2013 Lexus ES 350 Review

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8.2
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7.0
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7.0
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10
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9.0
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Fuel Economy
9.0
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Consumer Reviews
3 Reviews
2017
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2013
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Best Car to Buy Nominee

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

Larger but leaner, the 2013 Lexus ES gains a hybrid model and some very attractive new styling to stave off strong new competition.

The Lexus ES has long been the choice for those who want to be cosseted and comforted, and don't want to be overly involved in the driving experience. At the same time, there's a new kind of luxury shopper who wants a car that's quiet and cushy, yet more responsive—not sluggish or boatlike.

We think that the 2013 Lexus ES models should do well in appeasing both of those types—especially those with some modern expectations about how a premium sedan should respond behind the wheel. Whether you're interested in the V-6 ES 350 or the new ES 300h hybrid, these models really handle well enough for the 99 percent who don’t subscribe to the enthusiast vernacular of canyon roads and weekend track time.

Of course there is a difference in how they accelerate; the V-6 models are still the quickest and smoothest, surely, but the ES 300h—which pairs a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor-generator system—is surprisingly fleet-footed. With Lexus' incorporation of Drive Select modes (Eco and Power), you have a choice in how the hybrid system responds, and there's even now an EV-only mode. The big payoff comes at the pump, where the new ES 300h returns an EPA 40 mpg city, 39 highway (much better than the ES 350's 21/31).

While the 2013 ES models look pretty conservative on the outside—the new Lexus hourglass grille and a newfound curviness at the rear flanks are the exceptions—there's a lot to love inside. The ES's cabin has been completely redesigned, with a new sense of airiness and spaciousness thanks to a shelf-like horizontal design, and corners that have been pushed out (in a sort of anti-cockpit design). It resembles what Lexus did with its GS sport sedans, only it feels better done here, with the navigation system's screen fitting nicely mid-contour.

For the first time, the ES isn't riding on the same wheelbase (and about the same length) as the Camry; its wheelbase is now a couple of inches longer—think Avalon, lengthwise—which pays off in back-seat space. Thanks to its additional back-seat space, we might as well call it a large sedan. There's now enough room for three adults back there, if you need it, while in front, for the first time, Lexus is offering an available extendable thigh support for taller drivers (cushions are longer, too). Ride quality is slightly firmer, but the outside world, engine noise, and the road surface are all still supremely isolated from the cabin.

In addition to some new active-safety features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Pre Collision System, the ES offers a host of high-tech entertainment and premium-luxury goodies on top of its standard kit. Major options for the ES include a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice command, Mark Levinson audio, upgraded leather and trims, a built-in backup camera system, and a next-generation Enform with apps. The only down side to getting the audio upgrade, or navigation, is the mandatory, mouse-like Remote Touch controller, which requires you to follow a pointer on the screen to make selections.

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April 26, 2016
For 2013 Lexus ES 350

Nothing to dislike with Lexus ES

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Like other reviewers, this is my second Lexus ES. I can't imagine driving any thing else. I frequently drive my lady's Cadilac CTS which is a fine car, but I much prefer the Lexus. My car has so much more... + More »
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November 17, 2015
2013 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan

Love My Lexus

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I love my car! This is the second Lexus I have owned and I am convinced this is the only car I will ever buy. Such an amazing performance. It is always a joy sitting behind a Lexus. Seldom any issues and the... + More »
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April 17, 2015
For 2013 Lexus ES 350

Never breaks! Love it!

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This is our second Lexus and it has much more performance than our old ES-300. Great features and wonderful performance! Love it so much that we bought a Camry in Florida as a third car! A baby Lexus and we... + More »
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April 6, 2016
2015 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan Crafted Line

Great car, but I don't think I will ever fully understand the navigation/ information system.

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Like everything but the navigation/information system. A little more road noise then I expected, but that might be from the low profile wheels. Need a four wheel drive version, that would seal the deal for... + More »
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September 29, 2015
2015 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan

I LOVE this car

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I've owned many cars in my lifetime, and by far this is the best car I've ever owned. Not only do I feel safe, but it's comfortable and luxurious. It's large enough to haul 4 teenagers around, and they all... + More »
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March 19, 2017
2014 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan

Solid, quiet Where's the power tilt

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This es 350 was a Lexus off-lease car. I bought it because of the excellent performance of the 2007 es 350 that I traded in. I was disappointed that so many items are not standard on a supposed luxury brand... + More »
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April 17, 2015
For 2014 Lexus ES 350

wolf in sheep's clothing

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The finest car I have ever driven. Rock solid,comfortable, and fast enough to jeopardize my drivers license.
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