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2012 Lexus ES 350 Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$34,400
BASE MSRP
$36,725
On Performance
The 2012 Lexus ES 350 has strong, confident performance, provided the road is straight.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

feels tauter, responds more authoritatively to steering direction, and emits a meaner sound
Motor Trend

his is more freeway cruiser than canyon carver, and it seems everything about this car is more biased toward a smooth ride than making the driver's heart beat faster.
Edmunds' Inside Line

easy and quiet acceleration
CNET

responds to steering inputs quickly and accurately, with only minor body motion at sane road speeds
The Auto Channel

Steering is precise, and the soft ride is smooth, without being sloppy
MSN Autos

Comfort and true luxury-car refinement are the priorities in the 2012 Lexus ES 350, so it should come as no surprise that performance takes second stage—except in straight-line acceleration, where it doesn't interfere.

In some ways the ES 350 is epitome of a classic luxury car—serene and soft, but not at all bouncy, with a powertrain that moves you along quickly but almost silently. The strong, 272-horsepower V-6 (which no longer requires premium fuel) is surprisingly responsive and satisfying in combination with the six-speed automatic transmission, and it can dash to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds.

Handling is competent and predictable, but the ES 350 steers with a light, detached feel and you'll feel no urge to drive it fast around corners, as there's lots of body roll and ample tire squeal. The steering's also a bit too light on center, which means you'll be making frequent adjustments on the highway. That said, you couldn't do much better for a highway cruiser.

Conclusion

The 2012 Lexus ES 350 has strong, confident performance, provided the road is straight.

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