The top selling, luxury Lexus ES model for 2011 has gotten some nice refreshments for this model year. Some of the enhancements were planned too. Those that were not planned however, were changes that had to be made due to recalls of the floormats and pedals. The recall occurred due to safety concerns that Toyota had to address.
The ES for 2010 got a new frontal grille, new side mirrors with integrated turn signals, new taillights, new foglights, and brand new headlights. The vehicle is also offered with a new 17-inch wheel design. Additional add-ons include things like rain sensing wiper blades, driver-seat memory, leather seats, USB ports, Safety Connect, XM satellite radio, and rear and side airbags.
The Lexus ES for 2011 has some more changes. A change of motors allows the new model to run on unleaded, regular gas. The motor inclusion is a 3.5-Liter V-6, 268 horsepower engine offering 248 ft-lbs of torque. The 2010 offering only offered 272 horsepower and 254 ft-lbs of torque. The engine is married to one transmission option: a six-speed auto tranny…. Expand full summary
Body styles: Sedan
Engines: 3.5L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic
Models: ES 350
After a mild refresh added new styling cues for 2010, not too much changes for 2011. The 3.5-liter V-6 returns, now with six fewer horsepower (now 268) and six fewer pound-feet of torque (now 248). However, Lexus has changed the recommended fuel from premium to regular. The other changes: leather interior trim is now standard, and Deep Sea Mica replaces Black Sapphire Pearl.
When it comes to looks and foundation, this is the luxury version of the Camry (although the Avalon is also a Camry in a tux). They share the same 109.3-inch wheelbase, but styling changes differentiate the two. The ES comes with a choice of 17-inch wheels.
For 2011, leather interior trim is standard on the ES. Last year’s changes carry over, too: new steering wheel buttons, contrast stitching, a new cover on the center console, new nav software, and new Bluetooth audio and phone features.
Performance & Handling
Lexus estimates that the 2011 ES will scoot from 0-to-60 in roughly 7.0 seconds, a couple of ticks slower than the 2010 model. Other than that, the ES line isn’t designed to be a canyon-carver; this is more about a luxury car that provides a smooth ride, and it does. Suspension is soft and compliant.
Dual front, dual front knee, front and rear side curtain, and front and rear side airbags (10 total) are standard on the ES; so are stability control, traction control, four-wheel discs with ABS, brake assist, and electronic brakeforce distribution.
EPA Fuel Economy
19 mpg city/27 mpg highway
* Plenty of standard features
* Smooth ride
* Quiet interior
* Large trunk
You Won’t Like
* Soft suspension
* Non-sporty drive
3 Star Rating More bland than bold
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