By on October 16, 2006

2007_es_350_22.jpgAs part of the evaluative process, I cracked open the ES350's owner’s manual. Check it: there’s a "Lemon Law Guide" to help customers find legal recourse should their Lexus fail to, well, anything. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to be a particularly useful part of the program. After all, under its swanky skin, the Lexus ES350 is little more than a reliable, durable and, let’s face it, forgettable Toyota Camry. Does that make the ES350 an example of the kind of badge-engineering that this site regularly condemns as lazy, cynical and brand corrosive? No, no and yes.

The ES certainly passes the visual differentiation test. Proof positive: dozens of Accord, Camry, and (older) Lexus ES drivers rubbernecking our tester’s amber-bronze curves. The ES leads with a soft, organic front with chiseled grille and chrome ringed fog lights, flowing into an elegant but racy profile, with one of the fastest C-pillars this side of the General Lee. Every crease is well proportioned– until one’s eyes gaze below the door handles. From there, the ES' soaring beltline drops the proverbial ball. The sheetmetal looks worse than a tradeshow drop cloth over a folding table. The back end is endlessly inoffensive, aside from the unintentionally humorous Salvador Dali chrome moustache over the license plate.

2007_es_350_47.jpgInside, Lexus' "L-Finesse" design lingo ushers forth a suitable blend of gentle creases, folds and curves. From the multi-textured steering wheel to the dual sunroofs, the ES’ aesthetics harmonize like a barbershop quartet– save the crooked fold above the center stack and the disconcertingly asymmetrical console. The center binnacle also rankles. The release button sits front and center on the armrest; any vigorous arm movement triggers the oil-dampened cover to slide backwards. 

Ergo-mistakes aside, the ES boasts many of the finest details in its class. The hyper-white LED reading lights, padded grab handles and Optitron gauges are a Caddy's worst nightmare. Add the lustrous woodgrain on the so-good-its-sinful doors (complete with padded vinyl and carpeted door pulls) and a Maybach-grade steering wheel skin, and the ES350 appear to over-deliver at this price point. Yet for each deluxe give comes an equal and opposite economy-minded take.

2007_es_350_24.jpgPress the start button and the ES350’s accent turns distinctly Camry. The baby Lexus’ 3.5-liter V6 delivers the goods, but it sure doesn’t sound good. Pickup truck levels of road growl and wind howl not only hammer at one’s soul at highway speeds, but quickly drown out the eight-speaker audio system. Crank up the tunes in retaliation and the beat box’s tinny highs and flaccid lows don't stand a chance against a textured stretch of tarmac. What’s more (or less), after a three-hour interstate jaunt, the ES’ short seat bottoms on less-than-impressive leather stress one's posterior in a most un-luxurious manner.

Lovers of luxobarge cruising (with a suitable credit history) can up-spec into perforated cowhide chairs and a Mark Levinson Premium surround sound system. But there’s no getting over the ES350’s inherent drawbacks. Stiff crosswinds exact a terrific toll on the Lexus' sky high profile, while the C-pillar’s colossal blind spots make lane changing a difficult task even by Chrysler 300 standards. Compounded by the narrow rear window, parking lot maneuvers turn into a series of educated guesses. If luxury equals ease, it’s easy to see the ES350 isn’t that luxurious.

2007_es_350_29.jpgAt least the ES rides right. A tight chassis with 55-series tires and an appropriately dampened suspension gives potholes and pavement joints the strong, silent treatment. The ES’ close ratio six-speed gearbox keeps the motor singing in its power band– albeit facilitated by gear changes slower than a thorazine-injected Giant African Snail. While we’re at it, someone should tell Lexus that torque steer and luxury don’t mix. Cane the ES350’s 272-horse six pot past 4000rpm (even at highway speeds) and the front wheels dance with the devil in the pale moonlight.

That said, the ES350 is a straight line Q-ship that steers through the twisties with a curiously satisfying blend of BMW-esque panache and Buick-like isolation. Safety-oriented understeer is only right for a 3600 pound grand tourer. Still, pop the leather and wood shifter into manual mode and give it some and the ES retains the majority of its lateral composure, rarely embarrassing itself enough to trigger the electronic Nanny.

