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Original MSRP: $36,725 - $36,725
MPG: 19 City / 28 Hwy
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2012 Lexus ES Review

This review was written when the 2012 Lexus ES was new.

While the 2012 Lexus ES isn’t designed to be a sport sedan, automotive journalists say its cabin is jam-packed with luxury and comfort.

Those shopping for an upscale midsize car that prioritizes performance will not find it in the 2012 Lexus ES 350. Unlike sportier entries in the segment such as the Cadillac CTS and BMW 3-Series, the Lexus ES doesn’t offer sport sedan handling, as it’s built on the same platform as the Toyota Camry.

The ES 350’s lack of sporting intentions isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re looking for a comfortable highway cruiser. “ES 350 earns our nod for its focus on coddling, which it does extremely well,” says Consumer Guide. “This is a very appealing choice among premium-midsize cars.”

Along with its supple ride and refined drivetrain, the 2012 ES 350 also offers one of the most well-appointed interiors available at its price. Standard interior features are plentiful, and even base models come with rich wood trim and leather seating.

If these attributes, along with Lexus’ strong reliability ratings and high resale values, appeal to you, the 2012 ES 350 is an excellent choice among upscale midsize cars. However, if you want to sacrifice some comfort and luxury for engaging driving dynamics, you’d be wise to test drive some of the ES 350’s sportier competitors.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Lexus ES has a lot of competitors that offer a sportier driving experience. Both the BMW 3-Series and the Infiniti G37 offer more athletic handling at a similar price, but lack the ES 350’s comfortable, spacious interior.

If you prioritize comfort, the Buick LaCrosse is a close competitor that offers slightly more space at a much lower price. However, you’ll have to add option packages to match the Lexus’ standard interior, which features high-quality materials.

Lexus ES: The Details

For 2012, the Lexus ES 350 carries over unchanged from last year. Only one trim is available, which comes equipped with a V6 engine, front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. For more details, see the full 2012 Lexus ES specifications.

  • "Plenty of premium-badge buyers aren't driving enthusiasts and are just looking for a well-built car that'll provide them with the latest convenience features, a comfortable ride and isolation from the noisy and harsh outside world. For this majority, the 2012 Lexus ES 350 is a worthy choice." -- Edmunds 
  • "The ES 350 proves to be worth the dollar amount in the long run as it not only boasts reliability, but also tends to retain higher-than-average resale value." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "It was so well-equipped my grandmother was bragging to the entire East Coast that I had the ‘nicest Lexus on the market!’ I didn't have the heart to correct her." -- Mother Proof 
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

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