2018 Lexus ES 350

#15
in Sedans
2018 MODEL

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2018 Lexus ES 350 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

The Japanese have pioneered vehicular manufacturing and adorning luxury with performance in spirit. Albeit the perfectionism of a German class is still yet to be achieved, the reach is within sight. Welcoming the 2018 Lexus ES 350, a luxurious sedan that goes head to head with the biggest of the names in the industry, the Japanese manufacturer owned by Toyota has carried over this mindset of its previous iterations, polished and refined it. There still needs work to be done though, where the others have been better; but, after the baby steps, it 's time to crawl.

See detailed review »

Pros

Smooth and nimble ride quality

Lavish interior and cabin materials

Incredible interior noise insulation

Cons

Mediocre handling performance

Lackluster Infotainment system

What's New?

Going into 2018, the Lexus ES 350 is carried over unchanged.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$38950

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

4WD

engine type

displacement

281

horsepower

301 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

248 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.3 in. /13.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

192.1 in.

width

74.2 in.

height

74.2 in.

curb weight

5130 lbs.

ground clearance

8.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

129.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

13000 lbs.

payload capacity

1470 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.9 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.4 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

173 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

15/16/18 mpg

ev range

361.2 mi.

highway range

414 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr./ unlimited


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 Lexus ES 350 in Atomic Silver color  2018 Lexus ES 350 in Autumn Shimmer color  2018 Lexus ES 350 in Caviar color  2018 Lexus ES 350 in Eminent White Pearl color  2018 Lexus ES 350 in Matador Red Metallic color
Atomic Silver

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.6

Engine

8.0

Fuel Economy

6.6

Interior

6.6

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.6

Comfort

9.3

Driving

6.4

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Lexus ES 350 Base

Base

power
268 hp @ 6200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$38,950


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $38,950 MSRP (21/24/30) 268 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Autumn Shimmer
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Matador Red Metallic

Top Lexus Cars

2017 Lexus RC 200t
9.5/10

Engine: 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2017 Lexus RX 350
8.3/10

Engine: 295 hp @ 6300 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2017 Lexus GS 350
8.7/10

Engine: 311 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 22 combined

2018 Lexus GS 350
8.3/10

Engine: 311 hp @ 6400 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 22 combined

2018 Lexus RX 450h hybrid
8.8/10

Engine: 308 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 30 combined

2017 Lexus RX 450h hybrid
8.8/10

Engine: 308 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 30 combined

2018 Lexus GS 300
8.0/10

Engine: 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2017 Lexus ES 350
8.6/10

Engine: 268 hp @ 6200 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 24 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

7.6

Overall Rating


What propels the front wheels of the sedan is a V6 3.5L engine that is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission churning out 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Kitted with a host of luxurious equipments, with superior quality cabin and a snug seating with ample space. Fitted with plenty of features and safety tech, the Lexus ES 350 goes against the likes of its German counterpart, the Audi A4, and the Acura TLX. Where does the spindle-grilled deluxe sedan stand? Let’s get on the review and find out.


7.6/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine

 

6.6/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.6/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 

8.6/10
Safety

 
 
 

2018 Lexus ES 350 Features

7.6/10

The Lexus ES 350 is an entry-level luxury sedan and comes in a single trim and is offered at $38,950. With a capacity to seat 5 passengers, the front-wheel driven sedan comes powered by a 3.5L V6 engine in conjunction with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 268 horses and 248 pulling forces.

Equipped with plenty of safety features and opulent features, the sumptuous 4-door offers plenty of bells and whistles at this price range. There are many available packages that you can invest in however with some of them exists a pre-required certain package and depend on location for availability.

Trims

ES 350

MSRP

$38,950

Key Features

Drive Mode Select

 

Smart Access with push-button start/stop

 

Perforated NuLuxe interior trim

 

Rain-sensing windshield wipers with de-icer

 

Backup Camera

 

17-inch alloy wheels

 

Power-adjustable front seats

 

Adaptive Cruise Control

We recommend

We believe you should look into the Luxury Package to complete the whole opulence of the sedan to enjoy it to the fullest.

2018 Lexus ES 350 Engine

8.0/10

The 2018 Lexus ES is hardly a sport sedan, but its smooth and comfortable ride in both standard and hybrid guises hides a more athletic side." -thecarconnection

Laid behind the spindle-grille is a burly V6 with a 3.5L displacement, cranking 268 horses and 248 lb-ft. of torque. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the ES 350 bolsters a remarkably smooth performance and a responsive transmission. The sedan delivers power as and when you jab the throttle, providing commendable and comfortable driving experience regardless of the fact you coast on the highway, or for as simple a task as get to the nearest store.

