The ES 350 is Lexus' high-volume car, and since a mild refresh in 2010, it hasn't changed. The 2012 model is virtually identical to 2011, and that includes the standard 3.5-liter V-6, six-speed automatic transmission and 17-inch alloy wheels. While the 2012 model is still based on the last-generation Camry, look for a redesigned model for 2013.
As a comfy tourer, the 2012 Lexus ES 350 glides and sways like a luxury liner. The V-6 offers 268 horsepower and rates up to 28 mpg highway -- good, but not great for the segment -- as well as various forms of electronic traction, stability, and braking control systems. The ride is supple and smooth, graceful for a vehicle its weight.
Inside, there are a host of comfortable and intuitive interior features, like Lexus' new Enform infotainment system, and 10 airbags, including an airbag for the knees.
While the ES 350 isn't the most engaging vehicle on the market, it rewards both driver and passengers without surprise, a predictably safe, roomy, and comfortable ride with the usual Lexus dependability.
Body style: Sedan
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: ES 350
There are two changes for 2012: Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica, and the discontinuation of Peridot Mica. Expect a completely redesigned ES for 2013.
The 2012 ES 350 is based off the same underlying mechanicals as the Toyota Camry, although with significantly different styling inside and out. It's got 17-inch wheels, dual chrome-tip exhaust, and the familiar Lexus grille and design cues.
Standard Lexus luxury interior features abound, such as leather-trimmed seating, powered glass moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a multi-information display that encourages economical driving. The ES 350 also features a push-button starter, available touch-screen navigation with Lexus Enform infotainment, and optional Mark Levinson premium audio system.
Performance & Handling
The ES 350 is not a sport sedan, and it doesn't try to be. The ES 350 is instead geared for a cushy and comfortable stroll, without haste, though Lexus says it will scoot from 0-60 mph in roughly 7.0 seconds. Thus, the 3.5-liter V-6 has adequate freeway passing power.
The ES 350 has standard dual front, dual front knee, front and rear side curtain, and front and rear side airbags. It also features an electronic stability and traction control system, brake assist, and electronic brake distribution. There is an optional pre-collision system that is radar tracked should the driver fail to react to system warnings, as well as a rearview camera.
EPA Fuel Economy
19 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- Smooth ride
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