- Plush ride quality
- Loads of amenities
- Multiple powertrain options
- Surprisingly good value
- Pricing starts at $41,340 (plus $1,150 destination) | Price yours
- On sale now | See listings near you
For the fifth year in a row, the Lexus ES has driven away with the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award among luxury cars. That remarkable streak is a testament to a truly remarkable car that continues to surprise and delight us every time we get behind the wheel. The Lexus ES just does everything right.
Lexus’ midsize sedan checks all the boxes for a luxury vehicle — and then some — yet does so in an unpretentious way. On the road, its manners are without fault, yet the success story of the ES goes far beyond it being a rewarding car to drive. Its narrative includes plot lines not usually associated with luxury cars, including a stellar value proposition and rock-solid reliability. If there’s an automotive equivalent to a fairy tale, the ES is it. Here’s why.
Surprisingly Great Value
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Luxury cars aren’t usually associated with value. Yet, the Lexus ES is. The 2023 Lexus ES starts at $41,340. To put it in perspective, that’s over $7,000 less than the average price of a new car, period. When compared to the average price of a luxury car, the ES — which is definitely a luxury car — is over $25,000 less.
Yet, you still get loads of luxurious features in the ES that go beyond the badge. Even the most affordable Lexus ES is packed with amenities like dual-zone climate control, 10-way power front seats, a moonroof, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Safety features also come in spades thanks to standard blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, collision mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and more. For 2023, the Lexus ES has been improved with a redesigned center console with a sunglass holder and a new voice command system. No wonder it also tops our list as the best midsize luxury car.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to what’s under the hood of the Lexus ES, with powertrains to satisfy the wants and needs of a variety of drivers. Buyers can choose from a base 4-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive (AWD) in ES 250 models, a smooth and powerful V6 in the ES 350 with 302 horsepower, or a fuel-sipping hybrid in the ES 300h that returns 44 mpg combined.
Touching back on that value story again, both the ES 250 with AWD and the front-wheel-drive V6-powered ES 350 start at the same price. The ES 300h (Hybrid) isn’t much more, starting at $42,540. With gas prices being what they are, those buyers will likely make up that $1,200 premium sooner rather than later.
In addition to the choice of powertrains, buyers can elect for a zestier ES model by choosing an F Sport edition for any of them. This adds some flash with elements like a rear spoiler and blacked-out treatments. For F Sport Handling editions — available with the V6 or ES Hybrid — performance is enhanced thanks to an adaptive suspension.
In our full review of the 2023 Lexus ES, we found that it excels most at being comfortable and tranquil. And couldn’t we all use more of that these days? In our hours and hours and miles and miles behind the wheel, we’ve always found it to be a vehicular cocoon. If we had to drive cross-country tomorrow and were told to pick a car, we’d grab the keys to a Lexus ES.
Reputation for Reliability
This car’s enviable reputation doesn’t end with supple manners. The Lexus ES is equally well-regarded for its reliability and resale value. Toyota vehicles — including those made by its Lexus luxury brand — are known to serve hundreds of thousands of miles and run for decades without the kind of costly headaches that might come with other cars — especially luxury ones.
In fact, Toyota and Lexus took the crowns for our Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own Awards in the respective Best Brand and Best Luxury Brand categories.
That saying about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts seems especially apt with the Lexus ES. It does many specific things very well. As a complete package, though, it all adds up again to be the Best Buy among luxury cars.
Photo Tour: 2023 Lexus ES
More 2023 Lexus ES
Our 2023 Best Buy Award Winners