The 2019 Lexus ES sports more power, more tech, and an F Sport package – a first for the model.
Back in 1989, Toyota launched Lexus, its luxury brand which it propelled to fame with two models. The first was the full-size LS – a flagship model to take on the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. However, to avoid launching an entire brand with just one model, they launched a second alongside their flagship: the midsize ES. After nearly thirty years and six generations, the 2019 Lexus ES has officially arrived. Now in its seventh iteration, what all has changed with Lexus’ sub-LS offering? Lexus flew us out to California to attend their reveal of the brand new ES, as they also officially debut the car at Auto China 2018 in Beijing.
You will certainly recognize the 2019 Lexus ES and its bloodline with the car’s refreshed design. Upon first glance, you’d likely imagine this is a smaller LS. There is a reason for that: this is the third vehicle launched under the brand’s “Future Chapter of Lexus”, which started with the redesigned LS sedan and the LC coupe. It’s not all aesthetics, though – there are some skeletal changes to the new model’s design.
As is the way with swooping sedans these days, the 2019 Lexus ES is 2.6 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than before. The track is also wider, as you’d expect – 0.4 inches in the front and 1.5 inches in the rear. Despite a larger footprint, Lexus slightly chopped the roofline by 0.2 inches. The car also rides on a new global architecture, dubbed the “GA-K” platform, which will underpin the smaller IS sedan as well. GA-K is a front-wheel drive derivative of the rear-based GA-L platform used on the LS and LC.
Two engines: one new, one updated with more power
The 2019 Lexus ES 350 comes out swinging with an updated version of the 3.5-liter V6 engine. Lexus boosted the engine’s power, so it now puts out 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 34 horsepower and 19 lb-ft torque bump on the outgoing ES model’s engine. Power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission, another improvement on the old six-speed in the previous ES.
That’s not the only powertrain update for the ES, however. The 2019 Lexus ES 300h packs a new generation of Lexus’ hybrid system, driven by a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four cylinder engine. The total system output stands at 215 horsepower, the same as the 2019 Toyota Avalon. That power is sent through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), as is the standard with hybrid models. Fuel economy figures add up to an estimated 44 combined MPG.
F Sport available for the first time in an ES
For the 2019 Lexus ES, it’s not all about efficiency. This time around, Lexus has bestowed the new ES with the F Sport treatment as well. While the F Sport model doesn’t up the power figure, it does add some sportiness to the equation. Similar to what’s found on the LC coupe, the 2019 Lexus ES F Sport adds Adaptive Variable Suspension dampers, which can cycle through 650 levels of force at each corner of the car.
F Sport also adds Sport+ to the selectable driver modes. That sets up the car with the most aggressive engine, transmission and suspension parameters Lexus engineers see fit. Love it or hate it, Sport+ also adds in the new Engine Sound Enhancement feature, which pipes in an extra layer of engine noise to the cabin.
Safety and Tech
With every new generation of car – ES or not – we expect some new tech. On that front, the 2019 Lexus ES doesn’t disappoint. Indeed, it does sport some new tech. On the safety front, the new ES packs Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 on every model. That means you get a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, in addition to the wide standard array of driver assist features.
For the longest time, Toyota and Lexus were holdouts in allowing Apple CarPlay support. In its latest generation, the 2019 Lexus ES does offer CarPlay functionality, although it does still go without support for Android Auto. However, it does support Amazon Alexa, so you can control a variety of home-to-car or car-to-home commands. Onboard Wi-Fi is also available as part of the 12.3-inch navigation upgrade. Non-navigation models won’t get that feature, and will get an 8.0-inch touchscreen instead.
On sale later this year
After its Beijing debut, the seventh-generation 2019 Lexus ES will go on sale this September. Pricing isn’t available just yet, as Lexus will announce that information closer to launch. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates, including videos featuring the 2019 Lexus ES! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more great video content.