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The overall appearance of the ES family remains conservative; but with last year's redesign, including the new hourglass ('spindle') grille and a few more curves at the rear flanks, the ES is no longer an accessory to slab-sided boredom.
The corners of the ES models, in front and in back, are just a little more squared-off than in the previous-generation model, but it's the profile and side sheetmetal that now look quite attractive and contemporary. All ES models get the new Lexus 'spindle grille’—we call it the hourglass grille—that tapers into the bumper, expanding outward again below into the air dam. As well, there are LED running lamps helping to accentuate the look, while in back the taillamps not come to a point that continues as a centerline, on either side, into the beltline. The profile remains a bit formal, but with the smooth, organic sculpting of the side sheetmetal, it's definitely not homely.
As has always been the case with this model line, the 2015 Lexus ES models place performance after comfort in the priority list -- and that's perfectly fine for most shoppers who might consider this roomy sedan. While it retains a relaxed driving demeanor, you might be surprised by how athletic this model has become when you really need it to hustle.
Interior space is one of the ES sedans' strengths, as while it's a mid-size car on the outside, its wheelbase is now that of a large car—which really pays off in space for those in the back seat. There's now enough room for three adults back there, if you need it, while in front, for the first time, Lexus is offering an available extendable thigh support for taller drivers (the lower cushions are longer, too).
All ES models now include a 10-way power driver seat, while the available 12-way seat brings extendable lower cushions—a feature some of our long-legged editorial team would definitely opt for.
The 2015 Lexus ES family covers all the bases in safety. No matter which model you choose, ten airbags are standard—including front and rear curtain bags and rear seat-mounted side airbags, in addition to electronic stability control and all of its complementary systems like anti-lock brakes.
Additionally, Lexus Safety Connect wraps in roadside assistance, emergency assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, and automatic collision notification—although those services require a subscription (one year is included).
Several active-safety features are available as options on the ES models, too. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert can help see moving vehicles in your blind spot, or help see cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. There's also a Lane Departure Alert system that includes an automatic high-beam feature; and the Pre-Collision System uses radar to anticipate a potential collision.