Lexus ES: Sixth GenerationReviewsVideos

Carwow Review: The Lexus ES 300h

Lexus ES Review Carwow

Mat Watson from Carwow is one of the top car reviewers in the world, and this throughly entertaining look at the Lexus ES 300h is a perfect example of his craft:

Comments
Those look like the best value rear seats in the car industry. I hope buyers will appreciate the car for that, compared to anything alternative.
S
Levi
I have driven the A6 3.0 TDI. Had Quattro, double wishbone suspension. I have never driven a worse executive sedan (for the price). Harsh ride, week handling. Overpriced rubbish. I am not aware the the ES will compete against M3s and 911s.


By the way, the Acura Vigor that competed against the Lexus ES (XV10) had FMF-L layout, better than Audi's FF-L layout, and double wishbone front suspension, it was very sporty. Look where it is today, and where the ES is!
Well - according to car magazines - the Audi A6 handles pretty good.
Confident handling, zesty V-6 acceleration, spacious and well-built cabin.
The A6 is a quietly athletic car. Its suspension keeps body roll in check easily in high-speed corners, but its steering wheel broadcasts precious little information from the front wheels. Still, the A6, especially with Quattro all-wheel drive, is predictable and easy to drive quickly on twisty stretches of road. When driven sedately, the A6 coddles its passengers with a ride that even our scarred, winter-beaten Michigan roads can’t perturb.
Source: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-audi-a6-in-depth-model-review

We Like: The subtle, sophisticated style and predictable handling.
Source: http://www.motortrend.com/news/audi-a6-2016-motor-trend-car-of-the-year-contender/

The 2017 Audi A6 is a fun car to drive, especially considering its size and heft. Not many midsize luxury sedans forge such a gratifying connection with the driver. One demerit is the car's overly light and numb steering feel under normal circumstances, but we've found that the effort level in the Sport mode is much more to our liking.
Source: https://www.edmunds.com/audi/a6/2017/

Audi A6 handling from reviews have been positive.

I never said the ES will compete against the M3s and 911s. That was something you alluded to when you replied to me with this:
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
because I was talking about how the Lexus ES has MacPherson struts.

I'm just merely stating. Just because M3/M4 has MacPherson strut doesn't mean they handle the same as the Lexus ES. The M3/M4 and Porsches were built to handle well and everything was reworked not to have the downsides of MacPherson struts.
Levi
Not really true. M3/M4 has MacPherson strut. And many 'cheap' Japanese had double wishbone all round, even for FWD cars.
As cheap single lower link MacPherson strut compresses and rolls, the tires naturally exhibit positive camber and the car and the tires lean - thereby diminishing grip.
Double wishbone provides geometry to help keep the tires perpendicular to the road surface to maximize grip.
However, double wishbone is less critical when vehicles are "firmly" sprung, because firmly sprung vehicles don't have much compliance nor roll in the first place to increase the positive camber of the tires to reduce grip.
It is the regular 3 Series sedans with a compliant ride where the springs "compress", and double wishbone front suspension is used to try to attain negative camber to maximize grip.

View attachment 2895

Levi
I have driven the A6 3.0 TDI. Had Quattro, double wishbone suspension. I have never driven a worse executive sedan (for the price). Harsh ride, week handling. Overpriced rubbish. I am not aware the the ES will compete against M3s and 911s.

By the way, the Acura Vigor that competed against the Lexus ES (XV10) had FMF-L layout, better than Audi's FF-L layout, and double wishbone front suspension, it was very sporty. Look where it is today, and where the ES is!
I last drove an A6 3.0T Supercharged AWD in 2014.
Very powerful engine.
Nice ride; much more compliant ride than my GS.
Because of that compliance, around corners the A6 had plenty of body roll - however the AWD would grip, grip and grip - it was limpet like!
Not a bad car at all.

