Lexus ES: Sixth Generation

Collected: More Reviews of the 2019 Lexus ES 350 & ES 300h

Lexus ES F SPORT

Now two weeks after the first reviews of the 2019 Lexus ES hit the Internet, let’s look at some more driving impressions of the new sedan.


Pat Devereux of Top Gear could not have been more effusive in his review of the ES 300h:

This is a moment for you to consider what driving you really do, rather than what you would like to do, but don’t. While [Top Gear] will go to its grave defending your right to having a drift-worthy V8 that consumes tyres and petrol in equal measure, there are some of us who just want or need to get somewhere in the least stressful way possible. Often with luggage and passengers. For those people, cars like the Volvo S90 and now the new Lexus ES are not just a sensible choice, but the correct one.


The Gear Patrol review from Alex Kalogiannis is even-handed and sensible:

The legacy of the ES is secure. Within its element, it’s the best its ever been with contemporary looks and tech conveniences. The F Sport accoutrement only improves things, as long as buyers go in with the right expectations. The ride is smooth, the cabin is a comfortable place to be and it’s easy to see why Lexus loyalists have stuck with it for a few decades. This generation ES is far from a radical upgrade, but as [Chief Engineer] Sakakibara-san states, the pleasure is in the little things it consistently gets right.

Lexus ES Hybrid


Jake Lingeman from Autoweek has posted a very positive review of the ES, but what I wanted to highlight is his take on the Remote Touch controller:

There’s been a lot said about Lexus’ patented mouse pad/slider-joystick infotainment control, and I have a few opinions of my own. The first generation was not good. You had to look at the slider and the screen to find the right time to click. The company added little faux detents, so the cursor would sort of stick on the function you were looking for. It got better. Then it increased the screen size a few years ago to the 12.3 inches and got rid of the joystick/slider for a finger-controlled mouse pad. There was too much ground to cover. Now it’s refined again with separate screen divisions, with little tactile vibrations on the mouse pad where the screens meet so you sort of know where you are.

It wasn’t completely intuitive, but after a day in the car I was…serviceable with it. A week or so and it might be second nature. Whether it should take a week to learn how to use it is another issue. I think that’s an average amount of time; some in the office think that’s too long.

Comments
Sakura
To understand why the Lexus GS didn't sell well in Europe, you have to understand the European market. No Japanese brand does well in Europe and this is why no Japanese brand really targets Europe heavily.
Do you know anything about European market at all? I mean I worked for Toyota in Europe for 9 years, but please tell me that Japanese brands do not do well in Europe, with Toyota going over 1 million units in 2017.

But hey, please let me know about why Japanese brands dont do well in Europe. I am all ears.
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Levi
I am sorry if I came through as hostile, that was not my intention.


That is again a chicken or egg dilema. And yet, Japanese brands do quite well in Europe. It would be more accurate to say Japanese Premium brands do not do well in Europe, Europe has even no Acura. To sell with a markup you need a brand more than a product. I know you mention Audi as Premium, but looking at SUV/CUVs for example, a Q7 is in no quantifiable way better than a Touareg, they are exactly the same, yet it deamed a worse value because of the VW badge. So imagine how hard it is for any foreign brand, including Cadillac or Maserati.
Yes. Typo on my part. I meant Japanese Premium Brands do not do well in Europe.***

Definitely true. Audi and VW has a lot of cross platform vehicles. However - Audi carries enough badge prestige for people to turn a blind eye. That or - people just simply doesn't know because Audi markets themselves pretty well away from VW. This is one of things I have against Toyota - they don't seem to market or distance the Lexus brand that well away from their Toyota brand. One of the biggest problems with the ES, among car enthusiasts, is that it will always be a Camry/Avalon re-skin.
I think one way for Toyota to separate the Lexus ES from the Avalon is the feature listings. I would like to see the Lexus ES introduce the nice stuff - not the Avalon. I feel the Avalon's sequential turn signals should be Lexus exclusive and introduced on the ES. That would have hyped the ES and further separated the Avalon and ES badging. But Toyota decided to give those lights to the Avalon....

spwolf
Do you know anything about European market at all? I mean I worked for Toyota in Europe for 9 years, but please tell me that Japanese brands do not do well in Europe, with Toyota going over 1 million units in 2017.

But hey, please let me know about why Japanese brands dont do well in Europe. I am all ears.
As stated above - I meant the Japanese luxury cars - not Japanese brand as a whole. It was a honest mistake and typo. You don't need to get hostile or aggressive towards me. This is just a car forum and we all have a friendly chat - lets not make this a flame war.
Sakura
.

Actually - people did. Spwolf believes that the ES competes with the A6, 5 and E. And that's what we were talking about.

Toyota released a statement they canceled the GS in Europe due to emissions - not sales.
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
L
mediumhot
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
Nice post. Most Americans are also unaware that the German luxury brands sell a TON of fleet in this class, thus taxi's and company cars etc in Europe..i doubt Lexus can get any of that sans a hybrid model.
mediumhot
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
Not only that, but those GS300h "Business" models were sparsely equipped and with cloth seats, very un-Lexus, so people did not want to buy them for 47k that they were priced at.

While Germans have base E/A6/5 series, they also have special value models that add nav, leather, led to the base model for minimal fee, so the car at least feels luxury enough...

All this reminded me of new 1 series sedan review by Autocar... it is FWD econobox now and Autocar claimed that it was actually sportier than old RWD 1 series.
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spwolf
Not only that, but those GS300h "Business" models were sparsely equipped and with cloth seats, very un-Lexus, so people did not want to buy them for 47k that they were priced at.
Wow, I thought the cloth seats in chinese domestic market CT/IS are bad enough.

S
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