With its good looks, comfy cabin, smooth ride and miserly mileage (21/30 on premium go-juice), the Lexus ES350 is an inoffensive vehicle that appeases all but purist pistonheads. It proves that Lexus knows how to spizzarkle-up a Camry enough to justify a premium price and issue a rolling “call out” to barely badge engineered botch jobs like the Lincoln Zephyr. But the ES isn't a great luxury car by any stretch. It doesn’t dishonor to the Lexus badge, but it doesn't build the marque’s rep either. In this class, for this brand, good enough just isn’t.

[Lexus provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance, taxes and a tank of gas.] 

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41 Comments on “Lexus ES350 Review...”


  • avatar
    Ed S.

    I little surprising about the road noise. My previous ’92 Camry XLE V6 was very quiet on the road. I would have expected improvements in the last 15 years, especially from a brand known for their liberal Novocain-ing of the senses. Of course, our standards are rapidly changing as well. Maybe Lexus needs to re-baseline for this generation of the car.

    Sajeev, is there a competitor that does road and wind noise isolation better?

  • avatar
    Ed S.

    RF, about badge engineering: would a back-to-back test of a Camry V6 be worthwhile. I think it is important to your readership to have comparative data on how financially successful brands navigate the badge-engineering gray area. Maybe Lexus’s perceived quality achievements are not really so if those same attributes can be found in the Camry. Anyway, just thinking out loud here…

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    We’re currently driving a mechanically-very-similar ’07 Carmy XLE V-6 as a loaner while my wife’s car is in the body shop (don’t ask).

    Thoughts:

    1) It’s fast – as long as you can get the tranny to wake up and give you the gear you want.
    2) It’s roomy inside, and the trunk is huge.
    3) The chassis feels like it’s made of al dente pasta over rough pavement. Really cheapens the overall feeling of the car, IMO.
    4) The steering is impossibly numb – it’s like that old video game “Pole Postion” – very difficult to judge what’s going to happen when you turn the wheel.
    5) It’s louder than you’d expect inside – there’s a basic lack of road noise insulation – something it obviously shares with the ES350. Surprising from Toyotal – cost savings, perhaps?
    6) It’s ugly. My 10-year old daughter’s first comment about it upon seeing it in the garage was “What IS that car??? It’s UGLY!
    7) At $31K all-up (NAV, leather, heated seats, moonroof, etc.), it’s a great car for someone ELSE to drive – as long as they only want nice reliable transportation.

    I like the looks of the ES350 overall, mainly since it finally has some cojones in that department, but if it drives anything like this Camry, I’ll pass.

  • avatar

    Funny, your review sounds exactly like what my soon-to-be-father-in-law thought of it. He said that the noise was absolutely terrible – to the point that it overshadowed all the vehicles good points (including the more lively engine).

    Earlier he had test driven a ES330 and it was terrible slug of a thing – of course if you just want to go somewhere and don’t terribly mind being the slowest vehicle on the road I suppose it could work.[/exaggeration]

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    It’s nice to read a review where a Lexus doesn’t do everything perfectly. With the press these cars generally get you’d think all the other OEMs else should just close-shop and go home.

    I wonder if the 350 suffers the same take-off hesitation that I noticed in the Camry I recently rented. I don’t know if it was engine or trans related.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Ed S.: Yes, the road noise is surprising. I felt my Camry test vehicle (reviewed this summer) was quieter, mostly because of the tires I guess. As far as competition: the Buick Lucerne (wearing laminated steel) is a much better cruiser. If it wasn’t for its flimsy chassis and GM beancounting, the Buick would be a far superior vehicle.

    The best cruiser, hands down, is still the ancient Ford Panther chassis: Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car. Its proof that some designs just stand the test of time.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Healey over at USA Today reviewed the car Friday and absolutely loved it. I trust his judgement tremendously.

    It took every ounce of energy I had to talk my MIL out of replacing her ES300 with the new ES. She finally sprang for the new RX and likes it well enough.

    Don’t kid yourself on that $34k base price – it’ll easy go over $40k with just a few luxury-expected options…..

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    ZCD2.7T: The Camry LE I tested had a real solid chassis, just like the Lexus. Trust me, I gave them a workout on potholed Houston roads too. I’m pretty surprised to hear your experiences with one. I also thought the base Camry (16″ wheels and taller tires) was pretty quiet for a cheap car, but I’m starting to think the tires were the main source of sound insulation.

    iangibson: Your father-in-law is right on the money.

    jazbo123: there is a little take-off hesisitation, but it feels like its part of the tuning package. Otherwise its hard to get luxury car smooth starts in a rev-happy, peaky engine that’s light on low end torque. This ain’t no big-bore Lucerne or Town Car.

