2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. Its Competition

2012 Lexus ES 350 Touring Edition
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

If you want a luxury car and favor ride and comfort over performance, the 2012 Lexus ES 350 is one of the better picks, though there are plenty of other options.

The Hyundai Azera and new Buick LaCrosse also tend toward the comfort end of the scale, but both have a very competitive price and the Buick in particular has an expressive new interior that's arguably better looking than that of the Lexus; the Buick also gets a new fuel-efficient eAssist powertrain.

The Nissan Maxima is a sportier option; it has a roomy, stylish interior and more of an emphasis on performance, but it lacks the refinement and isolation of the overall experience in the Lexus and doesn't offer the excellent Lexus dealership experience.

The Lincoln MKZ is also a sharper-edged car, with an interior that is at the same time more stylish but less rich-looking.

The Lincoln’s engine also has more growl, and it's available with all-wheel drive; some might be interested to hear that there's an MKZ Hybrid, with fuel economy ratings of more than 40 mpg.

Acura's TL is a bit sportier than the ES 350, and it can be had in a performance SH-AWD (all-wheel-drive) guise that doesn't forgo much comfort.

2012 Lexus ES 350 Touring Edition2012 Lexus ES 350Browse Used Listings2012 Acura TL 4-door Sedan 2WD Advance Angular Front Exterior View2012 Acura TLBrowse Used Listings2011 Buick LaCrosse 4-door Sedan CX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Buick LacrosseBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Azera2012 Hyundai AzeraBrowse Used Listings2012 Lincoln MKZ 4-door Sedan Hybrid FWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lincoln MKZBrowse Used Listings2011 Nissan Maxima 4-door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan MaximaBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.8
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 is a great pick for those who want a lavish interior and the latest in-car tech, but place a priority on comfort over cornering performance.
8.0
The 2012 Acura TL is a surprisingly well-rounded luxury sedan, with a host of advanced tech features, and in top SH-AWD trim morphs into a complete and compelling sport sedan.
8.2
As a sophisticated, roomy, tech-savvy premium sedan—now with up to 36 mpg—the 2012 Buick LaCrosse hits the mark for a lot of shoppers who want luxury on a limited budget.
8.6
With real design appeal, confident performance, and a true luxury-car ambiance, the new 2012 Hyundai Azera brings far more sophistication to the showroom, but doesn't lose its carry-over attributes of comfort and value for the money.
8.0
The 2012 Lincoln MKZ has supple leather and wood trim for luxury-car street cred, and hybrid flower power to appeal to greens.
7.8
The 2012 Nissan Maxima is a great pick if you want a stylish, sporty, comfortable, and lavishly trimmed sedan; serious sport-sedan enthusiasts should look elsewhere, however.
MSRP From     
$36,725$35,705$30,170$32,000$34,755$32,420
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas V6Gas V6Gas/Electric I4Gas V6Gas/Electric I4Gas V6
EPA Class     
CompactMid-SizeMidsize CarsLargeMidsize CarsMid-Size
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan Automatic 2WD4-Door Sedan Base FWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan Hybrid FWD4-Door Sedan V6 CVT 3.5 S
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
AutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/manual shiftContinuously Variable RatioContinuously Variable
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. 2012 Acura TL2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. 2012 Buick Lacrosse2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. 2012 Hyundai Azera2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. 2012 Lincoln MKZ2012 Lexus ES 350 vs. 2012 Nissan Maxima