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2013 Lexus ES Review

The Lexus ES 350 has a comfortable ride and interior, great safety ratings, and excellent reliability. However, its sedate handling sets it back in this class of mostly sporty luxury sedans. 

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious, upscale interior
  • Peppy V6 engine
  • Smooth ride
  • Dull handling
  • Clumsy navigation controls




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Lexus ES Overview

Is the 2013 Lexus ES a Good Used Car?

The Lexus ES is a good pick if you’re shopping for a used luxury midsize car with an emphasis on comfort. It has a plush ride, a roomy interior, and elegant styling inside and out. It also rates near the top of its class for reliability and crash safety. That said, there are far more agile and fun-to-drive options in this class, including the ES’ own sibling – the Lexus GS.

Used 2013 Lexus ES Performance and Interior

The Lexus ES 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 268 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. The engine operates smoothly and yields confident acceleration and passing power, while the transmission provides quick and seamless gear changes. Fuel economy is good by class standards at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The Lexus ES has a soft suspension, which smooths out bumps and potholes nicely at lower speeds, and provides a composed ride at highway speeds. It also feels stable and surefooted when rounding corners, albeit unexciting. The power steering is numb. The brakes are strong, though the pedal feels mushy.

Read more about ES performance »

The Lexus ES seats five and pairs its crisp exterior design with equally refined interior styling. The dashboard has an elegant appearance, and most cabin materials have a quality look and feel. Wind and road noise are minimal, as well. The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and offer great head- and legroom. The rear seats are especially roomy, and even tall passengers can find ample space to stretch out. There are two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Lexus ES has 15.2 cubic feet of trunk space. There’s a pass-through for fitting longer items in the trunk. Notably, the rear seats don’t fold down.

Lexus offers the ES sedan with two different infotainment systems. The available Display Audio system features a 7-inch infotainment screen, which is controlled using a rotary dial near the gear shifter. It’s easy-to-use, though its functions are rather limited. The available Remote Touch interface comes with a navigation system and a larger 8-inch screen. However, it’s very cumbersome to use while driving. Remote Touch replaces the rotary dial with a mouse-like controller, which guides an on-screen cursor.

Read more about ES interior »

Used 2013 Lexus ES Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Lexus ES 350 is about $20,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 23 Lexus ES 350 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experienced combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our car reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Lexus ES?

The 2013 Lexus ES 350 has excellent reliability, earning a score of five out of five in J.D. Power’s reliability ratings.

Read more about reliability »

How Safe Is the Lexus ES?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Lexus ES 350 a 2013 Top Safety Pick and gave it scores of Good (the highest offered) in all four areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the ES a perfect five-star rating in overall, front, and side crash tests, as well as four stars in rollover crash testing.

Lexus offers the 2013 ES sedan with an available rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and Lexus’ Pre-Collision System (PCS). This system includes adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake assist (applies the brakes if the driver fails to do so).

See ES safety scores »

Is the 2013 ES 350 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 model year is the best place to start if you’re shopping for a used ES 350. Lexus redesigned the ES sedan for 2013, and the model saw no major updates over the next two years. Buying a used 2013 ES 350 will get you many of the same features as the 2014 and 2015 models, but often at a lower price.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 ES 350 »

Which Used Lexus ES Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the 2013 ES sedan in one trim level: ES 350. Standard features include satellite radio, a CD player, USB input, Bluetooth, cruise control, keyless entry, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, and alloy wheels. Available features include 7- or 8-inch infotainment screens, a navigation system, 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, semi-aniline leather seats, ventilated and heated seats (front), rain-sensing wipers, and a suite of advanced safety features.

You may want to shop for a certified pre-owned Lexus ES 350. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new car powertrain warranty to cover six years or unlimited mileage. Lexus puts its CPO vehicles through a 165-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Lexus certified pre-owned program »

2013 Lexus ES and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES 350 or 2013 Lexus ES 300h?

The Lexus ES 300h is the hybrid version of the ES 350 sedan. Both models share the same tech and safety features, and each impresses with its smooth ride and spacious five-passenger cabin. Both also earn superb reliability ratings. The core difference is found under the hood. The ES 300h has a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, which offers less muscle but far better fuel economy (40/39 mpg). Both are great options for used car shoppers.

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES 350 or 2013 Lexus GS 350?

The 2013 Lexus GS and ES share a lot of common ground. Both have muscular V6 engines, well-trimmed interiors, great reliability ratings, and many of the same advanced safety features. The main difference between these luxury sedans is how they drive. The front-drive ES prioritizes ride comfort over handling. Its driving dynamics are composed, but unexciting. The GS, available in rear- and all-wheel drive, trades some ride comfort for much sharper and athletic handling. Regardless, both are great used car options.

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES 350 or 2013 Toyota Avalon?

The 2013 Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES 350 share the same vehicle platform. In fact, both have the same V6 engine. Each offers great safety features, a plush ride, and roomy seating space. If you can do without the luxury brand name, the Toyota Avalon is the better deal. Used models are often much less expensive. The Avalon’s touch screen is also easier to use, and there’s minimal difference in material quality between both cars.

Compare the ES, GS, and Avalon »

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