Used 2013 Lexus ES 350
Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 remains the standard-bearer for a relaxed, luxuriously insulated form of transportation. The competition has narrowed the gap over the years, though, so it's hardly your only option for an entry-level luxury sedan.
The Lexus ES has always been a car whose loyal owners simply trade in one for another when it's time to buy another car. Each generation has been designed to a familiar formula of ample midsize proportions, solid reliability, simple controls, a comfy ride and enough luxury features and ambience to justify its price over the mechanically related Toyota Camry. Well, the 2013 Lexus ES 350 represents a new generation. Does it carry on the family line?
There are no worries here, because the new ES 350 maintains that familiar formula. Even its exterior styling is an evolution of the previous car. Lexus has adopted some styling cues from the new GS, but the ES's silhouette is instantly familiar. The interior is a more radical departure, however, as the anonymous design of the old car has been replaced with a far more modern and visually interesting one. The controls are a little more complicated than before -- especially with the love-it or hate-it Remote Touch electronics interface -- but that's simply a result of the increased number of electronics features that must be controlled.
Mechanically, the new ES 350 is once again related to the latest Toyota Camry, but is now closer in size to the also-related Toyota Avalon. All three cars share various engine and other mechanical similarities, but the differences are sufficient enough to disprove the common refrain that the ES 350 is just a Camry with a Lexus badge. More importantly, the ES 350 boasts a more structurally rigid body than before as well as suspension and steering changes. This makes it feel more buttoned-down and solid, while also more responsive to driver inputs. The ES 350 has always been both appreciated and admonished for the isolated way it goes about its business, and we doubt that will change. However, the new car makes the driver feel a little more in control -- especially when the new Sport mode is engaged -- and that should always be considered a good thing.
In total, the 2013 Lexus ES 350 should continue to please its loyal customer base while being updated enough to remain relevant in this competitive entry-level luxury sedan segment. The old car was getting very stale, and those willing to look around a bit were likely to find the Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Genesis provided a similar formula with plenty of advantages -- price being the primary one. The new-for-2013 ES 350 has caught up in most respects, but those aforementioned rivals and the Acura TL should still be considered. Whether you're on your sixth ES or a first-time shopper, the ES is no longer our automatic pick in this class, and this has everything to do with the strength of the competition.
Trim levels & features
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize luxury sedan that seats five people.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, LED running lamps, foglamps, a sunroof, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way adjustable lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, vinyl upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Safety Connect emergency communications, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Lexus Display Audio package adds a large central screen, the Remote Touch electronics interface, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and HD radio with iTunes tagging. The Navigation package includes all of the above items plus a navigation system, voice control, real-time traffic and weather, and the Lexus Enform suite of Internet-based apps. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system can be added to the Navigation package.
To the Display Audio and Navigation packages you can add the Premium package, which adds a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, real wood trim and a wood-trimmed steering wheel. Or, you could add the Luxury package, which includes all of the Premium items plus xenon headlamps, parking sensors, extended leather trim, heated and ventilated seats, and a power rear sunshade. The Ultra Luxury package goes one step further by adding a panoramic sunroof, a power-closing trunk, automatic wipers, a 10-way power driver seat, passenger seat memory functions, manual rear door sunshades, a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting and the Mark Levinson system. This package requires the choice of either special 17- or 18-inch wheels.
Stand-alone options include adaptive cruise control (includes the pre-collision system), a blind-spot warning system, a lane-departure warning system, a power-closing trunk, parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, xenon headlamps, heated front seats (with the standard vinyl upholstery), a heated steering wheel and a power rear sunshade.
Performance & mpg
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. In Edmunds performance testing, the ES 350 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is on par with its competitors. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
Every 2013 Lexus ES 350 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also included is Lexus Safety Connect with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assist button.
Optional equipment includes parking sensors, a lane-departure warning system and a blind-spot monitor that includes a rear cross-traffic alert system. The optional adaptive cruise control includes the pre-collision system, which primes the seatbelts and brakes when it senses an impending collision.
In Edmunds brake testing, the ES came to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet, which is average.
In government crash testing, the ES 350 earned a top five-star rating for its overall performance, with five stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the ES the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 delivers a refined driving experience that's bolstered by a V6 engine that's smooth and responsive. No one will ever deem the new ES sporty, but few people will expect it to be. Instead, this year's more precise steering response and feel is a welcome improvement that everyone should appreciate. The ES's Sport mode further sharpens steering and throttle response, but the resulting driving experience feels like it would be a normal mode in many other cars. The actual "Normal" mode would be a comfort setting.
At highway speeds, the cabin remains remarkably silent, mostly devoid of wind, road or engine noise. Bumps and ruts in the road are now better absorbed than before, but don't expect complete isolation or the floating sensations many assume the ES exhibits.