    With the press these cars generally get you’d think all the other OEMs else should just close-shop and go home.

    Lexus still assembles cars at a price point, use synergies (Camry) and operate like any other business. But what still makes them the champ is their solid reputation and wonderful customer service. Until other carmakers (Cadillac and Lincoln) provide top-notch quality and service for years, Lexus’ #1 ratings at JD Power are here to stay.

  • avatar
    gunnarheinrich

    The previous generation ES was more physically distinct from the Camry than is the current model.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Where is the value over a Camry?

  • avatar
    JJ

    I think the problem with badge-engineering is not so much making 2 or (many) more “different” cars that share underpinnings, engines and often even a large part of the sheetmetal. Some 80 years ago that was actually the thing to do if you’d asked bugatti/bentley and some other premium brands of that time (coachbuilders)…Of course they asked their wealthy customers how the car should look like when they bought it, instead of deciding that for them…but still.

    The problem, as frequently has been pointed out on this site, is creating bad cars without ANY selling point (other then below cost price maybe) which deprives brand capital and then sell that car under any brand name you can possibly get your hands on, destroying all those brands in the process and still expect the public to buy your cars because they are american and oh yeah…maybe they aren’t really so terrible as some “import loving journalists” want you to believe. They’re not five times as bad as the competition, only two times, or maybe three…

    Anyway, here in Europe and maybe especially in the Netherlands, where other then Spyker (The F1 team), we have no national car manufacturers anymore that clould cloud or justment by appealing to or sense of patriotism when buying a car, on any given day there’s a good chance of turning on the highway, drive a couple of hours and don’t see 1 american built car. You WILL see a lot of Opels and german Fords, maybe a couple Voyagers and now Calibers, the occasional 300C and that’s it. Toyota/Honda/Nissan however are ubiquitous.

    The main thing I don’t understand about GM and Ford that they are quite capable of building good cars (as opposed to trucks) here in Europe, so why not in the US? Why doesn’t Ford sell the European Focus in the US, it’s seen as one of the best cars in it’s segment here (the most important segment in Europe btw). More or less the same goes for GM and the Astra. They can’t be afraid of diluting their brand image…Also I think they already sell some of those cars in South America as Chevys???

    Kill of the car division of Chevrolet (nobody will miss those cars), so they can focus on trucks and built the complete Opel range in the production plants instead, then sell them as Saturns…

    I drifted slightly off topic again. The Lexus ES350 isn’t sold in Europe, so I haven’t got much to say about that, except that I’d rather take any comparable BMW/Audi over a lexus anytime. Lexus has no soul…

  • avatar
    carguy

    Nice review Sajeev – its nice when a publication has the spinal fortitude to review subjectively. The last ES was a dog of a performer and the GS300 is danger of being out-powerd by a Vespa scooter while being having the most un-luxurious ride this side of a tuner 350Z. The LS series is still the only Lexus car that fits the luxury mould.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Where is the value over a Camry?

    Aside from the warranty and free loaner cars there is no added value, as most of the goodies (V6, Nav, better stereo, etc) are optional on the Camry XLE. Many consumers DO value styling, and the Lexus does a good job hiding the Camry underpinnings.

  • avatar
    2006300c

    I heard you can option out one of these things to near 50K, is that true? Lexus like BMW seems to have lost the plot a little by forgetting their core attributes and trying to be all things to all people. I know I’m going to get flamed and assaulted with sales figures and consumer report’s…..reports and called a red neck, but IMO an appliance with LEDs and soft touch materials is still an appliance. Other than the Lucerne and the Avalon, what are these cars direct competitors?

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Sajeev,
    Good review, but I think there is a point to be made in the ES330 vs. loaded Camry debate.

    I believe that a key part of the decision for most ES330 owners was the dealership experience. For them, it’s worth it to know that as long as they keep paying for $100 oil changes, they will be well treated and not have to worry about major downtime.

    It’s a market segment, just not one any of us are in.

  • avatar
    Joe ShpoilShport

    Question: Is it made at the same facility as the Camry?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The Lexus is made in Japan, not in the Camry’s Kentucky plant.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    True about the $100 oil change, on $2 a quart oil with a ton of inspection.

