The Lexus ES is a mid-size luxury sedan that has been part of the brand’s lineup since its inception in North America in 1989. With the elimination of the GS in 2020, the ES is Lexus’s only mid-range sedan offering.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
For 2021, Lexus has added a new four-cylinder AWD powertrain to the ES lineup along with a new ES 250 model designation.
There’s also a new Black Line Edition trim package that becomes the poshest gas-powered version of the car.
Lexus offers the ES in three distinct flavours each built around what’s under the hood.
The new ES 250 AWD becomes the car’s entry-level configuration with its 2.5L four-cylinder engine and all-wheel powertrain. At the mid point is the ES 350, which uses a 3.5L V6 and front-wheel drive. Both gas versions put power to pavement through an eight-speed transmission.
Finally, there’s the ES 300h, a gas-electric hybrid variant that matches a 2.5L four-cylinder with an electric motor, front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission.
Each version of the ES can be had with various option packages, the contents of which we’ve detailed below.
Outside, every ES starts with 17-inch wheels, all-LED lighting, and passive keyless entry.
Inside, you get a leather-trimmed steering wheel, power windows, heated/ventilated front seats with eight-way power adjustments and two-way lumbar, NuLuxe upholstery, dual-zone automatic A/C, a leather-trimmed shifter, a sunroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Tech touches include a 7.0-inch gauge display, a 10-speaker stereo, and an 8.0-inch infotainment display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The basic safety package comprises radar cruise control, forward collision detection with automatic braking, automatic high beams, and lane tracing assist.
In the ES 250, a premium package adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking, rear parking sensors, a heated steering wheel, navigation, a power-adjustable steering column, a wiper de-icer, a 12.3-inch display, wood steering wheel and door trim, and power-folding side mirrors.
An F Sport 1 group builds on that with a rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels, F Sport seats/steering wheel/shift knob, a sport-tuned suspension, aluminum door trim, and an 8.0-inch gauge display.
ES 350 and ES 300h offer a luxury package of wireless smartphone charging, adaptive LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, a panoramic roof, ambient lighting, leather upholstery, a driver’s seat cushion extender, four-way driver lumbar, and a rear window sun shade.
F Sport 2 also builds on the ES 350 with wireless charging, adaptive headlights, engine sound enhancement, a rear spoiler, an adaptive sport suspension, a 17-speaker stereo, 19-inch wheels, sport steering wheel, an 8.0-inch driver info display, and a head-up display. The Black Edition pack adds to this with unique wheels and black rear spoiler and mirror covers.
An ultra luxury package for ES 350 and ES 300h builds on the luxury pack with a 17-speaker stereo, head-up display, panoramic view monitor, semi-aniline leather seats, rear door sun shades, hands-free power trunk, and rear pedestrian detection.
Lexus’s fuel consumption estimates are 5.5/5.2 L/100 km (city/highway) for the ES 300h, and 9.5/7.0 in the ES 250 AWD.
V6-powered ES 350 versions are rated 10.7/7.2 L/100 km and 10.9/7.5 with the F Sport package.
As Lexus’s only mid-size sedan, the ES tries its best to keep up with big names like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. It won’t satisfy buyers looking for a European driving experience, but it is a better value than those cars in terms of luxury features.