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2013 Lexus ES

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2013 Lexus ES Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

The 2013 Lexus ES 350 marks the sixth generation for the luxury automaker's mid-size sedan, its number two best-seller behind the RX SUV. The car has been revamped outside and in, and is available for the first time as a hybrid – the ES 300h. The sedan's base engine is a V6 that carries over from the previous generation yet is still potent enough to effortlessly move this 5-passenger, front-wheel-drive car. The new design gives the 2013 Lexus ES a more aggressive exterior, but its ride still heavily favors comfort rather than the sporting nature of a BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS or Acura TL. Strong reliability and above-average predicted resale value bolster the ES' good reputation.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a mid-size sedan that's quiet, comfortable and filled with amenities, the Lexus ES is among the top in its class. The 2013 ES further benefits from the strong reliability record of its parent, Toyota, and the availability of a high-mileage hybrid model.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Want your luxury sedan to offer some thrills on twisty roads? A better choice would be the BMW 5 Series, Acura TL or Cadillac CTS, which have tighter driving dynamics than the cushy Lexus ES. Those looking for even more value should consider the Buick LaCrosse.

What's New for 2013

For its 6th-generation debut, the 2013 Lexus ES has a slightly larger design with fresh sheet metal, more interior amenities, better fuel economy, and a hybrid model named the ES 300h that uses a 4-cylinder gasoline engine and battery-powered electric motor to achieve up to 40 mpg.

Driving the ES

Driving Impressions The 2013 Lexus ES 350 drives much like its predecessors, which is to say marshmallow-soft and very quiet. If you seek a car that acts as a cocoon from the...

outside world, the 2013 ES 350 and 300h hybrid should be on your shopping list. With its 268-horsepower V6, the ES 350 has a 0-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds, which means it can swiftly get up to speed on freeways and has good passing power once there. That, though, is pretty much where its dynamic driving behavior ends. Even when the car is set to "sport" mode via a new rotary dial, the ES feels soft. The hybrid ES 300h has less power, but adequate acceleration, and here the "sport" setting helps much more in getting the car up to speed. Transitions between the hybrid's electric motor and gasoline engine are very smooth, except when in "eco" mode, in which the throttle response feels muted and the powertrain nervous. Both cars are exceptionally comfortable.

HYBRID POWERTRAIN
The 2013 Lexus ES 300h hybrid essentially replaces the HS 250h, but the ES 300h's powertrain is much more refined. The car is rated at 40 mpg combined, and from our experience that number is realistic.

CREATURE COMFORTS
The Lexus ES has a host of options that can make it an oasis on wheels. Some of our favorites include the heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and Mark Levinson audiophile sound system that pumps out 835 watts through 15 speakers.

2013 Lexus ES Details
2013 Lexus ES photo Interior

No Lexus is Spartan when it comes to interior amenities, and for 2013, the ES has upped the ante. The cabin's design is much improved over the prior model, which was starting to appear dated. The more contemporary design boasts clean lines and soft surfaces. All models now receive a dial above the shift knob that can set the car to "normal," "sport" or "eco" modes, and hybrid models have a button that allows the car to drive a short distance on battery power alone, similar to the Toyota Prius. The seats are comfortable for four adults thanks to a roomier back seat.

Exterior
2013 Lexus ES photo

One look at the front of the 2013 Lexus ES is all it takes to know this is a new car. It is there that you'll see the spindle grille that is defining new models in the Lexus lineup. On the sides, flared fenders and a high beltline give a slightly aggressive impression. Around back, the snubbed trunk flows smoothly from the C-pillars. The ES 350 has twin tailpipes peeking from beneath the bumper, while the ES 300h hybrid has just one that is hidden below a spoiler running under the bumper. The Lexus ES rides on low-resistance tires and 17-inch alloy wheels, with larger wheels optional.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even a base model of the 2013 Lexus ES comes well equipped with push-button start/stop, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and smog sensor, a moonroof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, HomeLink garage door opener, and an 8-speaker AM/FM/6-CD/satellite radio audio system with USB and iPod inputs. Seats are now trimmed in Lexus' NuLuxe material, with leather optional. On the safety front, the 2013 ES has 10 airbags, a backup monitor, and a service that offers emergency assistance at the touch of a button, and Lexus' Automatic Collision Notification in the event of an accident.

