Lexus ES: Sixth GenerationUSA

Lexus Aims for 50k ES Sedan Sales Per Year in USA

Lexus ES 300h

Lexus has high hopes that the new 2019 Lexus ES will appeal to a wider range of buyers with the release of the first-ever ES 350 F SPORT — here’s how the difference in demographics was presented during the sedan’s launch in Nashville last month:

Lexus ES Demographics

(As for the ES 300h buyers, Lexus expects them to follow the typical hybrid buyer, with a higher education level and a higher income.)

Together, all three ES variants will sell an estimated 50,000 units per year in the USA. This number is well below the five-year average of 64k, and signals a belief at Lexus that car sales will not rebound in the near future.

Another interesting detail is the split between the standard ES, ES F SPORT, and ES hybrid:

Lexus ES Variant Breakdown

Here’s a video for those interested in watching the full presentation from Lexus USA vice-president of marketing Cooper Ericksen:

Comments
Sakura
FWD, RWD and AWD will not be the sole reason a car handles good. A FWD car handle good. A RWD car can handle poorly. However - its how these cars are step up. This is what I was alluding too.

While the 2019 Lexus ES is obviously better - its not as "amazing" as some people make it out to be. Because you'll obviously feel the draw-backs of the MacPherson suspensions and FWD.
So Audi and VW can handle well, but Lexus ES cant handle well... this is basically your argument despite Krew writing review and every other review saying it handles well...

What is competition? Since you are going from Golf to Type R to Audi and MB.

Regular E220d does not handle anything special... A6 FWD also does not handle like Type R either.
Lexus ES can compete well against these cars, and there is simply no argument against that.

Even regular F10 never handled well in non M editions, it was pretty heavy car and by all reviews GS handled better.
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lsu5508
When will be the first time an average Joe can get a good look before ordering? Do dealerships get demo cars prior to official production arrival. No chance i'm pre-ordering blind. Also when do the build options and pricing typically show up on the Lexus website?
I do not believe dealerships get "demo" cars before official production arrival. The online build simulation will be available before the vehicle hits dealers though.

If you are pre-ordering or ordering a car from the dealer, you'll be given a list of options that you are able to select from. That shouldn't be a problem.

spwolf
So Audi and VW can handle well, but Lexus ES cant handle well... this is basically your argument despite Krew writing review and every other review saying it handles well...

What is competition? Since you are going from Golf to Type R to Audi and MB.

Regular E220d does not handle anything special... A6 FWD also does not handle like Type R either.
Lexus ES can compete well against these cars, and there is simply no argument against that.

Even regular F10 never handled well in non M editions, it was pretty heavy car and by all reviews GS handled better.
Hold up. Take a step back - I get it, you like the Lexus ES. But I didn't say Audi and VW can handle better than the Lexus ES. You are putting words in my mouth for this bit.

Also - where did I say the Lexus ES can't handle well? I clearly stated the 2019 Lexus ES handles well and better than the predecessors.
What I said:
The Lexus ES is an amazing luxury car that handles better than its predecessors - it doesn't need to be some handling king. It doesn't need to be powerful either. Its good at being a comfortable-luxurious-reliable car.
What I'm trying to say as well is: while the Lexus ES handles better, its still not a good handling FWD car like the Civic Type R. What I said was: The 2019 Lexus ES definitely handles better than its predecessors but its not a handling-king, such as the Type R. I'm addressing this point because you seem to push the narrative that the Lexus ES handling is extremely well, which is simply not true.

No. There is an argument for this because the Lexus ES doesn't completely compete against the A6, 5 Series or E-Class. Just because the GS is axed and Toyota put the ES in its place - doesn't mean it competes there.
1) The Audi A6 is a longitudinal FWD car and the 5 Series/E-Class are RWD. On paper - this is already steps ahead in handling compared to the Lexus ES transverse FWD.
2) I would bracket Lexus ES as a car that competes with Buick, Genesis, and the Acura TLX. Its not an A6, 5, or E competitor.
3) It doesn't have to be a A6, 5, or E competitor. Its an amazing car that will sell extremely well where its at. I think people have to understand the Lexus ES is nothing more than a Lexus ES. Its built to be a handsome, luxurious, comfortable, and reliable car.

Lastly - I'm a Toyota shareholder and I like the concept of the Lexus ES, but this doesn't stop me from being bias with my opinions about the vehicle.
The Volvo S90/V90 competes against the three German. It has up to more than 400 PS from its transverse 2.0l I4. Audi A4 is probably going FWD next generation. I would not be surprised if too in a generation. With AWD now the standard, bar a for a few enthusiasts, and most flagships going electric, there is little incentive for RWD. Heavy car, no manual, RWD is not worthy.
Sakura
Lexus ES definitely handles better than its predecessors but its not a handling-king, such as the Type R. I'm addressing this point because you seem to push the narrative that the Lexus ES handling is extremely well, which is simply not true.
Yes - it handles well and better than before. But no - it doesn't handle like a "sporty" car.

