2018 Lexus ES 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely forgiving ride smooths out even the roughest roads
  • Quiet, luxurious and well-built interior
  • Smooth V6 engine and transmission
  • Advanced electronic safety systems come standard
  • Navigation system controller is distracting to use
  • Apple CarPlay or Android Auto aren't offered for smartphone integration
List Price Range
$19,777 - $31,899

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Which ES 350 does Edmunds recommend?

The standard 2018 Lexus ES 350 has just about everything we'd want in an entry-level luxury sedan. It offers a great combination of features and value. But to really enjoy the experience, you'll probably want to get at least a few extras. We'd opt for the Luxury package (leather upholstery, plus heated and ventilated front seats) and blind-spot monitoring. You'd think the latter would be standard in a car like this, but it's not.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

While other manufacturers have branched out and built cars to satisfy the latest fads and trends, Lexus has not ignored shoppers simply searching for a roomy luxury sedan. The 2018 Lexus ES 350 is just that vehicle.

While the ES 350's pricing is similar to that of other entry-level luxury sedans, it offers more room and more features than the norm. Top-notch build quality, a smooth V6 and a plush ride continue to be ES hallmarks as well.

Having said that, the ES isn't a car to excite drivers. Handling is not on par with that of more nimble competitors. The ES also lags behind rivals in the infotainment category. But if you're mainly interested in getting a traditional luxury sedan experience that prioritizes interior space and a quiet cabin above all else, the 2018 ES 350 will be a great choice.

2018 Lexus ES 350 models

The 2018 Lexus ES 350 sedan comes in a single trim level. While there are a few stand-alone options, buyers need only pick colors and packages. A 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower, 248 pound-feet of torque) sends its power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

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Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, LED headlights (low-beam setting only), automatic wipers, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Also standard is the Display Audio interface (includes an 8-inch touchscreen and multipurpose control knob), Bluetooth, Scout GPS Link (smartphone navigation), a USB port, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, Safety Connect emergency communications, a forward collision warning and mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a lane departure warning and intervention system.

Many options and packages are available, but there are certain package prerequisites, and availability can vary depending on where you live.

The Premier package adds driver-seat memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, wood trim, and heated and ventilated front seats. The Luxury package includes the above plus leather upholstery. The Ultra Luxury package adds the Premium and Luxury packages' equipment plus a panoramic sunroof, manual rear door sunshades, ambient interior lighting, a power driver-seat cushion extender and passenger-seat memory functions.

Other notable options include a navigation system, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, a power rear window sunshade, a wood steering wheel (with heating, if desired), bi-LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a power-opening trunk.

Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven a recent ES 350, but we have experience with its cousin, the ES 300h hybrid. While there are differences in the powertrain, comfort and utility sections, the following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect from the ES 350.

Driving

The ES 350 delivers a comfortable driving experience, bolstered by a smooth and responsive V6. At highway speeds, the cabin is remarkably silent. Bumps and ruts are also nicely absorbed, although the extreme isolation results in a less engaging driving experience.

Comfort

In classic Lexus fashion, the ES exhibits a soft ride quality that diminishes or altogether neutralizes any jitteriness that poorly maintained roads can cause. In testing, we found the heating and cooling for the front seats to be oddly ineffective.

Interior

We had minor issues getting into and out of the car, but the ES is easy to live with. Highlights include fantastic outward visibility and a spacious cabin. One caveat: We haven't tested an example with the panoramic sunroof, which could impinge on headroom.

Utility

The standard ES 350 features a 15.2-cubic-foot trunk and a rear seat pass-through (but the rear seats don't fold down). Upfront storage areas for personal items are decently sized.

