2013 Lexus ES
The last time we got behind the wheel of a Lexus, they had cannon-balled into the supercar pool with the outrageous LFA. While a milestone car, it’s the all-new 2013 Lexus ES that will contribute far more to Toyota’s bottom line. Since the first ES back in 1989, it’s been the best-selling car in the Lexus lineup. And, all that time the ES has battled the perception that it’s just a gussied-up Camry. While a notion Lexus would love to dispel, the new ES still shares most mechanical bits with Camry. So, while more evolutionary than revolutionary, there are two models, the gas powered ES 350, and new hybrid ES 300h.
The 2013 ES sports a meaner front end with the brand’s new spindle grille and the ever popular LED daytime runners. Wheelbase and length are both up with wheels pushed more to the corners. The ES interior is a major departure from its Toyota cousin. The flat, wide instrument panel with an oversized center info screen is more akin to the new Lexus GS. There is top flight trim, a new central controller, and ambient lighting throughout. Little has changed under the hood, however. Standard is the Camry’s optional 3.5 liter V6, still rated at 268-horsepower. The 300h Hybrid mimic’s the Camry Hybrid with a 2.5 liter I4, churning up a system total of 200-horsepower with a combined Government Fuel Economy rating of 39 MPG. The front and rear suspensions have been retuned, making this ES more enjoyable than past models.
STEVEN CHUPNICK: The ride is amazingly quiet; you don't hear any outside noise. But it's the comforts of driving that are well re-designed as well - the lowered steering wheel, the steering wheel controls, plus the Lexus mouse controlling your audio and video options are well in reach. You never take your eyes off the road.
The 2013 Lexus ES line-up hits showrooms in August with prices starting near $38,000.
Engine: 3.5 liter V6
Price: Starting near $38,000