No. There is an argument for this because the Lexus ES doesn't completely compete against the A6, 5 Series or E-Class. Just because the GS is axed and Toyota put the ES in its place - doesn't mean it competes there.
1) The Audi A6 is a longitudinal FWD car and the 5 Series/E-Class are RWD. On paper - this is already steps ahead in handling compared to the Lexus ES transverse FWD.
2) I would bracket Lexus ES as a car that competes with Buick, Genesis, and the Acura TLX. Its not an A6, 5, or E competitor.
3) It doesn't have to be a A6, 5, or E competitor. Its an amazing car that will sell extremely well where its at. I think people have to understand the Lexus ES is nothing more than a Lexus ES. Its built to be a handsome, luxurious, comfortable, and reliable car.

Lastly - I'm a Toyota shareholder and I like the concept of the Lexus ES, but this doesn't stop me from being bias with my opinions about the vehicle.
No, those arguments do not hold.

1. For car to handle well it does not have to handle as well as Type R. None of the competition handles like Type R. Using some crazy FWD hatch is just an easy way to disqualify ES. Does A6 2.0tdi handle like Type R?
2. I dont care what is on paper, and it is not even on paper since all the mags said that handling is fine. This "paper" is only in your head because of your preconceived opinions of ES.
3. Why would Lexus ES only compete vs Buick and Acura TLX? Those cars do not exist in Europe or China or Japan. All European mags said it competes vs 5/E/A6, and all the reviews are quite favorable with handling being fine, suspension being fine, and interior praised for quality and construction, all vs competition which is A6/5/E.
4. And it is their competition. This is what people will compare it to, even in the US. And of course in the rest of the world, those competition you mention does not exist. When they walk to the Lexus dealership, they will certainly compare it to those cars, no matter where in the world they are.

Yes, you are biased against Lexus ES, despite all the reviews telling you not to be. I am not sure what does that have to do with being Toyota shareholder, at the time I worked for Toyota, we invested millions into it, and does not make me more qualified than other drivers/buyers of the brand.

I cant wait for you to try out ES and let us know your opinion. I am sure Krew also had preconceived opinions of what ES is.
Photo Gallery: The 2019 Lexus ES 300h in Four Exterior Colors

[​IMG]

Matador Red Mica, Moonbeam Beige Metallic, Caviar, and Nightfall Mica.
View the original article post
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lsu5508
When will be the first time an average Joe can get a good look before ordering? Do dealerships get demo cars prior to official production arrival. No chance i'm pre-ordering blind. Also when do the build options and pricing typically show up on the Lexus website?
Do people pay MSRP when you order a car at Lexus? If so it seems bit crazy to me to pay full price when its not too difficult to get at least 10% off MSRP with a bit of negotiating.
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spwolf
No, those arguments do not hold.

1. For car to handle well it does not have to handle as well as Type R. None of the competition handles like Type R. Using some crazy FWD hatch is just an easy way to disqualify ES. Does A6 2.0tdi handle like Type R?
2. I dont care what is on paper, and it is not even on paper since all the mags said that handling is fine. This "paper" is only in your head because of your preconceived opinions of ES.
3. Why would Lexus ES only compete vs Buick and Acura TLX? Those cars do not exist in Europe or China or Japan. All European mags said it competes vs 5/E/A6, and all the reviews are quite favorable with handling being fine, suspension being fine, and interior praised for quality and construction, all vs competition which is A6/5/E.
4. And it is their competition. This is what people will compare it to, even in the US. And of course in the rest of the world, those competition you mention does not exist. When they walk to the Lexus dealership, they will certainly compare it to those cars, no matter where in the world they are.

Yes, you are biased against Lexus ES, despite all the reviews telling you not to be. I am not sure what does that have to do with being Toyota shareholder, at the time I worked for Toyota, we invested millions into it, and does not make me more qualified than other drivers/buyers of the brand.

I cant wait for you to try out ES and let us know your opinion. I am sure Krew also had preconceived opinions of what ES is.
Actually - they do.

1) I never said a car has to handle like a Civic Type R to be considered handling well. You are putting words in my mouth, again.
I literally said - the Lexus ES handles well - just not as good as the Civic Type R. I never said the Lexus ES has to handle like the Civic Type R to be considered as handling well.

