As far as entry-level luxury sedans go, the 2012 Lexus ES 350 remains a top choice, but it's not the only choice.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2012 Lexus ES 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.35 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Judging by most of the advertisements you see for luxury cars, you'd think that most folks shopping these brands moonlight as stunt drivers, what with the power slides and flat-out attacks on curvy mountain roads. But the reality is that plenty of premium-badge buyers aren't driving enthusiasts and are just looking for a well-built car that'll provide them with the latest convenience features, a comfortable ride and isolation from the noisy and harsh outside world. For this majority, the 2012 Lexus ES 350 is a worthy choice.
Favoring luxury over outright performance, the ES 350 entry-level luxury sedan offers a coddling cabin furnished with high-grade leather upholstery, rich wood accents and enough insulation from noise and vibration to please most anyone demanding some peace and quiet. Its V6 engine is smooth and will likely strike most drivers as strong enough for a luxury-themed sedan with no sport-sedan pretenses. This is apparently a winning combination, given the sustained popularity of this Lexus. As it stands, the ES continues to have just one main drawback: It gets pricey as options are tacked on.
We'd count the Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Genesis as the ES 350's closest rivals in terms of features and levels of comfort, though they are a bit more responsive in terms of driving dynamics. You could also check out the Acura TL and Volvo S60, which are sportier still. It's worth considering all these models, but overall the 2012 Lexus ES 350 continues to be a fine choice for a luxury sedan.
Performance & mpg
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for this front-wheel-drive car.
At an estimated 7 seconds flat, the 0-60-mph acceleration of the Lexus is average for this segment. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
Standard safety equipment for the 2012 Lexus ES 350 includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Optional features include a radar-based pre-collision system and the Lexus Enform and Safety Connect emergency telematics system.
In an Edmunds braking test from 60 mph, the ES 350 came to a stop in a longish 133 feet -- some 18 feet longer than a Hyundai Genesis sedan took in the same test.
In testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the ES 350 was awarded the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests. The IIHS notes, however, that these ratings were based on results for the Toyota Camry, which shares a platform with the Lexus.
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 delivers a refined and serene driving experience. The V6 engine is smooth and sufficiently powerful, and if you're not particularly interested in sporty handling dynamics, the ES 350's isolated and soft ride will be to your liking.
But if you do find yourself on a curvy road, know that the ES's wallowy handling and numb steering will be notable drawbacks. At highway speeds, the cabin remains remarkably silent, mostly devoid of wind, road or engine noise. Bumps and ruts in the road are absorbed with barely a hint of their presence reaching the passengers.
Luxury is the name of the ES 350's game, and for the most part, Lexus has succeeded in constructing one of the most comfortable and inviting interiors in its price range. Materials are impressive all around, with supple leathers and real wood trim. The ES 350 is also stocked with features that we're more accustomed to finding in much more expensive luxury sedans.
Space is plentiful throughout the ES 350, with roomy rear seats and a trunk that can accommodate up to 14.7 cubic feet of cargo. Folding rear seats and a cargo pass-through also allow for the transport of longer items.
2012 Lexus ES 350 models
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize luxury sedan that is offered in a single well-appointed trim level.
Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated exterior mirrors, a sunroof, automatic wipers, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming mirror, Bluetooth phone and music streaming capability, and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The ES 350 options list is extensive, with many features grouped into packages. These options include xenon adaptive headlights, parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system, heated and ventilated front seats, front passenger memory functions, upgraded leather upholstery, a power rear sunshade and a wood-trimmed steering wheel. The optional hard-drive-based navigation system includes a back-up camera, voice commands, real-time traffic updates and the Lexus Enform telematics system. A 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium stereo can be added to the navigation system.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Lexus ES 350.
Last weekend my 2012 ES 350 actually exceeded the advertised MPH (19 city, 28 hwy).
I drove from New Orleans back to Houston, setting cruise at 70mph.
After arriving at Houston I calculated the miles-per-gallon and 33 MPG is what I got out of my car !
5 out of 5 stars
Great car for reliability, depreciation & comfort
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I recently purchased a 2012 ES 350 with 57,000 miles. A little squeak coming from the belt so I'll get that changed. If it was the water pump that was squeaking, that would have been an expensive fix. (check the water pump before you buy) Overall it's a great car. It'll probably depreciate at a rate of $1000 a year which is great. First 6 years it lost $20-$25K of its value...about $3500 … a year. The next 6 years should lose about $6000. Also I would recommend getting a 2011 or 2012 since these cars accept regular gas instead of premium like the 2007-2010. It does like drinking gas, especially during local driving. For comfort and safety, this is a great car to get.
5 out of 5 stars
All Around A Great Experince
U.S. Coast Guard,12/18/2015
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
While I have not owned my car since new, it has been such a great experience from both the performance aspects of both the car and the dealership, Lexus of Omaha.
I have been a loyal Buick owner for 15 years and when it came time to replace my Park Avenue Ultra, I cringed. Buick no longer makes the Park Avenue and I have not been thrilled with their latest offerings. Reliability and … longevity were my criteria in selecting my new car. So many people that have owned a Lexus product swear by the reliability of the cars. One owner I talked to was on their third Lexus having got 430,000 miles on the first one, and 375,000 miles on the second with no transmission problems. Consumer reports also rates the Lexus brand as having a good track record for reliability.
I chose to go with a pre-owned Lexus ES 350 with 44,000 miles. Having the warranty from the Lexus dealer was added peace of mind. The ride comfort, low cabin noise level, and acceleration made missing the Park Avenue for just those reasons relieve me from my angst. Driving is part of my job as a manager and all-around comfort and performance are of major importance.
The other aspect of owning a Lexus has been the experience of how I have been treated by everyone at the dealership, especially Rob, the general manager. I had reservations about not driving an American made car, but the way the dealership has gone out of their way to make sure I was happy has been absolutely exceptional and without peer in my all my years. This is the way we used to do business in this country by taking care of the customer, and in my mind, this removed any anxieties I had of not buying an American car.
My fiancee having been witness to my experience, decided to get a new Lexus from Rob and his team. In doing so, she gave up the albatross of high cost of ownership that comes with every BMW, where the cost of service borders upon being absurd.
I am so totally sold. The dedication and service that Lexus of Omaha has shown to me by exceeding my expectations makes the dedication to the Lexus product and people all that easier and gratifying.
5 out of 5 stars
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This is my 3rd Es 350, 2005,2009, now 2012,the exterior has never looked better, bought 2012 because did not like interior of 2013 coming out in August.The ride is quite and very comfortable, standard sound system is fabulous . car now uses regular unleaded, previous Es 350's required premium, car is quick,quite and reliable,get many compliments on the way my car looks, bought dark gray. … Sticker 39.109- worth every penny.Got a great deal from Bredemann Lexus in Glenview Illinois [non-permissible content removed].
The Used 2012 Lexus ES 350 is offered in the following submodels: ES 350 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).
The Used 2012 Lexus ES 350 comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
The Used 2012 Lexus ES 350 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2012 Lexus ES 350?
Price comparisons for Used 2012 Lexus ES 350 trim styles:
The Used 2012 Lexus ES 350 Base is priced between $17,499 and$23,998 with odometer readings between 29494 and128215 miles.
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