Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid – Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Lexus ES 350, a luxury sedan known for its refinement and performance. While the Lexus ES 350 has garnered a strong reputation for reliability and comfort, not all model years have been created equal.

In this article, we’ll delve into the specific years that, unfortunately, fall short of the brand’s stellar track record.

If you’re considering purchasing a used or pre-owned Lexus ES 350, it’s crucial to be informed about the potential pitfalls associated with certain model years.

As discerning car buyers, we understand the importance of making an informed decision before investing our hard-earned money in a luxury vehicle.

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid

However, like any other automobile, certain model years may come with specific issues that are worth taking note of.

As you embark on your journey to find the ideal Lexus ES 350, it’s essential to know which years may present more problems than others.

Our goal is to provide you with valuable insights, helping you steer clear of potential headaches and unexpected expenses.

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid

We’ve carefully compiled data and analyzed expert opinions to give you a comprehensive overview of the worst years for the Lexus ES 350.

As you embark on your quest to find the perfect Lexus ES 350, arming yourself with knowledge about the years to avoid and the standout performers is vital.

Our aim with this article is to empower you, the buyer, with valuable information, enabling you to confidently choose a Lexus ES 350 that meets your expectations and delivers a driving experience you’ll cherish for years to come.

The Lexus ES 350 has long been admired for its luxurious features, smooth ride, and overall performance.

As with any vehicle, though, there are certain model years that may not live up to the brand’s esteemed reputation.

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid

Let’s take a closer look at the models you might want to approach with caution. Here are the years that you might want to think twice about:

2007 Lexus ES 350

The 2007 Lexus ES 350, while not inherently unreliable, had its share of complaints. It earned a “CR Recommended” badge from Consumer Reports, indicating decent reliability and customer satisfaction.

However, this year saw an increased number of complaints at, primarily centered around interior accessories problems.

Despite its positive aspects, it’s advisable to approach this model year with caution.

Read Also: Lexus IS 250 Years to Avoid

2008 Lexus ES 350

The 2008 ES 350 didn’t face significant widespread issues, but it didn’t stand out either. With improved offerings in subsequent years, this model might not be the most desirable choice among used Lexus ES 350 options.

2011 Lexus ES 350

While the 2011 ES 350 improved over its predecessor, it still falls short in comparison to later model years. If possible, consider exploring newer alternatives.

2013 Lexus ES 350

This particular year marked a surge in consumer complaints and parts failures for the Lexus ES 350. Although these problems subsided in subsequent years, it’s essential to exercise caution if considering a 2013 model.

2014 Lexus ES 350

The 2014 ES 350 witnessed a few complaints regarding engine issues and dashboard rattling, making it less appealing when compared to other years.

2015 Lexus ES 350

Similar to the 2014 model, the 2015 ES 350 also faced concerns related to engine problems and dashboard rattling. While not inherently unreliable, it may not be the most satisfying option within the Lexus ES 350 lineup.

The list of years to avoid might be slim compared to some other vehicle brands, highlighting the overall excellence of this model.

Many of the concerns faced by these models would not necessarily classify them as outright “bad” cars; they merely lag behind their more refined counterparts.

If you come across a great deal on a used Lexus ES 350 from the listed years, it might not necessarily be a red flag.

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Remember that models from later years typically benefit from advancements and refinements, offering a more satisfying ownership experience.

Best Lexus ES 350 Year

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Amidst the concerns surrounding certain model years, there have been standout performers – Lexus ES 350s that shine in terms of reliability and overall satisfaction.

The Lexus ES 350, with its elegant design, smooth ride, and abundance of features, has long been a top choice for drivers seeking both comfort and performance.

We’ll also share insights into the best years to consider, ensuring you have a well-rounded understanding of your options.

Best Lexus ES 350 Year

We’ll explore the most reliable Lexus ES 350 years based on data and user experiences, helping you make an informed decision about your next purchase.

1997 Lexus ES 350: An Affordable and Reliable Option

The 1997 Lexus ES 350 stands as an excellent option for those seeking a reliable and affordable used luxury sedan. When it was first released, it received high praise for its excellent predicted reliability and manufacturing quality.

Many satisfied Edmunds users have shared their positive experiences, boasting of the vehicle lasting well over 200,000 miles.

Some even claimed to have reached an impressive 300,000 miles with their 1997 ES.

While the 1997 model may have a few common problems, such as the illuminating check engine light due to a failed O2 sensor and ignition coil failures, its overall reliability and performance make it a worthy contender.

With a current price range of $5,581 to $9,044, the 1997 Lexus ES 350 undoubtedly deserves a spot on your shortlist.

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2000-2001 Lexus ES 350: Value and Unbeatable Reliability

Both the 2000 and 2001 Lexus ES 350 model years continue to stand as prime examples of reliable and valuable luxury sedans.

