By Otsile Kadiege
Lexus’ seventh-generation mid-size sedan, the ES, has been refreshed for 2021. The Japanese automaker promises a more dynamic, refined, quieter and spacious ES with standard luxury and craftsmanship. The new ES will be available in three grades, two of which are hybrids, and the top spec grade comes with the brand’s second generation Lexus Safety System.
Up front, the elegant ES’ face is slightly different, with variations according to model grade. The frontal design was revised with a new treatment of the spindle grille with fewer vertical bars and the introduction of L-shaped elements. Slimmer units were added for both the single and three-eye LED headlights.
The design features a rearward-sloping fast roofline that emphasises the vehicle’s lower stance and slippery aerodynamics. The rear end is clean and sharply chiselled, with LED lamps that wrap around the quarter panels to generate a continuous styling line when viewed from any angle.
Two different 17 and 18-inch alloy wheel designs are available between the three ES models- with the Hybrid SE boasting a new sporty wheel design. There are also two new exterior colours for the range, namely – Sonic Iridium, Sonic Chrome and Graphite Black across the whole range.
Inside, the updated Lexus ES gets a high-resolution 12.3-inch widescreen display has been brought forward by more than 100mm compared with the current model, debuting touch-display functionality to increase usability. The driving position in the ES has been refined with a more natural steering wheel angle, revised pedal positions and even a 10-way adjustable seat as standard for the hybrid SE grade.
Lexus introduced a new Mauve trim insert option for the new hybrid SE grade, while the EX-grades have Hazel and Rich Cream trims as new. Standard features on the ES range are keyless smart entry, a moonroof, twin-front and twin-rear USB-C ports, DAB+ digital radio, 10-speaker audio (EX grades), Mark Levinson 17 Speaker audio (SE) and both with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The seventh-generation ES features the advanced safety technology. It’s equipped with full suite of passive safety equipment comprising driver and front passenger airbags; two driver and front passenger knee airbags; two driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags and two front-to-rear side curtain airbags.
Standard safety technology further includes a rear-view camera with park distance control and all-speed active cruise control. The EX-grade now also comes standard with blind spot monitor. The SE grade boasts the Lexus Safety System which further includes Lane Departure Alert, Pre-crash System, Lane Keep Assist and LED-Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).
The ES 250 is available with a high-efficient, direct-injection 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. Outputs are pegged at 152 kW at 6600 rpm and 243 Nm at 4000-5000 rpm. The fuel consumption on the ES 250 is 6.6 litres/100km and it dispatches the 0-100 km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds and lastly, its top speed is clocked at 210 km/h.
Powering the ES 300h grades are Lexus’ fourth-generation, self-charging hybrid drive system coupled with an ultra-efficient 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine with a lighter, more compact and more power-dense electric motor. Total system power is 160 kW and combined cycle fuel economy is from 4.6 l/100km. The ES 300h sprints from 0-100 km/h in a laudable 8.9 seconds and is electronically-governed to a top speed of 180 km/h.
Pricing and warranty
The Lexus ES 250 EX retails for R719,400, the ES 300h EX for R774,400 and the top of the range ES 300h SE retails for R948,400. The 2021 Lexus ES comes standard with a best-in-class 7-year/105,000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan.
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