Important read if shopping or analyzing reviews...
written on 01-04-2016
I have a 2016 ES ultra luxury, and have had a 2008 in the past. The ES is a terrific car for real world use, it will out-handle what most will ever throw at it. It's not a car for a track..but neither really is a C class or 3 or 5 series BMW that I've owned, and they were in no way as serene nor exciting (except when the warranty runs out, or you deal with condescending service departments). The Lexus ES is as luxurious and reliable as you can find anywhere close to it's price range, has a unique 'feel' of quality and thoughtfulness that can't be checked off on a checklist when shopping, you have to own it to notice it. Is it sporty? No. There's not much luxurious about 'feeling the road' unless you're on a track or rare weekend journey, and for that, you can get a real sports car. If you want a sportier 'edge' in a sedan, the GS is very nice and still solid. When shopping for the ES, know that with it being quiet, it's very noticeable which wheels and tires you get. They come with either Michelin or Bridgestone from factory, the particular Michelin they use is rated as top 3 by tirerack.com, the Bridgstone dead last. You can tell when you drive it, and from some reviews who say it's not the car they expected, they always photo Bridgestones on larger rims...which you also may want to avoid. The 17" wheels for 2016 look great, but if you get ultra luxury, you have to swap out the 18". I know..an inch less, but test drive for yourself, the 17", and on a Michelin (Not Bridgestone) tire is what you'd like. in 2016 they also updated suspension and added more sound deadening. It's noticeable if you drive it back to back with a prior year. It's 80% of the top of the line Lexus LS, for almost half the price. It's a hard model to ignore, unless you're trying to impress people who insist that luxury must be sporty and rough edged.
I have leased/ purchased 12 Lexus vehicles prior to the 2016 ES 350, including 4 ES's, 3 RX's, 3 IS's, and 2 GS's. I currently have a 2015 GS 350. My 2014 ES 350 was coming off lease and was traded for a 2016 ES 350 Luxury with 18 wheels. I looked at several other brands this time, but kept coming back to Lexus as the lease deals are hard to beat in this segment. I was very surprised how much better the '16 is verses the '14. The 2014 ES 350 was ok, but had several downfalls. The ride was just ok, bumps got through. I hated the wood steering wheel, among a few other things. That car was sort of a marsh mellow. Mushy steering, handling, seating etc. The 2016 has greatly improved these things. The seats are better, being slightly firmer with good support for long drives. The steering is more direct. There is definitely more sound deadening in this new one. The ride is much better, with much improved absorption of bumps. I'm not going to debate the spindle grill, thats personal taste. It does blend in well on this design, unlike some other Lexus vehicles where the spindle protrudes. I recently completed a 7 hour drive, and my hands didn't hurt with the new steering wheel design. It is much more padded than the old one. I thought I would never used radar cruise, but it worked flawlessly on a long trip. This is primarily my wife's car, and she really likes it. I feel its a big improvement over the previous ES. The dealership experience was great as well. Is it perfect? No, but neither is any car out there. What could be better? Start with Lexus Enform. Ridiculous amount of steps to remote start the car. Apps are useless, better just to have the passenger use their smart phone. There are still some hard plastics in the interior, such as on the door panels, and where the driver's right leg hit the center console. Is it a GS 350? No way, but that car is more expensive. The ES has a very large rear seat, uses regular fuel, and is priced very well in this segment. Overall, I am very satisfied with this car. I am very happy that there has been refinements over the previous one.
This is a very comfortable car. I came from a 2014 328i M sport. That car was great too but it was a little small for a family. Plus the reliability scared me every time I got in it. Not this Lexus though. This is a family car! I never worry about if something expensive is going to break or going into limp mode "bmw". I am 35 years old and I always thought I will look like an old man in this car. You know what this car makes you mature and look established. The led headlights are bright and show the road well. The navigation still looks like my 2008 Toyota Camry navigation though. I really wish Toyota would update their nav systems. The seats are la z boy comfortable. I am ready for a road trip. Standard stereo is more than enough. More than enough acceleration and very serine interior. I definitely would buy this over any other brand. Bmw drives nice but costs way too much. Acura is boring, Mercedes is over rated and Audi is in trouble. Buy a Lexus!
After owning the car for about 6 months. I decided to go back to my bmw 328i 2016. I miss the road handling characteristics of the car. The lexus was nice don't get me wrong. Two weeks after buying the lexus the presidential collision system went out on the vehicle. They kept it for a few days because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. So they finally fixed it and wanted to keep the car longer and do research on it! Um thats ok give me my car please. Got a crack in the windshield that was a nightmare because lexus needed to recalibrate the lane departure warning also. And then after five months of ownership lexus recalled the brakes saying the vehicle can become uncontrollable. OK I was done then. My first bmw I owned for a year never had a recall or any problems. But lexus is supposed to be the most reliable. So I'm back with bmw. I just couldn't get past the problems and the lack of technology of the lexus. I do miss the size and the price of filling the tank though. The paint is better quality on the Lexus also. Everyone says if you want a good ES then get a 2010-2012 model. 2013 and up is when they started to cut costs.
I've only had my 2016 ES 350 since December of 2015. It only have 5000 miles.Love my car until this past July my car starting doing some weird sound after taking off from a traffic stop light. Once I accelerated the car it made like loud thump and the speed diminished. I couldn't make the car go over 20 miles per hr because it started to make the thump sound again. Also the traction control came on when it made the sound. Long story short I got a tow truck to take my car to the dealership and they made the analysis and it turns out to be the transmission. But according to Lexus consumer hot line and the dealership they only cover a refurbished transmission not a new one. So for right know I am paying for a vehicle that is not drivable and going back and forth with Lexus to get a new transmission. This has been a big headache we just going to have to see what the outcome will be for my car.
Been driving about a month now. Changing from Audi A6 07 model, ES gives me more comfort and convenience yet I can't give it five stars since it has a bit unsturdy lower body in the highway driving. Also it has lot of IT stuffs, mobile connections etc. However the User interface is not really user friendly. For instance, it's hard to control the navigation. There's no Navi button anywhere in the panel. In order to go to Nav, at lease two or three steps you need to use fake mouse that ES provides. And its map is really crappy. Voice recognition needs a lot of improvement compared to other German cars. The default speakers are acceptable, but some AM radio stations (although it has HD radio option) sound almost inaudible. The manually folding side mirrors are design fault in the big sized car like ES.
Its gas tank is such small that allows to go upto 350 miles with full tank. I know I sound a bit harsh but these are my impression of 2016 ES350.