2020 Lexus ES vs 2021 BMW 3 Series

2020 Lexus ES
2020 Lexus ES
$39,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 3 Series
2021 BMW 3 Series
$41,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Lexus ES
$39,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 3 Series
$41,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for 2020 Lexus ES is 8.0 out of 10, while the 2021 BMW 3 Series scores 6.8 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Lexus ES emerges as the more highly recommended choice, offering a compelling combination of luxury, comfort, efficiency, and safety features.

Overview

MSRP

$39,900

MSRP

$41,250

Average price

$30,960

Average price

$31,193

Listings

218

Listings

2031
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10

Expert reviews

6.8 out of 10
Pros
  • Premium interior materials
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Not much cargo space
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Great handling
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard

2020 Lexus ES Reviews Summary

SUVs might dominate the luxury car market, but many luxury brands were built on sedans, like the 2020 Lexus ES. While crossovers and SUVs combine added cargo space with all-weather driving capability, sedans are all about driving in comfort. Lower ride height allows sedans to be far more refined in on-road driving dynamics, offer better fuel economy, and still have enough room for a weekend’s worth of bags. SUVs might have the attributes that you might need in certain scenarios, but sedans like the 2020 Lexus ES excel in ways that are relevant in everyday driving.

The 2020 Lexus ES is one year off a complete redesign, though it maintains the same comfort-first formula. It is available in a racy 350 F Sport trim level, but don’t expect any major leaps in performance. The ES delivers on a serene ride and a quiet, well-appointed cabin. For 2020, the ES gains some in-cabin tech features, joining a long list of standard technology.

2021 BMW 3 Series Reviews Summary

Early generations of the BMW 3 Series redefined what a luxury car could be, justifying their prestige badge with sporty driving dynamics and impeccable engineering. BMW changed the luxury-car paradigm, proving that nimble sports sedans could be just as desirable as wood-encrusted land yachts.

The 3 Series spawned a number of imitators, including the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Lexus IS. Those sedans, along with the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 (which wear more recently-introduced nameplates) still form the 3 Series’ competitive set, but the car itself has changed.

Introduced for the 2019 model year, the current-generation 3 Series (codenamed G20) feels more like a traditional luxury sedan, with a greater emphasis on comfort and convenience than previous generations. The manual transmission is gone, as are the wagon and 3 Series GT hatchback body styles. The 3 Series coupe and convertible were re-badged as the 4 Series beginning with the 2014 model year.

The biggest change for the 2021 BMW 3 Series is the addition of the 330e plug-in hybrid model to the lineup, so that’s what we test drove for this review. BMW also offers 330i and M340i versions, and there’s an M3 performance model on the way.

No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.5L 302 hp V6

Engine

2.0L 255 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

302 hp @ 6600 rpm

Horsepower

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

MPG City

22

MPG City

26

MPG Highway

32

MPG Highway

36
2020 Lexus ES
2020 Lexus ES
$39,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 3 Series
2021 BMW 3 Series
$41,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Lexus ES
$39,900MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 BMW 3 Series
$41,250MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for 2020 Lexus ES is 8.0 out of 10, while the 2021 BMW 3 Series scores 6.8 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2020 Lexus ES emerges as the more highly recommended choice, offering a compelling combination of luxury, comfort, efficiency, and safety features.

Overview
MSRP
$39,900
$41,250
Average price
$30,960
$31,193
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.8
5.0
Expert reviews

8.0 out of 10

Read full review

6.8 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Premium interior materials
  • Standard advanced safety features
Cons
  • Not much cargo space
  • Fairly pedestrian performance
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Great handling
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Summary

SUVs might dominate the luxury car market, but many luxury brands were built on sedans, like the 2020 Lexus ES. While crossovers and SUVs combine added cargo space with all-weather driving capability, sedans are all about driving in comfort. Lower ride height allows sedans to be far more refined in on-road driving dynamics, offer better fuel economy, and still have enough room for a weekend’s worth of bags. SUVs might have the attributes that you might need in certain scenarios, but sedans like the 2020 Lexus ES excel in ways that are relevant in everyday driving.

