Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid – For luxury vehicles, the Lexus ES 350 stands as a symbol of elegance and performance. However, not all model years are created equal. In this guide, we explore the realm of Lexus ES 350 years to avoid, helping you navigate through the sea of options to find your perfect ride.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. While the Lexus ES 350 exudes sophistication, certain model years fall short in terms of reliability and performance.

These are the years you want to steer clear of to ensure a smooth driving experience.

But fear not, for not all hope is lost. Amidst the sea of questionable model years, there are shining beacons of reliability and excellence.

By delving into official reliability records and gathering insights from real-life owners, we uncover the truth behind each model year. Through this comprehensive analysis, you can make an informed decision on which Lexus ES 350 is right for you.

lexus es 350 years to avoid

Arm yourself with knowledge about the best and worst Lexus ES 350 years. Your journey towards luxury and performance starts here.

Lexus ES 350 Years To Avoid

When considering purchasing a Lexus ES 350, it’s prudent to delve into its history to ensure a smooth driving experience. While the Lexus ES 350 has garnered a reputation for reliability and luxury, certain model years stand out for less-than-optimal performance and consumer satisfaction.

We’ll explore the Lexus ES 350 years to avoid, providing insight into each model year’s potential pitfalls and highlighting key improvements in subsequent generations.

Identifying the Years to Avoid

The Lexus ES 350 has seen commendable consistency in quality over the years. However, there are specific model years that warrant caution. It’s advisable to steer clear of the following model years:

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015

While these years may not signify irreparable flaws, they are associated with lower consumer satisfaction and higher instances of parts performance issues.

It’s essential to contextualize the notion of “years to avoid” within the broader landscape of Lexus’s reputation for quality and reliability. Compared to some other automotive brands, the Lexus ES 350 maintains a relatively slim list of years to avoid.

However, within the Lexus lineup, these specific years exhibit patterns of concern that potential buyers should consider.

The Troubled Years

Examining each troubled year sheds light on the issues that may affect the Lexus ES 350’s performance and reliability.

2007 Lexus ES 350

This year marked a downturn for Lexus overall, and the ES 350 was not immune to the challenges faced by vehicles of that era. Common issues such as parts failures and consumer complaints were prevalent.

2013 Lexus ES 350

While most problems from previous years were addressed by 2009 and 2010, the ES 350 experienced a resurgence of consumer complaints and parts failures in 2013.

Though not widespread, these issues merit consideration for prospective buyers.

The Troubled 2015 Model Year

Despite strides in improvement, the 2015 model year stands out as particularly troublesome for the ES 350 variant.

This iteration faced a host of electronic and software issues, including sudden activations of safety systems like forward collision control and ABS malfunctions.

Additionally, airbag concerns plagued early sixth-generation ES models.

Subsequent generations of the Lexus ES 350 brought about significant enhancements, addressing earlier concerns and elevating the overall driving experience.

The transition to the seventh generation saw improvements in engine construction and interior materials, mitigating issues like oil leaks and melted materials.

Best Years for Lexus ES 350

When it comes to investing in a luxury vehicle like the Lexus ES 350, discerning buyers seek not just opulence but also reliability.

Understanding which model years stand out as the best can make all the difference in your driving experience.

Let’s explore the best years for Lexus ES 350, highlighting their reliability and performance to aid your decision-making process. Among these standout years are:

  • 2012
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Despite the seemingly modest size of this list, it’s important to note that it reflects a meticulous curation, considering the luxury status of the Lexus ES 350.

Each of these model years boasts commendable rates of reliability, with minimal reported problems and complaints.

A Closer Look at the Top Performers

Let’s explore why these model years have earned their place among the best for the Lexus ES 350:

2012 Lexus ES 350

best years for lexus es 350

This model year emerges as a solid choice for prospective buyers, particularly those seeking a used Lexus ES 350.

With ample time on the market, 2012 models have garnered high-performance ratings, coupled with diligent adherence to maintenance recommendations.

2017 & 2018 Lexus ES 350

best years for lexus es 350

Continuity in performance characterizes both the 2017 and 2018 model years. These vehicles exhibit consistent reliability and satisfaction among owners, making them reliable choices for drivers seeking a blend of luxury and peace of mind.

