The cast new Lexus ES amalgam auto makes a big bound over its antecedent by alms comfort, amplitude and appearance in spades. The compound is the aforementioned as ever, but the capacity are of a abundant college quality.
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Previous iterations of the Lexus ES accept been the automotive agnate of bustling an Ambien. But in case you absent the memo, Japan’s affluence car cast doesn’t comedy that way any more.
And so, the new-generation big auto embraces avant-garde Lexus’ far added advancing architectonics language. It has a continued and low roof, able sculpted bonnet, continued and ample shoulders, admirable door-mounted ancillary mirrors and a categorical rear end. It additionally has a lower accessory of annoyance (aero rating).
Lexus calls all this “provocative elegance”, but the abandoned aspect that absolutely earns this descriptor is the nose, those glassy lightning-shaped LED headlights and the broad ‘spindle’ grille shaped like a squashed hourglass, advised to shock buyers into advantageous attention.
For those who like to acrylic the ES as a tarted-up Toyota Camry/Avalon, here’s your ammunition: it sits on the aforementioned adaptation of the company’s new axle TNGA architecture, alleged GA-K, as this pair. The adequate account is that this time around, that’s absolutely a adequate thing, because both of those cars are dynamically excellent.
This ES is a smidgen lower than afore (by a negligible 5mm), but 60mm best overall, 50mm best amid the wheels, and 45mm wider. Stance life. It’s additionally torsionally stiffer than afore acknowledgment to greater use of high-tensile animate which, incidentally, cuts bottomward on weight.
We’ll get to how it drives in a moment, but it’s added important for now to focus on the interior. The ES’ owner-mix of adequate clandestine owners and – cartel we say it – auto contractors, appeal comfort, amplitude and affection aloft all things, alike avant-garde technologies.
The berth strikes the appropriate notes. The council caster is adopted from the LS, there’s soft-touch artificial on all touchpoints, tasteful allegory argent and copse elements, bolt lining the aperture bins and console, and archetypal Lexus body quality. The way the cupholder awning acclaim closes is a assignment of art, akin the glovebox.
The blueprint is agnate to the LS, acceptation it’s added adventuresome than before. The agenda apparatus affectation changes its attending aback you set the binnacle-mounted axis to sports approach by axis red and abacus a tachometer, admitting clashing the LFA that it mimics there’s no mechanised affective element.
This is commutual with a biggest-in-class head-up affectation that projects speed, acceleration absolute and aeronautics advice assimilate the windscreen, and which can be adapted via sub airheaded in the apparatus cluster. The council caster has buttons for audio, cruise ascendancy and lane abetment functions, additional the adequately authentic articulation ascendancy arrangement (can set routes and change stations). It additionally has electric cavalcade adjustment.
The centre fascia is bedeviled by a 12.3-inch screen, which can affectation two menus, for archetype you can appearance maps and the audio home folio concurrently. Beneath this are buttons for the blast controls, while to the appropriate of the awning is the signature Lexus alternation clock. There’s additionally a glossy dejected amateur button and an electric parking anchor about-face replacing the bulky old foot-operated unit.
It’s not a touchscreen, however. Lexus is adamantly constant with the laptop-style touchpad bureaucracy that you use to move the cursor around, helped by some adamantine acclimation buttons. We apperceive it’s a repetitive gripe, but alike at its atomic acute ambience this charcoal added fiddly than BMW’s iDrive, for one example. We accept owners adjust?
The adaptation we’re alive actuality is the flagship ES grade, alleged Sports Luxury, priced at $74,888 afore on-road costs. By comparison, the ‘entry’ Affluence cast is a whopping $15,000 cheaper. In archetypal Lexus form, the account of appearance is comprehensive.
All ES models get as accepted accessory navigation, DAB agenda radio, 10-way power-adjustable advanced seats with heating, dual-zone altitude control, LED headlights, automated wipers, a power-adjustable council column, a powered sunroof, and a Qi wireless charging pad for accordant smartphones.
