Test Drive: The 2013 Lexus ES 350 Breaks Free From Middle Management

Test Drive: The 2013 Lexus ES 350 Breaks Free From Middle Management
2013  Lexus ES 350 Sedan
Price Driven: $47,347
Power: 268 hp
Engines: 3.5-Liter V6
Fuel Consumption: 21 city/31 highway
Remember Peter Gibbons? The tortured soul from Mike Judge's hilarious Office Space was torn between the doldrums of his cube life and dreams of freedom. He wanted to shake things up, but feared repercussions of following an unknown path. 
 
Let's think, just for a minute, about an alternative future for Gibbons than the one presented in the film. Let's think about what might have helped him balance, keep his calm, and provide much needed respite from the rigors of working life. Let's think about what would have propelled him to professional glory without forsaking his individuality. Any ideas? No. Well, we've got one — the 2013 Lexus ES 350.
 
First thing you notice about the all-new 2013 Lexus ES is the grille. There's an undeniable dynamism to it. It's the new face of the brand. The feel is sportier, the lines more refined, and the "double-take" factor upped significantly. 
 
The ES no longer screams "mobile office," a long standing stigma attached to the model. There's now a little swagger, the potential to (perhaps) unbutton a little and cut loose. Ok, we detect raised eyebrows. We suspect pessimism. 
 
Consider this: The Lexus ES is a sedan with two sides. First, there's the traditional Lexus. It's comfortable, well appointed, the ideal ride for an independent professional that requires an able, presentable ride. Then, you flip it into sport mode.
 
We've driven the new 2013 Lexus GS. The brand debuted the new grille with that car and straight up made us feel like a proper driver. It hits asphalt with assurance and gives everyday drivers confidence. 
 
Elements of that feeling emerge when the ES is kicked into sport. The 268 horses under the hood wake up, and you lift off from the middle management doldrums and take corners like an Indy car champion. Or, at least can dream you are. It's like a little secret. A really good one. Something that kicks an average day into an awesome, adventurous afternoon, even if it is just a run to the grocery store.
 
That's the beauty of the new ES. It's a car that exceeds expectations in performance while maximizing and improving on long standing associations. An upgrade, if you will, but more a rebirth — a vehicle that makes you recalculate thoughts about the entry-level segment. A car that might have saved the sad souls you laughed at in Office Space, but one that will also comfortably transport your grandmother and make her proud of you. 

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