By Jennifer Geiger on Mon Jul 16 06:00:00 GMT-06:00 2012
When the redesigned Lexus ES 350 goes on sale later this summer, it'll start at $36,995, including an $895 destination charge. That's a 1.7% decrease compared to model-year 2012 versions. Its hybrid sibling, the ES 300h, will cost $2,750 more at $39,745.
The ES 350 gets a little longer for 2013 and now uses the brand's new spindle grille and a revised suspension. The previous version's 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission carry over.
The 300h is the first hybrid to join the ES lineup. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. According to Lexus, the 300h has an EV mode that allows it to drive short distances on battery power alone. Lexus estimates it'll get 40 mpg in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway, but it hasn't yet been tested by the EPA.
Model-year 2013 ES models now get the Enform multimedia system, which displays music and applications including Pandora internet radio and a Bing search feature.
Standard inside is Lexus' NuLuxe vinyl upholstery. Genuine leather is available, too, as are piano-black, maple and bamboo wood trims. Other options include manual window shades, a power rear shade, one-touch power trunk lid, blind spot monitoring system with cross-traffic control, lane departure warning system and a precollision safety system. It comes standard with 10 airbags, including driver and front passenger knee airbags.
The ES 350 and 300h go on sale in August.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer