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With its comfortable ride, quiet interior and lavish amenities, the Lexus ES provides big luxury car feel and refinement in a manageably sized package. The ES is also quick and yet sparing with fuel. Valuing ride quality over handling, agility is not a strong suit. Consequently, the ES idoes not try to be fun to drive. However, it is one of the best riding cars in its class.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
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2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
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2014
2015
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2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2002. Rear side air bags available from 2007. ESC available, standard from 2007.
Road Test

With its comfortable ride, quiet interior and lavish amenities, the Lexus ES provides big luxury car feel and refinement in a manageably sized package. The ES is also quick and yet sparing with fuel. Valuing ride quality over handling, agility is not a strong suit. Consequently, the ES idoes not try to be fun to drive. However, it is one of the best riding cars in its class. Further, rear-seat side airbags are standard equipment. Its few negatives include limited rear seat head room and partially obscured rear visibility.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (272 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Lexus ES owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“When trying to stop at freeway speed the front brakes shimmy - at times that make the car feel unsafe”

Neil E., CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“sticking”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Normal Brake Wear”

Anonymous, FL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Just normal wear”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“parking brake cable is fraying. rear brakes required new rotors and pads ($700)”

K W., ON (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Had to have rear and front brake pads replaced and front rotor discs replaced @73000mi”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Vibration when I apply brakes at speed over 60 mph. I have addressed this same issue with Lexus all thru the warranty and extended warranty period. They would consistantly applt a temporary fix”

Sheri R., CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Same as previous problem. Rotors were part of the problem”

Barry O., AL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Squeaking

“The brakes always squeak when I am backing up in the morning, dealer said this is normal?”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“squeaking when backing up”

Anonymous, FL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“moisture inside covers”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Seals failed so water was entering the unit whenever it rained or went to a car wash”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Two times in life of car I have had to replace Bright head-light. BUT, love the car”

Anonymous, IL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Battery failed in fob without warning. No obvious way to start car. Learned from the internet that tapping the Start button with fob and then pressing Start would work. Need better awareness and an advance alert method”

Anonymous, KS (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The sensor on the driver side door handle was broken and did not sense fingers to unlock with fob in pocket. Handle/Sensor was replaced”

Phillip D., PA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Door locks not working properly. Dealer repaired at no charge”

David D., MO (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Display failed”

Anonymous, VA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“very difficult to use. Not user friendly Too complicated I would never purchase one installed ever again”

Cheryl F., VA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“We can receive calls, but cannot make calls”

Anonymous, IL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

“Blown speaker”

Marvin G., AB (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Radio

“The manual controls on the radio do not respond”

Anonymous, TN (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

“The pulleys also had to be replaced as the bearings were going bad, but car has a fair number of miles on it”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Oil leaks

“there was a seal broken in the engine that needed to be replaced. It was an expensive repair”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Dealer replaced a gasket at the engine leak are”

Anonymous, GU (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Engine computer

“One of the engine sensors had ti be replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“Grease leaking from drivers drive shaft”

Anonymous, WA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Boot got split and all grease was slung out. Axle had to be replaced”

Anonymous, TX (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
CV joint

“Replaced both CV Joint /axles. Not unexpected at this mileage”

Anonymous, SC (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“Replaced a faulty water pump”

Anonymous, IA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“water pump”

Kim H., IL (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“moonroof rattles”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

“water pump went bad and had to be replaced. 3-4 hrs of labor”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Coolant began leaking on garage floor in a big puddle. Took car into shop and it was determined the water pump needed to be replaced. Could have been serious had I not been paying attention”

Sean A., KY (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Service done then leaked and made noise then leaked into cabin”

Ka M., LA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

“fluid leak from housing requiring removal of engine to repair leak”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Cylinder head

“After investigating a loss of oil, it was discovered that the cylinder head wad slightly warped. This required re-planing the head, and a new head gasket”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

“Found surface rust on trunk lid.Just off warranty. Body specialist claimed one area of rust was due to rubbing of one body part against another. The other rust defect was due to being maybe small paint pick”

Anonymous, NS (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Loose exterior trim or moldings

“The door trim on both sides came loose very easily at the door's edge, and is expensive to have fixed. So I am using duct tape that is the same color of the trim for now”

Anonymous, TN (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“1/2 of catalytic had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Muffler

“Midus”

Thomas B., NY (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat controls - temperature

“Repaired temp control on driver's seat on warranty but now the seat takes time to heat up compare to the passenger seat”

Anonymous, AB (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Windows

“Right front window hard to open”

Juan S., TX (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“The compressor has had to be replaced 3 times since 2012”

Lee R., PA (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

“leaky hose”

David V., NJ (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission sensor or solenoid

“Occasionally, when put in drive, car will just creep forward, does not accelerate with gas pedal. Google searches assume solenoid or sensor problems but replacement doesn't always help. Issue unresolved due to cost for process of elimination to find”

Alen T., WI (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“The car has 3 catalytic converters. 2 of them failed and needed replacement at a cost of $2,200 since they're made of platinum. Couldn't pass inspection without the repair & that shouldn't have failed at 103,000 miles”

Jeffrey M., NY (2009 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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