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KBB Expert Rating 8.1 / 10
This Car - 2017 Lexus ES
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Consumer Rating 8.8 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

From its modern style, to its excellent reliability record to the hybrid’s 40 mpg, the new 2017 Lexus ES is the closest thing to a sure bet in the luxury-sedan world. Offered in two styles, the V6-powered ES 350 and the hybrid-powered ES 300h, Lexus’ most popular sedan is a perennial favorite with luxury buyers who place a high priority on comfort without completely sacrificing the performance aspects expected in this class. It’s true a BMW 5 Series or Cadillac CTS offers a more engaging drive, but not every luxury-car buyer is a driving enthusiast shopping for an all-out sports sedan. The new Lexus ES proves there’s still a place for a premium automobile with strong performance balanced with traditional values of comfort and dependability.

You'll Like This Car If...

The new 2017 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h luxury sedans appeal to buyers who demand a luxury car offer strong performance as well as traditional values of comfort and dependability. ES 300h buyers, however, do sacrifice a small amount of trunk space to the hybrid’s battery pack.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your luxury sedan must include real sports-sedan performance and street cred, the front-wheel-drive 2017 ES won’t satisfy your inner race-car driver. Although the Lexus performs well, rear-wheel-drive sedans like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes E Class are sportier options.

What's New for 2017

The 2017 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid get notable safety upgrades. The Lexus Safety System+ package, introduced last year as an option, is now standard on every ES. The system includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Driving It Driving Impressions

If a serene ride and a quiet cabin are your idea of luxury, you’ll find the new 2017 Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan and 300h hybrid-luxury sedan extremely satisfying. Beyond their sophisticated road manners, both ES models provide excellent acceleration, with the V6-powered ES 350 sprinting to 60 mph in just over seven seconds. It will leave many other luxury sedans eating its dust. For those who occasionally like to push the limits, the ES’s Sport mode makes transmission shifts more aggressive, providing better performance for passing and merging. This same option on the hybrid is even more appealing, perhaps due to the added boost in torque from the electric-assist motor. If you go with the hybrid, you’ll find the electric-to-gasoline transitions nearly imperceptible. The powertrain is exceptionally smooth. However, when we switched to Eco mode, the throttle response was dulled and the powertrain felt uncertain.

Favorite Features

Where some hybrid EPA estimates seem like laboratory-only probabilities, the 2017 Lexus ES 300h is the real deal. Without even trying, the 40-mpg combined average was a regular occurrence in our tests. In addition, the combined 200 horsepower is sufficient, and the powertrain is extremely smooth.

Lexus never shorts customers on luxury items. Our new ES featured a heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof and an 835-watt, 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system that left our jaws agape and our ears ringing. Seat comfort is also high thanks to 10-way-power adjustments, high-quality leather and supportive shaping.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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