Lexus’s best sedan seller, the ES, has received a minor update. We first saw this seventh generation arrive in 2018, and it remains one of the most comfortable and luxurious models on the market, having sold more than 2.3 million models worldwide.
The ES now uses an all-new Global Architecture-K (GA-K) platform for a more engaging driving experience and higher safety provisions. There are still three models on offer, the ES 250 petrol EX, the ES 300 Hybrid SE and SE grades. It might be hard to tell what has changed as it looks almost identical to the current model. Apart from a couple of tweaks here and there, especially to the front-end with a redesigned grille and headlights, and what can be described as a slightly more futuristic and sharper look, the exterior changes are minor to say the least. But is now powered by a new, fourth generation self-charging hybrid system.
The cabin, which has always had a very premium feel, does still feel somewhat out of date. Lexus has never had the best interiors. The infotainment system can be tricky, especially when trying to utilise the track pad with your left hand, while driving. But it is still not an unpleasant place to be with all the bells and whistles coming as standard.
POWER TO THE ES
The engine powering the petrol model is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder unit. It is mated to an eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. It produces 152kW and 243Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6.6l/100km. The more interesting of the range, the 300h grades, is powered by the new hybrid system mentioned above mated to the aforementioned 2.5-litre unit. Fuel consumption is claimed at 4.6l/100km, although after our launch drive route, we were sitting around 6.4l/100km. But power delivery is smooth and as much as this is by no means an enthusiast’s dream car, it delivers enough oomph to make overtaking a doddle. It cruises beautifully on the highway as it wafts along, feeling a little bit like it’s on clouds. It’s also noticeably quiet.
It’s a car that might be considered boring, because it is almost forgettable. You don’t really think about the car while you’re driving and I mean this as a very high compliment. I am of the opinion that if you are wanting a comfortable, and premium, sedan, you don’t want to have to think about the drive the entire time. You want to be able to switch off and rather just enjoy the fact that the car requires nothing of you.
Adding to the peace of mind this ES offers while driving is that it features advanced safety technology such as the Lexus Safety System (standard on the SE grade) which includes Lane Departure Alert, Pre-crash System, Lane Keep Assist and LED-Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).
• ES 250 EX – R719 400
• ES 300h EX – R774 400
• ES 300h SE – R948 400