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.