Nearly three months after its global debut at April’s Shanghai Auto Show, the new Lexus ES is now available in ASEAN, with Thailand being the first market in the region to introduce it. The model is expected to make its way to Malaysia in the coming months.
As mentioned in our earlier report, China, Russia, and Taiwan will be getting a new turbocharged variant – the ES200t, which will be powered by the same impressive 2.0-litre turbocharged 8AR-FSE that we have already sampled in the Lexus NX200t. The rest of the world, including us, will continue to get the regular ES250 and ES300h.
It is unclear if the new base model, the ES200 (available in China) will be introduced here, but we think that scenario is quite unlikely. Instead the ES250, with a circa RM260k price, will remain as the ES line’s entry point in our market.
The ES200 is powered by the equally impressive dual-cycle (switches between fuel economy-biased Atkinson cycle and performance-biased Otto cycle on the fly) 6AR-FSE 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine. The 6AR-FSE is already fitted to the new Camry 2.0G and 2.0E.
This mid-life update ES model features a more distinctive daytime running light pattern, new LED projector headlights, as well a more prominent Lexus spindle grille. Behind, the tail lamps have also been updated to feature a new ‘L motive’ LED light pattern.
Inside, Lexus' signature Shimamoku steering wheel, which was first introduced in the Lexus LS, and later the GS, now graces the ES' interior. In the Lexus LS, the Shimamoku steering wheel takes 38 days to create, using Japanese craftmanship techniques.
Interior trimmings have also been updated, with a new leather boot-enclosed gear selector. The car's Remote Touch Interface (RTI) control has also been improved and now adds “Enter” buttons on either side of the interface controller.
Curiously, the ES range in Thailand is limited only to the ES300h hybrid, which is priced at 3.5 million Baht.