What I said:
The Lexus ES is an amazing luxury car that handles better than its predecessors - it doesn't need to be some handling king. It doesn't need to be powerful either. Its good at being a comfortable-luxurious-reliable car.
Lets refer back - what I also said:
I believe there is nothing wrong with my statement. It obviously better than before but its obviously not better than say a Civic Type R or STi is where I'm getting at. Hence - I said, "handling-king". Obviously the Lexus ES wasn't built for that and there is nothing wrong with that.
As you can see - in the part I just bold and underlined - I stated there is nothing wrong with that. This literally means - the Lexus ES doesn't have to handle like a Civic Type R or STi to be considered good in its own right.
What I'm trying to say here is: the narrative you are pushing make it sounds like you think the Lexus ES is the next coming of the Toyota Supra and it handles like a track car.

No the A6 FWD doesn't handle like the Type R. Its not suppose to. Just like how the Lexus ES isn't suppose to. All I'm saying is - the Lexus ES don't handle like the Type R.

2) The "paper" isn't in my head. The fact is transverse FWD cars don't handle as well as longitudinal placed FWD cars and RWD cars unless the said FWD is set up to, like the Civic Type R. The Lexus ES is not a "sporty" car and its not set up to handle like one.
But that doesn't mean it don't handle well or "fine" as you put it. I fully agree it handles good for what it is. But it doesn't handle like a RWD sporty car and I'm not sure why you think it does.

3) The Buick sells in China. Buick is insanely popular in China. Buick and Audi are two most popular brands in China. Buick does sell in Japan but sales volume are low. Buick and Opel sell together in Europe. The Lexus ES always been compared to the the Buick brand - especially the Buick the LaCrosse. I think the Lexus ES doesn't compete against the A6, 5 Series or E-Class because:
1] Transverse FWD compared to Longitudinal FWD and RWD.
2] Driving dynamics. Sure - it handles better and well for what it is but it won't handle as well as the A6, 5, or E.
3] Not a "sporty" full-size luxury sedan.
4] The Lexus ES price is not even priced near them, which makes the A6, 5 Series and E-Class are a segment higher up.
5] No performance variation; example: ES-F. It'll never have an ES-F either. Toyota will likely not waste money on producing a vehicle the core demographic won't buy.
Finally - for the ES to be competitor to the A6, 5 and E - the ES has to replace the GS. The ES doesn't replace the GS.

What does being a Toyota shareholder have to do with anything? Uhhh... The Lexus ES is made, like many of the other Toyota products, to allow us shareholders to earn money. This is why the Lexus ES is the way it is. Its one of Toyota's cash cow. This is why the Lexus GS got axed and not the ES. The GS is the better car but the ES is the money maker.

How am I bias against the Lexus ES when I also clearly stated the Lexus ES handles well, better than before, its luxurious, comfortable, reliable, and it'll be a great seller. Don't sound like bias against to me...
So you think I'm bias against the Lexus ES because:
I said it doesn't handle like a Civic Type R (when I clearly stated its not suppose) - I was doing a counter-argument against your narrative that its an insanely good handling vehicle.
When I said it doesn't compete with the A6, 5, or E? It clearly doesn't compete with the A6, 5, or E. The Lexus ES is not the same type of vehicle as the A6, 5, or E.
??
^^ These criticism doesn't make me bias. Its legit points. I gave a fair balanced opinion of the Lexus ES. I never say one car is 100% good like you are alluding to. I think you are the one here that is bias. (I know about your Pro-Lexus ES posts on CL too.)

But - I want to say thank you for our conversation together. However - this will be my last reply to you because you came off extremely passive-aggressive towards me for posting a honest fair opinion about the Lexus ES. Its just a car, bro.
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reposado
Do people pay MSRP when you order a car at Lexus? If so it seems bit crazy to me to pay full price when its not too difficult to get at least 10% off MSRP with a bit of negotiating.
No. You don't pay MSRP. You allowed to talk about the price you would like to pay at before the ordering process. Usually - some dealers would give you even an addition slight discount because you are saving them extra money on insuring the vehicle and keeping it on their lot.

At Lexus dealers - you should get on average of 12%-14% off MSRP with tax regardless if the car is a new release or not. Just don't expect good lease deals when its newly released.

My advice is to wait until the second model year to buy the Lexus ES if you want one. This allows time for the better lease deals to come in and for Toyota to work on the first model year issues. Majority of cars experience issues on their first model year so quite a bit of people tend to hold off on buying first model years.
L
Sakura
No. You don't pay MSRP. You allowed to talk about the price you would like to pay at before the ordering process. Usually - some dealers would give you even an addition slight discount because you are saving them extra money on insuring the vehicle and keeping it on their lot.

At Lexus dealers - you should get on average of 12%-14% off MSRP with tax regardless if the car is a new release or not. Just don't expect good lease deals when its newly released.

