Lexus unveiled the fifth generation ES luxury sedan in 2006 and has battled it out with the Buick LaCrosse ever since. Now, the sixth generation ES has made its debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show in hopes of getting the upperhand on the LaCrosse.
Next to a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the sixth generation ES will be offered for the first time with Lexus Hybrid Drive that offers an incredible 40 mpg. The standard ES350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i combined with a six-speed automatic driving the front wheels.
The exterior design looks similar to the recently announced GS: a new spindle grille, new LED daytime running lights, dual exhaust pipes in the rear bumper, and an integrated spoiler. On the interior, the instrument panel also resembles the one in the GS. It features a big LCD screen and the Lexus Remote Touch Interface controller.
UPDATE 04/05/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Lexus ES.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Lexus ES350 and the ES 300h.
For the sixth generation ES, Lexus is offering a new exterior design with continuous styling lines from front to rear. Up front, the ES has received a new distinctive, spindle grille, and LED daytime running lights, The rear is accentuated with rear lamps in an "L" design motif, hidden exhaust, and an integrated spoiler. For the 2013 model year, Lexus is offering two new exterior colors: Fire Agate Pearl and Silver Lining Metallic.
The Es has grown in dimensions as well. The wheelbase has increased by 1.8 inches and the length by one inch. The new ES will be offered with standard 17" alloy wheels, and for the first time, 18" high-gloss alloy wheels will be offered as an option.
For 2013, the ES’ interior gets better quality materials and a new level of luxury. The seats offer improved driving comfort while the steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position.
The car also offers improved interior room. The knee room has been increased by 2.8 inches and the legroom by 4.1 inches. The new design also offers additional foot room below the front seats.
The cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road. The instrument panel is similar to the one in the GS and features a big LCD screen, along with the love/hate Lexus Remote Touch Interface controller. The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system, and more.
For the first time, the Lexus ES will be offered with a hybrid powertrain. The ES300h features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine that will deliver an estimated 40 mpg combined city/highway. The ES 300h hybrid offers the driver four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco, and EV. EV mode allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack.
The standard ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i combined with a six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i).
The new Lexus ES will go on sale later in 2012. Prices will be announced at a later date.
On the US market, the biggest competitor for the Lexus ES is the Buick LaCrosse. It features a 2.4-liter Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine with the Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission. An eAssist system offers an impressive fuel economy of 37 miles per gallon on the highway and 25 miles per gallon in the city.
New technology features
No performance numbers just yet
Just one gas engine