2013LexusES 350 Review By Kelsey Mays

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LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

2013 Lexus ES 350

Manufacturer s Retail Price (MSRP), known as sticker price, is a selling price that give a new car that is above the price paid by the dealer. It is a that does not include any that can be added to a particular car When shown as a range, the are starting MSRPs, without for multiple styles for that

This price range the Kelley Blue Book Retail value for all trim but not necessarily all available options.


By Kelsey Mays


May 31, 2012

The 2013 ES trades some substance for with its all-new design, but it draw interest for adventurous and a first-ever ES hybrid version.

an ES has always been like to distinguish the flavors in oatmeal a bowl of it from room at the Hyatt, but oatmeal nonetheless. best-selling sedan boasts handling improvements and refined quality in its sixth-generation redesign, but the is a mixed bag, and so is my verdict.

as a V-6 ES 350 or first-ever hybrid ES 300h, the ES longer and taller for 2013. It now from the Toyota Avalon’s platform rather than the with which it traditionally underpinnings. At a media preview, I both ES drivetrains alongside the generation.

The Sharpest-Looking ES Yet

The front-wheel-drive ES Lexus’ spindle grille of a fat hourglass up front, drawing to the recently reinvented rear-drive GS It’s actually a touch than that pricier and its creased lines stand out no ES before. There is no ground-hugging Package, as Lexus offers on a few cars, but the ES needs none: It dynamic enough.

Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are with 18s optional on the ES 350.

How It

The ES 350’s 3.5-liter V-6 moves out a muscular exhaust note if on the gas. A Lexus spokesperson me it’s a few ticks slower the last ES a tradeoff for better gas but crank the Lexus’ Drive Select to Sport mode, as to Eco or Normal, and sharper accelerator renders an even quicker Alas, the six-speed automatic still suffers befuddling Sometimes it kicks down a or two for immediate passing power; times it hunts aimlessly for the gear.

Sport mode power-steering assist for palpably steering feedback. The prior ES had a for the wheel to snap suddenly to center. Its successor steers naturally, with quicker A redesigned suspension with shocks and additional bracing has been added, but does to quell the car’s modest roll .

Ride quality a of the previous car remains sound. All ES share the same suspension An adaptive suspension. which offered in two prior generations of the ES, is unavailable.

The ES remains front-wheel drive with no all-wheel-drive option competition from Acura, BMW, Audi, Cadillac and The Lexus GS does offer the

The hybrid ES 300h pairs a four-cylinder with two motor-generators and a variable automatic transmission for 200 horsepower versus the ES 350’s 268 hp. At bore, the car hustles well but it lacks the passing confidence of a luxury badge, and the droning, CVT sounds anything but refined.

any full hybrid, the 300h can run on power at low speeds for short an EV mode, activated via Drive Select, raises the threshold the car transitions to engine power. Mode Select blocks EV if the car’s nickel-metal-hydride battery is too low or if you press the gas for too much power. on the pedal, even in EV mode, and the ES springs to full power in

Thanks to lower curb and better aerodynamics, EPA mileage in the ES 350 is up to mpg city/highway, an overall improvement of 2 mpg over the last ES. That’s the head of the luxury competition, out the Acura TL, Audi A4 and Infiniti G37 by 1 mpg or The BMW 328i and four-cylinder Lincoln MKZ eke out 1 to 2 mpg, however.

One plus: The ES fine on regular gasoline; competitors recommend or require

No rating for the ES 300h has been at this time, but Lexus it expects the combined rating to be 39 That would make it the efficient luxury sedan on the though the EPA has yet to give estimates for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Roomy Cabin

The front have stiffer side which became apparent the prior ES. Where the prior front seats allowed too sliding, these hold you in constraining on long-haul drives. it moved to the larger Avalon’s the ES’ cabin room closer to that of the redesigned Total volume is 100.1 feet, up 5.2 cubic feet the last ES, which falls in with a moonroof-equipped Camry. The change comes in the backseat, gains 4.1 inches of legroom and headroom. It’s roomy there, with decent room and no center floor

Manual sunshades in the doors and a rear shade are optional, but the shade requires hollering to the as the deployment controls are up front Heated rear seats and a climate zone both in the Avalon are unavailable.

