|
Preview: To see full article and/or Ratings, Subscribe Now!

2013 Lexus ES 350 & ES 300h review

Consumer Reports magazine: January 2013

The Lexus ES has always been comfortable and luxurious but far from sporty. It has been aimed at people who simply want to be pampered while driving from Point A to Point B. And it did that very well, ranking as one of our top-rated upscale sedans. But Lexus has modified that formula with the 2013 redesign. And the overall result is a less satisfying car.

The new ES still provides a comfy, quiet interior, gets good fuel economy, and is likely to be very reliable. But the car’s cosseting, easygoing nature has been dialed back, with a less plush ride, cuts in interior refinement, and more complicated controls. And despite Lexus’ claims of injecting more sportiness into the ES, it’s no more agile or fun to drive.

We tested two versions: the ES 350, with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and the ES 300h, the model’s first hybrid. Both drivetrains perform well. The V6 is slick and powerful and returns a good 25 mpg overall. The hybrid delivers ample zip, while squeezing out an excellent 36 mpg overall and 44 on the highway.

Although the ES still rides well, it’s no longer luxury-car plush, feeling instead like a generic family sedan. It has adequate room inside, but it’s not particularly spacious for the class. At first glance, the cabin furnishings look really good. But a closer inspection reveals some cheaper materials than in the past and a general impression of cost-cutting. Lexus has also done away with the simple touch-screen controls of the previous ES, instead using more complicated systems that can make it more difficult to perform common functions.

The tested cars were similarly priced— $43,702 for our well-equipped ES 350, $44,017 for a comparatively basic 300h. And both are several thousand dollars more than competitive six-cylinder models such as the Hyundai Genesis, Chrysler 300, and Acura TL.

Sign In or Subscribe to see full article and/or Ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

SNOW BLOWER REVIEWS
Get prepared for the colder days of winterVideo Some work now will help you better weather all the season throws your way.
PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS
Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Softcard, LoopPay reviewVideo Which one of these virtual wallets stands out from the pack?
DISHWASHER REVIEWS
You're probably loading your dishwasher wrongVideo Your dishes will get cleaner, and fragile items will be less likely to break.
CAR RECALL INFORMATION
Takata air bags: Has your car been recalled?Video More than 4.7 million vehicles from several automakers have been recalled.
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS & GUIDE
Expert picks: Best holiday gift ideas for teensVideo Get a jump on holiday shopping with these presents for teens.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE REVIEWS
Boost the payout from your home insurance claim You'll need to do the right kind of inventory to get full-replacement value.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more