2016 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan Review

2016 Lexus ES 350 4-Door Sedan
Quiet Ride
Luxury Interior
Mouse Control Feature

If you are looking for smooth, quiet, and comfortable, you’ve come to the right place. The Lexus ES 350 offers a smooth ride and a quiet and comfortable cabin for its occupants to enjoy. It’s a noisy world out there and this luxury sedan offers a respite from the city and it’s stress-producing activities. Over weekend, we checked out a beautiful Nightfall Mica 2016 Lexus ES 350 and saw just how it handles the city’s pace.

What’s New For 2016?

For 2016, the exterior styling has been revised and new features inside have been added. Outside, it gets a new nose that shows off a signature spindle grille that’s bigger and more aggressive. The ES 350 gets flashy LED headlamps and a bolder front fascia.  At the back, the taillights are shaped like the letter “L,” and the exhaust tips are trapezoids.

New wheels are available for 2016 Lexus ES models as well.

Features & Options

The 2016 Lexus ES 350 ($38,000) comes with keyless ignition and entry, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way adjustable lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and rearview camera. Also standard is an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and an iPod/USB audio interface.

This ES 350 tester came with the optional Navigation/Mark Levinson audio package ($2,650) that included a larger 8-inch display screen, Remote Touch electronics interface, voice controls, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, text-to-speech functionality and the Enform suite of smartphone-connected apps and concierge services. It also came with the 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.

Additional Packages

The Safety System+ package ($1,015) includes adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning system, lane departure warning system with steering assist, and automatic high-beam headlight control.

The Ultra Luxury package ($3,500) added driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and wood trim, parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, and a power rear window sunshade. It also adds automatic wipers, a power-operated trunk lid, a panoramic sunroof, manual rear door sunshades, ambient interior lighting, power driver seat cushion extender, and passenger seat memory functions.

Total MSRP including destination: $49,160

Interior Highlights

Stepping inside the cabin of the ES 350 immediately lowers your heat rate. Not because it’s boring, but because it has an airy and sophisticated feel to it. You can leave your stress outside and be immediately comforted by the refined interior that offers leather, wood trim, a heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated seats. The shelf-like dash gives off a feeling of space, even with the available seven-inch navigation screen prominently sitting in the middle.

Crank up the optional Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium audio system, sit back, and it becomes a comfortable place to spend quality time. 

The one thing you won’t notice is excessive sound from the outside. When the car is moving, it’s a quiet place to get away from the busy outside world. In the back, the sense of space continues with a back seat that offers an abundance of legroom for passengers. Three adults can fit back there. When cargo capacity is needed, the rear seatback drops down and opens to the trunk.

Our tester came with an optional safety package with pre-collision/lane departure alert, steering assist, automatic high/low beams, and adaptive cruise control. A blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert was useful this week as we parked and navigated in tight city traffic. The only complaint we have is with the mouse-like control with a pointer on the screen. It’s a bit awkward and distracting.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Lexus ES350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 and smooth 6-speed automatic transmission. The all-aluminum engine saves weight and produces 268 horsepower. The luxury sedan gets an EPA-rated 21/31 city/highway and 24 combined mpg. We didn’t get anywhere near that, but we were not just driving in the city, but also in the mountains through Colorado’s high altitude.

Driving Dynamics

Like the cabin, the driving dynamics of the Lexus ES 350 provide a smooth and quiet ride that leaves you relaxed, even after a long commute in city traffic. If you are looking for sporty and fast, this isn’t the luxury sedan for you. If you want a demeanor that is relaxed with enough performance to get you to a late appointment with clients, this is a good choice.

The 3.5-liter V6 with its 268 horsepower makes the ES 350 quick enough.

The engine is smooth and revs through the transmission’s six gears seamlessly. The luxury sedan is so smooth and quiet, we found ourselves exceeding the speed limit often before we were aware of it.


If you need to transport people around the busy city for business or pleasure, the 2016 Lexus ES 350 would be the ideal car. It won’t stress you out and will leave you and your clients relaxed and ready for a day of activities. The Lexus ES 350 offers a comfortable ride, good handling for city commutes, and a roomy and luxurious interior.

*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

*Video provided by Newport Lexus, 3901 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660

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  1. Great write up! Not everybody in their 20s wants a sporty car…luxury to me means quiet, smooth, soaking up bumps of poor roads. Always confident and reliable. That is the ES.

  2. A perfect car!! Lexus ES 350 is one of the best chosen cars for long journeys. I have now made my mind to buy it for travelling. It looks so comfortable and reliable. Thanks Denis for sharing this post.

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