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#12

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $36,620 - $36,620
Invoice: $34,300 - $34,300
MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy
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Lexus ES Interior

Lexus is known for fashionable, luxurious interiors and reviewers say the 2014 ES 350 is no exception. They praise the cabin’s upscale materials and say that the build quality is excellent all the way down to the stitching. The cabin is well-insulated and incredibly quiet, test drivers note. The standard faux-leather seats won’t be mistaken for leather, they say, but they feel softer than traditional vinyl.

  • "The elegant interior appointments that have always characterized the ES haven't gone anywhere, either: The quality of the materials and craftsmanship remains a strong point in the 2014 ES 350 and certainly a solid justification for spending more for the Lexus than a workaday Toyota." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2014 Lexus ES 350 delivers one of the most comfortable and quiet rides in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “But what about luxury, the car's raison d'être? The prerequisites are all accounted for: solid, quiet cabin, acres of rear legroom (4.1 inches more than in the 2012 ES), rear sunshades and wood trim on the dash, doors and steering wheel. In addition to the seats, the dash gets leather, too, and all of the stitching is first-rate." -- AutoWeek (2013)
  • "While the previous car's cabin had all the pizzazz of a Holiday Inn Express, the new ES evokes some cues worthy of a boutique hotel." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "Last year's ES had standard leather. The NuLuxe feels synthetic, but it's softer than the often-stiff leatherette, aka vinyl, competitors serve up." -- Cars.com (2013)

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Seating

The Lexus ES 350 comes standard with power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and NuLuxe faux-leather seats. Leather seats are optional, though they come standard in some rivals, including the Buick Regal and Acura TL. Additional options include heated and ventilated front seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel and a heated steering wheel trimmed in wood and leather. Reviewers say the Lexus ES 350’s front seats are comfortable and supportive and the back seat is incredibly spacious with ample legroom. Still, one reviewer points out that the optional ventilated seats don’t work very well.

  • "Space is ample all around, and 6-footers will be quite content in the comfy front seats. Rear-seat legroom, in particular, is very impressive, though taller occupants will find their heads touching the roof in ES 350s equipped with the optional panoramic sunroof.” -- Edmunds
  • "The seats are comfortable for four adults thanks to a roomy back seat." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's like a racquetball court back there; so huge, passengers emit giggles and ‘wows!’ as they pile in and stretch their legs in unexpected splendor." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "The seats feature decent lateral bolstering, an unexpected treat in this segment, and the thickly-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel is lifted straight from the GS." -- Road and Track (2013)
  • "Heated and ventilated seats are optional, but the ventilation borders on useless. That's ironic since the Avalon has cooled seats that turned your chaps to ice." -- Cars.com (2013)

Interior Features

The 2014 Lexus ES comes with a moonroof, push-button start, an eight-speaker CD audio system, an auxiliary jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, satellite radio and a HomeLink programmable garage door opener. Optional features include an upgraded stereo with surround sound, a panoramic moonroof, a power rear sunshade, a voice-activated navigation system with Siri iPhone integration, parking sensors, a backup camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and lane departure alert.

ES models equipped with the premium audio or navigation packages come with Lexus’ Remote Touch interface, which features a mouse-like device to adjust settings. Reviewers say that the controller can be difficult to use, especially while driving. Several test drivers are frustrated that the available infotainment system prohibits access to features like audio presets when the ES is in motion.

See the full 2014 Lexus ES 350 specs »

  • "The climate controls are simple to use, but the audio system is a little more complicated due to the sheer number of available media types. When you opt for the Display Audio or Navigation package, you get the Lexus Remote Touch system, which is essentially a mouselike device that controls a cursor on a large centrally located screen. Although interacting with this interface is very similar to using a computer mouse, the ultra-sensitive nature of the controller can make it clumsy and distracting to use while driving. If tech features are important to you, we recommend playing around with Remote Touch before taking an ES 350 home." -- Edmunds
  • "No Lexus is Spartan when it comes to interior amenities, and for 2014, the ES has upped the ante. The cabin's design is sophisticate yet still logical and easy to figure out."-- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Frustratingly, the system locks out numerous functions (even many radio presets) while the vehicle is in motion. Maybe Lexus is doing many of us a favor by forcing ES drivers to pull over before they attempt to mouse. Then again, at speed, even co-pilots are barred from making inputs." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "The gimmicks continue with an optional panoramic moonroof. It's more like two small roofs separated by a massive divider, with clunky manual sunshades that short drivers won't like yanking." -- Cars.com (2013)

Cargo

The Lexus ES 350 has 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car. 

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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