Lexus ES adds twist to pleasant blandness
By The Los Angeles Times
Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
If your radio dial has ever tripped across an easy-listening station promising all the best the adult-contemporary genre has to offer, congratulations. You have found the Lexus ES of the airwaves.
Designed to please all and aggrieve none, this mid-size sedan from Toyota's luxury division has crooned its way into more than a million households since its debut in 1989. It's done so by playing it cool with reliably conservative comfort, docile performance and a solid value proposition.
But after nearly 21⁄2 decades of smooth hits, Lexus decided to redo the 2013 ES playlist with a smidge less Peabo Bryson and a smidge more “Gangnam Style.” The result is a fresh take on a car starting at $36,980 that should largely broaden the appeal of one of the brand's most important vehicles.
The key change is the new ES' styling. Lexus is in the process of fitting its entire lineup with what the company calls a spindle grill. (Think of a short, angular hourglass.) Despite this design coming across as a little, gosh, unique when it's viewed independent of the car, the ES actually wears the spindle better than the other vehicles it's been bolted to.
Angled headlamps with daytime running LEDs complement the grille. The bumper is more pronounced and falls lower, giving the ES more of a chin than it's had before.
Less noticeable on this ES is the fact that it's grown; the wheelbase is almost 2 inches longer, while the length is up an inch. While an inch here or there may not sound like much, this growth pays its biggest dividends in interior space.
Rear legroom is up 4 inches, making the back seats positively cavernous for this segment. Throw in the most comfortable headrests this side of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and you have a lovely place to spend some time. And, wouldn't you know it, such a setup matches the riding habits of many buyers in China, where Lexus and others are eager to make gains.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Under the Hood: A chance to take top cars for a spin
- Investment in Western Pa. startups reaches 5-year high
- Squeezed by competition, Chobani to expand offerings
- Chocolate prices expected to soar as ingredients grow more expensive
- Pa. unemployment rate falls to lowest since 2008; 12,000 more enter workforce
- Chrysler’s Easter eggs fun for vehicle owners
- 2014 Beetle is celebration of 65th American anniversary
- Shale pioneer hires Chesapeake for drilling job
- Pandora sued by record companies
- Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs
- Long-term unemployed struggle to find — and keep — new jobs