Lexus hurt ride comfort and made the controls complex with the ES redesign. In our tests the powerful 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic got a good 25 mpg overall. The hybrid's 200-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric drive system returned an impressive 36 mpg. The ride is decent but not as plush as before; it's worse with the optional 18-inch wheels. Handling is sound but unexceptional. Inside, the quiet cabin looks good at first, but cheap touches are apparent. The control interface is distracting and convoluted unless you skip the nav system. The hybrid's combination of size, luxury, and fuel economy makes it more appealing. A Camry provides much of the same for less money. Reliability is likely to be above-average.
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