I totally agree with you regarding the Acura Vigor with great specs including a longitudinal front mid-engine FWD and double wishbone suspension.
Compare that with ES with simple transverse FWD and cheap single lower link suspension, and look at where the Acura Vigor is now?
It's firstly the badge, secondly the styling, maybe thirdly the interior space, and maybe fourth might be engine performance that sells; especially for success of the ES, E Class and 5 Series.
The Acura Vigor totally lost it in the styling, and things worsened when the TL reverted to conventional transverse FWD with cheap single lower link suspension.

For sales to mums & dads and the mass market, the ES is great.
As a genuine driver's car - the ES is not designed to be such.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • June 22, 2018
Welcome new member! @peterharvey
Sakura
Well - according to car magazines - the Audi A6 handles pretty good.
....

Audi A6 handling from reviews have been positive.
lol... and so does 2019 ES, according to the magazines. Which in the case ES you ignore completely.

Not to mention that 5 german articles I read about 2019 ES in past week all talk how it has fine interior with quality materials and workmanship, as well as good suspension.... and all to the point say it will compete with A6, E class and 5 series.


@peterharvey did you get banned from CL finally?
peterharvey
I have a feeling that the ES will only reach a certain limit in sales.
Eg, at their best, they sold about 80k units/year USA.

Keep in mind that E Class & 5 Series are breathing on ES's back with peak annual sales of 69k & 57k respectively.
Thus, to get more midsize luxury sales, Lexus will still need RWD with double wishbone front suspension.
are you trying to say that their goal of 50k/year in the US is somehow not good enough or something?
S
spwolf
lol... and so does 2019 ES, according to the magazines. Which in the case ES you ignore completely.

Not to mention that 5 german articles I read about 2019 ES in past week all talk how it has fine interior with quality materials and workmanship, as well as good suspension.... and all to the point say it will compete with A6, E class and 5 series.

@peterharvey did you get banned from CL finally?
Why you putting words in my mouth? I didn't ignore the reviews. I have clearly stated, and this is about the 5th time you made me repeat myself, that the Lexus ES handles pretty well and better than predecessors but its not a handling king - like the Civic Type R.

Please refer back to 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.
This means - that I was trying to challenge your narrative that you think the Lexus ES / ES F-Sport is an insanely good handling car. All I'm saying is - the Lexus ES is handles well but not good like other handling cars are better step-up for it.

spwolf
are you trying to say that their goal of 50k/year in the US is somehow not good enough or something?
I don't think Pete was saying 50K/year sales are bad. I think hes saying that if the Lexus ES wants to do better than 50K/year sales - it needs to do more.
Sakura
Why you putting words in my mouth? I didn't ignore the reviews. I have clearly stated, and this is about the 5th time you made me repeat myself, that the Lexus ES handles pretty well and better than predecessors but its not a handling king - like the Civic Type R.

Please refer back to what I said:


This means - that I was trying to challenge your narrative that you think the Lexus ES / ES F-Sport is an insanely good handling car. All I'm saying is - the Lexus ES is handles well but not good like other handling cars are better step-up for it.



I don't think Pete was saying 50K/year sales are bad. I think hes saying that if the Lexus ES wants to do better than 50K/year sales - it needs to do more.
Nobody is saying ES is insanely good handling car, it is just that you keep finding reasons to disqualify it as competition to other cars in the class... and then you end up comparing it to the Type R, M3, etc, etc.

And nobody is putting words in your mouth either, you keep doing that yourself :)
S
spwolf
Nobody is saying ES is insanely good handling car, it is just that you keep finding reasons to disqualify it as competition to other cars in the class... and then you end up comparing it to the Type R, M3, etc, etc.

And nobody is putting words in your mouth either, you keep doing that yourself :)
I felt like you implied it in your post so I challenged it. Good on you for clearing it up.

I was drawing a comparison of how the Lexus ES is well balanced handling car but no-where as good as a Type R. The point of this was to challenge you. If you didn't imply the ES is a handling-god, then there is no story here.

No. I'm not "finding" reasons. Its my opinions - that the Lexus ES does not compete with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, or E. The ES is similar to none of these cars except for price within the A4, 3, and C. However - price can't be the only part to what car competes with what car.