    Sometimes people want a warm, fuzzy feeling that they are now “upscale” and have a car that everyone knows will cost X dollars above the rest. Remember the C230 “hatch back”? My wife’s former landlord just wanted a simple, cheap car and got that because it is the cheapest, then managed to use packaging tape to tape the turn signal light back on the bumper after an accident.

    The same can be said about LV hand bags and countless other “designer jeans”.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Sajeev, one point about the C-pillar visibility (or lack thereof). Just kick the side mirrors out a scootch until you can’t see the sides of your car. Once you get used to this, you’ll never look over your shoulder again.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Just kick the side mirrors out a scootch until you can’t see the sides of your car.

    Well said, ktm. I always keep my mirrors that way, but it didn’t help very much in the ES350. Any way you look at it, the rear/side visibility is poor in this car.

  • avatar
    2006300c

    ^^^works for me

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Sajeev –

    Perhaps it’s a matter of what I drove back-to-back with the Camry – my ’04 Audi A6 2.7T.

    Way back in my mid-twenties, I sold cars (Acura) for a short time. The original Legend Coupe demonstrated for me what a solid chassis (for the time) felt like, and I’ve been very attuned to chassis rigidity ever since.

    My Audi feels HUGELY more solid than the Camry, but my buddy’s 540i feels even more solid than my car.

    I’d be interested to know the “natural frequency” of the Camry’s chassis. I seem to remember that of the 540i being touted as something like 25 hz, while many other cars were in the low-teens, if that.

    Or shmaybe I was feeling the steering column mount wobbling – who knows?

    In any case, I stand by my not-scientifically-verified comment.
    ;-)

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Where did you obtain the thorazine and Giant African Snail for the tranny comparo? What dosage was used? ;-)

    jk…another well written review!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    A criticism of the stereo, when everyone knows that Levinson stereos are some of the best in the world.

    Mine didn’t have the Levinson Stereo.

    Less than impressive leather, not likely.

    The Buick Lucerne has softer, more fragrant leather. GM even benchmarked the ES to make sure they out-did Lexus. And, in this case, they nailed it.

    And how did you come up with so much road noise, did you have every window and the enormou sunroof open? I call b.s. here.

    You can think whatever you want about my writing style and my conclusions, but it doesn’t change the fact that the ES is noisy. Don’t believe my ears? Check out the dB meter, whose numbers only tell part of the noisy story:

    Buick Lucerne:
    http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/…62/pageNumber=5
    dB @ Idle: 42.7
    dB @ Full Throttle: 72.7
    dB @ 70 mph Cruise: 65.6

    Lexus ES:
    http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/…87/pageNumber=4
    dB @ Idle: 41
    dB @ Full Throttle: 74.6
    dB @ 70 mph Cruise: 67.5

  • avatar
    chanman

    Hey Sajeev, do you happen to live near a Toyota/Lexus dealer? I notice you’ve done the last 2 Lexus and 4 of the last 5 Toyota reviews.

    Speaking of the Camry, is the dashboard squeek gone now?

    I’m a bit disappointed by the noise and leather. Even as their entry model, it should be exuding cushy Lexusness from its pores, especially without the sporting pretenses that the IS and GS try at.

  • avatar
    drar

    I just wonder what the average age of buyers for this car is; can they really hear the noise? Do they care about all the other little things discussed here? And when they shop for a Grand Marquis? Do they care about the 10 year old dashboard?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    chanman: Toyota/Lexus provided this vehicle from their press fleet. My lopsided number of Toyota reviews are because of this. When the workload at school thins (midterms) out I promise I’ll hit a broader scope of vehicles.

    The ES didn’t have the dreaded dash squeak, knowing Toyota I’m sure they’ve quickly fixed that little snafu. Someone mentioned it was a bad set of clips/pins that hold the trim parts in, sounds like an easy fix.

    drar: From what I’ve seen, most ES buyers are older, the Camry’s demographic is supposedly getting more middle aged too. One college student on campus remarked my tester’s interior was like sitting in a bus. That pretty much says who likes these cars. :-)

  • avatar
    chanman

    Perhaps an idea then – save these reviews, then do another review of the same vehicle at the end of its model cycle and see what things have stayed the same, and what things have changed. I’m sure it’ll be fun. :)

    I thought the Camry (North American mid-sized) demographic has always been middle-aged – parents whose spawn have outgrown their 2-doors and compacts, but don’t need/want an SUV or minivan.

