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Lexus ES Performance

Some critics are satisfied with the 2015 Lexus ES’ powerful engine and comfortable ride, but others complain that it is a dull car with sloppy handling and lifeless steering.

  • "On the road, the ES feels more responsive than ever, but that's not saying much. At heart, this Lexus remains a classic luxury car with a creamy, tranquil ride, and that's the way ES buyers like it. Frankly, we like it, too." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2015 Lexus ES 350 delivers a refined driving experience that's bolstered by a V6 engine that's smooth and responsive." -- Edmunds
  • "The enthusiast driver will find almost nothing to latch his soul to here." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "What we have here are a decent powertrain, wafty suspension and very little in the way of steering feel. Sounds like the old ES, doesn't it? Granted, we didn't think the new car would be light-years better than the model it replaces, but we definitely didn't expect it to feel almost exactly the same." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Lexus ES 350 comes with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the 2015 ES 350 gets 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is good for a V6-powered upscale midsize car.

Test drivers say the ES 350’s V6 engine is smooth, sounds great and provides quick acceleration, with plenty of power for highway merging and passing.

  • "With enough power to accelerate the ES 350 to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds, the ES is surprisingly quick, with ample power for passing or merging." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Its V6 engine is the epitome of refinement, delivering smooth acceleration unmarred by coarseness." -- Edmunds
  • "Under the hood, the ES 350's tried-and-true V6 may just be a Camry transplant, but it's still a fantastic engine, ripping to redline with a velvety snarl when provoked." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The standard V-6 is a seasoned champ, frisky enough to serve in the Lotus Evora sports car. It's potent, smooth, and makes an aggressive yowl under a heavy foot." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Handling and Braking

Auto writers say the 2015 Lexus ES 350 has a very comfortable ride. A few add that it has composed handling, but many others complain that it leans too much during cornering. Test drivers agree that the ES 350’s steering feels numb and slow.

  • "Ride quality is similarly well-mannered and passengers are nestled in a bubble of comfort. This comfort is tempered with reasonably keen handling." -- Edmunds
  • "Steering feel is...well, there isn't any. Though the ratio has been quickened for the new car (from 16.1:1 to 14.8), it's still glacial in response." -- Motor Trend (2013)
  • "Body roll is reasonably controlled, but the ES still places the emphasis on a comfortable ride." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "The suspension, however, isn't completely capable of handling what the V6 can throw down. It's easy to get the front wheels to chirp when pulling away from a stop (yes, even in Eco mode), and there's noticeable body roll, even during run-of-the-mill turning situations." -- Autoblog (2013)
Review Last Updated: 4/15/15

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