The 2000 ES offers a quiet and smooth ride, a spacious interior, and a well-equipped model, making it an excellent choice for those seeking exceptional value in a used vehicle.

Likewise, the 2001 ES 300 delivers incredible comfort, ergonomics, and excellent visibility while boasting unbeatable reliability.

Many drivers have reported putting over 200,000 miles on their 2001 ES models with ease, further solidifying their reputation for longevity and dependability.

2003-2005 Lexus ES 350: Epitomes of Reliability

The trio of 2003, 2004, and 2005 Lexus ES 350 models undoubtedly represents some of the most reliable offerings from the brand.

All three model years earned the prestigious “CR Recommended” badge from Consumer Reports, with the 2005 ES achieving a perfect reliability score of 5.0 out of 5.0.

Owners consistently praise these models, hailing them as some of the best vehicles they’ve ever owned. The 2003 and 2004 models also boast high customer satisfaction ratings.

If you’re in search of a fourth-generation Lexus ES, these years are undoubtedly your best bet for a dependable and enjoyable ownership experience.

2010-2012 Lexus ES 350: Toyota’s Crowning Achievement

The 2010-2012 Lexus ES 350 model years represent Toyota’s crowning achievement in the luxury segment. All three models earned the “CR Recommended” badge, boasting a perfect reliability score of 5.0 out of 5.0.

The 2011 ES, in particular, was awarded the “Awesome” seal of approval from CarComplaints, with only a handful of complaints mainly related to interior accessory issues.

Customers across various websites, including, KBB, and Edmunds, have favorably reviewed the 2010-2012 ES models, further solidifying their reputation for reliability and overall satisfaction.

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2013-2018 Lexus ES 350: The Reliable Sixth-Generation Models

The entire sixth-generation Lexus ES, spanning from 2013 to 2018, has been widely regarded as reliable while offering a comfortable ride, a serene interior, and impressive fuel economy.

All models within this generation received the coveted “CR Recommended” badge, with a perfect reliability score of 5.0 out of 5.0.

CarComplaints also tells a similar story, with the 2013-2018 models receiving minimal complaints and dealing mostly with minor issues.

Among these, the 2017 Lexus ES 350 stands out as a top choice, offering a well-balanced blend of athletic performance, advanced features, and unmatched reliability.

2019-Present Lexus ES 350: Embracing Continued Reliability

The newest generation of the Lexus ES 350 continues to uphold its reputation for excellent reliability. While these more recent models boast good predicted reliability scores, they are relatively new, and detailed information on their long-term reliability and longevity is still being gathered.

However, the 2019 Lexus ES garnered a perfect reliability rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 from Consumer Reports, making it a promising option for those seeking a newer, used luxury sedan.

Keep in mind that Lexus vehicles tend to retain their value well, so be prepared for relatively higher prices when considering a used model from the current generation.

While we’ve highlighted specific model years known for their reliability, it’s important to recognize that any Lexus ES 350 model, except for the 2007 and 2008 versions, can be a solid used vehicle choice.

Lexus vehicles, in general, offer exceptional longevity and dependability, thanks to Toyota’s commitment to engineering excellence.

Be sure to conduct thorough research, consider a vehicle history report, and have a trusted mechanic inspect any used Lexus ES 350 you’re considering to ensure it meets your expectations.

Read Also: Most Reliable Lexus SUV

Lexus ES 350 Problems

Throughout the years, the Lexus ES 350 has seen numerous updates and improvements, but there have been a few notable missteps that led to subpar model years.

In this article, we’ll highlight the most recurrent issues faced by owners, ranging from mechanical glitches to design flaws.

By identifying these concerns, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when purchasing your Lexus ES 350.

Let’s delve into each concern to gain a better understanding of what to expect with the ES 350.

1. Melting Dashboard: A Cosmetic and Safety Issue

One of the most significant problems associated with the 2007 Lexus ES 350, and one of the main reasons this year is often cited as one to avoid, is the issue with the melting dashboard.

Just like other Lexus models from 2007, the interior plastics, particularly the dashboard, have shown vulnerabilities to heat.

When exposed to sunlight and hot temperatures, the plastic on the dash can actively melt, leading to a cosmetic problem.

Moreover, the melted dashboard can interfere with the functionality of various components installed on the dash, including dashboard airbags and cabin electronics.

Additionally, melting plastics can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially posing health risks to occupants.

2. GPS Failures: An Early Concern

Early releases of the Lexus ES 350 faced some complaints regarding GPS failures.

While this problem was more prevalent in the initial models, more recent releases have shown improvement in the GPS system’s performance.