My advice is to wait until the second model year to buy the Lexus ES if you want one. This allows time for the better lease deals to come in and for Toyota to work on the first model year issues. Majority of cars experience issues on their first model year so quite a bit of people tend to hold off on buying first model years.
Just out of curiosity how major are the typical first year bugs? My current lease was up last month so I extended 6 months so i'm not going to have the luxury of waiting an additional year. I will be buying the F-sport most probably depending on options and price so lease deals are not a huge concern to me.
Toyota/Lexus typically have fewer first year bugs than other makers; I don't think the LC had any recall-type issues at all.
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lsu5508
Just out of curiosity how major are the typical first year bugs? My current lease was up last month so I extended 6 months so i'm not going to have the luxury of waiting an additional year. I will be buying the F-sport most probably depending on options and price so lease deals are not a huge concern to me.
Ian Schmidt
Toyota/Lexus typically have fewer first year bugs than other makers; I don't think the LC had any recall-type issues at all.
Like Ian said, Toyota/Lexus tends to have less first year bugs than other car-makers. It doesn't mean they are free from it though.

I wasn't specially talking about issues so big it needs a recall but rather just imperfections that tend to happen on the first year models. Example: The 2014 Lexus IS infotainment system has bugs where it tends to crash and reboot all the time. This was fixed in 2015 (second model year).

While we can't predict what kind of issues the Lexus ES will have, its safe to assume that there might be a few minor things that the 2019 will have to deal with that the 2020 model year won't have to. Its safe to assume this, in my opinion, because majority of the car within the 40-50K price range usually has a few minor flaws. These cars tend to not have so much in depth details applied to it compared to the 100K price tag LS and LC. I mean - you get what you paid for.

I do understand you don't have the luxury to wait. But, my personal advice is, if you are buying and already focused on keeping this Lexus ES for the long-haul. I would recommend either buying the second year model of the ES to avoid any minor issues it might have.
Or lease another vehicle and wait for the refreshed model Lexus ES. I personally recommend refresh models of cars to buy and keep because refresh models allow you to get more features on the car. Since you are keeping it for the long haul, you'll benefit from the features in the longer run.
I'm predicting the refresh Lexus ES F-Sport in the future will have some of the luxury amenities only offered on the Luxury packages previously. This is exactly what happened with the Lexus IS F-Sport. As time went on, they started offering more of the equipment from the luxury pack.
spwolf
Yes, you are biased against Lexus ES, despite all the reviews telling you not to be. I am not sure what does that have to do with being Toyota shareholder, at the time I worked for Toyota, we invested millions into it, and does not make me more qualified than other drivers/buyers of the brand.
Sakura
^^ These criticism doesn't make me bias. Its legit points. I gave a fair balanced opinion of the Lexus ES. I never say one car is 100% good like you are alluding to. I think you are the one here that is bias. (I know about your Pro-Lexus ES posts on CL too.)

But - I want to say thank you for our conversation together. However - this will be my last reply to you because you came off extremely passive-aggressive towards me for posting a honest fair opinion about the Lexus ES. Its just a car, bro.
Let's slow this down and drop the personal back-and-forth. It's unnecessary.
lsu5508
Just out of curiosity how major are the typical first year bugs? My current lease was up last month so I extended 6 months so i'm not going to have the luxury of waiting an additional year. I will be buying the F-sport most probably depending on options and price so lease deals are not a huge concern to me.
Most of what is coming in the ES has been in the Camry for a year and the Avalon for ~2 months now, so I think the ES should be pretty well sorted out.
Gecko
Most of what is coming in the ES has been in the Camry for a year and the Avalon for ~2 months now, so I think the ES should be pretty well sorted out.
Yeah, I think that's actually why Toyota likes to introduce new technology in bottom-tier models first - lets them shake the bugs out in a production environment where expectations are a little lower.
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maiaramdan
That's exactly sir what I have been saying long time ago, honestly the ES not only killing the GS but also the IS, Crown, Avalon and Mark-X

So 1 car will destroy another 6
Why with God sake Toyota not putting the Avalon in the current ES market, I even thought that the Avalon is better all around than the ES and with rumors about killing the IS we start to hear the same about the Mark-X

This is as if they don't want to make cars anymore this is all crazy and I am really mad of the decision regarding sticking with the ES and killing the rest
Very true. The Lexus ES does somewhat harm IS sales as well. The starting price of the Lexus ES is very similar to the Lexus IS. Some consumers might be swayed by the idea of the bigger size of the ES for relatively not that much more.

The problem is: if they cancel both the IS and GS, Lexus is committing brand suicide.
If they cancel the IS, they are canceling the IS, RC (RC is based on IS - IS goes RC goes), and IS-F (no hope of return.)
If they cancel the GS, they are canceling the GS and GS-F.
This means they will leave the 3 Series, 4 Series, C-Class, C-Class Coupe, E-Class, A4, A5, S4, S5, A6, S6, and Q50 3.0T Silver Sport competition. Yup. Brand suicide.

