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The addition of a petrol powertrain has lowered the price of entry to the updated Lexus ES range by a tick under $1000 compared to the outgoing model.
The new petrol-powered ES250 Luxury kicks off the refreshed range from $61,620 before on-road costs, with the mid-grade ES250 F Sport climbing to $70,860. The ES250 is not offered in plush Sports Luxury guise.
The ES300h Luxury now starts from $63,550, up $1025 over the outgoing version and $1930 more than the ES250 Luxury. The F Sport is $1430 more expensive at $72,930 and the Sports Luxury is up by $1180 to $78,180.
An optional Enhancement Pack is available with the ES250 and ES300h Luxury and the ES300h F Sport, costing between $1500 to $8260. Features differ depending on the variant.
Compared with rivals in the premium mid-size passenger car segment, the Lexus ES is still one of the more affordable offerings. It undercuts the BMW 3 Series by about $9000, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class by $5000 and the Jaguar XE by $6000.
The current-gen ES launched in late 2018 as a hybrid-only proposition – only the second Lexus model to follow this strategy after the CT hatch.
Lexus Australia’s decision to add a petrol version to the mix could help capture buyers of the IS sedan which has been discontinued due to Australian Design Rule changes. The CT hatch and RC coupe have also been given the chop for the same reason.
A Lexus spokesperson said the new petrol ES will help boost Lexus’ mid-size offering in Australia.
“The addition of another powertrain is certainly in response to three years of consistent sales growth for the ES, and between new ES and forthcoming all-new NX we will have the newest and strongest Lexus sedan and SUV duo for customers shopping in the medium luxury class,” they said.
The 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine now offered in the ES delivers 152kW/243Nm and drives the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is the same powertrain found in the mechanically related Toyota Camry.
It is 60kg lighter than the ES hybrid and fuel consumption is rated at 6.6L/100km on the combined cycle.
The 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid 300h has 160kW/221Nm on tap and drives the rear wheels via a continuously variable transmission, but it’s more frugal with fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km.
Completing the 0-100km/h dash is slightly quicker in the hybrid – 8.9 seconds compared with 9.1s in the ES250.
Exterior changes over the outgoing ES include new headlights, a refreshed grille, new wheel designs and some new paint options. Under the skin, Lexus has revised the suspension in a bid to improve ride and handling, and the ES300h F Sport’s adaptive dampers have also been tweaked.
In terms of safety, the autonomous emergency braking system now features intersection assist and daytime and night-time pedestrian and cyclist detection. Emergency Steering Assist which adds more steering torque in an emergency manoeuvre is also new to the ES.
Lexus Connected Services with SOS call, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle tracking is standard for the first time.
Other standard fare in the ES250 Luxury includes keyless entry and start, a sunroof, auto-dimming interior mirror, heated front seats, 10-way power adjustable front seats and dual-zone climate control.
2022 Lexus ES pricing before on-road costs
|ES250 F Sport||Automatic||$70,860|
|ES300h Luxury||Automatic||$63,550 (+$1025)|
|ES300h F Sport||Automatic||$72,930 (+$1430)|
|ES300h Sports Luxury||Automatic||$78,180 (+$1180)|