The first thing you’ll notice are the bold red and black F Sport bucket seats for the front passengers. If the typical Lexus model is Bruce Wayne, its F Sport variant is Batman—menacing and muscular. Its sporty spindle grille, 19-inch tyres and special paint options add to the car’s superhero mystique.

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Although you may feel tempted, we do not recommend breaking any rules while piloting the Lexus ES 250 F Sport. The 2.5-litre engine completes the century sprint in a respectable 9.1 seconds and powers the car to a top speed of 210 kph. However, mind-boggling numbers have never been a brand hallmark. Rather, the Japanese carmaker emphasises the complete driving experience. The suspension is stiff enough to ensure you’re always cruising comfortably, no matter what type of road you’re on, and there’s enough oomph in the powertrain to let you overtake easily. The engine? It barely strains.

The interior is also top-notch. Lexus’s attention to the small details presents itself when you take a closer look at everything in the cabin. From the stitching to the panel construction, you can tell that a lot of love has gone into creating a beautiful cabin. There’s even a CD player, a relic of a past that is a Lexus mainstay, probably to satisfy its Japanese market. No surprise there. Music CDs remain the most popular format in the country; in 2019, they accounted for 70 per cent of recorded music sales.

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One of my biggest gripes with previous Lexus models was the rear seats. Fortunately, it seems to have listened to its customers. The ES 250 F Sport can comfortably seat three adults in the back while still having an expansive boot space—420 litres with ample room for two golf bags plus groceries.

Can I justify spending a quarter of a million on this, considering I can have an A6, an E-Class or a 5 Series for the same price? Honestly, it’s a pretty strong contender.