The Lexus ES is an amazing car and its great for what it is. But its no A6, 5, or E competitor. The Lexus ES can barely compete against the 3, C-Class, and A4. Toyota will have to be on some special kind of stupid if they think the Lexus ES will be able to compete against all of those cars with its transverse FWD layout.
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Ian Schmidt
Yeah, I think that's actually why Toyota likes to introduce new technology in bottom-tier models first - lets them shake the bugs out in a production environment where expectations are a little lower.
This is a very good point. I never thought of that before. It actually could make sense because Toyota products tend to get some new gear first before Lexus in some cases.

I also personally think Toyota puts more new stuff in their Toyota products first because that's where the majority of sales come from. Toyota is the cash-cow, Lexus is just there to appeal to a specific market.
@Sakura
Thanks a lot, you made me finally feels that I am not alone in the must killing of the ES

regarding the next generation GS, they already have the new crown, they can modified it in and out and have the next generation GS

regarding the next generation IS they can build it with the next generation Mark-X, based on the same length of the current generation Mark-X

So the Crown/Mark-X is the slightly narrow body "Japanese rules" and more soft riding and the GS/IS is the international wide body more athletic riding

regarding the Avalon they can give it the AWD from Highlander or Sienna and they can have even better car than the FWD ES
Sakura
Very true. The Lexus ES does somewhat harm IS sales as well. The starting price of the Lexus ES is very similar to the Lexus IS. Some consumers might be swayed by the idea of the bigger size of the ES for relatively not that much more.

The problem is: if they cancel both the IS and GS, Lexus is committing brand suicide.
If they cancel the IS, they are canceling the IS, RC (RC is based on IS - IS goes RC goes), and IS-F (no hope of return.)
If they cancel the GS, they are canceling the GS and GS-F.
This means they will leave the 3 Series, 4 Series, C-Class, C-Class Coupe, E-Class, A4, A5, S4, S5, A6, S6, and Q50 3.0T Silver Sport competition. Yup. Brand suicide.

The Lexus ES is an amazing car and its great for what it is. But its no A6, 5, or E competitor. The Lexus ES can barely compete against the 3, C-Class, and A4. Toyota will have to be on some special kind of stupid if they think the Lexus ES will be able to compete against all of those cars with its transverse FWD layout.

Do not compare Audi to Mercedes and BMW. Except the R8, all Audis are FWD based. That the engine is north south plays no role. Audi does not have symmetrical AWD as Suabru.


But back to ES being FWD, while you might not like it, neither do I, the thing is people buy it. And while you might like Mercedes and BMW RWD, people buy them because of badge, not because of RWD.

Whether or not you liked the previous X1, it was a true BMW (to the extent of crossovers). So it the current 1 Series. Journalists, quite likely paid by carmakers, have never criticized (when they should have) RWD cars going FWD. Read the new FWD X1 reviews, read the FWD Nissan Pathfinder reviews, FWD nfiniti QX50 reviews, the FWD Suzuki Vitara, the FWD Jeep Compass/Cherokee (successor of the Jeep Liberty), there is simply no end of cars that were RWD and went FWD. Except the few sad car enthusiasts, you and me, and 3 other, no one cares. Sadly, RWD is of the past, there is no return. What will be left are the few flagship models like LS and LC and the Supra kind of cars. I am sure Porsche could get away with a re-engineered A3 Hatch.
maiaramdan
That's exactly sir what I have been saying long time ago, honestly the ES not only killing the GS but also the IS, Crown, Avalon and Mark-X
It'd be one thing if ES was somehow destroying all those cars by subterfuge or some illegal maneuvers by TMC (against themselves?), but the reality is that it's a hell of a car for the price. The fact that no other automaker has any idea how to compete with it either is telling.
Sakura
The Lexus ES is an amazing car and its great for what it is. But its no A6, 5, or E competitor. The Lexus ES can barely compete against the 3, C-Class, and A4.
The ES is not a competitor of A6, 5, E.

It is a competitor of A4, 3, C.

Please a provide YOUR examples of why the ES barely competes in that segment. Quality? Performance? Sales?
Cancelling the IS will indeed be a brand suicide move since it means removing the gateway car. No luxury brand can exist without a gateway product. I doubt it will happen unless we are at the point where sedans account for less than 10% of total car sales.

If the recent boom of the CLA sedan is any indication, Lexus actually needs to bring the CT back and probably a CS as well for the emerging market. It is crucial to have an affordable product that gets new customers into the brand. That's the role IS should be playing, and it couldn't play that role very well because of, well, ES.

