2021 Lexus ES packs AWD grip and more attitude, but base prices hold steady – Roadshow

New for 2021, the Black Line Particular Version provides extra visible perspective, however no additional energy.


The seventh-gen Lexus ES has quietly change into one of many business’s finest, most comfy all-around sedans. To be truthful, “quietly” would not precisely describe the midsize four-door’s controversial gaping-maw styling nowadays, nevertheless it stays an apt descriptor for the ES’ well-insulated, well-appointed cabin. For 2021, the ES returns with newly accessible all-wheel drive and a sportier mannequin trim, in addition to enhanced commonplace security tech and reworked pricing, the automaker confirmed Thursday.

Lexus ES 250 AWD

The 2021 Lexus ES good points a brand new all-wheel-drive providing, the Lexus ES 250 AWD, which is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder providing 203 horsepower and an undisclosed quantity of torque. Lexus is promising 28 miles per gallon mixed for this powertrain, with the mannequin accessible in each commonplace and extra athletic F Sport guises.

An I4 engine was solely accessible on the Lexus ES 300h, the hybrid mannequin. For 2021, that powertrain mixture continues to ship 215 hp and 44 mpg mixed. Additionally as earlier than, the Lexus ES 350’s 3.5-liter V6 returns because the vary’s most athletic providing, rated at 302 hp and 267 pound-feet of torque.

The transfer to supply all-wheel drive within the third mannequin 12 months of this ES era aligns with a rising business development. Automakers have been seeking to the foul-weather tech to assist maintain client curiosity in sedans as extra clients abandon conventional passenger vehicles in favor of crossovers and SUVs. Mum or dad firm Toyota lately made the powered-at-all-corners tech accessible on its Camry, Avalon and Prius mannequin strains for 2020.

Within the case of the ES 250 AWD, the sedan’s Dynamic Torque Management Drive prioritizes front-wheel-drive working, however as much as 50% of accessible torque could be routed to the rear wheels when slippage is detected. The {hardware} routinely disengages by way of electromagnetic coupling for added effectivity when AWD traction is not wanted.

ES 350 Black Line Particular Version

Moreover, a brand new ES 350 Black Line Particular Version package deal can be accessible for 2021. Constructed on the ES’ present F Sport trim, this mannequin options blacked-out mirror caps and a delicate rear lip spoiler, together with dark-finish F Sport wheels, nevertheless it would not seem to have any precise efficiency upgrades.

Apparently, ES Black Line Particular Version clients shall be mailed particular matching black aluminum suitcases by Zero Halliburton. The bags firm will present a two-piece set (22-inch carryon and a 26-inch journey case) with particular Lexus branding. Lexus has beforehand labored with Zero Halliburton to outfit fashions like its LC sports car.

Simply 1,500 ES 350 Black Line fashions are deliberate in one among three paint coloration choices: Obsidian, Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0(!) and Extremely White.

For 2021, each the Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h obtain commonplace blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert tech on Luxurious and Extremely Luxurious grades, in addition to F Sport and AWD trims.

Now accessible with all-wheel drive, the Lexus ES could possibly be the world’s impossible rallycross automobile.


Lexus ES pricing

Pricing for the bottom, FWD Lexus ES 350 hasn’t budged 12 months over 12 months, beginning at an inexpensive $40,925 (together with $1,025 for vacation spot). Apparently, the less-powerful ES 250 AWD begins on the identical value. With its larger content material ranges primarily based off the F Sport, the brand new Black Line SE mannequin checks in at $47,575 delivered ($46,550 plus freight) for a front-wheel-drive instance.

Whereas the gas-powered ES household’s base value stays unchanged, Lexus has truly lower MSRPs on larger trims year-over-year, in some instances considerably. For instance, the range-topping Extremely Luxurious trim of the non-hybrid 2021 ES begins at $49,925 delivered, a whopping $5,150 cheaper than the identical mannequin for 2020.

The 2021 Lexus ES 300h hybrid’s base value is equally unchanged, at $42,835 delivered. Nonetheless, pricing for its uplevel trims have conversely elevated considerably. As an illustration, the Extremely Luxurious spec runs $51,835 versus the identical mannequin’s $46,685 value final 12 months (vacation spot charges included).

The 2021 Lexus ES household is anticipated in sellers early this fall.

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Chris Paukert