2019lexuses350475Long road trips help to define a vehicle, what might not be noticeable or annoying around town can get downright irritating after driving four or more hours on the open road. I took a road trip to Phoenix in the 2019 Lexus ES350 and it was a dream.

Redesigned for 2019, the Lexus ES350, glided down the 10, with minimal road noise, a cushy ride and very responsive engine. Making the car longer and wider gave us a greater sense of space. Lowering the car added a sportier profile and pairing an new eight speed transmission with the engine, gave it more horsepower. I’ve never enjoyed a ride through the barren desert so much and that’s saying something.

Available in four trims: base, Luxury, Ultra Luxury and new for 2019 an F-Sport trim, this review will focus on the Ultra Luxury.

Just like the moniker says the Ultra Luxury is very luxurious with higher-quality leather seating, a power rear sunshade with manual rear door sunshades, a hands-free trunk release, a special chassis dampers that help absorb vibrations when cornering, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, noise-reducing side windows, ambient interior lighting and interior wood trim.

2019lexusrs350intPowered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine the ES350 tools down the road with 302 horses (up from 268 hp) and 267 pound-feet of torque. The quicker engine is paired with a new 8-speed transmission, making the car quicker and smoother-shifting that the previous model. Expect to get 22/city, 33/highway, and 26/combined mpg.

On the inside the Lexus ES350 is plush and lush, especially when you opt for the Ultra Lux trim with the high-end leather seating. Since I took this car on a road trip, seat comfort and room was especially important, I found the seats to be plush yet supportive and I had plenty of room to stretch my legs when I engaged the adaptive cruise control, which I have to add was one of my favorite things about the ES350. I find holding a speed and distance to be quite stress-inducing on long trips. It was wonderful to leave all that to the car.

Backseat passengers are not overlooked in the ES350, there’s plenty of room for two adults to sit comfortably. Cargo space is good too with 16.7 cubic feet of space. The backseats do not fold down, however, so longer items could be a problem.

Acceleration from a stop is great making hopping onto the freeway easy (except if there is traffic) and the car kicks into cruising speed smoothly and crisply. The ES350 corners great and has a tight turn radius. It’s a smooth driving car with a quiet cabin and nice sound system.

When looking for a luxury car with a bit of spark, add the 2019 Lexus ES350 Ultra Lux to your list.