2013 Lexus ES First Drive Review: Introduction
While most people think of the flagship LS model when they hear the word Lexus, or perhaps even the RX crossovers, the Lexus ES sedan is the marque’s most popular car in terms of sales. Further, it is one of two of the original models used to launch the brand back in 1989. Having been in continuous production since Toyota introduced the Lexus brand, the ES is now going into its sixth generation.
The original Lexus ES, the ES 250, as were each of the four generations of the car that followed it, were based on the Toyota Camry of their times. For the sixth generation of the ES, in an effort to imbue it with a quieter ride, better handling and more spaciousness, Lexus engineers chose the Toyota Avalon and its longer wheelbase to provide the model’s platform.
With this new generation comes another first for the front-drive mid-size luxury sedan—a hybrid version. Borrowing the hybrid powertrain from Toyota’s Camry (yes, there IS still some Camry in the ES after all) the 2013 Lexus ES 300h marks the first application of hybrid technology to the Lexus ES lineup.
Sharp-eyed observers will note this new ES has a sportier edge than previous iterations of the car. Lexus in general has been moving more toward a performance orientation, and wile the new ES doesn’t come close to threatening the Lexus GS models dynamically, this new version of the ES is a more engaging car to drive overall. Additionally, its look is now less milquetoast and more spicy.
And, of course, in keeping with modern trends, the expected levels of connectivity in terms of telematics are well represented in the new Lexus ES. The Lexus Enform smartphone integration system is accompanied by the Lexus Remote Touch controller, which was introduced with the previous generation of the RX crossover.