Why U.S. News Loves the 2020 Lexus ES

The Lexus ES is what critics best describe as a rewarding, midsize luxury car. With the ES, you get lavishness and the trademark reliability Lexus is known for. Here’s why experts at U.S News celebrate the ES as one of the best luxury cars in 2020.

The 2020 ES has more highs than lows

A bright blue Lexus ES 350 in drive mode.
Lexus ES 350 | Lexus

While a few of the models in the Lexus lineup missed the mark this year, the 2020 ES isn’t one of them. Many respected critics have praised the ES for its long list of standard features, especially reviewers at U.S. News. The organization ranked the ES as its #3 pick in the midsize sedan luxury class.

“You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that it’s one of the smartest buys in the luxury midsize car segment. Not only does it have one of the lowest starting prices in the class, but even the base trim is brimming with interior niceties and a full suite of advanced safety systems.”

U.S. News

In addition to its numerous amenities, the ES also stands out for its lower starting price compared to class rivals like Mercedes-Benz. And even though it’s one of the more affordable options in its class, nothing feels cheap inside the ES. Simply put, the ES is excellent on value and luxury. 

What it’s like to drive the ES

U.S. News says that the ES oozes comfort and refinement from its powertrain to its handling. It’s also one of the more fuel-efficient options in its class. Base ES 350 models feature a 302-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The upper-level ES 350 F Sport has the same powertrain as the base model, but it offers sharper tuning. But even the “Sport” version isn’t sporty. The ES is what you pick if you’re looking for supreme comfort, and high performance isn’t a priority. Separately, you might want to consider the ES hybrid model if you’re looking for the most fuel-efficient option. 

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Interior elements 

The ES offers a spacious and sophisticated car cabin.
Lexus ES Interior | Lexus

On the inside, U.S. News considers the ES perfect in almost every way. It’s tranquil and elegant, plus it’s spacious enough to seat five people comfortably. Lexus’ signature faux leather upholstery comes standard on the ES with available upgrades, including genuine leather and heated and ventilated front seats. 

Another high point inside the ES is its robust infotainment system. It comes with a wifi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto -just, to name a few. The downside here is that it might take you some time to get used to the ES’ computer-like infotainment display screen. Drivers have complained about this Lexus system for years now. 

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U.S. News named the 2020 ES one of the best luxury cars you can get for under $40K. However, the ES cuts it a little close. This sedan starts at $39,900, but there might be room to negotiate.