2012 Lexus ES 350 Performance

7.0
Performance

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.

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

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.

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