Its your opinion that the Lexus ES competes within that segment. By the way - I have listed my reasons why the Lexus ES don't compete there. Want to list reasons why you think the ES competes with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, and E?
Sakura
I felt like you implied it in your post so I challenged it. Good on you for clearing it up.

I was drawing a comparison of how the Lexus ES is well balanced handling car but no-where as good as a Type R. The point of this was to challenge you. If you didn't imply the ES is a handling-god, then there is no story here.

No. I'm not "finding" reasons. Its my opinions - that the Lexus ES does not compete with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, or E. The ES is similar to none of these cars except for price within the A4, 3, and C. However - price can't be the only part to what car competes with what car.

Its your opinion that the Lexus ES competes within that segment. By the way - I have listed my reasons why the Lexus ES don't compete there. Want to list reasons why you think the ES competes with the A4, 3, C, A6, 5, and E?
It certainly does not compete with A4, but it does compete with A6 and other cars in the class... I suggest you go to the dealership and talk to the people there what are they cross-shopping ES with.

As to why I think that, it is because I live in Europe, and your competitors do not exist here. As I mentioned several times so far, all European magazines are calling it A6/E/5 competitor, and I personally think it is delusional to thank that majority of people buying base models of these vehicles are buying it for RWD or handling characteristics, and even then that they are not drastically different from new ES.

Now if we are talking about higher end of the market, like 540i or 535d, then it is another story, but these days those buyers are in minority, especially in Europe, where these vehicles are mostly sold with 2.0 tdi engines.
^
Lexus ES will also compete against Camry in Europe which just go announced as Avensis replacement. Very weird decision by Toyota. Why now?
The Avensis is the average grocery car in Europe. I don't see how a Camry replacing it can be a problem for a premium sedan like the ES...
The Camry is targeted towards fleet buyers. But we know in Europe at lot of fleet buyers go for wagons rather than sedans, if financially feasible, but the Camry has no wagon. In Europe there is no more Avensis sedan, it was discontinued, we only have the wagon.
Levi
The Camry is targeted towards fleet buyers. But we know in Europe at lot of fleet buyers go for wagons rather than sedans, if financially feasible, but the Camry has no wagon. In Europe there is no more Avensis sedan, it was discontinued, we only have the wagon.
Camry is replacing Avensis, which is very old. And availability of Sedan/Wagon depended on the country you are in, we still have sedan, for a while anyway.

In any case, Camry or ES have nothing to do with each other... it is like saying that Passat competes with A6.
Perhaps @mediumhot thinks the ES is still Camry-based, rather than Avalon? If it were, offering it alongside the ES in Europe would be a little weird, but things worked out fine doing that in the US.
Ian Schmidt
Perhaps @mediumhot thinks the ES is still Camry-based, rather than Avalon? If it were, offering it alongside the ES in Europe would be a little weird, but things worked out fine doing that in the US.
Well if you are European, then VW platform sharing is engraved into your brain and Camry vs ES is far more distant than what Skoda/Seat/VW/Audi are doing currently, where many cars share almost identical design clues, not to mention parts which is not happening in Camry vs ES case.

Avensis was always more luxurious and special than Camry, but it was also always missing something. With sales low, it does not make sense anymore, and Camry will at least have advantage of size, hybrid powertrain and comfort that last Avensis lacked.

Instead TME will focus on 2 additional CUVs coming out in next 2 years as well as new Auris and Rav4 which seem to be very much improved in things that Europeans care about.
Oh, ok. In the US we had that from GM in the 70s and 80s where they made basically the same car with different front-end assemblies as a Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and sometimes Cadillac (and I see the curse of the J-Body also extended to Europe, Australia, and Japan). Is there a good website to check out the VAG platform sharing?
Ian Schmidt
Oh, ok. In the US we had that from GM in the 70s and 80s where they made basically the same car with different front-end assemblies as a Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and sometimes Cadillac (and I see the curse of the J-Body also extended to Europe, Australia, and Japan). Is there a good website to check out the VAG platform sharing?
Here shows platform mates:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Group_MQB_platform

For instance new A1 interior is very much a Seat. Obviously higher end Audi's are spared of this issue.

edit: also unlike Toyota, they are not pushing higher end parts into lower end vehicles so for instance T-Roc which is C-HR competitor has torsion beam rear suspension in FWD models and handles worse than C-HR, something that even European press had to admit. Which is quite a turn of events.

