New York: 2013 Lexus ES350 and ES300h debut
Welcome back, Lexus. The Buick Lacrosse has attracted attention. After years of producing some bland products, the 2013 Lexus ES looks to be one of the brand's most impressive products to date.
The ES and RX have long been Lexus’ best sellers. The brand’s very bread-and-butter, a lot is riding on the next-generation ES. The current, geriatric ES has become uncompetitive with the rest of the segment. The good news (for Lexus) is that this has changed completely. The current ES is quite sleepy and largely devoid of any style.
The new ES takes things up to a notch, appearing to be a class up from where it really is priced. For one, this is the best application of the “spindle” grille yet. The overall package is large and looks very mini LS-like. The 2013 has a substance that the previous car clearly lacked. Lexus has upped its game, which is good to see.
Inside, the case is no different. The current ES has a dated, oval shaped design theme with acres of (good quality) plastic on the dash. The ES has the distinction of being the last car on the market to have a tape-deck. We’ll let you decide if that is a good thing or not.....
Regardless, the ES builds on the GS interior design, which itself took inspiration from the LFA supercar. The design is horizontal, with many different textures and layers. Style and substance – our favorite element is the chunky steering wheel. Kudos guys, the ES looks the part. The ES will be available in two model iterations – ES350 and ES300h. The former retains Lexus’ familiar 3.5-liter V-6 power.
ES300h brings hybrid power to the product line. Unlike previous Lexus efforts, it clearly focuses on fuel economy. The ES300h is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine, which Lexus said will result in a combined city/highway fuel consumption of 40 miles per gallon. The EV mode will enable the ES driver to use battery power for only a short period of time. Will this affect hobbyists and those who are passionate about driving? No chance. We also doubt whether ES will attract young people. But for the core group that ES has always catered to, the 2013 ES350 is more attractive.
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