Lexus’ midsize luxury saloon, the ES, has just been refreshed for the 2021 model year in Malaysia, receiving some equipment and visual updates alongside a new F Sport variant that sits atop the range, supplanting the ES 250 Luxury.
“As one of the most accomplished executive sedans on the road, the Lexus ES 250 elicits admiration for its impeccable engineering and styling that satisfies any discerning taste. Combined with the Lexus attention to detail and constant quest for excellence, the improvements to the updated model will invariably retain the Lexus ES 250 as the choice sedan to arrive in,” said President of Lexus Malaysia Mr Ravindran K.
As mentioned, the ES trio now consists of the ES 250 Premium (RM295,663.50) and ES 250 Luxury (RM329,910.50) - where the bulk of the cosmetic alterations over last year’s cars are concentrated - and ES 250 F Sport (RM345,134).
The latter introduces Lexus’ sportier trim line with plenty of tastefully more aggressive touches added inside and out to match its ‘baby-LS’ shape, coupe-like roofline and athletic proportions. At the front, the Luxury and Premium receive a new spindle grille design with fewer vertical bars and L-shaped patterns. The F Sport, meanwhile, gets a mesh-style front grille elements finished black in addition to 19-inch alloys in Dark Premium Metallic and black side mirrors.
For the Lexus ES 250 Premium, the Bi-LED Projector units have a new inner bezel design. The ultra-compact 3-beam LED projector headlamps of the Lexus ES 250 Luxury and F SPORT have a new and distinctive Daytime Running Light design.
Inside there are ergonomic improvements to the infotainment and navigation experience with the central screen (12.3-inch for the ES 250 Luxury and F Sport, 8-inch for the Premium) moved 112mm forward and angled 5 degrees toward the driver for improved legibility. Elsewhere, USB ports have now switched to accept Type C connectors.
Another bit of newness for the 2021 ES 250 is the inclusion of a new Walnut Black trim with Mauve upholstery option whereas the F Sport gains variant-specific aluminium finish on the trim and either Flare Red or Black upholstery with a sportier leather-covered 3-spoke steering wheel, dimpled leather-trimmed shift knob and sporty aluminium pedals and footrest.
Returning to power the ES 250 is the 2.5-litre A25A-FKS naturally aspirated four-cylinder from Toyota’s Dynamic Force family of petrol engines, producing 204 hp at 6,600 rpm and 247 Nm at 5,000 rpm and mated to an 8-speed Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.
Just as in previous model years, Lexus Safety System+ features prominently on the ES and is standard across the range. For this year, the headlining Pre-Collision System (PCS) has now been enhanced with bicyclist detection by both millimetre-wave radar and monocular image sensors. Pedestrian detection is also improved via a more low-light capable camera system.
Of course, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Stop & Go Function, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Lane Departure Alert (LDA); and Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) are still part of the LSS+ ensemble, though AHS now utilises the BladeScan technology that’s capable of more intelligent shielding of light than in the case of conventional adaptive high beam systems.
In short, it precisely controls light distribution by synchronising the rotation of the blade mirrors and switching the LED lights on and off to broaden the range of high beam illumination, enabling the driver to recognise pedestrians and road signs without dazzling drivers approaching from the opposite direction.