Comfort and Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
warm, classy ambience
would be a terrific place to burn miles on the Interstate
excellent isolation from road and wind noise
interior is inviting and comfortable
Last year’s model finally shed its very Toyota-esque interior cabin for the full and proper Lexus treatment, with soft-touch plastics, wood veneers, and quality leather trim on the steering wheel and shift knob. The 2010 Lexus ES 350 has exceptionally comfortable front seats, and in back ample space and a well-shaped rear bench create a relaxing place for two more adults.
Although the ride is soft, the seats weren't universally loved. According to a Cars.com's reviewer, “the front seats have ten-way power adjustment, and the driver's backrest is soft and comfy, but I was sore after driving for a few hours because the bottom cushion doesn't provide enough support.” Edmunds’ test car the upgraded seats, with a “power cushion extender that increases, or decreases, the length of the seat bottom cushion underneath the thighs, allowing support for both long- and short-legged drivers.” The ventilated seats "are among the best we've experienced, with plenty of cool air circulating throughout," they add.
The front-wheel design of the ES allows a bit more roominess in back when compared to most rear-wheel-drive sport sedans. Automobile Magazine says that the Lexus ES 350’s longer wheelbase “opens up interior space a bit. Unlike those of many cars in this class, the ES 350's rear seats should elicit no complaints from passengers.” According to Cars.com, “the outer spots of the rear bench seat are comfortable enough for adults, but don't expect any extra legroom or headroom.”
Trims and upholstery in the ES 350 have now been given a big upgrade versus last year, erasing any questions about whether the ES interior is much better than the top-of-the-line Camry. Both Edmunds and Cars.com praise Lexus for its choice of interior materials, with Edmunds stating that the ES 350 has "the finest quality" materials. According to Cars.com, standard materials include "real wood trim on the doors and center console." MotherProof observes that materials such as leather and wood makes occupants feel "very welcome." Contrast-stitched leather upholstery is now standard, with double stitching included with an Ultra Luxury Package, and richer-looking wood and bright-chrome trims add accents at the center stack and just above the glovebox. There's also a good deal more metallic-look trim throughout the interior and walnut and maple wood trims have been added, while leathers are supple and enveloping, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces all around. Motor Trend seems to like the interior changes, also noting that " Lexus finally got rid of the tape player."
All the while, the interior is nearly silent and the ride pillowy, though the suspension is arguably a little too soft and wallowy for some country roads. The Lexus ES 350 is "one of the quietest cars we've ever tested at freeway cruising speeds," reports Edmunds, while ConsumerGuide says that the Lexus ES 350 for this year "excels for cushioned comfort" but notes that it trails rivals for composure on bumpy roads with "bobbing and pitching" at freeway speeds. Nonetheless, ConsumerGuide cites "excellent isolation from road and wind noise."
"The soft suspension does a great job of absorbing bumps and potholes," says Motor Trend. "Combine that with the quiet cabin, and this is a car that would be a terrific place to burn miles on the Interstate."
The 2010 Lexus ES 350 truly impresses here, with a roomy backseat, pleasing new trims and materials, and great ride comfort.