    That Toyota 3.5L V6 seems to be really making the rounds.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Perhaps an idea then – save these reviews, then do another review of the same vehicle at the end of its model cycle and see what things have stayed the same, and what things have changed. I’m sure it’ll be fun. :)

    That’s a great idea. I’ve done that before for my own sake…so why not do it for TTAC readers?

  • avatar
    C.D.Weir

    I must agree with Sajeev completely. I drove the ES350 right after driving an LS430, back in August when they first hit showrooms. I expected the ES to deliver a similar feeling to the LS but in a smaller package. I was shocked at how coarse the ES seemed compared to the LS.

    If you drive the Mercs, for example, there is at least a familial similarity from the S, to the E, to the C. But the LS to ES stepdown is a big letdown.

    No doubt it will get by on looks, which are very impressive. And I also suspect the ES shopper will not even get in an LS because it is out of their target zone, so they will be oblivious to the differences in quietness, ride and overall luxury feel. They will no doubt be seduced by the classy dealership, superb ownership experience promise and excellent resale values..not bad things at all.

    But to me, the ES felt noisy and harsh over rough surfaces (a friend pointed this out to a Lexus sales staffer and was told the demo car had overly high tire pressures leftover from shipping) and the engine was downright trucky when whipped. There are definitely better alternatives.

    Symbolism over substance in this particular case?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    C.D.Weir: Thanks for sharing, I think you’re on to something. I recently drove a baseline Mercedes C-class after testing the CL 65…build quality and driving dynamics were the same, just on a smaller scale. Now that I think about it, the brand’s DNA is strong in the C-class.

    IIRC, Lexus says the new ES is as quiet as the original 1990 LS400. Having driven both extensively (the LS I sampled was well worn) I find that hard to believe.

    Speaking of that 1990 LS, the Lexus’ service departments treat the owners of older models with great respect…something I’ve never felt when my old Lincoln needs servicing. Gotta give it to them, they do a great job making people feel better about the bill they’re about to pay.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Lexus automobiles just get better looking. Now if they could just finally and completely break away from making the big Lexus look so much like a Mercedes clone, it probably confuses owners in a parking lot, filled with Mercedes-Benz autos and their Lexi. Several times in my life, I have looked at the ES400 and the following generations of the biggest Lexus, and thought, “What a nice looking Mercedes” until it got so close I recognized my error. This is from a guy who got a merit badge as a Boy Scout for being able to pick cars out from 20 feet away and recognize the different makes. Of course, I was a Boy Scout when Detroit ruled the roost and a manufacturer who didn’t change the exterior of their cars, every two years in a dramatic way, was thought of as a loser – such as poor old Studebaker, who just kept tacking things on, or taking things off of, the 1953 Studebaker until they left the country in December of ’63.

  • avatar

    The price difference vs. the Camry is largely justified by a much nicer interior, for those who care about such things. To get an idea of the actual price difference:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/ES.php

    It is odd to read a review of a Lexus that praises the chassis while criticizing the interior materials and noise level.

    I didn’t notice high noise levels when I drove one, but I sampled only one stretch of highway. Road surfaces can make a big difference. I did find the ride less smooth than I expected.

    I more recently drove the Camry SE V6. It has a much firmer suspension than the regular Camry or the ES, almost too firm (surprising to find in a Camry). I didn’t notice excessive noise, but then my ears are attuned to a very noisy car (a Mazda Protege5). The SE’s black interior disguises the cheap nature of many plastics in the Toyota.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    There is an interesting subcurrent beneath many reviews and posts, concerning the standards we hold cars to. Essentially the question is, how much should a reviewer vary his standards, depending on the market niche the car occupies?

    No one will contest that it is appropriate to hold the Elise and Odyssey to different standards for handling and space utilization. Anyone who knows minivans will tell you: the Ody handles well for a minivan.

    I note this in reference to the ES330, because I think reviewers don’t hold it to the right standard. No car-guy is going to pick the ES330 over a G35, 335i or even TL. And yet, the ES sells, and quite well. Which begs the question: are buyers really that stupid?

    I think that to appreciate the ES, you have to look at what matters to the people who buy them. Is the dealer experience respectful and stress-free? Is there an absence of obvious manufacturing defects? How good a paint job is it? (that bronze looks awesome in the pix, BTW) How quiet is it and how does the leather look/feel?

