Let’s start in a apparent place: a Camry connection. It’s certain to turn a hang with that some would find to kick Lexus, as if to advise that a ES is a reduction bona fide oppulance product or convincing opposition for a Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6 than a GS was.
Chance afforded us a arise to park a ES 300h subsequent to a 2018-model-year Camry while holding a brief mangle from a exam track in and around Nashville, Tennesse, and to observe that a correspondence between a dual cars is positively striking.
Lexus engineers will acknowledge that a GA-K platform on that a ES sits was grown with both a Camry and ES in mind, and that there is some commonality as regards cessation and body-in-white.
But there’s copiousness of difference, too. Lexus uses lighter materials and stronger fasten techniques for a ES than in a Toyota relative, while a ES’s framework is also aside braced in places by constructional ‘performance dampers’ (depending on trim level) and has many some-more consummate cabin siege measures than a Camry as good as bespoke cessation tuning (the former includes a noise-suppressing amalgamate circle design, while a latter is delivered by double-valved startle absorbers).
Opt for a ES in F Sport and you’ll get adaptively damped suspension, too. None of that sounds like a technical makeup of an executive tavern with really many to be humble about, does it?
Lexus has high standards to contend on viewed cabin peculiarity and oppulance feel with a bigger saloons. For a many part, a ES measures adult to them — although there were some places where a exam automobile could have been done to demeanour and feel some-more expensive.
You’ll find soft, well-spoken leathers on a ES’s seats and in places around a fascia, but a dashboard and doorcards some-more widely underline slush-moulded cosmetic masquerading as hide and in a few places they underline harder, shinier plastics.
The musical centre console trim doesn’t utterly compare that of a steering circle for grain and, as a whole, a automobile doesn’t have a commanding aura of richness, reduction and technological sophistication you’ll find in an A6 or E-Class.
Cabin space and altogether practicality are good, with a integrate of caveats. Stretches in both undisguised length and wheelbase compared with the previous-generation ES concede for good leg room in both rows, with incomparable adults able to lay line abaft in comfort, but second-row conduct room doesn’t utterly strike a same standard.
Meanwhile, Lexus’s preference to fit two kinds of constructional braces around a car’s back bulkhead sees off any probability of folding back seatbacks. So, while a ES’s foot itself is both far-reaching and long, we won’t be means to bucket longer equipment by into a cabin.
Lexus will usually offer a ES to UK buyers in petrol-electric ‘self-charging’ hybrid form, as a ES 300h. Powered by a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol engine that drives a front wheels by an equally new hybrid transaxle delivery (made adult of a 118bhp electric expostulate motor, a smaller motor/generator and an ‘e-CVT’ gearbox), a ES hybrid various produces 215bhp, emits 106g/km of CO2 and comes with a total fuel economy explain of only over 60mpg.
Those total ought to demeanour appealing when compared with four-cylinder petrol and diesel versions of a pivotal rivals. The claimed 0-62mph sprint, at only underneath 9 seconds, will demeanour reduction appealing in relations terms but should frequency come as a beating to anyone informed with a doing economy disposition of Lexus’s bigger-selling petrol-electric powertrains.
The ES has a some-more mature, polished and relaxing ground impression than a GS. Its doing is composed, accurate and sincerely responsive, the medium-weighted steering is well-judged and has unchanging pace, and a automobile has levels of undisguised hold and physique control that will concede it to understanding some-more simply with a full duds of UK roads, we brave say, than some saloons of a size.
The automobile is during a many gratifying, however, when driven during laid-back gait — when a absorptive, still float soothes divided bumps and pointy edges really good indeed, and all is ease inside.
Lexus’s latest-generation four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is further during a best when you’re in no mind to hurry. Drive in Eco mode and you’ll find we can keep a explosion engine still for longer durations and have a sincerely long, simply on-going accelerator pedal calibration with that we can simply record around 50mpg.
Select Sport mode in sequence to adopt a faster stride, however, and you’ll find that, while a car’s undisguised opening turn during full energy is decent, a aged Toyota/Lexus hybrid frustrations of too many perplexity and too small coherence on part-throttle make a ES 300h feel reduction driveable and positive in a acceleration than you’d like.
Although a automobile has wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, they’re of small unsentimental use, given a car’s petrol engine adopts Lexus’s informed ‘elastic band’-style revving slight once we use some-more than about two-thirds energy anyway, regardless that ‘gear’ you’ve selected.