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 3 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
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
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
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
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)

"GPS is not good. Lexus needs to get this right! Fault reading by the GPS, not accurate. Hard to put in data, not user friendly!"

Anonymous, NM (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Useless!"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Useless"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"So hard to use and understand!"

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

"poor software, does not update itself, useless as compared to Google Maps"

A S., VA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"really didn't pair well so I do not use it"

A S., VA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

"Radio quit at time of passenger air bad replacement"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Voice command control does not work; does not get the command right. Not a good system."

Anonymous, NM (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)
Bushings

"Heard an unusual noise; took the car to the Lexus dealer. They diagnosed and fixed the problem the same day."

Anonymous, NC (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"rattling (bad bushings) at <100,000 not acceptable for a Lexus"

John C., WI (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"I used the category shocks & struts because I am unsure of the exact problem. The car will have jolts to it on certain types of rough roads that you can feel into the steering wheel (remember that this steering wheel is not actually connected to the wheels/suspension) I took it to the Lexus dealer last fall and they said everything is fine, except that I know it isn't. I notice that it appears to be slightly worse this spring. To make matters worse, the technician at the Lexus dealer over pressurized my tires by 6 psi, with the rationale that winter is coming (in 3 months). This is after I already complained about the ride, and he just made it worse. I bled the tires back to the proper pressure, then monitored them as the weather got colder a few months later."

Thomas O., KS (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

"It was leaking and needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"On routine service, found power steering joint broken, though no symptoms from driving."

Anonymous, AP (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

"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

"NOISE COMING FROM WHEEL AREA. DEALER REPLACED DRIVER SIDE WHEEL BEARING 3 TIMES. THEY FINALLY DETERMINED THAT THE NOISE WAS COMING FROM THE REAR WHEEL BEARINGS. THIS PROBLEM DID NOT OCCUR IN THE PAST YEAR, BUT HAPPENED ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO."

William F., CT (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"noise in cabin from tires/wheels. Although we asked the mechanic, they have not been able to isolate and fix"

Anonymous, VA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"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 window break lights replaced under warranty."

Lawrence H., NM (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)
Gauges

"MPG display stopped working- operating manuel for radio/cd/etc. shows different radio/cd dealer could not provide a copy of correct manuel. Electric windows would not operate in hot wheather and would operate by itself, unable to close, or open."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

"would display check engine light without my ability to know what it is about, have to go dealer and pay for them to let me know what is wrong."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

"The trim at the bottom of the front passenger door has detached a couple of times when the door is opened and closed at a curb. I think this is a design defect because it shouldn't be so prone to coming off."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"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)

"The paint doesn't seem to be durable. It seems to chip easily. It also appears to have some sort of staining in the clear coat. I need to see if it can be buffed out."

Anonymous, NC (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"paint chips, nicks from age"

Terry I., UT (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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

Normal routine brake wear

"Bought the ES350 with 26,000 miles on it. Replaced the (assumed original) rear brakes (pads and rotors) at 96,000 miles. I think this is extraordinary longevity for brakes."

Jerry H., MO (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Pulsation or vibration

"I had the rotors turned twice, but the vibration returned so I had new non-Lexus rotors installed. That fixed the problem and the car stops better now, too."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
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)

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 02 sensor failed causing the check engine light to illuminate. Replaced the sensor and all is OK now."

Ron E., KS (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Dash light showing engine issue. Had 2 engine sensors replaced. All AOK now"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Fuel cap

"Broken cap caused check engine condition."

Anonymous, NY (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The check engine light would come on. Test would show sensor (there are 4?). One was replaced and problem would recur. Then second was replaced and again problem would occur. In all, three replaced."

Anonymous, NY (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Check Engine light kept coming on, had dealer check, said one of the oxygen sensors had failed and likely the other one was about to fail, recommended changing both and I did. Been OK since then"

Ron E., KS (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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

"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)
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)
Wind noise

"wind noise around doors and moon roof"

Bart H., IL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Factory recall of passenger side airbag."

Lawrence H., NM (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Went to the Lexus dealership for a regular service and they explained something about the airbags had a recall and it had to be fixed while we were there. They gave us a loaner (very nice newer ES350) and it was fixed when we returned."

Michael H., IL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"The cars were part of an airbag recall. We did not consider the cars safe to drive and received rental cars from Lexus for Ninw months until the cars could be fixed."

Anonymous, AL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

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)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Forced off highway into ditch by fire engine — leak resulted."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Lexus ES 350.0 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)

Transmission Minor

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

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

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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