- New design for sixth-generation ES
Why It Matters
- Mid-size luxury sedan segment continues to heat up
- Hybrid model should help replace slow-selling HS in the Lexus line-up
- New ES 300h gasoline-electric hybrid model shares powertrain with new Camry Hybrid
- Longer wheelbase adds noticeable cabin space
- Upgraded cabin technology
The styling of the new 2013 Lexus ES revolves mainly around the now-signature spindle grille for Lexus, but unlike the bigger, sportier GS that was recently introduced, the ES is still plays it safe in the luxury sedan segment. While the new grille, LED-trimmed headlights and horizontal taillights all give the new Lexus ES a much better appearance, loyal Lexus shoppers will continue to appreciate the toned-down lines this new car delivers. Wearing a Lexus badge, the 2013 ES models won’t disappoint when it comes to luxury, comfort or technology, and it should give a much better ride and handling if the new GS is any kind of gauge. Interior highlights include the updated Lexus Remote Touch system, a massive LCD screen for navigation, audio and HVAC displays and improved cabin materials including richer wood and a new leather-alternative NuLuxe seating fabric.
2013 Lexus ES Debut: Under the Hood
In base form, the 2013 Lexus ES 350 continues to use a 3.5-liter V-6 paired to a six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels, but Lexus also added an all-new ES 300h hybrid model that is expected to replace the dedicated hybrid HS 250h. Using a similar hybrid drive system as the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the 2013 Lexus ES 300h starts with a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle inline-four engine paired to a Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack which is expected to give this model a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon.
2013 Lexus ES Debut: Competition
There is no shortage of competition in the mid-size luxury sedan segment as the 2013 Lexus ES will be positioned against cars like the Volvo S60 and Acura TL as well as cars like the Buick LaCrosse eAssist and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for the hybrid model.
Why We Like It
On top of all this, we can never argue with improved driving dynamic, and with a lower curb weight and retuned suspension components, the new ES is expected to get just that.
Original photos by Jeffrey N. Ross