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Pros & Cons

  • Smooth engine
  • Lush, inviting interior
  • Soft suspension delivers uninspiring handling




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Lexus ES Overview

When it was new, critics loved the 2011 ES’ smooth ride quality and easy-going nature. Many said that its laid-back demeanor probably won’t appeal to driving enthusiasts, but those simply looking to be coddled in a comfortable sedan should give the ES a look.

Power comes from a 268-horsepower V6 that critics said is buttery-smooth, helping the ES get up to speed quickly and effortlessly. Notable for 2011 is that the ES runs on regular octane gasoline, whereas previous model years required premium fuel. Fuel economy, at 19/27 mpg city/highway, is about average for the class. The ES's safety ratings fall short of the class average.

Inside, critics regarded the ES’ interior as one of the most plush and comfortable in the class. They said its standard leather seats are supple and all-day comfortable. Standard features include a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control and 10-way power front seats. Also standard is push-button start, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input jacks and a six-disc CD changer. Optional equipment when it was new includes a 14-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, navigation and voice command for climate, stereo and navigation controls. The ES has a generously-sized trunk, with up to 14.8 cubic feet of cargo volume. Standard safety features include traction and stability control, brake assist and a throttle cutoff, as well as 10 airbags.

If you want the smooth, luxurious ride of the ES but don’t necessarily need the Lexus badge, you may be able to save some money by shopping for a fully-loaded 2011 Toyota Camry, which the ES is based on.

See the full 2011 Lexus ES specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the ES but want something a bit sportier, you may like the 2011 Buick Regal, which was named our 2011 Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families and 2011 Best Upscale Sedan for the Money. Keep in mind that many critics noted that the Regal’s base engine is too weak to make the Regal a truly sporting machine.

Another alternative you may like is the 2011 Lincoln MKZ. Critics said it has a plush, comfortable interior with a larger trunk than the ES. The MKZ is also available with all-wheel drive.

Compare the ES to the Regal and MKZ »

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