The 2013 Lexus ES 350's cabin is a far more modern, stylish environment than that of past models. There's still wood trim on hand, but it's more subtly applied and looks more like the genuine article. The analog clock in the center of the dash is a classy touch that breaks up the otherwise high-tech environment. Of course, the quality of materials depends on whether you opt for one of the luxury packages, but build quality is excellent in typical Lexus fashion.
The climate controls are still quite simple to use, but those for the audio system have become more complicated due to the increased number of available media types. When you opt for the Display Audio or Navigation package, you get the Lexus Remote Touch system, which is essentially a mouselike device that controls a cursor on a large centrally located screen. We've found this interface to be likable in that it's very similar to using a computer mouse, but the ultra-sensitive nature of the controller can be distracting while driving, and we recommend playing around with it before taking an ES 350 home.
Space is ample all around, with the ES 350 coming closer to the Avalon in size than the Camry to which it has traditionally been compared. Backseat legroom, in particular, is very impressive, but taller occupants will find their heads touching the roof in ES 350s equipped with the optional panoramic sunroof. The trunk offers 15.2 cubic feet of space, which is average for a midsize car. The rear seats do not fold down, however, and only a pass-through is offered.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Oregon's Willamette Valley is where the mythical Lexus ES 350 owner goes on vacation. He's worn down by his long commute, but when he gets a few days off, he heads right back out on the interstate. Hundreds of miles later, he finds tranquility and plenty of pinot noir in this famous wine region.
Although we think of the Lexus ES 350 as a uniquely North American car, our man could just as easily live in China. The ES is the No. 2 selling Lexus there (behind the RX), just as it is in the U.S. Lexus officials paid a lot of attention to both markets while working on the 2013 Lexus ES 350, and the result is a redesigned entry-level luxury sedan with more interior room, better fuel economy and an available four-cylinder hybrid version — the 2013 Lexus ES 300h.
Together the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and 2013 Lexus ES 300h represent a "truly global ES," says Chief Engineer Toshio Asahi. Skeptical? Well, it turns out we have plenty in common with the commuters and oenophiles in China.
More Like an Avalon
As we slide into the backseat of the 2013 Lexus ES 350, it's clear we're on the same page regarding legroom. For the first time in its 25-year history, the ES does not share its wheelbase with the Toyota Camry (109.3 inches). Instead, it now matches the full-size Toyota Avalon (111 inches) in terms of space between the wheels. Rear legroom increases from just under 36 inches in the 2012 ES 350 to 40 inches even.
This still isn't an Avalon-size car, though, as the ES retains its overall width of 71.7 inches and it's just barely taller at 57.1 inches. It's 192.7 inches long — an inch longer than last year's sedan, but still 5 inches down on the big Toyota. The cabin feels airy, though, as passenger volume has swelled to 100 cubic feet, up from 95.4 in last year's ES 350.
All these gains might have you thinking the 2013 ES 350 is overweight. In fact, the unit-body is lighter and more rigid than before, thanks to increased use of high-strength steel. The 2013 ES 350 is 50 pounds lighter than last year's ES, and even with a battery pack, the ES 300h is only 110 pounds heavier than the V6 car.
Style has never been a reason to buy a Lexus ES. On the contrary, the car's quiet rejection of fleeting trends gives it a timeless appeal. That should continue with this generation, though the adoption of the new double-spindle grille gives the ES a passing resemblance to the similarly sized Lexus GS 350.
V6 Remains the Big Seller
A V6 engine has always been an essential ingredient to the ES formula, and Lexus still expects it to account for 75 percent of the car's sales volume in the United States.
The ES 350's drivetrain is basically a carryover. The 3.5-liter engine is rated the same as it was in 2012, with 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. The six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels is geared the same, too, but a taller final drive (3.46 versus 3.68), combined with an expanded range of torque converter lockup and various friction-reduction measures, reduces fuel consumption. Lexus officials are predicting EPA ratings of 21 city/31 highway/24 combined mpg compared to the 2012 car's 19/28/22 ratings.
We've always liked this engine's sweet sound, and there's ample torque to take advantage of passing zones on Oregon's Highway 47. There aren't any paddle shifters à la the Camry SE, but downshifts come quickly enough that we probably wouldn't use them much (and the shifter has a manual gate anyway). Driver-selectable Sport and Eco modes tailor throttle response to your priorities, but leaving it in Normal suits us just fine.
Keep in mind that Lexus has focused on fuel economy in this redesign, so this 2013 ES 350 probably won't be any quicker than the 2009 Lexus ES we tested. Figure about 7.1 seconds to 60 mph.