The "should they kill the ES" topic is another exhausting discussion that pops up again and again. The answer is a definitive yes, it should have been killed in 1989. But after three decades Lexus is now way past the point of no return, the answer is they can't. The question now is whether TMC could make the best out of this situation.
Ian Schmidt
It'd be one thing if ES was somehow destroying all those cars by subterfuge or some illegal maneuvers by TMC (against themselves?), but the reality is that it's a hell of a car for the price. The fact that no other automaker has any idea how to compete with it either is telling.

Honestly I feel the opposite
If it's a hell of a car why Toyota dump a lot of things inside the Avalon as for example the red leather seats and the big HUD which both can be found in the Rav4 & Camry

I think Toyota putting itself in a suicidal situation and by killing IS & GS they can kill Lexus brand itself because there will be no difference between Lexus and Toyota
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zeusus
The ES is not a competitor of A6, 5, E.

It is a competitor of A4, 3, C.

Please a provide YOUR examples of why the ES barely competes in that segment. Quality? Performance? Sales?
I respectfully disagree. The Lexus ES isn't a competitor to the A4, 3, or C.
1) Layout. A4 is longitudinal FWD with AWD offering. 3 and C are both RWD.
2) Driving dynamics/handling. The A4 Quattro, 3, and C all handle better than the Lexus ES and Lexus ES F-Sport.
3) Performance. The A4 Quattro, 3 and C all outperform the Lexus ES.
4) The Lexus ES is too luxurious compared to the A4, 3, and C. The A4, 3, and C seem like a step down in quality and luxury compared to the ES.
5) The Lexus ES has more space and bigger than the A4, 3, and C by a huge amount.

Overall - the Lexus IS350 makes a better competitor to the A4, 3, and C. The sizing, handling, performance, luxurious features, and etc... are more closely related. I believe the Lexus ES hovers in a slot above the IS, A4, 3, and C competition, but below the GS, E, 5, and A6 competition. I don't think the Lexus ES has an actual German competitor is one of the reasons why I allude the Lexus ES to be in competition with the Buick, Acura TLX, and Genesis.
ssun30
The "should they kill the ES" topic is another exhausting discussion that pops up again and again. The answer is a definitive yes, it should have been killed in 1989. But after three decades Lexus is now way past the point of no return, the answer is they can't. The question now is whether TMC could make the best out of this situation.
What do you understand by "killing" the ES? The badge? They could keep the badge and make it RWD. In automotive history, it is usual for RWD to become FWD cars. It will soon happen again with the BMW 1 Series, 2 generations RWD, a USP, and BMW is ready to kill it in favor of FWD. They will come out unscathed thanks to badge. It is fare rarer, but it does happen, that a FWD car becomes RWD. After the Alfa 155, 156 and 159, the Giulia is now again a RWD car. The Jaguar X-Type that was FWD, now with the XE is RWD. Even more actual and significant because of the segment, while most CUVs the were RWD become FWD, Ford will be doing the contrary, and the new Ford Expedition will be RWD instead of FWD like the present one.




Sakura
I respectfully disagree. The Lexus ES isn't a competitor to the A4, 3, or C.
1) Layout. A4 is longitudinal FWD with AWD offering. 3 and C are both RWD.
2) Driving dynamics/handling. The A4 Quattro, 3, and C all handle better than the Lexus ES and Lexus ES F-Sport.
3) Performance. The A4 Quattro, 3 and C all outperform the Lexus ES.
4) The Lexus ES is too luxurious compared to the A4, 3, and C. The A4, 3, and C seem like a step down in quality and luxury compared to the ES.
5) The Lexus ES has more space and bigger than the A4, 3, and C by a huge amount.

Overall - the Lexus IS350 makes a better competitor to the A4, 3, and C. The sizing, handling, performance, luxurious features, and etc... are more closely related. I believe the Lexus ES hovers in a slot above the IS, A4, 3, and C competition, but below the GS, E, 5, and A6 competition. I don't think the Lexus ES has an actual German competitor is one of the reasons why I allude the Lexus ES to be in competition with the Buick, Acura TLX, and Genesis.
Why do you leave out the Passat or Aerton, which is an Audi in all aspects except engine layout? And do not mention Audi and driving dynamics in the same sentence. I have yet to drive a well handling Audi that is not an R8).
Sakura
I respectfully disagree. The Lexus ES isn't a competitor to the A4, 3, or C.
1) Layout. A4 is longitudinal FWD with AWD offering. 3 and C are both RWD.
2) Driving dynamics/handling. The A4 Quattro, 3, and C all handle better than the Lexus ES and Lexus ES F-Sport.
3) Performance. The A4 Quattro, 3 and C all outperform the Lexus ES.
4) The Lexus ES is too luxurious compared to the A4, 3, and C. The A4, 3, and C seem like a step down in quality and luxury compared to the ES.
5) The Lexus ES has more space and bigger than the A4, 3, and C by a huge amount.

