2013 Lexus ES350

Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6 auto trans

Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6 auto trans

2013 lexus es350 Reviews and News

2013 Lexus ES 300h White Front Right Side View 2
No car illustrates both the peril and payoff of a luxury marque raiding the corporate parts bin quite like the Lexus ES. Long based on the Toyota Camry, the front-wheel-drive sedan could be seen as on outlier in the Lexus lineup, and yet it's the brand's most popular car. The ES's blue-collar background and blue-blood badge create accessible luxury for buyers and irresistible profits for Toyota Motor Company. It's the drug that neither consumer nor corporation cares to quit.

A Brand in Transition

The new 2013 ES arrives at a pivotal time for the Lexus brand, amidst a philosophical about-face that has produced a 202-mph supercar, birthed a performance sub-brand, and pulled BMW into its competitive set. The ES's reputation as aloof, impassive, and out-of-place is a liability now more than ever. Because no matter how quickly an LFA hits 60 mph or how competent the F Sport models are, the popularity of the ES ensures that it will have a major role in defining the brand.

So Long, Camry

Breaking with tradition, the new ES steps off the Camry platform and onto that of the larger Toyota Avalon. The switch nets a whopping 4.1 inches of extra rear-seat legroom, as the car adds 1.6 inches of additional length. Like the outgoing model, this new ES bears little resemblance to its Toyota counterpart. Unlike the old car, the 2013 version also bears little resemblance to a dinner roll. The fresh design follows that of the new GS sedan, conveying a sense of emotion without being excessively ornamented. The new ES gets its more intense look from its large, pinched grille; the kinked C-pillar; and the sharp edge of the rocker panels.
The interior has undergone an even more dramatic transformation, with the late '90s finally giving way to a modern aesthetic that borrows the tiered, horizontal motif of the LFA with the addition of gentler, curved lines and tasteful complements of traditional wood trim. And just as it was at the brand's outset, Lexus remains fastidious in certain details. For instance, the standard leather dash in this $40,000 car is hand-stitched by one of twelve takumi, Toyota's Japanese master craftsmen.
Remote Touch, Lexus's answer to BMW's iDrive and Audi's MMI, is optional and comes with Enform app integration. While the graphics are vastly improved over the original iteration, pushing down on the mouse-like controller to make a selection isn't as precise as the previous thumb button. Integration with the Bing search engine, Yelp business reviews, MovieTickets.com listings, and other apps is a neat feature, but one with limited appeal as they become essentially unusable when the vehicle is in motion -- even with a body in the passenger seat. When listening to Pandora Internet Radio, the system will only allow access to twenty-five stations at speed, an inexplicable frustration that's analogous to locking out certain FM radio frequencies.

Smooth Operator

While the infotainment system falls a bit short of expectations, the ES350's 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 268 hp and 248 lb-ft does the opposite. The engine is plenty powerful and it's genuinely rewarding to experience how the revs build quickly, smoothly, and almost musically toward the top end of the tachometer. The six-speed automatic is well behaved, though largely unexceptional compared to the fast-acting, telepathic behavior or BMW and Audi's eight-speed automatics. Fuel economy, at 21/31 mpg, comes 2 mpg short of the turbocharged four-cylinder of the BMW 328i.

Chassis Changes

For the new ES, the steering ratio has been quickened from 16.1:1 to 14.8:1, but the steering response still couldn't be described as "quick." Instead, the ES's steering improves from full-size-truck slow to that of a typical -- but not particularly sporty -- car. Drive Mode Select with eco, normal, and sport settings is standard and alters throttle mapping and the electric power-steering assist. In eco/normal modes, the steering is overassisted and underdamped, reminding us of that old Lexus character we were hoping to leave behind. Sport mode is much more balanced and strikes us as the true "normal." It's not especially heavy, but neither is it artificially energetic.
Body roll is reasonably controlled, but the ES still places the emphasis on a comfortable ride. To that end, the updated car boasts revised suspension components and geometry that calm some of the higher frequency disturbances that made their way to the driver's seat in the previous model. While cabin quietness mostly lived up to our expectations, some of Oregon's coarse road surfaces incited tire roar that was impossible to ignore.

Enter a Hybrid

The sixth-generation ES also introduces the first-ever hybrid model, the ES300h, with a gas/electric powertrain borrowed from -- what else -- the Camry. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motor/generators, and a continuously variable transmission receive only minor calibration tweaks in the move from Toyota to Lexus. Peak output is the same 200 hp as the Camry Hybrid, and the fuel economy rating is 40/39 mpg (city/highway). An EV mode allows feather-footed drivers to reach speeds of up to 25 mph for short distances without using the gas engine.
The hybrid's acceleration and brake feel bear only the faintest resemblance to what you experience in the V-6 car. Still, the ES hybrid is a far more pleasant fuel miser than the unsuccessful and unloved HS250h. That short-lived model has been killed off in light of the ES300h's significantly better fuel economy, larger cabin, and similar price. Exact pricing hasn't been announced, but Lexus says the ES300h will have the brand's smallest hybrid cost premium ever. We predict a starting figure right around $40,000.
While the ES aesthetic has been rebooted with the 2013 model, the driving experience hasn't changed substantially. This is still the comfortable, nicely appointed, affordable luxury car it has always been. The ES's humble roots leave little room for massaging the car into a performer to match the brand's aspirations. We have no doubt that the ES will continue to contribute generously to Lexus's bottom line; its contribution to recreating the brand image, however, will be minimal.
2013 Lexus ES350
On sale: August 2012
Base price: $38,000 (est.)
Engine: 3.5L V-6, 268 hp, 248 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
EPA mileage: 21/31 mpg
2013 Lexus ES300h
On sale:
August 2012
Base price: $40,000 (est.)
Engine: 2.5L I-4 gas/electric hybrid, 200 hp (net)
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drive: Front-wheel
EPA mileage: 40/39 mpg
2013 Lexus ES350 Review
2013 Lexus ES350 Review

The 2013 Lexus ES350 has undergone a complete redesign for its launch. This is the first redesign since the ES350 was first released in 2007. It has been revamped inside and out, and has grown in both width and length over the previous model.