    Sajeev does as good a job addressing these questions with the ES as anyone I’ve read. The reviewers who are checking 0-60 times and taking the ES out on their favorite mountain pass just don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Thank you SherbornSean, that’s the hard part about the Lexus ES. When you look at this class (i.e. gussied up family sedan) you see if Lexus did enough to justify the price premium. They did the bare minimum in this case, compared to hack jobs like the Zephyr and totally unique offerings like the G35 and (dare I say it) Cadillac CTS.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Sajeev – haven’t driven this one, but drove the LS460 L yesterday. I’d have to say that it’s a primo way to travel… but is to driving what woolen overcoats, galoshes and three layers of rubber would be to sex.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    A friend recently bought an 07 ES350…a brief ride said “nice Camry” to me. But the sticker was like $44K (it had every option.) Yikes!
    BTW, the tire pressure sensors are driving the Lexus dealers crazy. Seems the whole system goes cukoo when you drive to/from high altitude…hmmmm.

  • avatar
    brio

    Thanks for the honest report on this car. It is hard to find the truth. This is my second ES Lexus. The first was an ES300 and was excellent. This one is a huge disappointment. I am in my 50’s and want a very comfortable family car. We also have a Mercedes for sportier driving. This car should deliver on this demographic and it falls short in the strangest ways:

    1) Poor rear visibility from high back window and wide pillars.
    2) Excessive wind noise associated with a much cheaper car. It has far more wind noise than a Hyundai Sonata. The wind rush is actually distracting on some days and keeps you on edge. Window mouldings are very cheaply made with rough edges and may contribute to excessive wind noise.
    3) Noisy, ticky, shaky idle. Makes diesel sound until warm.
    4) Windshield wipers smash window frame on high speed.
    5) Door alignment poor. Rear doors protrude.
    6) Impossible to tell what gear you’re in, even watching tach.
    7) Overhead buttons for Homelink and map lights are impossible to find at night without turning on the interior lights. The trouble is you cannot find the button to do this for the reason just explained.
    8) Rear passenger reading lights have no switches and require the driver to activate them.
    9) Interior lighting is all very white LED and offers very limited brightness for the over 50 set.
    10) Bumpers were made to be scratched because they are so flat and high. They badly need a replaceable insert to avoid costly repainting.
    11) Luminecsent gauges are very boring. Older Lexi were better. All other current models are better.
    12) Radio is just adequate and has a tinny quality.
    13) Dashboard rattles in every ES350 I’ve driven.
    14) Rearview mirrors are mounted to the door and not the window frame. There are large gaps all around the base of these mountings which trap dirt and may cause wind noise.

    These problems are evidence that Lexus is not listening to it’s target market and have let quality drop. What is sad, is that many people in my age group are oblivious. They buy this car and say they are happy when the car is flawed. This is misleading when you read the polls, surveys, and listen to other owners. Try the car for yourself and judge. This is not the Lexus of old. It’s a cheap product with a number of positives but some real deal-breaking negatives.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    This car has pretty sexy paint. Especially in the royal red and aquamarine.

  • avatar
    mat

    After just 2 week old and 2500km the computer/NAV system failed to load, rendering many features useless in the vehicle as they are incorporated in this unit. It took 8 days for dealer repairs, and they returned my vehicle with cuts on the leather seats. Now the navigation system gives incorrect readings; very incorrect readings. My headache continues – after 2 days the dealer is ‘still deciding’ whether my leather seats will be repaired.

    Lexus needs to correct poor dealer training; dealer QA process; electronic/computer components.

  • avatar
    dctomlinson

    I must be driving a different car than you guys.

    Interior materials are excellent, road noise is very low, engine torque is just fine. All the instrumentation works great. It’s quiet, smooth driving, handles potholes well in the pothole capital of the world (Chicago), powerful and elegant enough for me.

    It gets about 21 miles per gallon and I wish that were better, and the sound system could use some cajones, but that’s all so far. I’d like to change the Nav voice to HAL 2000 or KITT, but other than those minor issues, what are you all complaining about?

    I drove the Jaguar S and X series, a couple of the Mercedes C series, the Maxima and the Camry. The ES 350 was better than any of them. The Camry doesn’t even compare.

    I got it for a couple of hundred bucks over invoice and 3.24% financing, what’s not to like?


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