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2013 Lexus ES Debut

Lexus p2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h Hybrid Unveiled at New York Auto Showrepares to update its most staid sedan, with a performance edge.


2013 Lexus ES350 Research Click to hide

What's New

The Lexus ES is completely redesigned for 2013, and aside from the now iconic "spindle grille," as seen on the Lexus GS and previewed on the next Lexus RX SUV, the biggest news is the inclusion of the ES 300h hybrid into the lineup. The name is a bit misleading--the ES 300h gets a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with Atkinson-cycle hybrid power instead of, as the name would imply, a 3.0-liter V-6. Good news, then, is that the 2013 ES is longer for better interior space, but about 90-lbs. lighter than the outgoing model. Toyota estimates the hybrid will receive 40 mpg in mixed driving.

Who It's For

The previous Lexus ES had a stereotype for attracting old people. It was plush, smooth, and comfy. The 2013 ES is sharper and sportier looking, though we doubt Lexus would stray too far from its pedestrian front-wheel drive, Camry-based platform. That said, the newest ES offers the latest technology for iPhone wielders, and offers a robust V-6 for freeway passing power.

Key Features

Although the 2013 Lexus ES is completely redesigned, there are two new important features--hybrid power and the latest in in-car technology:
  • The 2013 ES 300h will feature 40 mpg mixed driving capability from a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder hybrid engine
  • Longer, wider, and lighter--the new ES gains a roomier, more modern interior without packing on the pounds
  • The new Lexus Enform infotainment system is "Bing" search, Pandora, and Facebook mobile capable
  • Finally, the ES doesn't look like a Camry, or something marketed exclusively to "old people"

What We Think

The 2013 Lexus ES is strangely appealing. At first glance, it looks like a baby Lexus GS, which is a very nice car, but perhaps missed the styling breakthrough that Lexus promised. This car, then, is cleaner and easier on the eyes. Actually, it looks very good. With a choice of V-6 power or hybrid fuel economy, increased interior space, and technological amenities, the Lexus ES could become the head of the family-sized luxury-sedan class, certainly ahead of the Acura TSX, and offerings from Cadillac and Lincoln. We'll have a better idea when we get to drive one.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: New York 2012

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