2013 Lexus ES Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 06, 2012
FAST FACTS
  • Complete redesign for 2013
  • New Lexus ES 300h hybrid model with EV driving mode
  • ES 300h is expected to get 40 mpg in combined driving
  • Lots of extra rear-seat room
  • Standard Lexus Enform technology

Introduction

The Lexus ES has cultivated a diverse and loyal following after more than 20 years on the market, serving buyers interested in a reliable and luxurious sedan sold at a relatively affordable price. For 2013, the ES is redesigned, and Lexus aims to make it more engaging to drive and more fuel efficient than ever.

Exterior Features

Plainly evident on the new 2013 Lexus ES's nose is the company's spindle-style grille, accompanied by headlamps featuring new L-shaped LED running lights. Two models are available for 2013--the ES 350 and the ES 300h--and they look the same except for the hybrid model's blue-tinted Lexus emblem, a small "Hybrid" badge on the lower rear doors, and a different rear bumper for the hybrid model.

Interior Features

Lexus wants to position the new 2013 ES as an affordable alternative to traditional mid-luxury sedans, and says it has improved interior materials accordingly. In addition, rear-seat room is larger than ever; the new ES features 2.8 inches of extra knee room and 4.1 inches of rear leg room compared to the model it replaces. Lexus installs standard NuLuxe upholstery in the 2013 ES, a synthetic seat covering the company says is environmentally responsible. Two grades of real leather are available.

Optional Features

The 2013 Lexus ES can be upgraded with a set of 18-inch aluminum wheels, genuine leather seats, manual rear side window shades, power rear window sunshade, hard-drive navigation system, and a Display Audio system with Bluetooth music streaming, iTunes song tagging and other features.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Lexus ES 300h is a gasoline/electric hybrid with an Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine, electric assist motor, and a battery pack recharged by regenerative brakes. Final horsepower figures have not been finalized, but Lexus does say it expects this model to get 40 mpg in combined driving. The Lexus ES 350 is equipped with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the same as the 2012 model.

Both models offer driver-selected Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes. Additionally, the ES 300h can be operated in EV mode, allowing it to travel short distances at low speeds purely on electric power, Lexus says.

Safety

The new Lexus ES includes 10 air bags, whiplash injury-lessening front seats, and Lexus Safety Connect telematics with one free year of Automatic Collision Notification and Emergency Assistance Button service. Options include a rearview camera, Pre-Collision System, lane-departure warning system, and a blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Technology

Lexus Enform technology is standard on the new 2013 Lexus ES. Featuring full smartphone integration, Enform pairs with your device and runs mobile applications right on its in-dash screen, which is controlled using a mouse-like device on the center console.
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