Overall - the Lexus IS350 makes a better competitor to the A4, 3, and C. The sizing, handling, performance, luxurious features, and etc... are more closely related. I believe the Lexus ES hovers in a slot above the IS, A4, 3, and C competition, but below the GS, E, 5, and A6 competition. I don't think the Lexus ES has an actual German competitor is one of the reasons why I allude the Lexus ES to be in competition with the Buick, Acura TLX, and Genesis.
The general consumer does not care about FWD vs RWD, enthusiasts claim to think it is important (because thats the intellectual bubble enthusiasts live in) but the reality is no.

Sure there are some buyers who look at Buick, Acura and Genesis though there are plenty of buyers who are only willing to look at the top tier premium luxury brands.

So if given the choice of the obvious top three that Lexus competes with, which factors have the most influence with what cars buyers cross shop the ES with?

Could price be one of the most important factors? And what price range is the ES in?

Lastly, your assumption that the "A4, C, 3 all handle better than the ES and ES F-sport", is thrown around as if it were some fact, it isn't fact, none of us know. Maybe when comparisons come out we'll have a better idea. And it would be interesting to see which cars the mags compare the ES with.
S
Levi
Why do you leave out the Passat or Aerton, which is an Audi in all aspects except engine layout? And do not mention Audi and driving dynamics in the same sentence. I have yet to drive a well handling Audi that is not an R8).
VW Passat and Aerton are both transversely FWD layouts. The Audi A4 is a longitudinal FWD layout. Longitudinal FWD is by far more superior than transverse FWD layouts.

zeusus
The general consumer does not care about FWD vs RWD, enthusiasts claim to think it is important (because thats the intellectual bubble enthusiasts live in) but the reality is no.

Sure there are some buyers who look at Buick, Acura and Genesis though there are plenty of buyers who are only willing to look at the top tier premium luxury brands.

So if given the choice of the obvious top three that Lexus competes with, which factors have the most influence with what cars buyers cross shop the ES with?

Could price be one of the most important factors? And what price range is the ES in?

Lastly, your assumption that the "A4, C, 3 all handle better than the ES and ES F-sport", is thrown around as if it were some fact, it isn't fact, none of us know. Maybe when comparisons come out we'll have a better idea. And it would be interesting to see which cars the mags compare the ES with.
Agreed - the general public doesn't care about FWD vs RWD. Just because the general public doesn't care - doesn't mean the Lexus ES is a proper competitor to the A4, C, and 3. That's like saying the general public will think a Toyota Camry is a similar car to the Lexus IS. Or a Buick Regal is the same as a BMW 340i.

Firstly - I don't think the Lexus ES competes with the A4, 3, and C. Because I think the Lexus ES is a bigger car, more luxurious, and a better overall car compared to the A4, 3 and C Class. Also the A4, 3, and C are more sportier compared to the ES.
Secondly - I don't think the Lexus ES competes with the A6, 5, and E. Because I think the Lexus ES is not as luxurious nor it drives as well as the A6, 5, or E.

I think the Lexus ES falls in between the A4, 3, C and A6, 5 and E. In this grey area, where the Germans don't have a competitor. This is why I think it competes with Buick, Acura TLX or Genesis.

Sure - price plays a good part in where the ES belongs in a segment but its only one part. Just because a car cost a specific amount - doesn't mean it 100% competes with each other. Other factors are considered, like size, type of car, performance and etc...

Yes. No one knows for sure. But on paper - its impossible for the Lexus ES or ES F-Sport to handle better than the A4 Quattro, 3, and C. Its simply because its not built for it (on paper anyways).
Note: For longitudinal FWD layouts; the front-to-rear weight distribution of the car as a whole will be preferable to a transverse orientation where mass is accumulated at the front of the chassis. This should make a car more predictable and is advantageous to all-wheel drive vehicles. The in-line nature of these setups also allows manufacturers to implement complex all-wheel drive systems using torsen differentials and viscous couplings directly down the line from the transmission.
This is why I think the ES will fall short in handling when compared to A4 Quattro, 3, and C. Its transverse FWD layout is holding it back. Even if its fitted with AWD - a transverse AWD system isn't as a longitudinal AWD system.
Levi
What do you understand by "killing" the ES? The badge? They could keep the badge and make it RWD.
In an earlier post I mentioned how the original 89' ES could be based on the RWD Mark II platform instead of the V20 narrow-body Camry. That way the ES could be a much more likeable car and the brand would have a much more favorable image than it has now. I didn't mean 'killing' the ES literally, rather it was a scenario in which the GS never existed. Go search it in the forum (with keyword "Mark II" maybe?).
Sakura
VW Passat and Aerton are both transversely FWD layouts. The Audi A4 is a longitudinal FWD layout. Longitudinal FWD is by far more superior than transverse FWD layouts.