You can also check topgear site which shows pics:
https://www.topgear.com/car-news/insider/explained-vw-groups-mqb-platform
It's my understanding that many Lexus customers in Europe come from Toyota culture. Now for the first time ever Toyota is giving them the chance to pick exact same car under 2 different badges. If equipped as same as in US Camry in Europe will be considered a luxury vehicle, not a premium vehicle like Lexus but for sure a luxury vehicle much like LC Prado and LC V8 are. There will be some cannibalization.
mediumhot
It's my understanding that many Lexus customers in Europe come from Toyota culture. Now for the first time ever Toyota is giving them the chance to pick exact same car under 2 different badges. If equipped as same as in US Camry in Europe will be considered a luxury vehicle, not a premium vehicle like Lexus but for sure a luxury vehicle much like LC Prado and LC V8 are. There will be some cannibalization.
It is hard to understand how you think that Camry and ES are exact same cars under 2 different bages. I wish it was true, I would get Camry right away.
Yeah, the ES is Avalon-based, which is already a step above Camry.
Will Europe get the ES 350? I know that Europe never had any 350 without hybrid, so only 450h.




Edit: ES V6 only for Eastern Europe.
S
spwolf
It certainly does not compete with A4, but it does compete with A6 and other cars in the class... I suggest you go to the dealership and talk to the people there what are they cross-shopping ES with.

As to why I think that, it is because I live in Europe, and your competitors do not exist here. As I mentioned several times so far, all European magazines are calling it A6/E/5 competitor, and I personally think it is delusional to thank that majority of people buying base models of these vehicles are buying it for RWD or handling characteristics, and even then that they are not drastically different from new ES.

Now if we are talking about higher end of the market, like 540i or 535d, then it is another story, but these days those buyers are in minority, especially in Europe, where these vehicles are mostly sold with 2.0 tdi engines.
Maybe because you live in Europe and this is why we are having a difference of opinion. The thing is - Europe sees the Lexus ES as a A6, 5, and E competition because Lexus is axing the GS there and selling the ES there for the first time. When you cancel something and add something that has never been sold there, its likely people will think "similar competition." However - that doesn't make it an actually competitor to the A6, 5, and E. A car competes within its segment because of the traits it shares with the other vehicles.

The GS better competes with the A6, 5 and E because it offers RWD and AWD. The A6 is in there because of its longitudinal FWD and AWD system. The driving dynamics, the size, the luxury, the craftmenship, and etc... all play a role in how the car competes within a segment.

While I agree that majority of people buying a base model of these vehicles aren't buying it for the RWD or handling, it doesn't mean the ES competes directly with the A6, 5 and E.

And I disagree. RWD/AWD and longitudinal FWD/AWD is drastically different from each other. Its mechanically impossible for the 2019 Lexus ES to handle as good as a Lexus GS or BMW 5 Series because of the way the Lexus ES is set up. Now don't take this the wrong way - I'm not saying the Lexus ES don't handle good. It handles well for what it is - a luxury sedan. But in no way its a "sporty" luxury sedan. And that's fine - it doesn't have to handle like the GS, 5, E and A6 because it'll do great without handling like them. I'm not sure why people want the ES to be those cars when its never intended to be those cars.
@Sakura Cars do not have to be the same to compete for the same target customer. 1 Series is RWD and competes against FWD A Class. But you start sounding like a broken record. Nobody on here disputes the fact that the ES is not the same as the GS or the German rivals you mention, but they nonetheless compete with each other. If the RWD is so important, why did Lexus sell (in Europe) only 12K units in 6 years?