Optional Equipment

The Lexus ES can go from good to grand via a handful of packages or by checking off the boxes on individual options. Among the amenities you can add are a navigation system, heated and ventilated seats, a panorama glass roof, a power rear sunshade, and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. Drive-centric options include lane-departure warning system, radar-based cruise control, parking assist, and blind-spot monitoring.

Under the Hood

Lexus ES 350 models use a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes an ample 268 horsepower and is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Though this is the same engine and transmission as the prior model, fuel economy has improved through the use of low-friction materials. ES 300h models use a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and battery-powered electric motor that creates a total of 200 horsepower. The hybrid model uses an automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT). Both models can run on regular 87-octane gasoline.

Lexus ES 350
3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg

Lexus ES 300h
2.5-liter inline-4 + hybrid electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery module
156 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm (gasoline engine); 200 total horsepower
156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (gasoline engine)
EPA fuel city/highway fuel economy: 40/39 mpg

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2013 Lexus ES Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 53 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great car

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Will purchase another Lexus when it comes time"

Cons: "You do not purchase these cars for gas mileages,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Wonderful riding car. According to the gage in the car my MPG shows 21.4. I did not purchase this car for the mileage, but for its looks and comfort. It meets all these things. I would buy another one when it comes time. I traded my Honda in for the ES. I only have 5,000 miles on my ES. My wife owns the small SUV and she loves it. She drives hers more and she has almost 10,000 on hers. We bought both our Lexus from Bellevue. We traded-in a Large SUV Lexus for my wife's smaller SUV. Great cars"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good ride for a good price.

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great comfortable ride using regular gas."

Cons: "would like a real spare tire."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The ES 350 is a very comfortable priced mid luxury car that should last a long time, My 2013 model uses regular gasoline."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

What a great car

By on Sunday, June 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car for the value"

Cons: "cup holders a little awkward"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My first Lexus. What a great car. A pleasure to drive and great gas mileage. It looks great in my garage too."

6 people out of 19 found this review helpful

A Mediocre car

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, low maintenance cost, good visibility"

Cons: "Low aspect tires, cheap interior materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"We have a 2013 ES350 Ultra Luxury. The driving dynamics are poor. The ride is poor because of the low profile tires. The interior materials are not as nice as they should be. The car gives great gas mileage and service costs are very low. It's a Toyota, which means it is reliable. Frankly I am disappointed with this car. It's okay but it is not great. The Mark Levinson sound system is great, but expensive."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Third ES 350 more refined, techno-laden

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfort, room, reliability and quietude."

Cons: "Somewhat confusing and complex controls"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This 2015 ES 350 is our third ES 350 since the 2009 model year. Before those was a 2002 LS 430 which set the foundation for a driving experience that is comfortable, quiet and plush. We aren't looking for a high-performance sports sedan or a modern-day muscle car: been there; done that in our younger days and these vehicles have just what we as mature drivers want in a touring car - a highly refined and reliable vehicle that pampers us with comfort and reliability. Our other car is a flame red Mazda Miata, so we have a "fun vehicle." The technology on board is frankly more than we need, use or even understand but it's the new normal in vehicles so we learn to use what we need and leave the rest to those who love gizmos. Just want to drive from Point A to Point B in reliable comfort and our ES 350 more than fills the bill."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Excedllent vehicle

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good build quality, comfort and reliabilty"

Cons: "Somewhat stiff ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My ES350 is a quiet ,luxurious automobile with outstanding comfort. After driving 300 miles I can get out of the car feeling fresh with no back stiffness. The highway ride is excellent. However, riding around the city with uneven road surfaces produces a somewhat stiff ride. The ride went from excellent in my 2008 Lexus to average in 2014. I also find the Navigation system to be distracting. Overall, I would still recommend this vehicle for its outstanding reliability, good looks and comfort."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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