Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 04 Oct 2018
Built on a new Global Architecture – K (GA-K) platform, Lexus South Africa has just launched the new 7th-generation ES sedan, and I have been driving it in the Western Cape.
The latest-generation Lexus ES model has grown, and is now some 65 mm longer, 45 mm wider and sits 5mm lower than its outgoing predecessor, the increase in overall dimensions makes for what is now a vehicle with more emphasis placed on comfort, refinement and performance than ever before.
The latest-generation ES is very much in keeping with the luxury Japanese automaker’s slogan “Experience Amazing.” From the outside, you immediately notice its lower bonnet and fast roofline, features which are further exuded by the models sculpted LED lights and beautiful choice of alloy wheel designs.
Lexus has always built fantastic interior spaces, and the new ES model certainly carries through. The cabin space is modelled-off the Lexus Future Interior concept, which features a very driver-focused space with a large central multimedia display, instrument cluster and head-up display all within clear visual reference. Particularly on the ES 300h model, you are encompassed with a spattering of technology previously only seen in the likes of the ultra-posh Lexus LS500 model. From seat-heating to seat-cooling, a heated steering wheel, heads-up-display and optional Mark Levinson sound system, the attention to detail offered on this latest-generation ES is something else!
Sublimely comfortable seats and a wealth of technological advancements all help to create what is a very comforting and high-tech space, while the touchpad based media input system takes some getting used to, the new ES model clearly provides much additional emphasis on a more sporting character and more dynamic ride. Features such as heated seats, a home-theatre style 8-speaker surround sound system and large central media display all make for a very comfortable, elegant mobile lounge space.
Smooth Carpet Ride
From launch, I was able to experience the Lexus ES 250 EX and ES 300h. The ES 250 EX features an efficient 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol driven engine, which delivers 152 kW of power at 6600 r/min and 243 Nm of torque remains a solid motor, with a smooth surge of power, driven through its 8-speed direct shift automatic transmission. The ES 250 EX has a claimed combined fuel consumption average of 6.6 l/100 km.
While I enjoyed driving the ES 250 EX, perhaps the star of the launch for me comes in the way of the highly advanced new Lexus ES 300h powered by Lexus Hybrid Drive technology. Thanks to the benefits of both petrol working with battery powered hybrid technology, despite the large size of the ES model, Lexus claims fuel-economy capabilities of this engine being as low as 4.6 l/100 km. The ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-litre motor with 131 kW of power from its petrol-driven component and 221 Nm of torque, all paired to its additional electric motor which provides a wave of extra silent power. Combining the immediacy of electric power with the smooth petrol driven motor, the ES 300h really does provide a very satisfying and engaging drive and one which lets you easily forget the large size of the vehicle.
The Lexus ES provides a perfect symbiosis of luxury sedan cruising, coupled with dynamic driving characteristics. Clever technology and safety systems combined with the option of the of the very environmentally friendly hybrid electric driven motor, all help make the ES very accomplished model from Japan’s top luxury automaker.
Pricing & Warranty
The Lexus comes with a 7-year/105 000 km warranty and maintenance plan. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.
Lexus ES 250 EX R593 300
Lexus ES 300d R843 800