Trunk in the ES 350 is 15.2 cubic feet, up 0.5 feet versus the last ES. between the improved BMW 3 Series’ 17 feet and the Acura TL’s small 13.1 cubic Typical of a hybrid, the ES 300h its battery behind the rear which lowers trunk to 12.1 cubic feet.

the prior generation, the ES 350 gets a pass-through but no folding backseat; the ES has no opening at all. A power-closing is optional.

Stop With the Gimmicks

touches include piano-black or wood trim, with bamboo in the ES 300h, and optional lighting below the door and inlays. Lexus’ NuLuxe upholstery, offered in cars the CT 200h, is standard. Last ES had standard leather.

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

The NuLuxe synthetic, but it’s softer the often-stiff leatherette, aka vinyl, serve up.

Heated and ventilated are optional, but the ventilation borders on That’s ironic since the has cooled seats that your chaps to ice. the optional heated wood-and-leather wheel heats just the at 3 and 9 o’clock. Touch anywhere and the wheel stays cold.

calling foul: If Chrysler can the wood portion of the 300’s Lexus should, too.

The continue with an optional moonroof. It’s more two small roofs separated by a divider, with clunky sunshades that short won’t like yanking. the Hyundai Azera and Cadillac CTS near-continuous panoramic panels let more light, with sunshades to boot.

The cabin last year’s chrome for silver plastic, and the faux-leather trim is little more a stitched veneer, which calls a stitched slush Other entry-luxury cars, Lexus’ own CT 200h, have dashboard stitching, and Chrysler’s can come wrapped in genuine Similar stitching to the ES adds a vibe to the plebeian Camry, but in the Lexus, it rings cheap.

The stereo includes USB/iPod a six-CD changer this is the that kept a tape long into the iTunes era and phone operation. Options a 7-inch display that through a center-console knob or an navigation system that through Lexus’ second-generation Touch Interface. Both add HD radio and Bluetooth audio which ought to be standard and the changer dumped.

Remote Touch plays out a computer mouse, with feedback to fast-track your to the on-screen options, which a suite of smartphone-tethered applications as Yelp, Pandora and Facebook via Lexus’ Enform system. the ES lacks the stunning expanse of the 12.3-inch system, it’s enough to work when the car is Still, I find well-sorted systems like Mercedes’ easier to manage on the road.

Levinson audio is optional in cars.

Safety Features

The ES has not crash-tested, but Toyota engineers they expect Top Safety status from the Insurance for Highway Safety and a harder-to-get stars out of five overall the National Highway Traffic Administration. Standard features head-protecting side airbags and override, plus the required brakes and electronic stability New safety options include a spot warning system, cross-traffic alert and automatic headlights.

Lane departure but not mitigation is also optional. Per federal requirements. the ES 300h has an warning to alert nearby when the car is in EV mode below 12

Standard features on the ES 350 include access with push-button dual-zone automatic climate a moonroof, power front a USB/iPod-comparable CD stereo, Bluetooth operation and faux leather Real leather, heated and seats, front and rear sensors, a navigation system and a moonroof are among the options.

Lexus ES in the Market

As of this Toyota’s luxury division has yet to the ES, which hits dealerships this year. But the prior-generation ranged from the mid-$30,000s to the as options ballooned. No competing sedan has the ES beat across the but others chip away at its weaknesses.

The ES is no tarted-up Toyota; the gains versus a loaded are apparent, and its strengths are clear. is the sharpest-looking ES in at least three and the hybrid’s 39-mpg EPA combined should all but guarantee more But too many surprise-and-delight features flat.

Lexus needs to a page from Audi: Ax the seats and faux-leather dashboards and in consistent quality instead.

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable


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