. The new A4 has an impeccably designed cabin with expensive-looking materials everywhere you look. The A4 45 TFSI's turbocharged engine provides more than ample power, the tech is super user-friendly (including the touchscreen's interface), and the back seat has space in abundance. However, the A4 does not give the driver much feedback from the steering column, which might lead the driver to feel disconnected from how the wheels are turning. Also, the transmission is a bit slow to accelerate, almost as though it is searching for gears a moment too long.
2020 Lexus ES vs. 2020 Toyota Camry
The 2020 Lexus ES also gets a strong rival in the form of the 2020 Toyota Camry, which has long been known for its efficiency and utility. Although it is not a luxury sedan, the Camry has a 4-cylinder engine that puts up a decent fuel economy. It also has a laid-back demeanor, making the overall ride performance quite enjoyable. The cargo area is spacious, as is the cabin. You will unfortunately hear some engine noise while the vehicle is trying to accelerate, and the driver aids are really touchy. Plus, there is no ability to connect your Android phone with the vehicle since Android Auto is absent. You can only use smartphone app integration through Apple CarPlay.
The 2020 Lexus ES is, by all means, a luxurious sedan. It lives up to expectations for the Lexus. Only a few minor issues hinder the ES from being the picture of perfection on wheels. Otherwise, this car is a pleasure to drive and will leave you feeling like you got a great deal on it. Its driving performance and interior design is tough to beat.
• Why buy a 2019 Lexus ES? w/ pros vs cons