2019 Lexus ES 350

best years for lexus es 350

While the 2019 model year may lack extensive market tenure to validate its reliability fully, the continued success of preceding years instills confidence in its performance.

Building upon the reputation of its predecessors, the 2019 Lexus ES 350 stands poised to deliver reliability and satisfaction.

Navigating Used Vehicle Options

For those considering purchasing a used Lexus ES 350, the aforementioned model years present enticing options.

While the 2012 model stands out as particularly appealing due to its availability in the used car market and stellar performance track record, any of the four highlighted reliable years offer viable choices for discerning buyers.

In the realm of luxury vehicles, the Lexus ES 350 exemplifies a harmonious blend of sophistication and dependability.

By focusing on the best years for the Lexus ES 350, prospective buyers can make informed decisions that align with their expectations of reliability and performance.

Lexus ES 350 Problems: Understanding Common Issues

Owning a Lexus ES 350 promises a blend of luxury and performance, but like any vehicle, it’s not immune to issues.

Understanding common problems can help you navigate maintenance and ensure a smooth driving experience.

Lexus ES 350 Problems

Let’s explore the most prevalent Lexus ES 350 problems, shedding light on their causes, implications, and potential solutions.

Melting Dashboard Woes

Among the most notorious issues plaguing the Lexus ES 350, particularly in the 2007 model year, is the phenomenon of melting dashboards.

The interior plastics, especially the dashboard, are prone to deformation under prolonged exposure to sunlight.

While primarily a cosmetic concern, melted dashboards can compromise the functionality of installed components, including airbags and cabin electronics.

Additionally, the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) poses potential health risks.

GPS Glitches

Reports of GPS failures have also surfaced among Lexus ES 350 owners, albeit to a lesser extent than melting dashboard issues.

Early releases experienced glitches with the GPS, though more recent models have shown improvements in system reliability.

Oil Leaks and Engine Hiccups

Another common grievance with the Lexus ES 350 revolves around oil leaks, particularly prevalent in earlier model years.

While newer iterations exhibit fewer instances of this issue, it remains a concern alongside various engine-related problems.

Gasket and seal failures, accompanied by ticking or knocking sounds, indicate potential internal engine issues. While some symptoms may be minor nuisances, others demand immediate attention and costly repairs.

Spontaneous Window Openings

In the realm of safety concerns, reports of windows and moonroofs opening autonomously have surfaced, primarily in early Lexus ES 350 models.

While typically manageable, this issue poses safety risks, particularly depending on driving conditions and driver reaction.

Troublesome Air Conditioning

An efficient air conditioning system is integral to a comfortable driving experience, yet the Lexus ES 350 grapples with air conditioning woes, notably a defective evaporator core.

Models from 2007 to 2009 are susceptible to decreased cooling performance due to this issue, resulting from manufacturing defects or wear and tear.

Blown Cylinder Head Dilemma

Among the most severe Lexus ES 350 problems is the occurrence of blown cylinder heads, primarily affecting 2007 models.

Symptoms such as white exhaust smoke, engine overheating, and coolant leaks signal potential cylinder head failure.

Unfortunately, repairing or replacing the cylinder head entails significant costs, adding financial strain to affected owners.

Regular inspections, adherence to manufacturer recommendations, and prompt attention to emerging issues are vital in preserving the vehicle’s performance and longevity.


The Lexus ES 350 proves to be a compelling choice for those considering a used luxury sedan. With its affordable price, luxurious interior features, and smooth V6 performance, it offers a desirable package.

However, prospective buyers should be wary of potential engine repair costs, which could exceed $4000. It’s advisable to consult comprehensive guides to identify the most reliable model years and avoid those with known issues.

The 2017 Lexus ES stands out as the most reliable, the 2018 and 2019 models also receive a commendation. With proper maintenance, the Lexus ES 350 can endure for up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles without engine troubles.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to steer clear of problematic model years, particularly the 2006 to 2009 versions, as indicated by NHTSA driver complaints. Consider these factors carefully when navigating the market for a Lexus ES 350, ensuring a satisfying ownership experience.

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