While most self-respecting car enthusiasts avoid Lexus vehicles for a lack of driver involvement, I actually enjoy time behind the wheel of a Lexus from time to time. If you're just looking for a quiet, comfortable way to commute, it's difficult to fault the Lexus approach. Stretches of road that can be painful in a BMW (thanks to the run-flat tires and sportier suspension) are almost soothing in a Lexus, and the ES350 is a reasonably affordable way to enjoy a true luxury car if you're careful with your optional equipment.
I do wish the electronic aides like traction/stability control were a little less intrusive during normal driving, but many consumers will be perfectly fine with the more eager electronics. With safety as a high priority for so many new-car shoppers, and Toyota's recent recall campaign still on the lips of nightly newscasters, it's certainly better to have an overachieving set of safety features than one that might be perceived as too slow to respond to a risky situation.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor