NIP/TUCK: Lexus has given its mid-size sedan, the ES a number of styling and interior tweaks. Is it good value? Find out. Image: Quickpic
Cape Town - Lexus has upgraded its ES with, the automaker says, a sporty front, new rear styling, refined interior and enhanced dynamics.
Despite the upgrades, the revised ES is cheaper than the outgoing version.Nip and tuck
The revised ES has a new spindle grille equipped with redesigned LEDs and "L"-shaped arrowhead daytime running lights to bring it more inline with other Lexus models. The LED fog lights are relocated to the outer lower corners of the front end.
The rear now has chromed license plate and chromed rectangular exhausts for the ES 250. Two new 17" alloy designs are available. A grey metallic, multi-plane 20-spoke design is standard for the ES 250, while the ES 350 is distinguished by a 10-spoke rotary design. Buyers can choose from three new colours - white, black and blue.
Gallery: 2015 Lexus ES
Inside, the ES gains new trim for the door surfaces and centre console. Colour-coded upholstery is added to the centre console and the model sports a new leather gear selector. The facelift adds a smaller sport steering wheel and a larger 10cm colour multi-information display.
Standard kit includes a sunroof, remote keyless entry, heatable power seats, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, reversing monitor with smart camera (new) and park distance control.
Lexus SA marketing vice-president, Glenn Crompton, said: "We're confident that the new Lexus ES will remain the leader in its class while attracting considerably more driveway attention. The fact that it's offered at an even more attractive starting price, is just a bonus."
The ES 250 is powered by a 2.5 litre four-cylinder unit mated to a six-speed auto tuned to deliver 135kW/235Nm. The 250 dispatches the 0-100km sprint in 9.8seconds and can exceed 200km/h. Driver can access three modes; Eco, Normal or Sport. The instrument cluster illumination switches from blue for eco to red for sport. Fuel consumption is rated at 8-litres/100km.
The ES 300h is powered by a the same petrol unit (though tuned to 118kW/213Nm) combined with a 105kW electric motor (650V nickel-metal hydride battery) for a combined output of 151kW. The hybrid unit is coupled with a ECVT system. The ES 300h reaches 100km/h in 8.5 seconds and on to a limited speed of 180km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.5 litres/100km.
In terms of safety, the ES is equipped with ten airbags, blind spot monitoring with lane-change assist, vehicle stability control (VSC), anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and Isofix. New safety features include rear cross traffic alert (when reversing, it warns when a vehicle is approaching) and hill assist (standard on both derivatives).
New ES, cheaper price?
The new ES is cheaper than the outgoing version. According to Lexus: "This was made possible by some clever editing of features. Well, one feature only. in-car navigation. By removing this particularly pricey feature*, Lexus has been able to prune prices by R14 700 on the ES 250 and R16 600 on the ES 300h."
• ES 250 - R464 200
• ES 300h - R549 100
All ES units are covered by a four-year or 100 000km warranty - eight years or 195 000km warranty for the hybrid ES 300h. The ES is sold with Lexus 'Distance Plan Plus'.
* According to Lexus: "Incidentally in-car SatNav is proving less popular with customers these days due to mobile devices taking over this function."