Above this, the Sports Affluence gets 18-inch admixture auto (not 17s), aerial advanced seats with 14-way ability adjustment, an agreeable 17-speaker Mark Levinson beleaguer complete system, three-zone altitude ascendancy with clamminess sensor, hands-free cossack opening, ‘semi-aniline’ leather-accented bench trim, a acrimonious council wheel, and adjustable acrimonious rear seats with a chic electric-operated recline function.
Read our abundant Lexus ES appraisement and blueprint breakdown here.
On a ancillary note, our citizen audiophile didn’t acquisition that complete arrangement all that special. Merely good.
Colour affair choices central are black-and-tan (pretentiously alleged Chateau/Shimamoku Black), black-on-black, and black-and-bamboo, which looks absolutely fetching. The Sports Affluence abandoned can be had with a Rich Cream colour scheme, too. Adequate luck befitting that clean…
It seems bright that the $60k ES300h Affluence is the added ambrosial buy, abnormally because it’s about $4000 cheaper than its antecedent admitting the Sports Affluence is about $3000 added than the old version.
The aback seats are a basic allotment of any ES. The sleeker and lower roofline is account by a lower hip point, while legroom is bigger by 7mm. I’m 194cm and had plenty. On the added hand, allowance was still bound for me, admitting I’m an outlier. The actuality the headlining on our analysis car was/is cream-coloured made/makes it feel airier.
The bench headrests are awful supportive, there are privacy/sun blinds on the doors and rear window, the aback bench bases are heated, the bench backs rake electrically, and you can ascendancy the car’s audio functions and the rear air vents from a arrangement on the flip-down centre armrest. There are additionally two 2.1A USB credibility and a 12V atrium in the rear, cup holders, and brittle LED account lights. It’s appealing choice aback there.
Less absorbing is the cossack amplitude which, at 454L VDA, is 70L abate than the Camry’s. Beneath the loading attic is a speed-limited space-saver spare, which is a bigger band-aid than a appliance kit, and fits Lexus’ comfort-first cast accession bigger than appliance stiff-sidewall run-flat tyre.
Another key appliance for a ample allotment of -to-be ES audience is amount of ownership. This is one breadth area the Lexus shines, because the abandoned drivetrain accessible is a ‘self charging’ petrol-electric amalgam arrangement aggregate with the Camry.
The arrangement comprises a Euro 6, 131kW/221Nm 2.5-litre petrol agent alive the accustomed Atkinson Aeon (meaning the amplification and compression ratios are different, convalescent abridgement and tethering ability output) with bigger thermal efficiency, additional a 88kW/202Nm abiding allurement electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride arrangement alive 244.8V, with 204 cells.
Lexus has fabricated the arrangement backpack abate (ergo denser) and army it beneath the aback seats, admitting it would accomplish added assets appliance a lithium-ion array. The account abaft afraid with the earlier Ni-MH bureaucracy appears to be its lower amount and long-proven believability in Prius/Camry Amalgam taxis.
Matched as accepted is a CVT automated with paddles, additional three alive modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) that fettle the burke and gearbox arrangement to clothing your taste.
The agent and motor can both drive the advanced wheels, demography some ache from the former, while at the aforementioned time the petrol assemblage sends allegation to the arrangement backpack (which additionally gets activity from captured decay activity from the brakes), although it’s apathetic to allegation up. The arrangement can additionally decouple the agent and let the car bank aback you lift off the throttle, and can run as a authentic electric car off arrangement reserves, admitting for air-conditioned abbreviate distances, at speeds beneath 40km/h, or in about-face gear.
The upside of all this is outstanding ammunition abridgement (95 RON) of aloof 4.6 litres per 100km, giving you a abstract ambit of added than 1000km accustomed the 50L tank. Or as Lexus says, the best abridgement in chic on any car that doesn’t accept a ability plug. On my 300km combined-cycle drive, including some agog burke application, I managed 5.5L/100km, which is aloof absurd for a 5m continued car.
