F Sport trims get these 19-inch wheels.
The 2021 Lexus ES 250 is extra spectacular than you would possibly assume. After 800 miles within the saddle of this gold-plated Toyota Avalon on a drive to Michigan’s higher peninsula and again, I’m glad to report the ES is an all-star road-tripper because of its consolation, refinement and gasoline financial system.
LikeExcellent adaptive cruise controlOver-the-road refinementCushy accommodationsGood gasoline financial system
Don’t LikeThat rattling infotainment systemHalfhearted performanceNo fold-down seats
Redesigned just a few years in the past, the ES troopers on with just a few enhancements for 2021. Luxury, F Sport and Ultra Luxury fashions now come normal with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, a particular Black Line mannequin is on the menu and, for the primary time, you may get this venerable sedan with all-wheel drive, which comes normal with the bottom four-cylinder engine. That’s the powertrain this instance is fitted with, although it additionally options the F Sport package deal, which incorporates distinctive wheels, a mesh grille insert, different visible tweaks and a retuned suspension setup. Adaptive dampers are additionally obtainable, although they don’t seem to be fitted right here.The ES 250’s inside is effectively constructed and comfy. The supplies employed are principally prime quality, from the supple leather-based to the aluminum brightwork to the virtually natural gap sample on the speaker grilles. Some not-so-great onerous plastic may be noticed if you happen to poke round and the switches that function the heated and ventilated entrance seats are buried on the backside of the middle stack and look crude, particularly in comparison with the ingenuous tuning and quantity knobs, that are two concentric dials built-in into one meeting. It’s not a giant deal, however I really like this little contact as a result of not solely does it look cool, it means that you can tune the radio with out reaching midway throughout the dashboard. I additionally recognize this automotive’s mechanical shifter. There’s zero ambiguity to the way it features and you’ll relaxation your hand on it whereas cruising.
In addition to all that, this Lexus’ soft entrance bucket seats get two thumbs up. Even after hours within the saddle they go away me feeling refreshed. A boon for passengers, the ES’ backseat is spacious and lots snug, plus it comes with a 12-volt energy outlet and a pair of two.2-amp USB ports so everybody’s cellphone can keep absolutely juiced on lengthy drives. The ES 250 provides 13.9 cubic ft of trunk area, an excellent quantity to make sure, however limiting this automotive’s versatility, the rear backrest doesn’t fold down. At least a small pass-through is included for prolonged cargo. Curiously, the glovebox is kind of small as effectively, barely massive sufficient to carry the proprietor’s handbook.As for tech, the ES comes normal with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility. An 8-inch infotainment display is included on lower-end fashions, however a lovely 12.3-incher is out there, which incorporates embedded navigation. This show seems to be nice, with vibrant colours, good viewing angles and minimal glare. Unfortunately, it isn’t touch-enabled (but
), which implies it’s important to navigate Lexus’ tangled infotainment system with a dastardly trackpad on the middle console. This association is as distracting as it’s troublesome. Why the automaker hasn’t moved on to one thing higher in spite of everything these years is past me. As with different Toyota and Lexus merchandise, infotainment tech is that this automotive’s greatest weak point.
A comfortable inside with a awful infotainment interface. At least the upcoming 2022 ES will lastly get a touchscreen.
As you’ll have guessed based mostly on its identify, the ES 250 encompasses a 2.5-liter engine, identical to you may get in a Toyota Avalon or Camry. Without a supercharger or turbo to supply additional oomph, this four-pot unit delivers a modest 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Making essentially the most of that output, the engine is paired with an eight-speed automated transmission. That gearbox is generally agreeable, shifting shortly and readily dropping gears as required to maintain issues transferring, although sometimes it could actually really feel a bit lumpy.
Pressed into luxury-car service, this Toyota engine is completely serviceable, however like authorities forms it is devoid of any pleasure. Uncouth vibrations can sometimes be felt, although extra noticeable are the disagreeable noises it generates whereas laboring, notably when climbing hills. Of course, this engine is not any firebrand, both, transferring the ES to 60 mph in a merely enough 8.6 seconds. But what this automotive’s powertrain lacks in emotion and verve it largely makes up for with wonderful effectivity. This Lexus is rated at 25 mpg metropolis and 34 mpg freeway. Combined, it ought to return 28 mpg, although it is averaging about 32 mpg in my arms, a damn-impressive rating for a big, snug, non-hybrid sedan — one fitted with all-wheel drive, no much less.The ES 250’s steering and brake really feel are wonderful to the purpose of being forgettable. These main controls get the job finished with out incomes any reward or scorn, which is A-OK in my guide. The automotive’s experience high quality, nevertheless, is gorgeous, even with out these fancy adjustable dampers. Despite sporting F Sport badges, this Lexus is smooth and quiet, floating ever so barely over massive roadway undulations and shielding passengers from practically all wind and tire noise, even at extra-legal speeds. The dark-finished 19-inch F Sport wheels are a win-win, too, trying swanky with out curdling that creamy experience.This unassuming luxurious sedan is tremendous snug.
The adaptive cruise management system with lane centering works phenomenally effectively, easily and attentively adjusting the automobile’s pace as wanted and maintaining it locked in the midst of its lane. Other useful facilities like lane-departure warning, automated excessive beams, road-sign recognition and extra are additionally bundled within the Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0 suite of superior driver aids, which is normal on each mannequin.The 2021 ES sedan begins at 41 grand and alter together with $1,025 in supply charges, which is not a nasty worth for a soft cruiser from a blue-chip model. As examined, the instance seen right here checks out for a nonetheless cheap $53,400. Aside from F Sport trimmings, a wi-fi charging pad ($75), the navigation package deal ($2,900), LED headlamps ($1,515) and some different choices padded the underside line. Still, that is a more-than-reasonable determine, particularly when you think about the common new-vehicle transaction worth within the US today is round $40,000.Sure, there are some things to gripe about, however the ES 250 is an agreeable luxurious sedan… supplied your expectations are cheap. If you need tire-roasting acceleration or the agility of a superbike you’ll be sorely disenchanted. However, if you happen to drop these pretenses and settle for that it is a quiet, soft cruiser, it is simple sufficient to get pleasure from this Lexus.