2013 Lexus ES 350 Video Review
This 2013 Lexus ES350 video review includes information about fuel economy, price, luxury features, interior space and technology like Remote Touch. We talk about how it drives and how it compares to other midsize luxury sedans.
Most luxury cars under $40,000 are small and sporty. Not the Lexus ES. It's big and comfortable, but unlike past versions, it's now more stylish and better to drive.
Lexus offers a hybrid version called the ES 300h, but we're focusing on the regular ES350. It comes in only one trim level that costs about $36,000 and includes most of the luxury car basics.
There's a massive options list, though. This particular one costs about $44,000 and includes a navigation system, ventilated seats and an automated parking system.
It also has advanced safety features like lane departure warning and a blind-spot monitor. If those don't prevent a crash, at least the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the ES the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength crash tests.
The back seat is enormous for a luxury car in this price range; it's pretty much a full-size sedan. The trunk can also hold a generous 15 cubic feet of stuff.
As for the rest of the cabin, it's more modern in appearance and functionality than past ES models. One of the reasons for both is the Remote Touch interface. You use a mouse to move among all the different vehicle system icons, and there are a lot of them.
It's not a bad interface, but it's not our favorite, either. You end up looking at the screen too much and it takes up a lot of space. Also, not everyone is tech-savvy; some people just want simple buttons for the radio.
Past Lexus ES models were known for being pillowy and very disconnected to drive.
This one isn't. You definitely feel more in control and the ride isn't as soft as you'd expect.
The 268-horsepower V6 has more than enough power and it's surprisingly responsive, especially in Sport mode. Of course, if you want to achieve the EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg combined, you'd better leave it in Eco mode.
Given the Lexus ES350's size and driving character, we'd suggest cross-shopping full-size sedans like the Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Genesis. They may not have the same prestige associated with them, but you'll save money and lose very little in the process. If you gotta have that luxury badge, the Acura TL and Lincoln MKZ are probably the closest in size, price and character, but this stands up well to both.
For more information, please read the Edmunds Lexus ES Review.