Behind the Lexus RX SUV, the ES350 midsize sedan is the company’s second bestseller in its model lineup. The 2013 Lexus ES350 will appeal to those drivers looking for a sedan that provides a quiet and comfortable ride, a cabin filled with luxury amenities, and a strong reliability record.

New For 2013

The 2013 Lexus ES350 is all-new for the 2013 launch. Changes of note for this new model of the midsize sedan include:

  • A longer and wider wheelbase
  • Updated exterior styling, including a new front grille and fresh sheet metal
  • Upgraded interior materials
  • An increased list of amenities included as standard
  • Better fuel economy


From the front of the 2013 Lexus ES350, it is easy to see that this is a new generation of the midsize sedan. The front grille has been replaced with the new signature spindle grille that Lexus is using for the front of all of its newly redesigned vehicles. The new redesign also results in an overall gain in length of one inch with a gain of about 1.8 inches in length of the wheelbase.

From the side and rear, the shape of the 2013 Lexus EX350 has also changed. Flared fenders have been added to the side of the sedan, a spoiler has been added to the lid of the trunk, and the rear bumper has been revised. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard, while 18-inch wheels are available.

Interior & Cargo

While the changes to the exterior of the 2013 Lexus ES350 may not seem significant, the interior has been completely redesigned. Legroom in the back seat is improved due to the increase in length of the wheelbase and sedan. The redesign of the dash leads to an increased spaciousness in the front seats as well, due to the corners being pushed out. Previously, the interior of the ES350 appeared dated, but the redesign has included better materials and a modern design that is much more appealing.

Only one trim level is available for the 2013 Lexus ES350, and standard features include a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control system, ten-way power front seats with power lumbar, a power moon roof that tilts and slides, an eight-speaker CD/MP3 stereo system with Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity. A navigation system and leather upholstery are available as options.


Standard safety features for the 2013 Lexus ES350 are anti-lock brakes, an electronic stability system, traction control, brake assist, and ten airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front and rear seats and a driver’s knee airbag. Adaptive cruise control, a lane departure system, a rearview camera, and a blind-spot warning system are all safety options.

Driving Experience

Under the hood, the 2013 Lexus ES350 is powered by a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that provides 268 horsepower (hp) and 248 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. The fuel economy for this front-wheel-drive sedan has been improved through the use of new, lower-friction materials within the powertrain components. The EPA rating for the 2013 Lexus ES350 is 21/31 mpg city/highway.

Although the 2013 Lexus ES350 has undergone a redesign, it drives in much the same manner as previous models. This is a sedan that is known for its soft, comfortable, and very quiet ride, which is preserved in this latest model. Acceleration is swift from a stop and while traveling at speed on the highway, and it allows for passing and maneuvering comfortably at speed.

The 2013 Lexus ES350 is now equipped with a new dial above the shift knob that allows the driver to set the car driving mode to Normal, Sport, or Eco. The setting chosen determines the amount of power supplied, as well as the fuel efficiency of the sedan. Even when set to the Sport mode, the performance is still relatively soft in comparison to other cars within its class.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lexus ES350

  • 2013 Acura TL
  • 2013 BMW 328i
  • 2013 Lincoln MKZ
  • 2013 Cadillac XTS
  • 2013 Infiniti G37


2013 Lexus ES350 Pair
At a press conference in New York, Toyota president Akio Toyoda announced today that the automaker will build the Lexus ES350 sedan at its plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The ES is the best-selling Lexus model here, and the U.S. is the luxury brand's largest market.
2013 Lexus ES CinePrint Image 3
Lexus is using CinePrint technology to bring print advertisements to life using an iPad. Unlike QR codes that display info on smartphones, CinePrint turns the paper into an interactive ad. The new interactive Lexus ES ad will first appear in the October 15 issue of Sports Illustrated.
2013 Lexus ES300h Front Three Quarter
The newest version of the Lexus ES may have a long list of improvements and upgrades, but it's still cheaper than the 2012 model. Lexus revealed today that the 2013 ES350 will start at $36,995 (after an $895 destination charge), while the ES300h will start at $39,745.

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2013 Lexus ES350
2013 Lexus ES350
Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
21 MPG City | 31 MPG Hwy
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Base FWD 4-Dr Sedan V6
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2013 Lexus ES350 Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
21 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
31 MPG
268 hp @ 6200rpm
248 ft lb of torque @ 4700rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
70,000 miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 72 months
Unlimited miles / 48 months
Recall Date
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles manufactured October 19, 2012 to October 27, 2015 and 2013-2015 Lexus ES350 and ES300h vehicles manufactured June 18, 2012 to July 6, 2015. The affected vehicles are equipped with a Pre-Collision System (PCS) as optional equipment. In these vehicles, the PCS may unexpectedly activate and apply the brakes when the radar detects a steel joint or plate in the roadway as an object.
A vehicle that unexpectedly brakes increases the risk of a crash.
Remedy parts for a permanent fix for this issue are not yet available. On November 18, 2015, Toyota sent owners an interim notification and dealers will temporarily disable the PCS. When the improved PCS components are available for the permanent remedy, owners will be mailed a second notification. These repairs will be performed free of charge. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's numbers for this campaign are F1V and F2E.
Potential Units Affected
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing

NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Lexus ES350

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $40,158 What's This?
Value Rating: Poor