The latest 2016 model does not offer much in terms of looks compared to the previous model however, Lexus designers have focused on enhancing the front end of the car. This 2016 model receives a more strongly styled, even bolder, one-piece version of the brand’s iconic spindle grille. It has been framed by elegant satin chrome trim for added appeal. I found the new standard LED headlights give the ES a steely stare at night. A fully redesigned front fascia puts the fog lights at the corners to accentuate the wide stance.
The Lexus ES now shows a more sophisticated look from the rear, too, with distinctive L-themed taillights and new chrome-tipped rectangular exhaust ports peeking through a restyled rear bumper.
Always in pursuit of optimal luxury, Lexus made numerous upgrades to the new Lexus ES's already comfortable cabin. New interior colour co-ordinations and soft-touch materials added to the console and silver-trimmed piano black door switch plates are among the details that give the interior a richer appearance. The new steering wheel has a sportier look and feel, and allows the driver to easily view the large multi-information display that links to multimedia functions. A new shift knob with a leather boot echoes the shifter design in the Lexus IS.
The cabin is large and roomy with ample leg and head room for rear passengers. The front seats are large and comfortable; they are also ventilated and feature electric manoeuvrability.
Now, as with smartphones and tablets, which have made getting information and entertainment from the same source a given. The standard infotainment system in the 2016 Lexus ES follows suit. It features a seven-inch screen which displays not only multimedia functions but navigation and vehicle information as well.
Under the hood
The Lexus ES 250 which I drove serves as part of the brand's strategy in the entry-luxury segment, combining flagship-type comfort with front-wheel-drive traction. It delivers adequate performance combined with impressive efficiency from its 135kW/235Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, which has been teamed to an ultra-smooth six-speed automatic transmission. Different driving modes are also on offer from a drive select toggle. Drivers can choose between Normal, Eco or Sport. I found that leaving the car in Normal mode was best suited to everyday driving conditions.
This is a great alternative to the German offerings within this segment. Sure it’s not as sporty as its competitors but it offers comfort levels and cabin space that one would find on more premium models. I do however feel the car could do with more power, in fact I think, if Lexus dropped its new 2.0-litre turbocharged motor into the ES it would make the car an even more desirable package. The ES250 EX will cost you R475 800, which is not bad considering the fact that the EX model comes just about fully loaded.