In its competition, the most powerful sedan belongs to the Nissan Maxima which also costs lesser than the elegant ES 350 while the least powerful powertrain is fitted in the luxurious Audi A4. The Lexus fits right in the middle of the varied power class of the rivals.

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

MSRP

$38,950

$33,000

$33,270

$38,950

$35,605

$36,000

Engine

Regular Unleaded V-6, 3.5 L

2.4L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC 4-Cylinder

3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine

2.0L turbo I-4

2.0L Turbocharged I-4

2.0L TFSI I4 DOHC

Transmission

6-speed automatic

8-Speed Automatic

CVT automatic

7-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

Power

268 hp

206 hp

300 hp @ 6,400 rpm

208 hp

245 hp

190 hp

Torque

248 lb-ft

182 lb-ft

261 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

258 lb-ft

275 lb-ft

236 lb-ft

Acceleration

The 3.5L displacing the Lexus V6 powers the sedan from naught to 60 mph in 5.8s as it does 14.3s in the quarter mile race. Despite being under-powered by a few ponies, the Lexus gets going with similar performance as Nissan Maxima. However, fitting a smaller engine in the hood does no good to the Audi A4 and its paralleling sedans.

Models

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

0-60 MPH

5.8 sec

7.2

5.8 sec

6.9 sec

7.0 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter mile

14.3 sec

15.6 sec

14.3 sec @ 97.7 mph

17.3 sec

15.2 sec

13.8 sec

Engine

3.5L

2.4L

3.5L

2.0L

2.0L

2.0L

Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

N/A

6.6

7.0

7

7.3

5.7

Handling and Braking

A comfortable driving dynamics with plush comfort and a responsive steering feedback, the luxurious and silent Lexus ES 350 combines these attributes effortlessly. Glide it over bumps and potholes, the sedan pleasantly surprises with such agility and nimble suspension; its handling of corners however feels poor and lackluster. However and if you want to escape the feeling of mundane, rich serene ride, the ES 350s athleticism commences once you tune into Sport mode, where the drivetrain is stiffened with a sturdy wheel accompanied by a sportier ride.

Under the braking performance, the equipped 11" rotors in the front and back clasp stop the Lexus ES 350 in 175 feet from 70-0 mph. Despite a mediocre brake feel, the performance seen here is decent yet falls relatively short of the rivals in which the best performer is the Infinitis Q60.

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

Brake Front(in)

11.6

12.6

12.6

12.6

12.4

12.4

Brake Rear(in)

11

12.2

12.1

12.1

12.4

11.8

Curb weight(lbs)

3571

3505

3478

3727

3739

3450

60-0 MPH (ft.)

175 (70-0 mph)

122

125

113

119

126

2018 Lexus ES 350 Fuel Economy

6.6/10

The luxurious and composed sedan spurts decent performance but also simultaneously tries to ensure it stays frugal. Deflecting just a tiny bit from that mindset, the Lexus ES 350 gulps 21 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and combined rating of 24 mpg. The decent levels of fuel economy it drinks is undoubtedly far from the Audi A4s incredible frugal powertrain; however the Acura TLX is similarly efficient.

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

MPG (city)

21

23

21

22

21

27

MPG (highway)

30

33

30

30

31

37

MPG (combined)

24

27

25

25

24

31

2018 Lexus ES 350 Interior

6.6/10

The 2018 Lexus ES has a superb interior thats quiet, spacious, comfortable and offers a refuge for adults on the road." -thecarconnection

Inside the 2018 Lexus ES 350 is a sumptuous and superlative interior quality considering the price it is offered for. Ornated with remarkable materials along the cabin and dash, there is sufficient space for passengers where there exists capacity to seat 5. Headspace and legroom is abundant in the back for 3 passengers along with comfortable and plush feel of the seats.

The finishes and upholstery over the seats are well crafted and the seating in the front provide a snug feel, deeming incredible long-drive experience. The ES 350 feels quite and hushed inside wherein its noise cancellation is well taken care of.

Interior Features

Some of the interior features included in the ES 350 are -

  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Perforated NuLuxe interior trim
  • Dual-zone climate control with interior air filters, smog sensor and automatic recirculation mode
  • Stainless-steel front and rear door scuff plates
  • Leather upholstery

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

4

5

5

Passenger Volume (ft cube)

100.1

93.3

98.6

85.4

96.6

100.1

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.5/57.6/41.9

37.2/57.5/42.6

39.4/56.7/45

37.9/54.6/43.1

37.9/57.7/44.3

38.9/55.9/41.3

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.5/55/40

36.7/57.5/34.5

36.7/55.7/34.2

34.5/52/32.4

36.6/55.3/37

37.4/54.5/35.7

Infotainment System

The standard infotainment system on the ES 350 is the Display Auto Interface with an 8" touchscreen controlled by a multipurpose controller knob. Despite offering plenty of technology, the Lexus falls short in this department. Unfortunately, the Lexus does not come with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Nor does it perform as great as its rivals, and generally doesnt feel user-friendly. Some of the infotainment system features are 