The ES the same size as the A6 in every measure. The new S6 gets only turbo V6.
All very I there's ting and pretty positive overall - so far so good.
Have been watching Tesla road tests on you tube - pretty impressive looks like the future what is Lexus planning so as not to be left behind? The Tesla is good looking , apparently virtually silent and extremely swift. Impressive despite various negative reports I have read, if they get this car fully sorted they are going to take a chunk of customers.
L
Levi
@Sakura Cars do not have to be the same to compete for the same target customer. 1 Series is RWD and competes against FWD A Class. But you start sounding like a broken record. Nobody on here disputes the fact that the ES is not the same as the GS or the German rivals you mention, but they nonetheless compete with each other. If the RWD is so important, why did Lexus sell (in Europe) only 12K units in 6 years?


The ES the same size as the A6 in every measure. The new S6 gets only turbo V6.
I have to agree, competition is not defined by the car specs or drivetrain but more by the customer base. I am currently in the market and my choices are the 2019 ES F-Sport or the Audi A6. I am sure i'm not alone in this thinking. Your argument seems to focus too much on specs and pricing and totally ignores the main target of selling cars, the buyer. A buyer who wants a larger car would not even consider the A4, C-Class or 3 series. I know I wouldn't. If I was in the market for a car that size I would look at the IS. As many have pointed out the ES sits in the middle of two segments and as such competes in some fashion with both segments depending on what you are looking for size or driving ability as luxury is pretty consistent across the board..
S
Levi
@Sakura Cars do not have to be the same to compete for the same target customer. 1 Series is RWD and competes against FWD A Class. But you start sounding like a broken record. Nobody on here disputes the fact that the ES is not the same as the GS or the German rivals you mention, but they nonetheless compete with each other. If the RWD is so important, why did Lexus sell (in Europe) only 12K units in 6 years?

The ES the same size as the A6 in every measure. The new S6 gets only turbo V6.
If I'm a broken record, then everyone else that has been debating with me on this opinion is too. We are all just going back and fourth so how is it that I'm the only broken record? Don't get hostile.

I never said cars has to be in the same segment to target the same customer. Customers have liquidity - they can buy whatever they want. The point was that the Lexus ES doesn't compete against the A6, 5 and E.
Secondly - like I mentioned before. Cars within a segment have to be comparable on multiple departments to be in the same segment together. RWD or FWD alone - doesn't matter - its how the FWD drives or RWD drives. IE: The Civic Type R (FWD) competes with STi and Golf R.
Similarity - the 1 Series RWD (which will be FWD in 2019) competes with the A-Class likely due to its ability that they both share good driving dynamics and other factors. If - the Lexus ES had a longitudinal FWD layout - I would say it definitely competes with the A6, 5, and E. But because it has a transverse FWD layout with MacPherson suspensions that aren't reworked, it'll just never feel like a A6, 5, or E. To add further evidence - the Lexus ES in Europe is only the hybrid model with the CVT. This is not a recipe to dethrone the 5 Series or E-Class in Europe.

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

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. There is a reason why the new Lexus ES is created for the Chinese market because the USA and Chinese market is the biggest market right now. There is a reason why only 1 version (hybrid) of the Lexus ES is selling in Europe. If Lexus was gunning for the 5 and E they would have probably introduced more ES models to the European market. A Hybrid ES with a CVT isn't going to dethrone the 5 Series or E-Class sales. Toyota knows this - this is why they aren't really pushing it. Toyota likely want the ES in Europe to just fill a GS void temporarily; Toyota released a statement they canceled the GS in Europe due to emissions - not sales. Meaning - the GS can come back to Europe once they figure out a more efficient engine that can sustain with Europe's future emission laws.
The 5 Series and E-Class are on home territory. The 5 Series and E-Class are almost impossible to beat in Europe; just like how Hyundai and KIA are impossible to beat in Korea.
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.

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.

L
Top