2016 Lexus ES Overview
Pros & Cons
- Premium and comfortable cabin
- Smooth and quiet ride
- Excellent predicted reliability rating
- Alternatives are more athletic
- Overly sensitive Remote Touch controller
Notable for 2016
- Refreshed interior and exterior styling
Lexus ES Rankings and Research
The 2016 Lexus ES ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Midsize Cars category. Currently the Lexus ES has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
- #8 in Luxury Midsize Cars
2016 Lexus ES Pictures
2016 Lexus ES Review
If you have your sights on getting a quiet and comfortable luxury cruiser, the 2016 Lexus ES provides a silky smooth ride and a spacious interior with comfortable seats and a wealth of fine-grade interior trim. Based on our research, the ES favors comfort over sportiness, so if you want a true sport sedan, check out the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, or Cadillac CTS.
The ES starts at just $38,100. The similarly priced Hyundai Genesis shares several strengths with the ES, like a coddling ride, an upscale cabin, and lots of stretch-out space. Some alternatives like the Lincoln MKZ, Volkswagen CC, and Infiniti Q50 beat the ES in price, but fall short in terms of interior quality and reliability. In fact, the ES’ predicted reliability is one of the best in the class, so you’ll probably save some money on maintenance and repair expenses if you choose the Lexus.
Luxury and Serenity
With impeccable fit and finish and posh interior trim, including woodgrain and dash panels that are soft to the touch, the 2016 Lexus ES isolates its occupants from the outside quite well. The result: a positively luxurious atmosphere.
Room to Stretch Out
Back-seat passengers won’t be complaining in the ES, as it has the most rear legroom of any luxury midsize car. There’s plenty of space up front as well, and all the seats are supportive and comfortable. If you opt for the panoramic sunroof, beware that headroom decreases in both rows so taller occupants may brush their heads against the ceiling.
Audio System Is a Winner, but Remote Touch Isn’t
Audiophiles will love the top-notch sound quality of the available 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. Most probably won’t love the optional mouselike Remote Touch pad for the infotainment system though, as it is overly sensitive and can be distracting to use while driving. On a more positive note, basic climate controls are smartly arranged on the dashboard and easy to use.
If you’re scared away by Remote Touch, the infotainment systems in the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Hyundai Genesis, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class all operate via a user-friendly control knob rather than a finicky touchpad.
Good Cargo Space
The ES has 15.2 cubic feet of space in the trunk, which is above average for the class. Long-item storage is improved by the standard rear-seat pass-through, while the optional power trunk lid can make loading the back less cumbersome when your hands are full. If maximum cargo space is a top priority, alternatives like the Jaguar XF and Hyundai Genesis have more room than the ES.
Refined and Potent Powertrain
As the sole engine of the 2016 Lexus ES, the 268-horsepower V6 makes more than enough power to get up and go in a hurry. For the swifter acceleration, switch the six-speed automatic transmission into Sport mode, and the ES will shift more aggressively to get you up to speed with a sense of urgency. When pushed, the engine emits a pleasing mellow note rather than an obtrusive snarl.
Gas mileage is competitive for the class at 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. If fuel economy is a priority, the Lexus ES Hybrid ($41,020) gets 40 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway. Nonhybrid alternatives like the Volvo S80 (25/37), Audi A6 (24/35), and Acura TLX (24/35) are also more fuel-efficient than the ES.
Smooth and Quiet, but not a Corner Carver
If you prefer a coddling and serene ride over engaging dynamics, the ES is great choice for you. While it can’t match the agility of a BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, or Cadillac CTS, the ES isolates occupants from the impacts and noises of the road better than most rivals do. It also has stable handling and accurate steering – it’s just not very athletic.
ES Pricing, Options, and Trims
The base Lexus ES ($38,100) comes standard with a 268-horsepower V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free smartphone integration, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a USB port.
There are many options and packages to choose from, but availability and pricing vary depending on where you live. The Navigation Package (around $2,600) adds an 8-inch display screen, the Remote Touch mouselike controller, a navigation system, Lexus’ Enform app suite, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
Opting for the Safety System Package (about $500) adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and a lane departure warning system with steering assist. The Premium Package (around $750) comes with memory settings for the driver, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and wood trim, while the Luxury Package (about $1,650) has those features plus leather upholstery and heated and ventilated front seats.
The Ultra Luxury Package (around $3,500) has the Premium and Luxury packages' equipment plus automatic wipers, a power-operated trunk lid, a panoramic sunroof, manual rear door sunshades, ambient interior lighting, a heated steering wheel, a power driver’s seat cushion extender, and passenger seat memory functions.
Standalone options include intuitive parking assist and a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert for around $500 each.
ES Safety and Reliability
The ES has strong safety scores; it earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Still, alternatives like the Audi A6 and Hyundai Genesis earn better ratings due to their superior performance in NHTSA’s front crash and rollover tests.
A rearview camera comes standard with the ES, while adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning are available. Most of the ES’ top competitors can be equipped with similar technologies.
In terms of reliability, the ES’ predicted rating is one of the best in the class with the pricier Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, so you can be fairly confident the ES will hold up well in the long term. Lexus covers the ES with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Other Cars to Consider
You’ll have to pay more for the Audi A6 ($46,200), but if engaging performance is a priority, you won’t regret forking over the extra cash. It’s available with a slew of punchy turbocharged engines. Equipped with the base 252-horsepower four-cylinder, the A6 returns an excellent 24 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway. Regardless of engine choice, the A6 boats sharp handling and precise steering, making it a great companion on winding roads. Inside, the A6’s posh cabin is sure to impress, and although it doesn’t have as much rear-seat legroom as the ES, adults still have plenty of space to get comfortable. Plus, all of the A6’s interior technology is easy to use.
If you don’t want to spend over $40K, the Hyundai Genesis is priced near the ES and offers a quiet and upscale cabin, easy-to-use technology, and plenty of rear-seat and trunk space. Under the hood, the Genesis’ standard 311-horsepower V6 engine packs plenty of muscle, but fuel economy lags behind the ES and most other competitors at 18 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. On curvy roads, the Genesis isn’t as agile as the A6 or BMW 5-Series, but it handles with composure and has precise steering. In terms of safety, the Genesis beats the ES with top-notch crash test ratings across the board, but the ES has a slightly higher predicted reliability score.
Details: 2016 Lexus ES
The 2016 Lexus ES 350 seats five and comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The ES is available in one trim, but a number of packages and features are available. The Lexus ES Hybrid is reviewed separately. The Lexus ES 350 was redesigned for the 2013 model year and sees few changes for 2016. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 through 2016 model years.
Standard features in the ES include dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free smartphone integration, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a USB port.
Options include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, the Lexus Enform App Suite, and a navigation system with Lexus’ Remote Touch controller.
- "The ES has no high-performance inclinations, so if you want a sporty near-luxury sedan, this isn't it. Instead, this entry-level Lexus is a spacious, well-built sedan that prioritizes comfort above all else." -- Edmunds
- "While it's true a BMW 5 Series or Cadillac CTS offer a more engaging ride, not every luxury car buyer is also a driving enthusiast. In the Lexus ES sedan for 2016, owners will find a premium automobile that places an emphasis on comfort without completely sacrificing the performance aspects expected of this class. From its L finesse design language to its excellent repair and reliability record to the hybrid's 40-plus mpg, the ES is the closest thing to a sure bet in the luxury sedan world." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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 (2015)
Research Prices: 2016 Lexus ES
Over 75,000 car shoppers have purchased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,279 off MSRP across vehicles. See what others paid for the Lexus ES and get upfront pricing to make sure you don't overpay. Learn More »