The redesigned ES is a rewarding choice for a road trip thanks to its absorbent ride and indulgent interior. But fussy controls keep this luxury sedan just short of ideal. As before, two versions are available: the standard V6-powered ES 350 and the ES 300h hybrid, which uses a four-cylinder engine. Lexus gave the V6 more power for 2019, although fuel economy stays the same at 25 mpg overall.
Alerts
There are 4 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
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
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2006
2007
2008
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2011
2012
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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
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
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2015
2016
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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

The redesigned ES is a rewarding choice for a road trip thanks to its absorbent ride and indulgent interior. But fussy controls keep this luxury sedan just short of ideal. As before, two versions are available: the standard V6-powered ES 350 and the ES 300h hybrid, which uses a four-cylinder engine. Lexus gave the V6 more power for 2019, although fuel economy stays the same at 25 mpg overall. The V6 accelerates smoothly, and shifts are hardly noticeable. We tested the hybrid powertrain in the similar Toyota Avalon and got an impressive 42 mpg.

Shoppers who are drawn to the ES because of its reputation as a cushy cruiser won’t be disappointed. The cabin remains hushed and the suspension steadily smooths out rough roads. At the same time, the new car handles better than its predecessor, with responsive steering and restrained body lean. That said, it’s still not in the sports sedan league of, say, the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti Q50.

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
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 hybrid (215 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (302 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2019 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

Apple CarPlay

"Apple Car Play only functions with the Nav system if you connect the iPhone to the system via USB. WHY doesn't it connect via Bluetooth? Very frustrating."

Michael M., SC (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

"It’s somewhat awkward for us to hard wire the cell phone to the car. We are not young anymore!"

Anonymous, FL (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
CD player

"Player will not play through the entire CD, it stops and skips after several songs have played. Needs to be returned to dealer for replacement of the CD player."

Anonymous, MD (2019 Lexus ES 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"When I start up my car, I can drive about 2-3 minutes and my infotainment system (radio & navigation), completely restarts. About 2 minutes later, the same. This may repeat up to three times. This is a random occurrence and I need to bring this up at the dealer when I go in for the 6 month service appointment."

Anonymous, FL (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Poor design. Unreliable. Out of date maps"

C S., MD (2019 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Radio

"Trackpad system and infotainment system is hard to use and the documentation sucks. Very bad interface design. Looks like it was designed by Japanese Engineers for use by Japanese Engineers."

Gene C., VA (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Speakers

"In their 2019 models Lexus has taken the auto sound system (including the Mark Levinson Systems) and attempted to design it on the pattern of a home theater system. This means dominant sound from front left & right and center speakers with the rear broadcasting smaller parts of the audio track of your movie for example. However we are not sitting in our living room or home media center we are in our car and should have an envelope of sound IMHO. Both of my Acuras had 5.1 sound and all speakers were evenly powered and the sound was phenomenal. Now I've made the change to Lexus (my wife already had an 2015 RX with a great sound system by the way) and I love everything about my new ES but this new thought in car audio design is half baked at best. I've spoken to my dealer and Lexus HQ Customer Service and they are sticking to the mantra It's that way by design. I will not by another Lexus with this type of audio design/performance. They will not repair since it was designed this way so now I'm stuck with paying money on top of what I paid for this car-just to get an audio system that sounds no better than my '59 Ford which had a huge speaker in front dash only."

Michael M., SC (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"Hard to train and if you have a southern accent it gets confused."

Gene C., VA (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Virtually worthless. Does not reliably recognize commands. More distracting then doing manually."

C S., MD (2019 Lexus ES 300h 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"CAR OVERHEATED DUE TO TRANSMISSION LEAK REPAIRED BY DEALER"

Anonymous, FL (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 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

A/C compressor

"I was told by the dealer the compressor was damaged by my going over a pothole. I find this explanation silly. There is no evidence of damage under the car."

Edward L., NJ (2019 Lexus ES 350.0 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The system wants to steer me closer to the center line than I am comfortable with. Also seems to bounce me around from road center to road edge. I often have it turned off."

John V., MN (2019 Lexus ES 300h 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.

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.

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 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.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Brakes

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Drive System

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

Paint/Trim

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

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