The 2011 Lexus ES 350 is once again a top entry-level luxury sedan thanks to its super smooth and quiet ride, elegant interior, long list of standard features, high-tech feature availability and solid build quality. And this year, an appealing new attribute is the V6 engine's revised calibration, allowing it to now run perfectly on regular octane gas.
The Lexus ES 350 fits the traditional description of a luxury car with its plush ride and pampering features. It is not, however, trying to also double as a high-powered and dynamic handling sports car, as has been the trend more recently in the luxury segment. It's sticking to what it does exceptionally well: to provide comfort, refinement and elegance at a reasonable price.
The ES 350's engine provides segment-competitive power and a nearly silent driving experience that also handles road bumps and imperfections with ease, while surrounding its occupants in top-notch leather upholstery, genuine wood trim and as much or as little high-tech features as one wants. In fact, the ES 350's interior is as good or better than many other more expensive luxury sedans.
The ES 350 is a front-wheel drive midsize luxury sedan with standard features that include leather upholstery, full power accessories, 10-way power front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, foglights, keyless entry/ignition, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, heated exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming mirror, automatic wipers, driver memory settings, wood interior trim, Bluetooth phone and music streaming capability, and an 8-speaker audio system with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, an iPod interface, and auxiliary audio and USB audio jacks.
Optional feature choices for the 2011 ES 350 are also extensive, with many being grouped into packages. Among the more notable are a panoramic sunroof, a self-parking system, upgraded leather upholstery, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, xenon adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system, front passenger seat memory settings and a power rear sunshade.
There's also a hard-drive-based navigation system option that includes real-time traffic updates, voice commands, a back-up camera and the Lexus Enform telematics system. A Mark Levinson 14-speaker audio system can also be added to the navigation system.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Lexus ES 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a robust 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, and has been recalibrated to run on standard 87-octane fuel. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The ES 350's 0-60 mph time comes in at a class-respectable 7.0 seconds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the ES 350 is the same 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway as the previous premium fuel model.
Standard safety features include antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags. In addition, a radar-based pre-collision system and Lexus Enform and Safety Connect telematics are available as options.
In government crash tests, the ES 350 received the highest possible rating of five stars for frontal-impact protection, five stars for front seat side-impact protection and four stars for rear side-impact protection.
The ES 350's cabin is truly luxurious and is one of its most valued features. It is attractive, solidly contructed with high quality materials and loaded with features normally associated with more expensive sedans. With all its pampering qualities, supple leather upholstery and genuine wood trim, the ES 350 boasts an interior that is as good as it gets in its price range.
The seating is also comfortable, supportive and roomy with plenty of head and legroom both front in rear. Cargo capacity is also ample with a 14.7 cubic foot trunk. And the use of the cargo pass-through and folding rear seats allows for accommodating longer items.
The 2011 Lexus ES 350 provides a refined, smooth and blissfully quiet driving experience. The healthy V6 engine provides smooth performance and acceleration. This, combined with the suspension's overall soft ride, is likely to please nearly everyone who favors comfort and pleasure over sporty driving dynamics.
The cabin is exceptionally quiet, especially at at highway speeds, and road bumps and rough spots are barely perceptible, making for an accommodating experience both around town and on long distance treks.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try a Wholesale Auto Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
Price: 2011 Lexus ES 350:
FWD, auto: list price: $36,025, invoice price: $32,662
Ultra Luxury Pkg: list price: $3,535, invoice price: $2,828
Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Pkg: list price: $4,065, invoice price: $3,320