Review by Justin Pritchard
Vehicle Type: Luxury Sedan
History/Description: The Lexus ES was a front-drive luxury sedan offered by the Japanese premium brand from 2007 to 2012 in its last generation. A new-for-2013 model is on dealer lots now, meaning the prior generation of this relaxing cruiser has now transitioned fully into used car territory.
Packing room for 5 adults, a large trunk and a ‘comfort-first’ ride and handling equation, the ES was targeted towards shoppers after a relaxing and laid-back experience. This was not a sports car, particularly agile or intended to be ‘fun to drive’. Rather, the ES was aimed squarely after the shopper looking for a purely luxury motoring experience.
Lexus ES, 2007–2012. Click image to enlarge
Engines / Trim: The only powertrain was a 3.5L V6 engine making around 270 horsepower on all models. All ES models were front-wheel drive and fitted with an automatic transmission. If you need more power or AWD, consider something like a BMW 3 Series with xDrive, or an Acura TL SH-AWD instead.
Various options packages combined popular features, too. The Navigation Package, for instance, packed a voice-activated hard-drive navigation system, backup camera and ventilated front seats. The Premium Package with Navigation added memory seating, wood accents, a power rear window sunshade, backup sensors, xenon lights and more. Consider this package if you frequently travel away from home. Top-line models got the Ultra Premium Package, which included premium leather, a panoramic sunroof, Mark Levinson audio system and upgraded wheels.
What Owners Like: Styling, a calm and quiet ride, a richly trimmed interior, and a fantastic stereo were all commonly noted by ES owners taking to the web with their ownership experiences. Engine performance and stable handling were also highly rated. Ultimately, it’s a sense of laid-back relaxation, and the fact that the ES required little of its driver, that made it a popular choice.
What Owners Dislike: Some owners wish for a more exciting driving experience, sportier handling, stickier factory tires and easier-to-use infotainment and navigation controls. Further, some owners are offended at the ‘locking out’ of numerous functions in said infotainment system while the vehicle is moving. Finally, rear seats don’t fold flat, though there is a pass-through for skis. Ultimately, it looks like this isn’t a machine that’ll impress driving enthusiasts, though luxury car fans should be satisfied.