Well, after a long, long wait i finally received my fully spiced ES ! black graphite and takumi brown interior (pictures follow later) , i clocked 250 miles in the last 48 hrs and here are my first remarks.
1: driving: this car is a dream car to drive, provided you're not looking for a true sports car. But driven with relaxation and comfort in mind this is a tough one to beat ! the atmosphere of serenity and calm is unbelievable. Suspension is a little more harsh then my previous 7 serie, but that one had air suspension so not a real 1-to-1 comparison. I find acceleration and torque more then ample for modern day traffic, not once i felt myself wanting for more. As for the whining sound of the CVT some motor journalists go on about, i wonder if they driven the same car as i do, absolutely not an issue! cornering and curves are taken with a relaxt air, again it's not a porsche, but it never was ment to be, as i was a bit afraid of the handling i now can say that the car is surprisingly nimble on its feet, it handles better then its size would led to believe it does.
On a mixed day of driving ( 40% motorway, 20 % city and 40% country roads ) i'm averaging 5,6 liter / 100 km
2: cabin: i can honestly say that the cabin of the ES is one of the best i ever sat in, everything feels well put togheter, the seats are marvelous and lay out is fairly logic. View to the back is restricted, a problem most modern cars seem to suffer from.
The size of the doors however takes some getting used to, man they are large ! When fully opened , you have to extend yourself quite a bit to close them .
Special mention for the climate control, i put the climate control in concierge mode and haven't looked at it since, works like a charm, it switches on the seat cooling when needed and keeps me in a very comfortable climate ! Dials and head up display are crisp and clear , the central big screen lags a little bit behind that of my 7 in clarity and crispness but the difference is small.
3:Multimedia: The elephant in the room ! first of all, the trackpad ! it takes a bit to get used to it, and it will never be as intuitive as the I-drive i loved, but it isn't halve as bad as some try to make it out.
after a day or two of use you learn to live with it, besides for the most used functions there are short-cut buttons, and honestly, once you configured your car to your likes, how often do you change the settings afterwards?
Pairing and using the phone is really a doddle, better then my 7 series, the only thing i'm missing is when i stream music from TIDAL from my iPhone, i don't see the playlists and can't select numbers, the only option is moving one number up or down .
Navigation is OK, no more than that, this is one area where the German competition has the upper hand, maps could be better and more detailed, traffic problems are not, or too late put in the system. Voice command ( addresses etc ) is working very well, to my surprise the system understood my input correct in 90% of the cases.
Radio: i have the ML system and i'm happy with it, although it depends a great deal on the source you use, i find DAB rather bland, but the hifi or CD quality from TIDAL is sounding really good. In short the recording quality and the steaming quality are very important to get the most out the system. Making and receiving phone calls works fine, again the 7 series did it a little better.
4: Safety systems: Love it! they work almost flawless and unobstructive , very happy with them, they perform better then the ones on my 7 serie !
Head up display, it was a conditio sin ne qua non, got used to it in my BMW's and consider it indispensable , to my joy i can say that the HUD of the ES is very, very good !
After more then 20 years of German cars ( Audi and BMW ) i found the time has come for something new, it was with apprehension that i placed the order for this ES, but for now i can say, very happy driver so far ! the only thing i can say to anyone looking for a car in this price segment, you would be mad not to go and try out this Lexus before ordering the usual black or grey mercedes/Audi/Bmw
It isn't race car, but for those who are looking for comfort, space, relaxation, full saving and reliability, it's more then a serious contender ! watch out for falling acorns however !