So let's say you want a four-door luxury sedan, it needs to be utterly reliable and keeping the price tag under $60,000 would be a major plus.
If you walked up to me and told me that, I'd walk you straight to this---the 2023 Lexus ES 350. It checks every single box. This is where Lexus' 30-plus years worth of "relentless pursuit of perfection" has led us.
By now, you know the basics---3.5-liter V6, 302 horsepower, 8-speed automatic transmission, selectable drive modes. Zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds and an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/31 highway/25 combined.
Plenty of room for five people and their things, impeccable fit and finish and material quality. Yeah, the interior looks dark in these shots. There's a Palomino interior color available. Get that. It's gorgeous. The base price of the 2023 Lexus ES 350 F SPORT (our tester) is $48,950, including destination. That brings tons of standard euipment---paddle shifters, F SPORT suspension tuning, performance dampers, aluminum pedals, 19-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, Bi-LED headlamps and daytime running lights, a wireless charger, 10-way bolstered front heated and ventilated power seats, Hadori aluminum trim, the F SPORT moveable meter display, a heated leather steering wheel, an eight-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Lexus' comprehensive Safety System + 2.5 active safety suite.
Our tester also had some extra-cost options---$835 for a panoramic view monitor, $500 for a head-up display, $1,215 for triple-beam LED headlamps, $100 for a smart access card key, $1,030 for an upgraded 12.3-inch touchscreen, $550 for a power open/close trunk with kick sensor and $595 for the Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint. That brings the bottom line on the window sticker to $53,775.
Yes, there are flashier luxury cars. Yes, there are nameplates that, in some circles, carry more prestige. But if you're not showing off and you simply want a luxury car that isn't ridiculously expensive and will never leave you stranded, the smart money move is the Lexus ES 350.