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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
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 60 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

The 2014 Lexus ES 300h is an excellent vehicle

By on Friday, June 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellent fuel economy and power for a full size"

Cons: "Body style looks like a Camry 2007 from side view"

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

"I truly believe that the Lexus ES 300h is an excellent vehicle. It provides an excellent luxury for its class that includes real bamboo inlays inside. It had provide an average mpg of 37.5 since I purchased the vehicle brand new. It has power when you want it as you can move the dial knob to sport and you can feel the difference. The cabin space has plenty of room for four large adults. One thing that I wish that this card would have the same brake lights than the Lexus HS 250h because it makes it look more sporty. Overall, is an excellent vehicle."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Grossly Inflated MPG

By on Friday, January 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 460

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfort"

Cons: "much lower mpg than advertised"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought the 2016 ES300h just under a month ago. The "Low Fuel" light came on at about 450 miles on the first (dealer) tank of gas. MPG would come to 33 to 34. The mpg meter shows the same number. I did very gentle acceleration and braking because I wanted to see what the gas mileage would be. Been driving a mix of about 60% in-town and 40% high way for the first 450 miles. 2016 December temperature in Maryland was fairly mild. All these facts together lead to my disappointment. Read elsewhere that people got 33 mpg, 37 mpg, or 40 mpg. Looks like the ES300h has fairly large disparity among individual cars. Is this a quality control problem? Or the 2nd or later tank of gas will do magic? Or in the "break-in" period (first 600 miles) the engine is still "tight"?"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great Hybrid

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is a great car. There were a few things I liked better on my Buick LaCrosse, like the heads up display and the backup camera, but this is a first class luxury car. Lots of get up and git for a hybrid."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

A 15 year Lexus owner hates this car

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "absolutely nothing"

Cons: "just about everything"

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

"I have never been more disappointed in a car. I have owned Lexus' for 15 years and always told people how great they are. This model gets terrible gas mileage--rated at 40 and I get 29 always driving in ECO mode--the seats are the most uncomfortable seats in any car I have ever owned and the cabin noise is amazingly loud. I have had the car in many times to service to fix the problems--but I'm told there are no problems, this is the way it is supposed to work. Add to that the design interior feels cheap and flimsy and the exterior design is a big bland blah. Why did I buy it --15 years of loving my other Lexuses. Never again."

18 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Wednesday, December 9, 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
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "smooth drive, good mpg, great quality interior"

Cons: "inconvenient placement of usb for phone charging"

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

"So i recently traded in my sports car for the ES in silver atomic and I am so happy with my switch! Originally, I wanted the IS model for the sporty design but it was so compact and similar to my previous cars so I thought I would try the ES as it has so much more room and the ride is so smooth! The car is gorgeous inside and out and I love all of the functions and options that are available with the Lexus ES compared to my previous vehicles. This is my first Lexus and I can definitely see myself purchasing Lexus again in the future."

7 people out of 17 found this review helpful

best car i've ever owned, not the most expensive

By on Monday, August 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"have driven much more expensive cars, and this is the best by far. What it takes to build a hybrid - multiple braking systems, heavier duty suspension because of the battery's weight, for example - makes if a far superior car to the equivalent non-hybrid. Performance and safety are greatly enhanced over the 350"

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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