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Lexus Makes A Performance Play With Good Back Up

The recent headlines about Toyota taking the top spot in US sales for the first time in 90 years, was driven in no small part by the Lexus luxury performance division.

While the buzz among gearheads is the new $56,000 Lexus IS 500 5 liter normally aspirated V8 which effectively throws down against the newest Mercedes and BMW muscle cars with stirring 472 horsepower performance … it’s worth noting for 4-door and a trunk sedan practicality and pure driving fun, the Lexus ES 250 F-Sport with AWD at around $45,450 is no slouch ride.

All the Lexus quality and engineering is on display, along with the stylish cockpit and passenger compartment amenities, bristling with the latest infotainment and safety equipment.

Though never really personally enamored by the aesthetics of the Lexus look, the aggregate of swooping lines and aggressively complex front grille become fonder with familiarity.

The ES 250 with a 203 horsepower 2.5 liter 4 cylinder mated to an 8-speed auto trans, can be stepped up to a boisterous 302 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 for the same price, but without the better AWD handling.