But You Could Have a Hybrid
The arrival of the four-cylinder Lexus ES 300h reflects the influence of the Chinese market. Fuel economy is a big deal there, and buyers simply won't pay for a V6 that gets poor mileage — their outgoing ES only comes with a 2.4-liter inline-4.
But there's no doubt that Americans are increasingly willing to accept four-cylinder engines in entry-luxury cars. Plus, the 2013 Lexus ES 300h takes the place of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, which quietly ended production in January.
Compared to the HS, the ES 300h is roomier, quicker and more fuel-efficient. Its drivetrain is identical to the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, with an Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4 rated at 156 hp at 5,700 rpm and 156 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. There are two electric motors, and a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack (with 204 cells of 1.2 volts each). The battery pack can feed a maximum of 44 hp to the motors, and a planetary gearset-regulated CVT (continuously variable transmission) blends everything together, resulting in a net 200-hp rating.
Lexus expects the 2013 Lexus ES 300h to earn 40 city/39 highway/39 combined mpg ratings from the EPA. In contrast, the 187-hp HS 250h had a rating of 35 city/34 highway/35 combined. Our 37-mile drive in Eco mode (the hybrid also has EV, Normal and Sport modes) produced 40.5 mpg with an average speed of 33 mph, according to the trip computer. Put the ES 300h in EV mode and you'll get all of half a mile before the gas engine starts.
Of course the ES 300h feels less energetic than the ES 350, but it's hardly slow. Lexus expects the hybrid ES will trail the ES 350 by only a second in the 0-60-mph race, though the gap will widen by the quarter-mile mark. The automaker's internal estimates have the hybrid at 16.8 seconds versus 15.1 for the ES 350.
As Usual, It's a Nice Ride
The ES stakes its reputation on its compliant ride quality, and the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h uphold it.
Its basic suspension design is the same as the 2012 Camry, and the Lexus engineers have made changes to make the ES feel more stable as we're blasting down country roads. Spring and damper rates are updated all the way around, and in back, the lateral links are revised and the bushings are new.
Both the ES 300h and the ES 350 come with all-season, low-rolling-resistance P215/55R17 93V Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires, with P225/45R18 91V Primacys optional on the ES 350. Both setups provide a cushy ride during our drive, with reasonable balance around corners.
The power steering uses electric assist, and it's plenty precise on back roads. Notably, the steering is quicker than it was on the 2012 ES 350 (14.8:1 vs. 16.0:1). The other thing we notice during our drive is the brake pedal feel — there's not a great difference in pedal feel between the regular ES 350 and ES 300h and that's a good thing.
Good Materials, Clunky User Interface
You're not going to mistake the 2013 Lexus ES interior for an LS 460, but considering the likely price point — a typically equipped model landing in the mid-$40Ks — materials quality is just fine. Lexus had only leather-lined models at this event, so we can't tell you if the standard NuLuxe simulated leather passes muster. We like the wood trim, particularly the sustainable bamboo in the ES 300h, and some designer was clever enough to think of using the double-spindle motif on the center stack.
However, the sedans' Remote Touch Interface isn't nearly as tidy. Essentially, you're using an oversize computer mouse to enter destinations and sift through the audio menus, and it feels cumbersome, particularly if you have a smartphone in your pocket that can perform similar functions so much more quickly. Although Remote Touch is optional, most 2013 ES models will have it, since it's included with the available Display Audio system (which upgrades you to a larger display and adds Bluetooth audio streaming) and the Navigation package.
Standard equipment on the 2012 ES 350 and ES 300h includes keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth (for phone calls only) and USB and auxiliary inputs. New options for 2013 include blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems, a power trunk closer and manual rear-door sunshades.
We're not sure how popular pinot noir is in China, but we're pretty sure buyers there will share our impression of the 2013 Lexus ES.
It's just as quiet and comfortable as its predecessor, only now it's a little bit better. No, it's not any quicker, but it's more fuel-efficient and even the hybrid keeps up well on the freeway. Plus, both ES models are roomier and available with more features.
Of course, you could enjoy many of the same attributes in a nicely optioned Camry XLE or Camry Hybrid. Alternatively, if you're less worried about interior room and the bottom line, you'll find more prestige and entertainment value in entry-level versions of the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class. And so, as in the past, the 2013 Lexus ES 350 isn't for everyone, but if comfort is your No. 1 priority, Lexus has delivered another class leader.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored press event to facilitate this report.
Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 Overview
The Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Lexus ES 350?
Save up to $300 on one of 15 Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $15,987 as of09/23/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from1 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Lexus ES 350 Base is priced between $15,987 and$24,998 with odometer readings between 16713 and94411 miles.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Lexus ES 350?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.