For years, the Lexus ES excelled at being comfortable and luxurious, pampering rather than sporty. But Lexus modified that formula by trying to create a more engaging driving experience. And the overall result is a less satisfying upscale sedan. The ES still provides a comfy, quiet interior, gets good fuel economy, and is very reliable.
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
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
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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

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

The ES still provides a comfy, quiet interior, gets good fuel economy, and is 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 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 2016 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

Display screen difficult to see

"Mouse control is horrible and very distracting. GPS is very tedious and difficult to use and display is very poor quality compared to all my Iphone navigation apps or my Chevy Volt"

Marcos R., FL (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

"Navigation freezes have to reprogram"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Display screen froze disabling the GPS system & radio. After stopping the car and shutting off the engine, the problem self-corrected."

Jorge T., FL (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"muc,h to confusing...... constant exasperaion."

Arnold G., NY (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"The navigation screen was displaying multiple windows intermittently at one time. Lexus service upgraded the display software and believes the problem should not recur. No problems so far."

Anonymous, MN (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Give it a command and it gives you something other than what you wanted as far as a destination."

Ralph G., MO (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Periodically and without pattern it does not pair with my phone when I enter car and I must turn off Bluetooth on the phone and then turn it on again."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"I initially paired both of our phones to this car. Now i rarely drive it it is my wife's car, if i get within 50 feet of the car (even while we are driving in separate cars!) i t will suddenly grab my phone! Had to unpair it permanently"

Marcos R., FL (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Radio

"XM Radio would not change stations."

Roger S., GA (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Audio cuts out randomly. Dealer did a software update to address the issue, but it didn't work."

Anonymous, OR (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

"Navigation screen freezes Zoom on navigation constantly changes by itself"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Very poor (worthless) voice recognition, I have stopped using it"

Anonymous, KS (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Voice command system is 50% accurate at best. It often takes 3 or 4 tries to get the proper command. Many times it displays the name I requested, but also lists several more to choose from. This is very distracting and annoying. When I say call home, half the time it replies Go home. I traded in a 2012 Avalon Limited on this car. The Avalon voice command system was 95% or better on the first try. I don't understand why there is a difference - I would think they are the same systems."

Woody B., FL (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Give it a destination and it gives you another location rather than what you asked for."

Ralph G., MO (2016 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

"Winshield washer hose was leaking right off the dealer lot"

Anonymous, WA (2016 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"car is made cheaply now, road noise excessive interior lights won't shut off. Lexus is not what it used to be"

Marty K., FL (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"rattles in instrument panel area. service department successfully eliminated the rattles."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Car began to make popping noises, more so in colder weather. It turned out to be the sun roof assembly shifting due to improper torque of retaining fasteners."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"noise was found and fixed by dealer"

Anonymous, UT (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The front end is so close to the ground that on at least three occasions the front lower under-bumper area has hit either a curb or a parking bumper, resulting in the whole fender on one side or the other to be detached, and causing expensive repairs and repainting."

Alvin R., CA (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The paint seems to be too thin. Every nick results in a paint chip."

Anonymous, CA (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Several of the electronic warning systems failed at the same time as did the automatic Hibeam dimming feature. the dealer repaired and charged for the repairs. It was claimed that damage was done to the main control area be an impact. No such impact ever occcued and the dealer was unable to find evidence of such an event on the onboard black box."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Radiator

"The primary symptom was the electronics in car started to act strange. Not only did the check engine light turn on but other functions stopped working. I don't remember all of the specifics. I pulled off to the side of the road and used the Enform system to call support. The rep came on (it worked surprisingly well) but the system does not send diagnostic information. (Too bad.) I gave her the symptoms but she could not help beyond asking if I the car is drivable or did I want her to call a tow-truck. I was close enough to home that I said I would drive the car. She gave me a toll-free number to call when I arrived home. I called the number and the rep and described the symptoms. She ordered a tow-truck for the next morning (I did not want to deal with it anymore that day) and drove the next morning to the dealership with the driver. Lexus provided a free loaner vehicle. When the dealership mechanic called to let me know the car was repaired (under warranty), I asked what the problem was. She said that it was the radiator. Given the symptoms, I thought this was bizarre but she said that a problem in one area of the car effects other, often unrelated areas of the car. So much for computerized vehicles!"

Ken M., NM (2016 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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

Traction control

"Rear wheels slided a couple of times on rainy days on sharp turns"

Anonymous, WA (2016 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

"pulling to one side"

Anonymous, NY (2016 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.

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.

Engine Minor

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

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.

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

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.

Brakes

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

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