This is why I think the ES will fall short in handling when compared to A4 Quattro, 3, and C. Its transverse FWD layout is holding it back. Even if its fitted with AWD - a transverse AWD system isn't as a longitudinal AWD system.
You are beating a dead horse, even though I agree with you (except Audi).

First of all, we at LE are not the Lexus board.

Next, AWD will always be a compromise in ICEVs. Those compromises vanish with BEVs. Where car makers are wrong, really wrong about, and I wonder why you do not criticize that about BEVs, is that RWD BEVs are truly far better, cheaper, space efficient, and more simple and durable than FWD BEVs. Except Tesla and BMW i3, all other BEVs are FWD. With the torque they have, they are terrible to drive. With ESC, even more precisely programmable in BEVs than ICEVs, RWD will not be an issue for consumers. It is time for carmakers to stop transforming inefficient FWD ICEVs into BEVs.

Then, back to ICEVs, while FF-L is theoretically better than FF-T, it remains FF, and the difference between FF-L and FF-T is not a great as FR(-L) to FF-L.

We have already mentioned, that execution of a certain layout it more important than the selection of a certain layout. What good is it to select the right layout if it is not well implemented? Think of how IS XE20 was not praised initially for handling, although it was RWD.

I will repeat, that while FF-L might be better than FF-T, Audi is not well executed from my experience, and thus not comparable to the two other German rivals.

While FF-L is indeed great in Subaru products as F4-L, and Subaru has successful sales, although they market their symmetrical AWD system and Flat4 engine as a value-added USP, they are not bought for these characteristics, but rather for the fact of having AWD and their (now past) perception of reliability. Yet, in consumers eyes the Outback does not hold a candle to the objectively inferior A6 Avant. More than that, Subaru's AWD system in becoming less mechanical and more FWD-biased, thus negating their layout advantage compared to F4-T competitors.

What you are asking is impossible, and more than that incomplete. Passenger vehicles are all about space utilization. Safety standards affect that even more; front overhangs have no function other than crash safety, but the take space, making a vehicle longer without adding passenger or cargo volume.

I have already mentioned, that to get the most out of a given footprint, while not compromising handling -- and that is being RWD -- cars should have a FR-L layout with V4 and V6 (both 90° angle). But this just cannot happen anymore. The reason why cars with V6 have a long hood, is because they all have derivatives with I4 or V8 which are longer, thus V6s are usually inefficient in space utilization, there is empty space.

Platform layout and engine configuration are highly interrelated. First, the more parts different engine configurations can share, the cheaper to develop and produce. Thus I4 and I6. 60° V6 has always been a stand alone engine. 90° V6 can be derived from a 90° V8 as is mostly the case today with non-Japanese makers, but these are big engines for expensive cars, and as the I4 was already established a 90° V4 could not be cost efficient anymore, and many carmakers had no 90° V8 to derive it from.

Notice, that because of I4, and car makers have no incentives to make RWD cars. Because the 1 Series will have no more I6, it will be FWD. Same case with Volvo, even though it was FWD with I6 in transverse layout (Daewoo Magnus/Chevrolet Evanda is another notable exception).

I don't want to tell to go buy the FF-L Audi A4 that you praise so much, but be prepared that what is praise about the 3 German is (unfortunately) not the reason why consumers buy them. They buy them primarily because of the badge, secondarily, because they 'feel' better, third because of market value, related to desirability due to the two first points. If the ES can give consumers a better 'feel' and consumers are aware of it through good sales promotion, it will be a success, regardless of what journalist praise about the Germans: handling and infotainment (iDrive, MMI, MBUX).

There is a big discrepancy between Journalists and Consumers. Consumers need Journalists to help with their buying decision, but Journalists cater to Enthusiasts, that only want Journalists to confirm their personal preferences. That is a big problem for the Consumer, and ultimately for the general Carmaker.
zeusus
The ES is not a competitor of A6, 5, E.

It is a competitor of A4, 3, C.

Please a provide YOUR examples of why the ES barely competes in that segment. Quality? Performance? Sales?
Exactly! Lexus in their own words has stated that the ES competes directly with the A4, 3 Series and C Class but as we all know the ES is really in a class of it own. The IS line is really the true competitor to the A4, 3 Series and C Class.

Please watch this video from Lexus when they were in Nashville, TN, USA and Lexus shows a diagram at the 3:34 mark showing the ES competing with A4, 3 Series, C Class and TLX. So no the ES has never, currently or will ever compete with the A6, 5 Series or E Class...

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