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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

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
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
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
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
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
2020
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
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 2017 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

"Appears to be loose connection. Works intermittently"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"On the NJ Turnpike it just froze up. I stopped the car and turned off the engine. This solved the problem, but I am concerned for it happening again."

Eugene C., (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Replaced Mark Levenson radio/info system. That fixed all of the problems"

Anonymous, (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"USB device stopped working."

Anonymous, NV (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Very unintuitive and distracting controls."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"I cannot use the Lexus navigation system. I have had 2 lessons. I am not confused. I am fairly technical, but cannot my IPhone to the navigation system. I will have to return to the dealer again!"

Marcy K., FL (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Read the manual and was very difficult to pair up the iphone"

Juan B., GA (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"During cold weather it sometimes didn't fully display the full telephone list of numbers stored on my phone."

Anonymous, RI (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"When I use my phone through the car, it is hard for people that I am talking to have a very hard time hearing me"

Anonymous, (2017 Lexus ES Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"It keeps disconnecting every so often, and I have to reconnect it manually."

Anonymous, RI (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

"It could be easier to set up"

Anonymous, TX (2017 Lexus ES 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"I've had times where it loses the pairing and the only way to get it to work is to delete the device and repair. This has happened at least 2x. I haven't checked lately, so it may have broken again, as I said at least 2x"

Kevin C., TX (2017 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Very complicated to operate and impossible to change sations or other changes while car is moving...Too complicated"

Anonymous, IN (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Routine software updates

"We are not aware of any that they have used to correct the problems"

Anonymous, (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)
Software update fixes

"Gps seems not to have the current updates for locating addresses"

Anonymous, TX (2017 Lexus ES 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Voice control commands

"Could not get an address to load into the nav system after many tries and MUCH frustration"

Anonymous, IN (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"The voice recognition does not work. We just use our iPhone and not bother with the Lexus system. The info system is terrible. The weather radar system does not work. The traffic report system doesn't work reliably It's junk compared with others."

Anonymous, (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

"Voice command rarely works. I now use my iPhone or enter information manually. Very disappointed in Lexus technology. If iPhone can easily do it Lexus should be able to do it. Also the weather and traffic information not available unless you are in highly populated region. I live along the coast and they never work where I live and usually drive. I’m disappointed in these items."

Anonymous, SC (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"Finally, after 13.5 months of trying to get the navigation system to recognize my voice, the last tech young man fixed it!"

Marcy K., FL (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"It's not very accurate. I say game stop and it thinks I said wing stop, so I say Game Stop slowly and it hears WI g stop"

Kevin C., TX (2017 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Window popped one opening due to residue on window from rubber molding probably glue."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Squeaks or rattles

"Squeak in left front window pillar. Finally fixed by dealer after several tries"

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

"Noise from the sun roofheadliner"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Slight rattle in left front window post Was fixed at lexus dealer"

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"wind noise on highway. took to dealer who could not find a problem. still have the noise."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Lexus ES 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Driver side door - have to slam to seal well, otherwise excessive wind noise. (Compared to when bought it.) Guess is because lean on door handle to get out. (I'm in 70's and a bit heavy.)"

Anonymous, TX (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Multiple electronic systems quit working due to a sensor failure."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

"Warning lights came on due to failed sensor."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

"Pre-collision & air bag malfunction messages"

Douglas S., AZ (2017 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

"The car has a tendency to bottom out when backing out of driveway causing the front apron on left side pop out where it is attached to the wheel well."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"There were blemishes in the paint on the hood of the car. It appeared to be from tree sap, or possibly from a chemical or rain runoff from a nearby building. I had the hood repainted because the dealer service manager would only have it buffed but it did not remove the problem. I appealed to Lexus customer service and they issued a voucher to pay for service I may need at a Lexus dealer of my choice."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Lexus ES 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

Automatic climate control

"would not cool. took to dealer who could not find an answer. problem went away."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Lexus ES 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

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

What Owners Say

Coil

"one of the six coils malfunctioned and was replaced under warranty."

Corey C., WI (2017 Lexus ES 350.0 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

"Oil leak identified by dealer 1 year ago when doing routine warranty service. Had to leave car with dealer for 2 days to fix under warranty. Same oil leak problem was identified again 3 months ago by a different dealer in USA when doing routine warranty service. Again had to leave car with dealer for 2 days to fix under warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

Brakes

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

Drive System

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Change Vehicle