The ES made its world debut in Beijing before going on sale in Britain from January 2019. Orders open in October for UK customers, although pre-orders are being accepted.
Three specs are available on the new-to-Britain ES - the entry-level, ES-badged car, ES F Sport at £38,150 and range-topping Takumi, priced from £45,650. Takumi gets a power bootlid with kick sensor, 12.3in infotainment screen, premium sound system, heated and reclining rear seats and an around view monitor, while F Sport adds sportier styling, 19in wheels and adaptive sports suspension to the entry-level ES package. Electrically adjustable, heated front seats, 8in infotainment screen and parking sensors are standard from bottom-spec upwards.
While it’s the first to enter Europe, this ES is actually the seventh-generation model, with its forebears having focused on the US market. The new car is tasked with drastically increasing sales in Europe, so it has been designed and engineered to appeal to drivers in this region.
Part of the motivation for this decision will no doubt be the success of European rivals to the ES, such as the BMW 5 Series, which is renowned for its good handling and strong performance. Lexus has therefore engineered the new ES to be significantly more driver-focused than its predecessors.