Spacious, quiet and comfortable; excellent hybrid fuel economy; perfect crash-test scores; Lexus build quality
As exciting as a nap on the couch; blind spot monitoring should be standard in a luxury vehicle like this
A new Premier options bundle is introduced for the ES 350. Lexus Enform Safety Connect (featuring automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle location, emergency assistance button and roadside assistance) is now free for the first 10 years (it was previously complimentary for one year). See the 2018 Lexus ES models for sale near you
The hybrid doesn't cost much more than the regular version, but it will still take some time and some miles to recoup the difference in fuel savings. Both models come with a lot of standard equipment before delving into the options, but make sure blind spot monitoring is included. An updated ES is anticipated in the next year or two.
The 2018 Lexus ES is available in two forms: the ES 350 with the conventional V6 and the hybrid-powered ES 300h.
The ES 350 ($39,945) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/start, three selectable driving modes (Normal, Eco and Sport), a sunroof, heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, rain-sensing wipers, a rearview camera and LED low beams/running lights/fog lights/taillights. The cabin sports synthetic, perforated leather upholstery (NuLuxe), piano-black trim, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a self-dimming rearview mirror. Metallic, pearl and mica exterior paint colors have a scratch-resistant clear coat on the lower body panels at no extra cost.
Tech toys include Lexus Enform Remote smartphone app compatibility, 3.5-in color driver information display, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free iPhone voice control, 7-in touchscreen, 8-speaker sound system with iPod/USB connectivity, 6-CD changer, satellite radio and a universal garage door opener.
The ES 300h ($42,815) has 17-in alloys of a different design, a concealed exhaust outlet and hybrid-specific gauges, information displays and badging.
Individual options include bi-LED head lamps, heated/ventilated seats, heated wood/leather steering wheel, bamboo trim, powered trunk lid, parking sensors, powered rear sunshade, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and 18-in wheels.
The Navigation package includes voice recognition, a hard-drive-based navigation system, an 8-in central display and the mouselike Remote Touch controller. This package can be bundled with the Mark Levinson audio system -- an 835-watt surround-sound setup with 15 speakers and DVD audio/video. The Levinson system is also available by itself.
The new-for-2018 Premier package for the ES 350 brings driver's-seat memory settings, heated/ventilated seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors front and rear, and wood trim. The Luxury package adds leather upholstery. The Ultra Luxury package throws in a panoramic sunroof, powered rear sunshade/manual door sunshades, ambient lighting, powered trunk lid, driver's-seat cushion extender, front passenger-seat memory settings and higher-grade leather trim.
The Premium package for the ES 300h has driver's-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel and choices of wood trim. The hybrid's Luxury package adds leather upholstery and heated/ventilated front seats.
Trunk space in the ES 350 is 15.2 cu ft., dropping to 12.1 cu ft. in the ES 300h because of its battery pack.
The ES scored a perfect five stars across the board in government crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the ES its highest "Good" rating in all categories.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/70,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||6 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||1 Years/10,000 Miles|
2018 Nissan Maxima -- Generous with space, but leans toward the sportier end of the driving-experience spectrum.
2018 Toyota Avalon -- Priced lower than the ES, the roomy, stylish Avalon offers the same powertrains and many of the same features.
2018 Hyundai Azera -- With all the bells and whistles, the Azera stacks up well against the ES 350 and costs less.
2018 Kia Cadenza -- Lots of standard equipment and passenger space. Not as sophisticated as a Lexus.
Used Lexus LS -- An LS with low miles could be bought for the price of a new ES. It will probably be a few years old, but the rear- or all-wheel-drive V8-powered LS is swifter and even smoother than its smaller sibling.