This Is Why America Loves The 2018 Lexus ES 350 So Much

Lexus is currently enjoying immense success with the ES 350 in the U.S. market, comfortably outselling its rivals in the luxury sedan segment even after all those years.

Perhaps it’s because the Lexus ES 350 is seen as an honest, well-built luxury four-door sedan with a great reputation and offering even greater value for money. After all it starts at $39,945, which makes it significantly cheaper than something in the mid-size luxury segment like the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series.

It might not be as technologically advanced as those cars, but still the Lexus ES is luxurious and relaxing enough for plenty of paying customers. Despite the wider use of plastic, the cabin remains a nice place to spend some time in as a passenger.

The fact that the dashboard still makes use of physical buttons alongside the company’s infotainment system also makes the ES 350 friendlier to use to those who still can’t see the point of having everything operated via a touchscreen, as Edmunds notes in their latest video review.

Sure it looks a bit dated inside and out and it doesn’t set the road on fire every time you go near the throttle, thanks to the 3.5-liter V6 making “just” 268hp. It’s not bad, in fact the engine is buttery-smooth, but it’s still slower than a base E-Class.

Despite being based on the same platform with the Toyota Avalon, the Lexus ES 350 has managed to gain a large following in the market, thanks to its honest, no-BS luxurious and relaxing character. It’ll be interesting to see what Lexus did with the ES when they launch its successor next year.



  • Ron

    Because when it comes to driving, Americans are boring sheep who think leather seats equal luxury. There’s your answer.

    • G82FS


    • LJ

      Great insight there, Ronald.

    • Naah..we have a wide variety of road types and long distances…if the U.S. vanishes there would be very little markets for those super hyper-cars…say adios to Ferrari, Lamborghini, M-B, BMW, Audi, etc…the U.S. is the #1 market for high-end and high-performance cars…

    • cooper

      You hit it right on the head. Toyoder and lexus drivers basically have given up on life and/or driving.

    • Kate E

      Most people consider driving a chore. They don’t need exotic supercars like you do.

    • wait a minute

      sells more than e-class and 5-series is surely a sign that not all buyers want over loaded tech cabins with turbo 4 pots motors.

  • Harry Nimmergut

    A $40K Camry, plain and simple. I thought the ’19 was to be all new. Guess not.

    • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

      This is the ’18. wait the ’19 this year in a major auto show, maybe Beijing or Shanghai

  • Autoexperte

    a Camry, but with luxus and stronger engines

  • Harry_Wild

    Oh come on now! Just look at the front end! LOL!

  • DMax

    Old people love it. And there’s no shortage of old people in the US. That’s why it sells.

  • Six_Tymes

    cant we ever move past that old outdated phrase?

  • Craig

    As far as Lexus CARS go… the ES is the one I would want. I owned an LS400 for over a decade. The ES is the closest to that LS in enough ways to make it the most familiar. And most appreciated. [By old time LS owners]

  • EJC

    Interesting article and comments, it would seem people forget to define their needs. I have a ’16 ES350 and love it. We routinely do 900mi trips and it is our mule. We set it to “Sport” mode (which is a generous term) which tightens things up just enough too make for an enjoyable and comfortable drive. Ergonomically, the car is a joy with easy to reach controls, although I did have to run USB from the center console to the dash for our phones. There is no question that the car is a boulevard cruiser, but with the big trunk and big back seat it is perfect and reasonably priced for our purposes.
    As to BMW, I found they’re Stability Control too intrusive. Mercedes and I had a run in over their gummed up valve issue in 2000, they lost a customer and lost a class action suit over the issue .
    When I want performance I buy a performance car. We also have a ’10 IS-F, ’13 Boxster (and no I don’t like the 718 4cyl), and a ’16 MX-5.
    All 4 are joys to drive and I’d buy them all again.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      “As to BMW, I found they’re Stability Control too intrusive.”

      I’ve never driven a vehicle with more a more intrusive ESC system than an ES350. Ever.

  • FoxJ30

    It is, but for most people who can’t tell FWD from their rear end and have never heard of the acronym RWD, it doesn’t matter. And for much of the rest of the audience, rear wheel drive just means the car is more likely to get stuck in the snow. In which case, these people pick based on size, and in that regard, the ES and the German 3 are comparable.

  • FoxJ30

    – It’s comfortable
    – It’s fast and efficient enough
    – It suggests a bit of money
    – Shouldn’t have any major trouble before 100k, so a problem free decade of ownership.

    If only they weren’t so ugly – they’re far too high riding on 17″ wheels that actually look like they’re borrowed from underneath an office chair. Actually, I’d look forward to an ES on the new Camry platform. The Camry itself is overdone, but if you concentrate on just the shape, it’s actually much better proportioned (and dare I say sporty) compared to the previous utilitarian effort.

  • Larissafc2006

    41 years old. I have an xdrive bmw but prefer the front drive lexus.

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