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Hybrid variants to dominate sales of new Lexus ES

Increased value and hybrid focus headline arrival of Lexus’ seventh-generation ES

1 Oct 2021

LEXUS says a more attainable price point is at the heart of the sales strategy of its seventh-generation ES range, despite the model’s entry price increasing by more than $1000. 


The lighter, more highly specified Mercedes-Benz C-Class rival is offered with two powertrain options and three grade choices with pricing beginning from $61,620 – an increase of $1930 over the outgoing model – with hybrid variants starting from $63,550 – or $1025 more than the MY20 equivalent. 


F Sports have increased by $1430 while the top-shelf Sports Luxury variants up by $1180.


In exchange for the extra outlay, all variants offer higher specification levels and increased levels of driver assistance technology.


Despite the introduction of a dedicated petrol engine to the range, the Japanese luxury marque says it expects 85 per cent of ES buyers to favour the petrol-electric hybrid versions of its luxurious mid-size sedan. 


Dubbed the ES300h, the hybrids are powered by a 160kW 2.5-litre engine and electric motor combination Lexus says offers a meaningful reduction in CO2 emissions. 


Hybrid variants will be joined by the petrol-powered ES250 which combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. 


“The addition of another powertrain is certainly in response to three years of consistent sales growth for the ES, and between the new ES and the forthcoming NX, we will have the newest and strongest Lexus sedan and SUV duo for customers shopping the medium luxury class,” a Lexus Australia spokesperson told GoAuto.


The new 2.5-litre petrol engine is identical to the one found under the bonnet of the Toyota Camry, developing 152kW/243Nm. It consumes 6.6L/100km on the ADR combined cycle and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a claimed 9.1 seconds.


Hybrid versions continue to offer up 160kW/221Nm and drive the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. 


The electrical asisatnce drops the combined fuel consumption down to 4.8L/100km and marginally improves performance, stopping the clock from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds.


The 2021 Lexus ES range commences with the ES250 Luxury ($61,620) which introduces a series of ‘firsts’ for the range including intersection assist with turn assist, emergency steering assist – part of an expanded suite of AEB technologies – and Lexus’s full suite of on-board connected services. 


The features join automatic high-beam assist, radar cruise control, road sign assist, and parking support brake including an intelligent sonar-based clearance system.


Entry-level variants of the ES range also receive keyless entry, a sunroof, 10-way powered and heated seats and a 10-speaker premium audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.


Identical specification changes have been made to the hybrid-powered ES300h Luxury ($63,550) which adds a rear spoiler and power adjustable steering column.


Both versions of the Lexus ES Luxury are available with an Enhancement Pack which adds an automatic rear door with kick sensor, unique 18-inch alloy wheels, 360-degree camera, side blinds, rear power sunshade and a 14-way adjustable driver’s seat.


The mid-tier ES250 F Sport ($70,860) and ES300h F Sport ($72,390) include those features found on the entry model and add the previously mentioned Enhancement Pack items, as well as larger 19-inch wheels, performance dampers and a sports body kit. 


Hybrid models adopt adaptive damping with two driver-selectable settings.


An Enhancement Pack is also available for the hybrid F Sports which adds a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and heated steering wheel.


At the top of the range, the ES300h Sports Luxury brings what Lexus says is an “expanded choice for customers spending beyond $70,000”. 


Priced from $78,180, it comes as standard with semi-aniline leather-accented upholstery, rear seat heating and tri-zone climate control while Bamboo ornamentation is optionally available.


Lexus Australia says it has enjoyed three years of consistent sales growth despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic – the brand boasted a 4.5 per cent increase in sales to the end of August with its luxury medium sedan sales growing by 20.3 per cent compared with the first eight months of 2020. 


2022 Lexus ES pricing*

ES250 Luxury (a) $61,620
ES250 Luxury with Enhancement Pack (a) $63,120
ES300h Luxury (a) $63,550
ES300h Luxury with Enhancement Pack (a) $71,810
ES250 F Sport (a) $70,860
ES300h F Sport (a) $72,930
ES300h F Sport with Enhancement Pack (a) $76,530
ES300h Sports Luxury (a) $78,180

*Excludes on-road costs

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