Luxury, F SPORT and Ultra Luxury ES grades will be equipped with Standard Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. With the added variety, Lexus guests can choose the ES that fits their lifestyle and climate. The enhanced 2021 ES lineup will begin arriving at dealerships in early fall 2020.
The 2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD is the first all-wheel drive model for the ES series bringing with it the increased confidence in inclement weather. From snow to rainy days or even the off-chance gravel road, drivers can be assured the ES AWD will help keep all four tires grounded – meaning more points of contact with the ground with the ability to help maintain traction on the back tires around turns.
Sending torque to all four wheels, the 2.5-liter L4 engine powers through conditions when traction is low to allow better acceleration with less tire slip. The improved traction of the 2021 ES AWD gives the vehicle the ability to accelerate from rest better with 203 horsepower and an estimated fuel rating of 28 combined MPG, better than other gas models in the ES family.
Dynamic Torque Control AWD can provide effective traction for inclement and slippery weather while minimizing AWD’s typical drag on fuel economy. The system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels.
When AWD isn’t needed, the electromagnetic controlled coupling on the rear drive axle can disengage the propeller shaft to help prioritize fuel efficiency. The AWD is designed to re-engage in an instant, when needed, and its operation is transparent to the driver and passengers.
The addition of AWD does not affect legroom, trunk room, ride comfort, cabin quietness or vehicle agility. Inside, the car has the same rear seat hip point height as the FWD ES model for gas and hybrid.
The suspension tuning, wheels, and tires differentiating the ES model grades carry over to the AWD versions. That means, for example, the ES F SPORT grade features the same sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels in both FWD and AWD versions.
The 2021 ES rides on the Global Architecture–K (GA-K) platform, which has allowed designers to create an ES design that is beautiful yet also enjoyable to drive.
The ES sedan is longer (+2.6 in), lower (-0.2 in) and wider (+1.8 in.) than the prior generation with wheels that have been pushed closer to the corners thanks to a two-inch longer wheelbase and wider tracks front (+0.4 in) and rear (+1.5 in).
The signature grille follows the path set forth by the LC coupe and the LS flagship, yet adds individual cues unique to the ES, like the vertical grille pattern. That theme is repeated at each corner of the bumper to give the ES a wide, planted look that promotes strength and stability.
The GA-K chassis is an exceptionally rigid front-wheel drive chassis made from several grades of high-strength steel. From the addition of more than double laser screw welds from the previous generation and laser screw welding, a construction method shared with the LS sedan, makes for a truly robust structure.
Additional measures are used to improve front-end stiffness, including a strut tower brace, multiple reinforcement panels for the strut towers themselves, and new radiator support braces.
All ES 350s are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (2GR-FKS) that is designed to deliver responsive acceleration along with impressive efficiency. The latest V6 now features the D-4S fuel injection system which uses high-pressure injectors to deliver fuel directly into the combustion chamber along with a low-pressure system that delivers fuel to the intake ports.
Together with the addition of Variable Valve Timing-intelligence Wide (VVTi-W) for the intake valves, the engine can operate on either the traditional Otto cycle during sporty driving or the more efficient Atkinson cycle when power demand is low.
The 3.5-liter V6 is rated to produce 302 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. Manufacturer fuel efficiency estimates come in at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. To complement the power of the updated V6, an 8-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission is used on all ES 350s.
Key refinements to the driving position were made to the seventh-generation ES including a more natural steering wheel angle, revised pedal positions and standard 10-way power adjustable front seats.
Taking cues from the flagship LS, the wheel is directly borrowed from the flagship and features an ergonomically shaped wheel and optional wood trim and heating elements. Heated seats are also available for the driver and front passenger along with a new suction-type ventilation system that provides improved cooling in hot weather.
To make multimedia connectivity seamless for Lexus owners, all 2021 ES models feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. ES is also Amazon Alexa compatible, so drivers with an iPhone and Android devices can use natural language commands to control a variety of functions such as car-to-home and home-to-car commands, providing owners with Alexa-enabled devices in their home the ability to interact with their ES before they ever get behind the wheel.
The Lexus multimedia system sits high on the ES dashboard and measures 8 inches wide on standard models and 12.3 inches wide with the available Navigation package, the Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display features crisp, easy-to-read graphics and a revised menu system. The optional navigation system blends on-board information with cloud-based data for the most accurate directions possible.
For 2021, one key addition headlines the safety features on the seventh-generation ES, with Luxury, F SPORT and Ultra Luxury now featuring standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Available on all ES models for 2021 is Lexus Enform Safety Connect (10-year trial included), Enform Remote (3-year trial), Lexus Enform Wi-Fi (4GB/3-month trial), Lexus Enform Service Connect (10-year trial).