The added air-conditioned point is the low-speed refinement, for archetype in stop/start traffic, aback the car runs off arrangement reserves. This agency you sit at the lights in bashful serenity, and don’t feel the agent bang in until you’re rolling. Beneath abundant throttle, the engine’s babble is appealing able-bodied damped, actually. Abundant added so than before. The 0-100km/h time is a reasonable abundant 8.9 abnormal – not lighting fast, but fine.
The abandoned absolute abrogating is the petrol engine’s hardly tinny and vibey agenda and appearance at low rolling speeds if and aback the batteries are low, a artefact of the Atkinson aeon we suspect. It detracts from the ‘premium’ experience.
Dynamically, the key for any ES should be abundance and NVH abolishment rather than aciculate cornering. The new front-wheel drive belvedere houses bigger multi-link rear suspension, a re-jigged MacPherson strut bureaucracy at the front, a rack-mounted electric ability council unit, a stiffening brace abaft the rear seat, and new shocks with bargain centralized friction. The auto are 18-inches, or 17s on the Luxury.
The best genitalia of the Lexus’ activating amalgamation is the wind and tyre babble suppression, which is outstanding. As with the Camry, it’s additionally stiffer and acknowledgment to its lower cycle axes stays decidedly collapsed adjoin cornering forces. Its accelerated ride affection on acquiescent dampers is excellent, but not so bendable that it throws out the handling/body control. There’s additionally affluence of aboveboard clearance, acceptation you’ll rarely scrape the bonanza lip.
The council is absolute abundant but has about aught feedback, admitting in sports approach it gets a little added resistance/weight. There are attenuate occasions aback the low-speed ride affection became a little aciculate and unsettled, and the backlash achievement on the advanced abeyance could be a little added controlled, but all-embracing it’s a abundant bigger bureaucracy than before. That’s acknowledgment to its able TNGA foundations.
It’s account acquainted that while I begin the adorning braking arrangement to accept an adequate pedal feel, a few others who collection the ES begin these anchors to feel absolutely ‘grabby’ and abrupt, authoritative it harder to drive smoothly. You ability charge to adjust.
It would be behindhand to carelessness the apartment of alive assurance features, packaged beneath an awning alleged Lexus Assurance Arrangement . There’s chargeless emergency braking with banal and cyclist detection, additional all-speed adaptive cruise control, 10 airbags, auto high-beam, and a huge 360-degree camera display.
The Sports Affluence additionally gets an adaptive high-beam arrangement accumulation 24 LEDs which consistently acclimatize the ablaze administration arrangement and accuracy to “provide optimal beam while abbreviation blaze for advancing drivers”, forth with blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic alert.
Finally, there’s a lane abetment arrangement that nudges you amid the alley curve if you booty your eyes off the road, and which formed whenever the curve in catechism were acutely painted.
Another key Lexus advantage is its well-regarded buying program, able by its able performances in abounding absolute chump achievement surveys. You get a four year/100,000km assurance (so for a limo driver, that’ll be about 18 months), a chargeless account accommodation car or a being to aces up/return your car if you’d prefer, and roadside assistance.
So, that’s the new Lexus ES which, like its added big-ticket LS sibling, moves the punch for this once-conservative Japanese affluence brand. It may aloof be an big-ticket Toyota Camry, but that isn’t absolutely an insult any more.
In actuality it ticks all the boxes aback it comes to appearance and amount (albeit in access Affluence cast added than the Sports Affluence as tested), and offers outstanding ammunition abridgement and clarification for the best part.
Plus, acceptability would advance it’ll be trouble-free. It is no activating action machine, but it delivers in the areas its amount demographic demands, and throws in added than a adumbration of agreeableness while at it.
Interior Abundance & Packaging
Infotainment & Connectivity
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