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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 2 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.
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NA
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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.
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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 (268 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Lexus ES owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

CD player

“Will not work. Estimate to just get to it was $350. That was to just diagnos the problem . So I will do with out”

Ronald L., NM (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“It contained 6 CDs but suddenly stopped working”

P M., CA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The stereo quit recognizing that it had a CD player. The Lexus dealer put a re-built system in (the entire dashboard module: CD, FM, navigation system, heater controls, etc.) for about $900. The replaced system has been in the car for about 9 months and works okay”

Thomas O., KS (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“USB port went dead”

Anonymous, NC (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“It would not recognize voice commands most of the time. They replaced it under warranty and it works better now, but not great”

Kathleen D., SC (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Total waste of money. Sometimes if I make a wrong turn, the system has taken me more than 5 miles out of the way to make a "U-turn" while ignoring numerous opportunities to do so. Also: adjustments to the system are locked-out while in motion, igno”

Martin S., NC (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“So hard to use and understand!”

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Radio

“Radio lost tuning capability. It was replaced without any problem by my dealer at no cost”

Anonymous, MA (2011 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

Alignment

“This car goes through tires every 12000 miles.can not keep it aligned”

Ronald L., NM (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Car pulled to the left on a flat road. A second dealer found the steering wheel was off centre and two previous alignments were not done properly. Purchasing dealer was incapable of making correction”

Anonymous, ON (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“The car sways badly when rounding corners at higher speeds. Very poor handling”

Roland C., CA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“rack and pinion seal (on right) needed to be replaced due to leakage. A kit was already available to replace said parts. Does this mean a recurring issue? Told unusual for this to occur on this vehicle”

Anonymous, NY (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The left front axle was found to loose. It was determined that the front wheel bearing was worn. The axle and wheel bearing where replaced”

William F., CT (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“I had noise coming from what I thought was coming from the front. After 4 months of investigation (off and on) at the dealers, it was determined that the noise was coming from the rear wheel bearings. The bearings where replaced. The shaking in the front end was caused by a wheel unbalance”

William F., CT (2011 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Third stop light malfunction”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“rear lights burned out and when I tried to install expensive LED replacement bulbs . the warning light on the dash stayed on , even though all the lights were working . I had to go back to regular bulbs”

Anonymous, ON (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Sometimes the door lock buttons don't work unless I open and close a door”

Anonymous, LA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

“sensor went bad”

Anonymous, NJ (2011 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

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Front air-dam is so low that it constantly hits cement sidewalk curbs and parking lot tire "stops" and tears the fender away from the body”

Martin S., NC (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The front under guard is so low that you can't park in most parking spaces without scraping on the front parking block. And just a little scape pulls away the front bumper underguard because it's held on only by some little plastic clips. I've been told by my Lexus service rep that this is a common problem”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“paint seems to chip easily. Automatic car wash resulted in a rather deep piece of paint removed from hood. Several other areas where paint has been scratched by unknown causes”

Anonymous, PA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Rotors

“rotors were out of round needed to be machined”

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Warped”

Anonymous, NC (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Not really problems, just wear. ad to get new pads, calipers and rotors. Brakes were grinding”

A V., NJ (2011 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

Squeaks or rattles

“Rattling sound on passenger side, on uneven surface”

Anonymous, TX (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“rattle in sunroof when open; fixed recently by dealership under warranty”

John G., NY (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Air or water leaks

“The sunrood leaks air and is very noisy. The local Lexus dealer said they could not find the problem”

Anonymous, VA (2011 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

Evaporator

“Cant get musty smell out of car.. tried all kind of products.. smell coming out of AC vents”

Anonymous, FL (2011 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

Sunroof

“The sunroof leaks air and makes noise. The dealer said they could no,t duplicate the problem. The problem occurs at 55MPH and above. The dealership drove it around town and never exceeded 35 MPH and would not take the time to test it above 35MPH”

Anonymous, VA (2011 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

“Wheel bearing noisy and replaced”

Gary G., NE (2011 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

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

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.

Transmission Minor

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Major

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

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