2019 Lexus ES Looks Out of Place at Paris Motor Show

2019 Lexus ES 13 photos
Photo: Guido ten Brink/SB-Medien
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Production of the GS for Europe stopped in April 2018. The mid-size sedan won’t come back in this part of the world, the ES taking its place. Now in its seventh generation, the ES will go on sale in Western in Central Europe by the end of the year.
Beyond the enormous grille and unconventional styling of the exterior, Lexus has chosen the Toyota New Global Architecture (GA-K) from the Avalon to serve as the backbone of the ES. More to the point, the layout for the all-new model is front engine, front-wheel drive.

The underwhelming underpinnings are countered by the promise of “sharp driving performance.” We’re not sure Lexus knows what that means, not when the BMW 5 Series is out there, running rings around the competition. A high-performance model that would rival the M5 is out of the question.

An eight-speed automatic comes standard, and in the case of the hybrid powertrain (ES 300h), Lexus swaps the transmission with an eCVT developed to be as efficient as possible. Over in Japan, the sedan is available with virtual mirrors, snatching the crown from the Audi e-tron because the electric crossover hasn’t arrived at dealers yet.

As far as the United States is concerned, the ES 350 starts the lineup at $39,500. The ES 300h levels up to $41,310, making the hybrid sedan $510 less expensive than the previous generation. The ES 350 F Sport serves as the range-topping option, starting at $44,035.

2.6 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than before, the ES isn’t available with forced induction. That isn’t to the liking of European customers, where turbocharging is the name of the game even for economy cars such as the Ford Fiesta.

As interesting as it is, complete with an interior that brims with luxury, the ES won’t pose a threat to the A6, 5 Series, and E-Class. From a commercial standpoint, the bar set by the GS is as low as they come. Lexus sold 57 examples in August 2018, and over the course of 2017, sales in Europe totaled 1,508.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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