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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h are all-new models, so neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the federal government (through its NCAP system) have yet evaluated these sedans.
But the ES does remain quite closely related to the Toyota Camry, which has since its redesign last year (and a completely redesigned structure) earned an excellent set of crash-test results and safety ratings. As it stands, the current Camry has superb crash-test protection, with top five-star results from the federal government and all 'good' results—and the Top Safety Pick nod—from the IIHS.
No matter which model you choose, ten airbags are standard—including front and rear curtain bags and rear seat-mounted side airbags, in addition to electronic stability control and all of its complementary systems like anti-lock brakes. Lexus Safety Connect wraps in roadside assistance, emergency assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, and automatic collision notification—although those services require a subscription (one year is included).
Several active-safety features are available as options on the ES models. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert can help see moving vehicles in your blind spot, or help see cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. There's also a Lane Departure Alert system that includes an automatic high-beam feature; and the Pre-Collision System uses radar to anticipate a potential collision.
In all likelihood, the 2013 Lexus ES sedans will be among the top-rated luxury models.