2016 lexus es350 Model Overview
New for 2016
The 2016 Lexus ES 350 gains a refreshed exterior featuring a chrome-trimmed grilled, LED headlights, L-shaped taillights, and semi-integrated exhausts. Lexus’ suite of safety and driver assistance aids, called Lexus Safety System+ is now available along with an updated version of Lexus Enform Remote and Lexus Enform Service Connect. New interior trims have been added including Dark Mocha Wood, Piano Black wood, and Bamboo with matte finish. A new interior color called Flaxen is also a new addition. Four new exterior colors have been added: Autumn Shimmer, Nightfall Mica, Caviar, and Eminent White Pearl. The Mark Levinson sound system and panoramic sunroof can now be had with all available option packages.
The 2016 Lexus ES 350 is a five-passenger front-drive midsize luxury sedan that slots below the rear-drive GS 350 sports sedan and above the compact CT 200h hybrid hatchback. A hybrid variant called the ES 300h is also available.
A 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque is the standard engine in the 2016 ES 350 and it’s paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid variant, called the ES 300h, uses a 2.5-liter I-4 paired to an electric motor for a total system output of 200 hp and is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
At 15.2 cubic feet, the ES 350’s trunk is generous, but it can’t be expanded because the rear seats don’t split and fold. The ES 300h’s trunk is even smaller at 12.1 cubic feet due to the extra powertrain components eating into cargo space. Passenger room, on the other hand, is generous, with plenty of space for four passengers in both the ES 350 and ES 300h.
In addition to the standard dual front, front-side, and side curtain air bags, the 2016 ES 350 comes with knee airbags for front occupants and rear-side airbags. Lexus’ suite of safety and driver assistance features, called Lexus Safety System+, is also available and includes lane departure warning with steering assist, intelligent high beam, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision System, which combines forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Base models of the 2016 Lexus ES come standard with a drive mode selector, a moonroof, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, power-adjustable front seats, and keyless entry and start. Additional features such as a panoramic moonroof, perforated leather upholstery, navigation, the Mark Levinson sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels, and HID headlights are available as standalone options or part of a package.
What We Think
In a 2014 First Test review, we said that the move to the Toyota Avalon platform has made the Lexus ES 350 substantially more spacious than before especially in the rear where there’s much more legroom. The 268-hp V-6 provides plenty of power, making highway maneuvers effortless. However, steering feel is lacking and doesn’t tell the driver what the front wheels are doing. In a comparison test that also included the Hyundai Azera and Buick LaCrosse, a pre-refresh ES 350 placed third because its cabin didn’t have enough sound deadening and subpar build quality. Additionally, the front seats didn’t offer much in terms of comfort and lacks side bolstering to keep the occupant in place.
The powertrain options in the Lexus ES 350 are shared with the Toyota Avalon and Camry.
- Quick in a straight line with the V-6
- Spacious rear seats
You Won’t Like:
- Poor steering feel
- Loud interior
- Front seats don’t have enough side support