– Monterey, California
Every car that Lexus builds is comfortable, from the entry-level UX to the racy LC sports car. Even the hardcore RC F Fuji Edition – while by far the stiffest Lexus I've ever driven – still wasn't nearly as back-breaking as some of its counterparts. And much of that comes down to the seats.
Lexus has the best chairs in the business south of $100,000. With that in mind, I booked a lovely Ultrasonic Blue Lexus ES 350 F Sport for Monterey Car Week knowing that I would be riding in comfort all the way from San Francisco Airport to Monterey, around the coast, and back again.
Equipped with the F Sport Design package, the ES comes with blacked-out accents, darkened 19-inch wheels, and of course, fancy seats. But even with the sporty "F" designation on the bumper and more aggressive bolstering than usual (you know, in case you want to take it to the track), the chairs in this Lexus sedan were still supremely comfortable.
On the highway heading south from SFO, I sunk into the driver's seat cradled by the excellent shape of the sporty F buckets. The adjustable lumbar support and pinpoint-accurate adjustability allowed me to find the perfect seating position, while the near-90-degree exterior temperature forced my finger immediately to the cooling function.
Ten-way power adjustability comes standard for the driver, and heating, cooling, and lumbar support extend to the front passenger, as well. Lexus only offers NuLuxe faux cowhide here, but you'd have a hard time picking out the difference between this phony material and the real stuff; the Lexus pleather is still supremely soft and supple.
After six-plus hours of relentless highway driving, my back was fine and my butt wasn't numb. The ES, like most Lexus products, is one of the most comfortable cars in the class. The sublime seats combined with a cushy suspension make it an absolute joy to drive over long distances.
On the flip side, this isn’t the most dynamic sedan in the world – even with the F Sport package – and the 3.5-liter V6 engine is starting to feel dated. The 302 horsepower underhood feels like barely enough to motivate the ES at highway speeds.
The 2023 Lexus ES starts at $43,190 with the $1,150 destination fee included for a base 350 model with either front- or all-wheel drive. Move up to the F Sport model tested here and it will cost you $47,800. All in, with options like a head-up display, triple-beam headlights, and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen, this tester cost $53,770.
But for the levels of comfort alone, the Lexus ES is worth the price.
Gallery: 2023 Lexus ES 350 F Sport Review
2023 Lexus ES 350 F Sport