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Lexus ES Review

The 2015 Lexus ES ranks 11 out of 17 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Lexus ES, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Lexus ES isn't as engaging as its competitors, automotive writers report, but they say it delivers a pleasant ride and a roomy, well-constructed interior.

The 2015 Lexus ES 350's V6 engine is potent and refined, according to critics. At an EPA-estimated 21/31 mpg city/highway, the ES 350 gets decent fuel economy for an upscale midsize car with a six-cylinder engine. Reviewers agree that the ES 350 has a very comfortable ride, but many complain that its handling is clumsy, and critics agree that its steering is uncommunicative and slow.

Test drivers like the 2015 Lexus ES 350's cabin, which they say is constructed of superior materials and has attractive styling. At high speeds the ES 350's interior is hushed, reviewers say. They find that the front seats are supportive and the rear seat has abundant legroom. Standard features in the 2015 Lexus ES include a moonroof, push-button start, a rearview camera, an eight-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio and Lexus’ Display Audio infotainment system, which includes a 7-inch screen. Available features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic pre-collision braking, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert, a panoramic moonroof, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, smartphone app integration and a navigation system with Lexus’ Remote Touch controller, which operates like a computer mouse. Reviewers say the ES 350’s audio controls are complicated because of the stereo’s many functions, and the Remote Touch controller is too sensitive, which makes it tough to use while driving.

  • "The ES represents the kind of luxury on which Lexus built its brand, and it continues to be a good choice for those more interested in comfort than performance." -- Cars.com
  • "While not as engaging to drive as a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Cadillac CTS, the Lexus ES has a reputation for reliability, comfort and a strong resale value that continues to resonate." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 Lexus ES 350 remains the standard-bearer for relaxed, luxuriously insulated transportation." -- Edmunds
  • "For us, though, the more aggressive styling and well-appointed interior just aren't enough to change our opinion of this, our least-favorite Lexus. It's a step forward from the outgoing car, but those sporty characteristics are only skin-deep." -- Autoblog (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers like the Acura TLX’s comfortable ride, nimble handling and precise steering system. The TLX has a much lower base price than the ES 350, but reviewers say it still has plenty of tech features and an exceptionally quiet, upscale cabin.

The Hyundai Genesis has a strong V6 engine and a quiet cabin with premium materials and a user-friendly infotainment system. The Genesis costs about the same as the ES 350, but it has standard features that the ES 350 doesn’t, including leather upholstery, heated front seats and navigation.

Compare the ES, TLX and Genesis »

Details: 2015 Lexus ES

The 2015 Lexus ES 350 seats five and comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Only one trim is offered, though a number of packages are available. The Lexus ES Hybrid is reviewed separately. The Lexus ES 350 was redesigned for 2013 and sees few changes for the 2015 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Lexus ES specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/15/15

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