Research

2013 Lexus ES 350 Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

8.2
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
7.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
10
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
8.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
9.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2017
The Car Connection
Best Car to Buy
Coming Soon

The Car Connection Expert Review

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.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

3 Reviews
5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
For 2013 Lexus ES 350

Nothing to dislike with Lexus ES

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
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 »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
2013 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan

Love My Lexus

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
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 »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Friday, April 17, 2015
For 2013 Lexus ES 350

Never breaks! Love it!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
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 »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
See all user reviews »
Looking for other models of the Lexus ES 350?
Read reviews & get prices
Compare the 2013 Lexus ES 350 against the competition
Compare All Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used