Technology

All the latest safety systems are here, but the ES stumbles on other tech fronts. You have to interface with Lexus' app to have access to certain features, and using the infotainment system's mouselike controller takes your concentration away from the road.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Lexus ES 350.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

New Ride
gkmnj2,02/08/2018
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Navigation very mixed. Hard to set and control. Dumb routes sometimes. Miss interprets voice commands frequently. Using own phone probably better. Two year update: Voice recognition for navigation or hands free phone at best, mostly wrong to at worst, useless.
Very satisfied!
Jeff B,02/07/2018
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Extremely impressed with my first Lexus. Very comfortable daily commuter. The car is hush quiet and the standard sound system is amazing.
A Car to Drive Through my Golden Years
Aging Eagle,08/07/2019
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
When in my 30s and 40s I regularly read the sporty auto mags with the greatest interest, especially when they were doing comparison reviews of the compact luxury brands led by the BMW 3 series. When I finally pounced on a BMW, it was the 5 series. 1994 I think. I didn't need the extra room. I assume that those magazine articles had a lot to do with it. It turned out to be probably the least value I ever got from an auto. A heavy, mid-sized auto at a stiff price powered by a puny 192 HP straight six. I was going to replace it after seven or eight years with a 3 series, and even ordered one. But I test drove a Lexus IS 350 and found a like to like, starting with being able to buy a fully loaded Lexus for the same price as a "half-loaded" BMW. That Lexus will go down as my favorite auto. It fit me like a glove, had sufficient power and strong brakes and the most attractive coat of paint I'd ever seen, a Mica Red that glistened in the sunlight. In the eight years that I owned the car, the only defect of any kind that emerged was a broken wheel ball bearing that sounded much worse than it was. I put about $1500 into the car, preparing to keep it another three years. Not surprisingly, not long afterwards the car was totalled in a left turn intersection crash for which I was half responsible. The tow operator told me that most cars not built by Toyota would have been ripped in two by the van accelerating through the intersection to beat the light. True? Who knows. What to do next? I know that the Lexus ES series is considered to be sort of like a horse and buggy to the enthusiast magazines. But at age 66, mostly retired and putting few miles on my car, the ES 350 was in its last year before being replaced by a completely redesigned model, and Lexus was subsidizing the remaining 2018s with $4000. I leased for three years at the 7500 miles a year rate. And I can say that I'm satisfied. It is smooth and quiet, and has never failed to deliver all the acceleration I wanted from its 270 hp V6. The brakes are not quite as powerful as on the sportier cars, but I quickly adapted. The Lexus' most admirable features are ones not much considered in reviews but are very important to me living on a crowded Long Island full of accidents: reliability and all the safety equipment available coming standard. Disappointments: The infotainment is clumsy to operate, but since I just have set a lot of presets to my SiriusXM, I don't face many challenges. The navigation system is worse than that on my 2008, mainly in cases where you depart from the original route set and the navsys when it recalculates wants to send you off the main highways onto side streets. A larger gas tank to improve the 350 mile declared range on a full tank would be nice. As I indicated, I don't drive the car that much so I haven't been testing it under more heavy driving. I also don't know how passengers would feel about it since I seldom have any. But I'm quite satisfied after 1.5 years.
ES 350 most reliable car you can buy.
Principal 352,11/20/2018
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I test drove the BMW 320 and 520, Acura TLX and Volvo S90. Hands down the Lexus had the best ride, reliability and value for the price. I love the technology and quality leather.

Safety

Our experts like the ES 350 models:

Intuitive Park Assist
Warns if you get to close to objects when moving slowly, such as when parking or navigating a narrow street.
Lexus Enform Remote
Lets owners start up the engine, open doors and find the vehicle from a compatible Android or Apple phone.
Lexus Safety System +
Helps prevent or minimize forward collisions and mitigates accidental lane departure.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Lexus ES 350

Used 2018 Lexus ES 350 Overview

The Used 2018 Lexus ES 350 is offered in the following submodels: ES 350 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Lexus ES 350?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Lexus ES 350 trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Lexus ES 350 Base is priced between $19,777 and$31,899 with odometer readings between 9111 and56217 miles.

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Which used 2018 Lexus ES 350s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Lexus ES 350 for sale near. There are currently 64 used and CPO 2018 ES 350s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,777 and mileage as low as 9111 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Lexus ES 350.

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Find a used Lexus ES 350 for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,762.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

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