Sneaky: The 2021 Lexus ES350 F SPORT

The Lexus ES350 has come a long way. Originally the entry-level Lexus, and at the time really just a plusher Toyota Camry, the big changes came a couple of years ago when it moved off the Camry chassis, adopted the styling cues of the stunning LC 500 and got serious about being more of a driver's car.

That's especially true when equipped in F SPORT trim, which brings its own suspension tuning, front and rear performance dampers and 19-inch alloy wheels along with a sportier appearance.

There are no changes to the standard ES350 powerplant---Lexus' venerable 3.5 liter, 302 horsepower V6, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimate 22 mpg city/31 highway.

The base price for the 2021 Lexus ES350 F SPORT is $45,700. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard F SPORT-specific features at that price are 10-way F SPORT bolstered, heated and ventilated front seats, Lexus memory system, rain-sensing wipers, Hadori aluminum trim, F SPORT moveable meter, F SPORT exterior styling, a rear spoiler and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Our tester also had some extra cost options: $750 for adaptive variable suspension with Sport S, Sport S+ and Custom drive modes; $75 for wireless charging; $500 for a 10.2-inch head-up display; $1,820 for the Navigation Package (see window sticker below for details); $595 for the Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint; $850 for the F SPORT Black Line Special Edition (see window sticker); $80 for a rear bumper applique' and $400 for illuminated door sills. With $1,025 delivery processing and handling fee, the as-tested price of the 2021 Lexus ES350 F SPORT is $51,795.

Again, the 2021 Lexus ES350 F SPORT isn't meant to be a pavement-ripper (though 0-60 in 6.1 seconds isn't bad at all), but a luxury car that handles. And at just a shade over $50K all told, it's a bargain. Fold in legendary Lexus reliability and it's a winning combination.

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