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2016 Lexus ES Review

The 2016 Lexus ES ranks near the top of the luxury midsize car class thanks to its elegant and spacious interior, smooth ride, confident engine performance, and great safety and reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, upscale interior
  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Excellent reliability rating
  • Available Remote Touch controller is distracting to use




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Lexus ES Overview

Is the 2016 Lexus ES a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Lexus ES is a great pick if you’re shopping for a used luxury midsize car. The ES – also referred to as the ES 350 – puts an emphasis on comfort. It provides a silky-smooth ride, a roomy and quiet cabin, and clean-cut looks inside and out. Better still, the ES rates highly for reliability and safety, and it offers a large suite of advanced safety features. That said, the ES is far from the sportiest car in its class. If you’re looking for stronger performance, consider top rivals like the 2016 Audi A6 and 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 31 Lexus ES 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.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Lexus ES?

You can expect to pay between $26,900 and $37,000 for a used 2016 ES. These figures are based on over 500 listings for the 2016 Lexus ES on our site. The average list price is $32,100. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Lexus ES Cost to Own?

The 2016 ES’ five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,500 – or $4,700 per year. That’s much lower than average for the 2016 luxury midsize car class. Notably, the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid has the lowest five-year costs in this class, at just $20,400.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New ES?

The 2018 Lexus ES starts at $38,950. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used ES, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, there is one major benefit to buying new. All 2018 models come standard with the Safety System+ package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with brake assist. If these are must-have items, you may find that it’s cheaper to buy a new 2018 model than to find a used model with these features.

Read about the new Lexus ES »

That said, if you're willing to consider a nonluxury brand, you can save money while still buying new. The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry, for example, starts at just $23,495. Though it doesn’t carry the same luxury cachet as the ES, the Camry has far more standard safety features, an easier-to-use infotainment system, higher fuel economy estimates, and comparable seating space.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Lexus ES?

The ES has an excellent reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about ES reliability »

2016 Lexus ES Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one safety recall for the 2016 ES 350. Lexus has identified an issue with the car’s anti-lock brakes. A damaged O-ring within the ABS actuator could cause insufficient brake pressure and increase the risk of a crash. Before buying a used 2016 ES, make sure this recall has been addressed.

See more information on Lexus ES safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Lexus ES Is Best?

This Lexus ES generation spans the 2013 through 2018 model years. Each model year offers roughly the same features and performance, making them all good used car picks. The big differences come down to styling and standard safety features. The 2013 through 2015 models have more sedate exterior styling compared to the 2016 through 2018 models. More importantly, many safety features that were previously optional – including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control – became standard in all 2017 and 2018 models.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 ES »

Which Used Lexus ES Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 ES only comes in one trim level: ES 350. Standard features include a rearview camera, a 7-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, a moonroof, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

Available features include a navigation system, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo system, leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and a suite of active safety features.

See 2016 Lexus ES trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

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How Safe Is the ES?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 Lexus ES 350 a Top Safety Pick+ and gave it the highest rating of Good in all five categories tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the ES 350 a perfect five-star rating in overall and side impact safety, as well as four stars in front and rollover crash testing.

All 2016 Lexus ES 350 sedans come standard with a rearview camera. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and Intuitive Park Assist (front and rear parking sensors). The available Lexus Safety System+ package adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision system (forward collision warning with brake assist).

See ES safety scores »

2016 Lexus ES Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus ES or 2016 Lexus GS?

The 2016 Lexus GS and ES have a lot in common. Both sedans offer great reliability, strong engine performance, a posh cabin, and the same advanced safety features. The main difference between these sedans is how they drive. The GS, available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, trades some ride comfort for sharper driving dynamics. The front-wheel-drive ES shifts the focus to ride quality. Both are great options, though the ES is the better value. It offers more rear-seat space, its projected ownership costs are lower, and used models tend to be much less expensive than used GS models.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus ES or 2016 Lexus IS?

Think of the 2016 Lexus IS as a smaller version of the GS. If you want sports car performance, the IS will provide it. It wields sharp handling and racy engine performance. It also earns great safety scores and offers the same suite of advanced safety features as the ES and GS. Still, for most shoppers the ES remains the better buy. The ES rates higher in reliability and has lower projected ownership costs. It also offers a roomier cabin and delivers a smoother ride.

Compare the ES, GS, and IS »

2016 ES Performance

How Does the 2016 Lexus ES Drive?

The Lexus ES 350 comes standard with a 268-horsepower V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The engine operates smoothly and hustles the sedan up to speed with ease – zero to 60 mph takes about seven seconds. The refined transmission changes gears seamlessly and delivers prompt downshifts when more power is needed. The ES impresses most, however, with its smooth and comfortable ride. The suspension soaks up rough pavement nicely, while keeping the sedan stable around turns. The steering is crisp, and the brakes slow down the car with confidence.

Does the 2016 Lexus ES Get Good Gas Mileage?

The ES 350 gets 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is about average for a 2016 luxury midsize car. Consider the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid (also called the ES 300h) if you want better fuel economy; it gets up to 40/39 mpg city/highway.

Read more about ES performance »

2016 ES Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 ES Seat?

The Lexus ES 350 has five seats in its quiet, upscale cabin. The dashboard sports a clean design, and most interior materials have a quality look and feel, especially the available wood trim. The front seats are plush and supportive, offering excellent comfort on long drives. The rear seats are cozy as well, and there’s ample headroom and legroom for adults in front and back. Leatherette seats are standard; leather, heated, and ventilated seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Lexus ES?

The ES has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system an Acceptable rating for its ease of use, saying some of the anchors are hard to access and require too much force to attach.

2016 Lexus ES Features

The 2016 Lexus ES 350 comes standard with an infotainment screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, satellite radio, and Siri Eyes Free connectivity. Available features include a navigation system and an excellent Mark Levinson stereo. The standard audio and climate controls are conveniently located on the dashboard, and they’re paired with Lexus’ simple Display Audio infotainment system. You control this 7-inch screen using a dial on the center console. Opting for the navigation system adds Lexus’ Remote Touch interface, which isn’t as user-friendly. It replaces the dial with a mouselike controller, which feels overly sensitive and can be distracting to use when driving.

See 2016 Lexus ES specs »

Read more about ES interior »

2016 Lexus ES Dimensions

Lexus ES Cargo Space

The ES 350 has 15.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is average for a luxury midsize car.

2016 ES Length and Weight

The Lexus ES 350 is 16.1 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,571 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Lexus ES Built?

The 2016 Lexus ES was built in Georgetown, Kentucky, along with the 2016 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, and Avalon Hybrid.

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