The Lexus ES has been a longtime favorite in the entry-level luxury sedan category, and it comes as little surprise that the 2011 Lexus ES 350 earns one of the highest Total Car Score ratings in its segment.
Designed to emphasize comfort instead of sport, the ES 350 earns high marks when it comes to interior comfort, ride quality and overall refinement. Top ratings in terms of initial quality and predicted reliability further the ES as a smart choice.
The downside, as noted by several reviewers, is that the ES is simply a bit of a bore to drive. That doesn't matter to many potential customers in this entry-luxury sedan's target audience, as the ES' continued success in the marketplace confirms.
The 2011 Lexus ES 350 is unchanged except for an engine recalibration that allows the ES to run on regular fuel. Prior to this, the ES' last major redesign occurred four years ago and it's due for a redesign in the next two years.
The 2011 Lexus ES 350 is a midsize, entry-level luxury sedan.
Mechanically, it's related to the Toyota Camry. There is just one, well-equipped trim level that includes keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch wheels, a sunroof and a full iPod interface, plus USB and auxiliary audio inputs.
Various option packages allow one to further equip the ES 350 with heated seats, adaptive cruise control, xenon headlights, a navigation system and a Mark Levinson audio system.
Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The ES is front-wheel drive and comes with a six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The 2011 Lexus ES 350 is EPA rated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.
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