Leather seats are standard for 2011, otherwise the ES 350 stays the same as last year.
The front-wheel-drive 2011 Lexus ES 350 is an excellent entry in the luxury mid-size segment. It takes a proven powertrain from parent company Toyota and adds a healthy lineup of luxury equipment to present a very comfortable and understated package.
A 3.5L V6 with dual Variable Valve Timing powers the ES 350, helping it put out 272 hp through a 6-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission, the only powertrain available. Lexus claims a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.8 seconds with EPA fuel economy rated at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The ES rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and is also a nimble handler thanks to a fully independent suspension and speed-sensing, progressive power steering.
Inside is where the ES really shines however. Standard luxury features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Lexus Memory to control the driver's seat, sideview mirrors and steering wheel, a supple leather interior with brown walnut or bird's eye maple accents. The ES also features loads of standard technology goodies, like Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and an 8-speaker sound system with in-dash, 6-disc CD stereo.
Standalone options on the ES include HID adaptive headlamps and a pre-collision system with dynamic radar cruise control. Popular options packages include a $4,065 Navigation/Mark Levinson Package that boasts a voice-activated hard-disk navigation system, color LCD display with backup camera, Bluetooth and a 14-speaker, 300-watt premium surround sound audio system with an in-dash CD/DVD auto changer. The Ultra-Luxury Package adds perforated semi-aniline leather, special wood inlays, heated and ventilated front seats and a panorama glass roof.
The ES 350 excels in the safety department, with stability and traction control, anti-lock braking with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a bevy of airbags for both front and rear passengers.