2016 Lexus ES Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 22, 2015
  • Freshened styling
  • New LED headlights
  • Redesigned aluminum wheels
  • Upgraded interior surfaces and trim
  • Additional sound insulation for a quieter cabin
  • Standard 4.2-in. multi-information display
  • Refined Remote Touch Interface (RTI) controller
  • New Lexus Safety System suite of safety technologies
  • New paint colors, interior color and trim combinations
  • Underlying structural enhancements for improved ride and handling


At the 2015 Shanghai International Motor Show, Lexus debuted an updated version of its popular ES sedan. The 2016 Lexus ES will continue in ES 300h and ES 350 model series when it goes on sale later this year. Priced from under $40,000, the Lexus ES competes against front-drive luxury sedans such as the Acura TLX, Audi A4, Buick LaCrosse, Lincoln MKZ, and Volvo S80.

Exterior Features

Designers revised the 2016 Lexus ES sedan's grille, headlights, and fog lights, emphasizing elements such as the spindle-style grille and L-shaped LED running lights. Around back, new L-shaped taillights and rectangular exhaust outlets freshen the look.

Lexus installs a new 10-spoke aluminum wheel design for the ES 300h hybrid model, while the ES 350 is available with a new 20-spoke wheel design. New paint colors include Caviar, Amber, Nightfall Mica, and Eminent White.

Interior Features

Functional updates to the Lexus ES sedan's interior include a new 4.2-in. Thin Film Transistor (TFT) information display screen within the instrument cluster and a refined Remote Touch Interface (RTI) controller with new "Enter" buttons for making selections and inputting information.

Lexus also offers the new ES with four different colors for the seats and selected interior panels, including Black, Stratus Gray, Flaxen, and Parchment. Four trims are also available: Piano Black, Matte Bamboo, Linear Dark Mocha wood, and Espresso Bird's Eye Maple with what Lexus calls Shimamoku ornamentation.

NuLuxe leatherette is standard equipment, with leather and premium semi-aniline leather available as options. Newly embossed seat surfaces, enhanced door and center console surfaces, a new steering wheel design, and additional sound-deadening material between the engine bay and the cabin are also new for the 2016 Lexus ES.

Optional Features

As is true today, the 2016 Lexus ES can be optioned with several packages of additional equipment in addition to individual extra-cost items installed at the factory or by the selling dealership.

Under the Hood

Among ES models, the ES 350 is less expensive and sells in greater numbers than the gas-electric hybrid ES 300h. Equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the ES 350 makes 268 horsepower, which is delivered to the car's front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can select Eco, Normal, or Sport driving mode.

The ES 300h pairs a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with an electric assist motor and a battery pack that is recharged through a standard regenerative braking system. Combined, these components produce 200 horsepower, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) powers the car's front wheels. The ES 300h is designed to travel short distances at low speeds using nothing but the electricity stored in the car's battery pack.

All 2016 Lexus ES models benefit from structural enhancements that are designed to improve the car's ride quality and handling capability.


For 2016, the Lexus ES will be available with a new Lexus Safety System option. It combines a dynamic radar cruise control system with pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking capability, and includes a lane-departure warning system and automatic high-beam headlights. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic detection is also available for the Lexus ES, as well as one free year of Safety Connect service with automatic collision notification.


In addition to the new Lexus Safety System option, the 2016 ES is expected to offer a navigation system, a suite of Lexus Enform features and services, premium Mark Levinson audio system, front and rear park-assist sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and more.
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