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2021 Lexus ES detailed: New Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Volkswagen Arteon rival gets refreshed, due in Australian showrooms later this year

The new ES sedan looks more like its LS big brother than ever

The Shanghai motor show has just seen Lexus reveal its updated ES sedan ahead of its Australian arrival in the second half of this year bringing new styling and tech showcased on its LS flagship saloon.

While pricing and full specifications have yet to be revealed, it's expected the ES will continue to be offered exclusively as a petrol-electric hybrid in Australia in the form of the ES 300h.

The current model ES 300h starts with a list price $62,525 before on-road costs for the entry-level Luxury and extends to the range topping Sports Luxury at a list price of $77,000.

  • The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range.
  • The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range.
  • The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range.
  • The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range.
  • The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range.

More of a styling tweak than complete overhaul the new ES adopts the LS's ‘spindle grille' and headlight design and new 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels.

New paint colours include Sonic Iridium which is a silver hue, and the high-gloss grey Sonic Chrome.

Inside, new cabin materials such a Walnut trim are now offered, while the Hazel interior colour seen on the LS model is now part of the ES palette along with a new Mauve which blends brown and grey tones.

A welcome change in the cabin is to the media display which is now a touchscreen been and has brought forward by more than 100mm to enable better usability than through the existing touchpad control on the centre console.

Other tech updates include the new adaptive high beam headlights and Lexus' latest suit of safety systems with a better single lens camera and millimetre wave radar for more responsive AEB and emergency steering assistance.

Lexus says comfort and agility has been improved thanks in part to a change in the rear suspension braces which have been swapped from a single sheet to a dual-sheet structure.

  • A welcome change in the cabin is to the media display which is now a touchscreen been and has brought forward by more than 100mm. A welcome change in the cabin is to the media display which is now a touchscreen been and has brought forward by more than 100mm.
  • Inside, new cabin materials such a Walnut trim are now offered. Inside, new cabin materials such a Walnut trim are now offered.

"In its current generation the ES has become more like our Lexus LS flagship sedan than ever, and the market has responded well to this increased luxury positioning with sustained growth over the last couple of years," a Lexus spokesperson told CarsGuide.

"We do expect this level of success to continue with this new ES because it does raise that comfort and luxury level, and technology, even further."

Lexus ES counts the Genesis G80 among its rivals, along with the more expensive Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 series and Audi A6.

The large ES sedan sits below the LS flagship and above the IS in the Lexus range. While the big sellers in the Lexus range are its UX, RX and NX SUVs, the ES is second only to the IS in sedan sales with 188 sold in Australia so far this year.