Lexus Malaysia has just taken the wraps off their most popular model to date, the ES facelift. On the subject of best selling, Malaysia represents Lexus’ most successful markets next to Taiwan and South Korea.
Domestically, Lexus has collectively sold over 4,700 vehicles, but a chunky 24 percent of that figure is that of the ES. As before, the ES is offered here in three flavours, the ES250 Premium, ES250 Luxury and the range topping ES300h.
|Name||Lexus ES250 Premium||Lexus ES250 Luxury||Lexus ES300h|
|Engine||2.5 litre inline-four||2.5 litre Atkinson cycle inline-four|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic gearbox||CVT|
|Max Power||181 hp||202 hp|
|Max Torque||235 Nm of torque||213 Nm|
|0 – 100 km/h||9.8 seconds||8.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||207 km/h||N/A|
It’s no surprise to see Lexus’ streamlined look shared with its stablemates. The refreshed look gives the ES more youth and vigour in its quest of segment domination. First thing that’s apparent from gazing at the front end is the signature spindle design grille that graces the Lexus range.
The headlights are sharper and more aggressive in nature as compared to the previous version. Even the bumper has been given a new lease of life with a generous amount of chrome around the edges for good measure. The fog lamps too have been reworked with its own supply of chrome trinketry.
Lexus’ signature DRL look is thrown in to extenuate the new bolder look of the ES. The headlights are LED lit thru a projector module for better illumination compared to the outgoing bi-xenon, and it is self-levelling. The rear end has been tidied up for a crisper look with a pair of ‘diamond-shaped’ tailpipes (except for the ES300h). The tail lamps gain the standard L-shape graphics which makes it ever more identifiable as a Lexus.
A stronghold point for Lexus cars is the interior where lashings of wood, veneer and leather come together in harmony, style and taste. Not only that but the generous amount of room in the cabin makes the ES a very desirable marque in this segment. The interior can be had in Black, Topaz Brown or Ivory.
Aside from the brilliant upholstery, tech and toys take centre stage in here. Lexus has thrown in the Remote Touch Interface (RTI) as part of the multimedia interface. The layout of the cockpit has the driver’s needs in mind, with all button, knobs and switches at easy reach. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has more driver-centric feel with the gear shifter even tilted toward the driver.
A 4.2-inch Multi Information Display (MID) is nestled between the gauges in the instrument cluster. The ES250 Luxury and ES300h models get a small command centre right on the arm-rest that folds down to reveal it. It controls the A/C, rear blind and the stereo.
Audiophiles take note. The ES250 Premium comes with an eight-speaker Lexus Display Audio system while the ES250 Luxury model comes with a Lexus Premium Audio eight-speaker system. The range topper on the other is bestowed with a Mark Levinson 15-speaker stereo system.
The more astute reader in the audience would have noticed a rather alarming similarity of the hybrid model to that of the specs found on the Toyota Camry Hybrid. And you wouldn’t be wrong to assume such. The ES300h spots the same powerplant in the Camry Hybrid. The Atkinson-cycle engine makes 202hp at 4,500 rpm with 213 Nm of torque.
The ES250 pair in this department are identical to each other, both sporting a 2.5-litre inline four engine with 181hp and 235 Nm of twist propelling them from standstill to 100km/h 9.8 seconds before maxing out at just over 200 km/h. While the range topper is paired to an e-CVT gearbox, the ES250 duo are mated to a six-speed Super ECT box.
Lexus has placed an enormous attention to detail in this aspect. Aside from the norms we’ve come to expect from cars of this caliber (ABS, Brake Assist, EBD and TCS), the ES range comes loaded to the brim with safety tech such as Tyre Pressure Warning System, Hill Start Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (except for ES250 Premium). The trio receives an astounding 10 airbags (with knee airbag) for added safety. Parking is now a doddle with Parking Clearance Sonar Guide to help drivers in this endevour.
WHAT ELSE ?
The trio comes in a choice of six body colours, namely Red Mica, Sonic Quartz, Graphite Black, Platinum Silver, Sonic Titanium, and Amber Crystal Shine. The car will also come with Lexus’ own brand of security and solar tint films.
Prices of the new Lexus ES with GST, without insurance ranges from RM259,200 for the ES250 Premium, RM278,600 for the Luxury spec and a whopping RM355,100 for the range topping ES300h model. All models sold by Lexus Malaysia comes bundled with a 3-year or 100,000 km warranty programme, whichever comes first.