The 2013 Lexus ES is no longer the Lexus-skinned clone of Toyota’s best-selling Camry sedan; it now rides a platform that has been stretched by two inches in comparison to the more plebian model. (It now shares its platform directly with the all-new 2013 Avalon instead of with the Camry.) The ES has also been bestowed with Lexus’ new spindle grille treatment and “L” design taillights as seen on the 2013 GS, 2013 RX, 2013 LX 570, and 2012 CT 200h. The overall look is a clean and simple evolution from the previous model.
For the first time, Lexus will now offer two different ES variants: the gas-powered ES 350 and the gas-hybrid ES 300h. Powering the ES 350 is the same 3.5-liter V-6 from the outgoing model coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. New for the 2013 model is the ES 300h – under the hood of the hybrid version is the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine as found in the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid paired with a continuously variable transmission. Lexus expects the 2013 ES 300h to best its Toyota counterpart with a 40 mpg rating on the highway. Both ES models are front-wheel drive.
The cabin of the 2013 Lexus ES will be familiar to any Lexus owner with soft leathers, rich wood trim, and well-grained plastics. Already seen in the RX, GS, and CT, Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface makes an appearance in the 2013 ES to control the car’s infotainment system. The mouse-like controller sits on the center console just to the right of the shift lever, with climate and audio controls on the center stack within easy reach. A one-year trial to the Lexus Enform connectivity suite is standard, as is a 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system is standard.
Lexus has also seen to outfit the 2013 ES with a raft of advanced new safety features to keep pace with the competition. Advanced safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic, lane departure alert, automatic high-beam headlights, and whiplash injury lessening front seats that restrict head movement in a crash.
Pricing for the 2013 Lexus ES350 and ES 300h have yet to be announced, but it will go on sale this spring.
For more on the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 New York International Auto Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our New York Show homepage.