The 2020 Lexus ES is one year off a complete redesign, though it maintains the same comfort-first formula. It is available in a racy 350 F Sport trim level, but don’t expect any major leaps in performance. The ES delivers on a serene ride and a quiet, well-appointed cabin. For 2020, the ES gains some in-cabin tech features, joining a long list of standard technology.

Early generations of the BMW 3 Series redefined what a luxury car could be, justifying their prestige badge with sporty driving dynamics and impeccable engineering. BMW changed the luxury-car paradigm, proving that nimble sports sedans could be just as desirable as wood-encrusted land yachts.

The 3 Series spawned a number of imitators, including the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Lexus IS. Those sedans, along with the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT4, and Infiniti Q50 (which wear more recently-introduced nameplates) still form the 3 Series’ competitive set, but the car itself has changed.

Introduced for the 2019 model year, the current-generation 3 Series (codenamed G20) feels more like a traditional luxury sedan, with a greater emphasis on comfort and convenience than previous generations. The manual transmission is gone, as are the wagon and 3 Series GT hatchback body styles. The 3 Series coupe and convertible were re-badged as the 4 Series beginning with the 2014 model year.

The biggest change for the 2021 BMW 3 Series is the addition of the 330e plug-in hybrid model to the lineup, so that’s what we test drove for this review. BMW also offers 330i and M340i versions, and there’s an M3 performance model on the way.

Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.5L 302 hp V6
2.0L 255 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
5
5
Horsepower
302 hp @ 6600 rpm
255 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG City
22
26
MPG Highway
32
36
Look and feel
2020 Lexus ES
9/10
2021 BMW 3 Series
6/10
The 2020 Lexus ES has been transformed from a "boring" sedan to a more aggressive and stylish model. Its large spindle grille and sleek taillamps give it a modern and sophisticated look. The cabin is elegantly designed with soft-touch materials and modern technology, offering a luxurious feel. On the other hand, the 2021 BMW 3 Series, while maintaining a familial look with the 5 Series and 7 Series, has received criticism for its big, oddly-shaped grille. The interior design is noted to be nice, but the materials are not as impressive.
Performance
2020 Lexus ES
7/10
2021 BMW 3 Series
7/10
The 2020 Lexus ES is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, delivering 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. It offers a comfortable and refined ride, with precise steering and optional adaptive suspension for a more engaging driving experience. In comparison, the 2021 BMW 3 Series offers various powertrains, including a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a turbo inline-six, providing different levels of performance. However, the driving experience of the 330e plug-in hybrid was noted to be less engaging than previous 3 Series models.
Form and function
2020 Lexus ES
6/10
2021 BMW 3 Series
7/10
The Lexus ES features a spacious cabin with ample head- and legroom in both rows, along with a generous trunk space of 16.7 cubic feet. In contrast, the BMW 3 Series offers above-average rear headroom and cargo space, but the 330e plug-in hybrid's battery pack reduces trunk space to 13.2 cubic feet.
Technology
2020 Lexus ES
8/10
2021 BMW 3 Series
9/10
The 2020 Lexus ES comes with the Lexus Remote Touch system, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a premium audio system. The 2021 BMW 3 Series includes the iDrive infotainment system with optional Live Cockpit Professional, a digital instrument cluster, and a head-up display. Both models offer advanced technology features, but the BMW's infotainment system was noted to be a step above in terms of quality and usability.
Safety
2020 Lexus ES
10/10
2021 BMW 3 Series
7/10
The 2020 Lexus ES comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, offering a comprehensive suite of driver assistance technology. The 2021 BMW 3 Series received a "Top Safety Pick" award from the IIHS and offers various driver-assist features, but some are optional and require additional packages.
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