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2015 Lexus ES Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Lexus ES was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.4

Critics are satisfied with the 2015 Lexus ES’ powerful engine and comfortable ride, though some note it’s not a particularly sporty or thrilling car to drive.

  • "On the road, the ES feels more responsive than ever, but that's not saying much. At heart, this Lexus remains a classic luxury car with a creamy, tranquil ride, and that's the way ES buyers like it. Frankly, we like it, too." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2015 Lexus ES 350 delivers a refined driving experience that's bolstered by a V6 engine that's smooth and responsive." -- Edmunds
  • "Lest we be accused of damning it with faint praise, we should point out the strong V6, the comfortable yet agile suspension, and the 40 mpg-plus you'll get in the hybrid model." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Lexus ES 350 comes with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the 2015 ES 350 gets 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is good for a V6-powered upscale midsize car.

Test drivers say the ES 350’s V6 engine is smooth, sounds great and provides quick acceleration, with plenty of power for highway merging and passing.

  • "With enough power to accelerate the ES 350 to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds, the ES is surprisingly quick, with ample power for passing or merging." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Its V6 engine is the epitome of refinement, delivering smooth acceleration unmarred by coarseness." -- Edmunds
  • "Under the hood, the ES 350's tried-and-true V6 may just be a Camry transplant, but it's still a fantastic engine, ripping to redline with a velvety snarl when provoked." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The standard V-6 is a seasoned champ, frisky enough to serve in the Lotus Evora sports car. It's potent, smooth, and makes an aggressive yowl under a heavy foot." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Handling and Braking

Auto writers say the 2015 Lexus ES 350 has a very comfortable ride. A few add that it has composed handling, precise steering, and well-controlled body motions through turns. Test drivers agree that the ES 350 is less engaging to drive than many of its sporty class competitors, though.

  • "Ride quality is similarly well-mannered and passengers are nestled in a bubble of comfort. This comfort is tempered with reasonably keen handling. Although it isn't one of those sport sedans, its reflexes are actually sharp enough to facilitate a certain measure of driver engagement, which can't be said of Lexus ES models of the past." -- Edmunds
  • "Through turns, the steering is commendably accurate for a big sedan's. Still, the ES 350's Sport mode provides a welcome increase in steering effort, since the steering feels a little too light in 'Normal' mode." -- Edmunds
  • "A stiffer structure and revised steering ratio help make the comfy cruiser a bit better of a dance partner on the backroads." -- Left Lane News
  • Body roll is reasonably controlled, but the ES still places the emphasis on a comfortable ride." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

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