Product Reviews

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For years, the Lexus ES excelled at being comfortable and luxurious, pampering rather than sporty. But for this version of the car, Lexus modified that formula by trying to create a more engaging driving experience. The overall result is a less satisfying upscale sedan. The ES still provides a comfy, quiet interior and gets good fuel economy.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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
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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.
2000
2001
2002
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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

For years, the Lexus ES excelled at being comfortable and luxurious, pampering rather than sporty. But for this version of the car, Lexus modified that formula by trying to create a more engaging driving experience. The overall result is a less satisfying upscale sedan.

The ES still provides a comfy, quiet interior and gets good fuel economy. But the cosseting, easygoing nature has been dialed back, with a less plush ride, cuts in interior refinement and more complicated controls. Further, despite Lexus' claims of injecting more sportiness into the ES, it's not agile or fun to drive.

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
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 hybrid (200 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (268 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Does not work at night. Dealer wants to let mechanic take car home at night to verify problem. Not willing to let mechanic take my new car home at night so I will wait until it has about 15,000 miles”

Anonymous, NM (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

“The display froze up, and even the radio stopped working at the same time. Only by turning off the car and then, back on solved the issue. This has happened twice within the month that I've owned the vehicle”

Kat H., NJ (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“requires rebooting system”

Anonymous, OH (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Screen freezes up and I cannot access radio, media,climate control, bluetooth”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The XM freezes when I switch from one channel to another and the radiondisplay then freezes. The only way to clear the problem is to turn the ignition off and on”

David S., CA (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Overly complex and cumbersome to use to the point of being a dangerous distraction when driving”

Mike N., CA (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Gives wrong routes. Miles and time often incorrect. Dealer cannot fix. Same issue on last Lexus”

Anonymous, IN (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“The voice rec does not work 25 % of the time. The nav system has taken me to the wrong place on more than one occasion. It often takes the longest way possible. The directions are often unclear. If you miss understand to correct it often advises a u”

Catherine C., CA (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“The network had an outage which caused all Lexus Navigation to stop working. Lost radio, nav etc. Had to take the car into dealer to resolve”

Alan G., CA (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Radio

“Overly complex and cumbersome to use to the point of being a dangerous distraction when driving”

Mike N., CA (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Same as remote touch”

John M., WA (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“No radio”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“When I try to switch from one XM satellite channel to another, the system freezes. I have been told it is a software error and there is no solution”

David S., CA (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

“I swear I am finding it more and more difficult to not take a hammer and smash it. Passengers laugh at me until they try to use it. They then want the hammer. At least 60 percent of the time I get pardon at least once. If it doesn't say pardon ab”

Catherine C., CA (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Voice Command is horrible! Nothing works well; radio is ok; phone is poor; doesn't work at all with USB. Emphasis is on navigation so often defaults to navigation when you are trying to do something else. Navigation is pointless for those of us that”

Anonymous, NM (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“I have gone through the voice training but the device does not understand me very much”

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Dealer could not sync my phone to Lexus Bluetooth in repeated attempts”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

“Downloading of my iPhone contacts during pairing does not include my favorites (people dialed most often). Repeated pairing does not fix this issue and the dealer service gave vague reasons (excuses) for this and was unable to fix the problem”

Anonymous, NJ (2015 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

“Clunking noise from front suspension when going over bumps”

Clayton U., HI (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Shocking number of interior rattles, creaking and cracking noises. Also way too much road noise”

Anonymous, CA (2015 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

Electrical failure

“Sometimes in the bitter cold, the car's computer would crash in the middle of driving. When this happened the head lights, radio, climate control, chair movement, and other things would be completely unresponsive; they remained on the last setting”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

“Right rear wheel bearing worn and 'groaning' Bearing replaced”

Gerald B., OH (2015 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“Complete failure of all systems accessed through screen”

John M., WA (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“ABS warning light came on intermittently”

Anonymous, TX (2015 Lexus ES 300h Unsure)

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

Heated or cooled seat controls

“passenger seat heating was defective from the beginning. It was repaired under warranty”

Newton M., VA (2015 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

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

Climate System

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

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.

Engine Major

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

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.

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Paint/Trim

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

Transmission Minor

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

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