  • Bluetooth
  • Scout GPS Link
  • 8-speaker sound system
  • Satellite Radio

Cargo Capacity

At the boot, the Lexus ES 350 holds 15.2 cubic feet of storage space which is on par with the class it sits in. Its rivals fall behind the ES 350, while the lone Lincoln MKZ sits at the pedestal alongside the Lexus. The worst of the lot is seen in the Infiniti Q60, where the sedan can accommodate a paltry 8.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

Volume (ft.cube)

15.2

14.3

14.3

8.7

15.4

13.0

2018 Lexus ES 350 Exterior

8.0/10

Once the very definition of a conservative sedan, the current-generation Lexus ES has taken on a bold new look with sleek lines and the aggressive Lexus "spindle" grille. Yet it retains an elegant look that has the 2018 ES and ES hybrid falling right in line with the sporty Lexus IS sedan and RC coupe." -kbb

Rolling over 17-inchers embedded with split-10 spoke alloy wheels, the Lexus ES 350 comes with a gorgeous exterior with riveting sleek design over the silhoutte of the 193" long sedan. From the front aesthetic designed with iconic spindled-grilles , along the way with a sloping roofline that gracefully droops, embellished with L-shaped rear taillights, the contemporary and straight design is polished and refined from the previous designs of the sedan.

Falling in line with some of the cars of today, it does not shock nor mind-boggle, however it does transcend the philosophy of no-bullshit depiction. At 6.1" clear from the ground, the ES 350 stands at 57" in height and comes with a 111-inch wheelbase at its framework.

Exterior Features

A list of few exterior features found on the Lexus ES 350 are -

  • 17" alloy wheels
  • LED headlamps and taillamps
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Power moonroof

Model

Lexus ES 350

Acura TLX

Nissan Maxima

Infiniti Q60

Lincoln MKZ

Audi A4 Premium

curb weight(lbs)

3751

3505

3478

3727

3739

3450

Length(in)

193.3

191.7

192.8

184.4

193.9

186.1

Width(in)

71.7

73.0

73.2

72.8

75.1

72.5

Height(in)

57.1

57.0

56.5

54.9

58.1

56.2

Ground clearance(in)

6.1

5.8

5.3

4.9

5.0

5.0

Wheelbase(in)

111

109.3

109.3

112.2

112.2

110.0

Track width(in) F/R

62.6/62

62.8/63.1

62.4/62.4

61.2/61.2

62.3/62

61.9/61.2

2018 Lexus ES 350 Safety

8.6/10

While the NHTSA is yet to rate the 2018 Lexus ES 350, the IIHS has scored the sedan with mostly positive feedback. The sedan comes with a horde of safety features that comes equipped in the sedan. While these features come standard, there are optional packages that you can invest in to further up the equipments on offer. Some of the standard safety features include -

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Rearview Camera
  • Safety Connect emergency communications
  • Forward collision Warning
  • Mitigation system
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Intervention System

2018 Lexus ES 350 Competition

Lexus ES 350 vs Audi A4

The Audi A4 and the Lexus ES 350 are luxury sedans with extensive opulency and features. Both the sedans have similar ride quality, however the performer here is the Japanese counterpart to the smaller German 4-Rings. With incredible plush and comfort, the Audi however offers a relatively cramped space while the ES 350 is quite spacious. The A4 costs lower than the Japanese luxury sedan but if you want space and a similarly sumptuous 4-door, the ES 350 should be your choice.

Lexus ES 350 vs Acura TLX

There is plenty of mix-and-match going on here; the Acura TLX falls short in some places as compared to the Lexus ES 350. Triumphing in terms of performance, interior space, overall opulency and quality, the ES 350 takes the top spot here. However the Acura is a much cheaper sedan and for the price, it offers quite a respectable list of features and quality. If the niceties of the Lexus are irresistible, make sure you have enough to shell out in your account.

2018 Lexus ES 350 Final Verdict

The Lexus ES 350 checks many right boxes; it has a remarkably luxurious interior with plush seating arrangement, commodious interior and cargo, and top-notch quality cabin. With a decent fuel economy, it is also a comfortable cruiser with performance tuned in on modes available in the drivertrain. However the ES 350 suffers in its technology, especially the infotainment system while some of its rivals have a better handler. Nonetheless, for the price tag it comes with, the sedan is an incredible purchase and we strongly recommend the same.