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2014 Lexus ES

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2014 Lexus ES Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

After six generations, the Lexus ES sedan is still going strong for 2014, taking a backseat only to the RX crossover SUV in overall Lexus sales. BMW may make a sportier handling sedan and Audi may have a more opulent interior, but the ES’s reputation for bulletproof reliability and resale speaks volumes about what matters most to luxury car buyers. A modest but capable V6 (in the ES 350), respectable handling and a long list of luxury features are the ES strengths, while the hybrid ES 300h offers all this plus 40 mpg. Aggressive yet handsome, the ES doesn’t stray too far from the formula most buyers find appealing, and its user-friendly interfaces are a welcome relief from overly complex touch screens and button-littered dashboards. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for luxury that is as reliable as it is impressive, the 2014 Lexus ES should hold a special place on your shopping list. The ES 300h hybrid model sacrifices nothing in return for its 40-mpg fuel economy.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re idea of a luxury sedan is one that can deliver a thrill ride while winding through twisting mountain roads, the ES is not the sedan for you. A rear-drive sport sedan, such as the Cadillac CTS or BMW 5 Series, makes a better choice.

What's New for 2014

Fresh from a complete remake last year, the 2014 Lexus ES receives only a few notable changes. LED fog lights replace the old fashioned bulb lamps, and heated and cooling seats can now be ordered with Lexus’ faux-leather NuLuxe perforated seat trim. Apple’s Siri Eyes Free technology is added to the equipment roster.

Driving the ES
Driving Impressions

The 2014 Lexus ES 350 delivers one of the most comfortable and quiet rides in the segment. Both the ES 350 and ES 300h are extremely quiet at highway speeds,...

... so much so that it’s sometimes hard to hear the engine working. But punch the accelerator and the ES 350's 268-horsepower V6 emits a subtle growl no amount of insulation can shut out. Capable of sprinting to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds, the ES is no slouch and delivers ample power for passing or merging. A selectable drive mode features a “sport” setting that changes the transmission’s shift patterns to deliver better acceleration. Oddly, this setting seems to work better in the hybrid model, perhaps due to the added torque provided by the electric assist motor. The 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.

HYBRID POWERTRAIN
The 2014 Lexus ES 300h hybrid 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.

2014 Lexus ES Details
2014 Lexus ES photo Interior

No Lexus is Spartan when it comes to interior amenities, and for 2014, the ES has upped the ante. The cabin’s design is sophisticate yet still logical and easy to figure out. The more contemporary design boasts clean lines and soft surfaces. All models employ 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 roomy back seat.

Exterior
2014 Lexus ES photo

One look at the front of the 2014 Lexus ES is all it takes to know this is not the Lexus of old. Up front the ES shows of a dynamic spindle grille that is defining new Lexus models. 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 aluminum-alloy wheels, with larger wheels optional.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even a base model of the 2014 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 2014 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 last-generation ES, 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 alone)
Total system horsepower: 200
156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (gasoline engine)
EPA fuel city/highway fuel economy: 40/39 mpg

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2014 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"

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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