Despite being less severe than the melting dashboard issue, GPS failures could be frustrating for drivers who rely on navigation assistance.

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3. Oil Leaks and Engine Problems: Early Model Troubles

In the earlier models of the Lexus ES 350, excessive or sudden oil leaks were reported by some owners. This issue may not be as widespread in more recent releases, but it’s essential to be aware of the possibility when considering an older ES 350.

Beyond oil leaks, various engine problems have surfaced in the model years to avoid.

These issues range from gasket and seal problems to ticking and knocking sounds, indicating potential internal engine troubles.

While some engine problems may not significantly impact consumers, others could lead to costly and immediate repairs.

4. Windows Opening On Their Own: A Lesser Concern

In the early years of the Lexus ES 350, some owners reported instances of windows and moonroofs opening on their own.

While most of the time, drivers could close them without issue, this unexpected behavior could present a safety risk, especially in extreme weather conditions or while driving at high speeds.

5. Defective Evaporator Core: Impact on Cooling Performance

A functioning air conditioning system is crucial for a comfortable driving experience, particularly in hot weather.

Unfortunately, the Lexus ES 350 faced issues with its evaporator core, affecting cooling performance in the 2007-2009 model years.

Manufacturing issues or normal wear and tear could lead to cracks in the evaporator core, resulting in reduced cooling efficiency.

This can be uncomfortable and inconvenient during the hotter months, requiring attention from qualified mechanics.

6. Blown Cylinder Head: Costly Engine Woes

One of the most severe problems faced by owners of the 2007 Lexus ES 350 is a blown cylinder head. This issue often manifests through illuminated check engine and vehicle stability control lights, indicating a problem with the cylinder head gaskets.

Symptoms of a blown cylinder head include white smoke from the exhaust, engine overheating, coolant loss or leaks, and bubbling in the radiator.

Repairing or replacing the cylinder head can be an expensive undertaking, with costs ranging from $2,800 to $3,500, inclusive of labor charges.

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How many miles will a Lexus ES 350 last?

According to Lexus, their vehicles, including the ES 350, can last up to 300,000 miles. However, based on rates of repairs and other indicators, the ES 350, specifically, is likely to last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles.

So, you can expect a well-maintained Lexus ES 350 to provide you with many years of reliable performance and driving pleasure.

Is the Lexus ES350 worth it?

The Lexus ES 350 is definitely worth considering if you prioritize ample power, excellent handling, and a focus on comfort and serenity. It remains one of the best all-around performers in its class, offering a compelling blend of luxury, performance, and reliability.

While some sportier German sedans exist, the ES 350 stands out as an exceptional choice for those seeking a refined and enjoyable driving experience.

Which is better Toyota Camry or Lexus ES 350?

Both the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350 have their merits, and the choice between the two ultimately depends on your priorities and budget.

The Camry TRD is a more economical option and shares similarities with the ES 350, such as size and features.

However, if you desire premium materials and a prestigious badge, the Lexus ES 350 is the way to go.

It offers a level of refinement and luxury that sets it apart from its Toyota counterpart.

Which is better Lexus 250 or 350?

When comparing the Lexus IS 250 and the Lexus IS 350, it’s essential to consider your preferences and needs. The Lexus IS 250 may be advantageous for those seeking a lower-priced option when considering one- to five-year-old used cars and looking for better fuel efficiency.

On the other hand, the Lexus IS 350 boasts a significant advantage in terms of base engine power, providing a more robust driving experience.

Does Lexus ES 350 require premium gas?

The 2022 Lexus ES 350 is a luxury vehicle that recommends either premium or regular gas with an octane of 87 or 91. While using regular gas with an octane of 87 is suitable and won’t negatively impact your vehicle’s performance, opting for premium gas with an octane of 91 can help accentuate your vehicle’s intended characteristics, such as improved performance and efficiency.

The choice ultimately rests with you, and both options are compatible with the ES 350’s engine.


The Lexus ES 350 is a highly regarded luxury sedan known for its refinement, comfort, and impressive reliability.

While it has proven to be a long-lasting vehicle, the specific model years can play a significant role in the ownership experience.

It’s essential to be aware of common issues, especially those associated with certain years, such as the 2007 release.

The melting dashboard, GPS failures, oil leaks, engine problems, and other concerns have been reported in some earlier models, making them candidates to avoid.

When considering a used Lexus ES 350, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research, inspect the vehicle carefully, and be informed about the specific model year’s track record.

A well-maintained Lexus ES 350, particularly from the later years, can offer many years of reliable and enjoyable driving.

So, whether you’re considering a newer release or looking for a more budget-friendly option, understanding the Lexus ES 350 years to avoid will guide you towards a satisfying ownership experience, accompanied by luxury, performance, and peace of mind.

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