2013 Lexus ES 350 Sedan (3.5L V6 6-speed Automatic)
This latest redesign has served the Lexus ES 350 well. Updates to the interior and handling make it fully competitive in its class, while the core values of comfort and ease of use remain.
PerformanceAcceleration and handling are not hallmarks of the entry-level luxury sedan segment, but the Lexus ES 350 manages to overdeliver, if only by a little, and with no ill side effects.
Smooth and decisive in Sport and Normal modes. Eco mode gives delayed responses. Sport reverts to Normal if you shut the car off, but if you have it in Eco it will return there.
The ES offers a firm brake pedal but nosedive is apparent during hard braking due to the soft suspension.
Effort is especially light in Normal mode. Switch it to Sport and the amount of assist is about where we would've expected Normal to be.
Feels confidently planted to the pavement. Cornering certainly isn't noteworthy, but it's still pretty good for the class.
The ES is easy to drive with a smooth automatic, intuitive throttle and easy steering. It's what we expect from basic luxury sedans.
ComfortThe ES 350 delivers a bit more in the comfort and quiet categories than other cars in the segment, and most drivers will recognize this.
The seats are perforated but not cooled, and offer little sensation that they're "breathing." The seats themselves are quite comfortable, with enough headroom for a 6-footer.
The suspension is well-sorted, giving a smooth and even ride that isn't floaty.
Very quiet, with little in the way of road/wind/engine noise creeping into the cabin.
InteriorWhatever shortcomings the ES 350 has in terms of storage and rear visibility are cancelled out by the quality of the materials and workmanship, and the thoughtful design.
Good placement of switchgear. The gauges and screens are right where they belong, in the driver's sightlines.
No need for any sort of acrobatics or contortions to get in or out of the ES, it's pretty easy.
The roof limits headroom in the rear, especially for anyone over 5-foot-10, though legroom is good. The front seats are fine for a 6-footer.
Rear visibility is limited, with few cues to gauge how close you are to objects, but the optional rearview camera fixes that. Thin A-pillars give the driver a good view ahead.
Decent bins, but the glovebox is stuffed with a giant owner's manual. The trunk is large, but rear seats do not fold, pass-through only.
ValueThe Lexus is marginally more expensive than some rivals, but its level of luxury and quality should make it easier for buyers to spend that extra money.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Good materials and workmanship throughout the cabin. We didn't notice any big body gaps or irritating rattles.
There are plenty of features available as options, such as radar cruise control and lane departure warning. And they're well worth the extra cost.
Competing luxury sedans, such as the Buick La Crosse and Hyundai Genesis, are a few thousand dollars less if similarly equipped.
The EPA rates the ES 350 at 21 city/31 highway/24 mpg combined, which is about average for the category.
Lexus gives the ES 350 a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and covers the drivetrain for 6 years/70,000 miles.
Lexus ranks high in ownership, given its reputation for reliability and a TCO that ranks about average. Lexus also covers the cost of the first two scheduled dealer services.
Fun To DriveFun may not be the operative word here for the Lexus ES 350 driving experience. Confident and secure, yes. But little more.
The ES driving experience is a little bit better than most of its competition. Everything in the car works very well, and it's a smooth operator.
The ES 350 is closer to interesting than bland, but only just so.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator
The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Lexus ES 350 Sedan in VA is:
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