by Jez Spinks

The return of the Lexus ES to Australia for the first time since 2006 has been confirmed by the Japanese brand.

Lexus had been expected to bring the mid-size luxury sedan back to the local market after the company revealed in April 2012 that the latest, sixth-generation model would be built in right-hand drive as well as left-hand drive.

The Lexus ES, the brand’s second most popular vehicle globally, will go on sale in the fourth quarter, positioned between the IS compact sedan and GS large sedan. A new-generation IS also launches in 2013.

The IS currently starts at $55,800 with the GS range kicking off at $77,400.

Lexus Australia says it will announce pricing and specification details closer to the ES’s launch, though there’s only one petrol and one hybrid model to choose from in other markets.

The Lexus ES350 employs a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine while the Lexus ES300h combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for fuel economy the company says will dip below 6.0L/100km.

The latest Lexus ES is 4.9 metres long and sits on a new platform that is longer, lower and wider than before.

It features the ‘spindle’ grille that is now a familiar design element of all Lexus vehicles, and the interior includes 10 airbags as well as the company’s ‘remote touch’ mouse-style menu controller system.

The last Lexus ES to be sold in Australia was the ES300, which ran from 2002 to 2006 but sold relatively slowly before the model line was forced out as a result of the fifth-generation model being left-hand-drive only.

  • Smart US

    this way Aurion makes quite sense

    • Jober As A Sudge

      Unlike the sentence above!

  • Able

    Always hated the ES. This car will continue that. What a horrible, boring, bland and unattractive car! Why would you bother Lexus Aus, with this new styling/image direction? To anyone looking at buying one, just buy a Camry and keep the change.

    • c3vzn

      The funny thing is new generation has actually been praised for being very good looking and stylish and I tend to agree with those reviewers.

      • 451

        and also has actually been praised for being very ugly! and i tend to agree with those reviewers

        • JiM

          u r an idiot

        • Blueberry

          No it hasn’t

    • Gazza

      What planet are you from calling this bland & boring, BORING compared to what a LFA?  

      • $29896495

        I think he’s got a point.

  • Rev head

    I’m not saying its the car for me but, I do know its not built off Camry or Aurion.

    The ES is actually a bigger car, it has heaps more room – saw one in the US on a recent trip and its so different to the old one – plus it looks way better than ESof old.

    • Henry Toussaint

       Is this bigger than the GS then? because the IS and GS are medium and large, so whats this?

      • Acfsambo7

        I think the IS is 3 series sized, the ES is 5 series and the GS is 7 series? 

        • Henry Toussaint

           No, LS is 7 Series

          • JiM

            yes so this is in between in the mid size segment like the audi a5/7 maybe.

        • Rocket

          GS is smaller than the ES.

        • Zaccy16

          i think its in the middle of the is and gs in size because an is is a 3 series, merc class etc.. and the gs is 5 series, e class etc… and the ls is 7 series, s class etc… but the es must be between the 3 and 5 series, pointless in my opinion

          • Llpp

             Why didn’t you just look up the size instead of making that sentence about what you “think”?

            As people already said, this is bigger than the GS.

          • Kdfg

            Just ignore Zaccy – he’s not a fan of facts.

          • Force-15

            In response to Kdfg: Here I was thinking that Zaccy16 had been banned recently…

  • Devil666

    65 year old retired GP’s rejoice, your chariot has arrived!

    • Guest12

      Grands Prix?

  • HerpDerp

    Oh great, a gilded Camry.

    • Doctor

      A true TUTmobile! (Tarted-up Toyota).

      • 451

        kiss me khaTUT

        • Poison_Eagle

           Eyes on my anaconda, Rhonda.

  • Resident

    For what it is worth, this car may very well hit the mark in Australia and give old MB and Lexus owners the car they’ve always wanted – refined luxury. They aren’t after performance or driveability.

  • Martin

    So assuming the ES will split the difference of price between the IS and the GS?

  • Ox

    Always liked the ES, not everyone wants “sports” sedans.

  • RichieDuck

    is cardigan optional?

    • Zaccy16

      it might be standard! the gs and the is are much nicer cars than this inside and out and unfortunately this is just like the cruddy lexus of old

      • Guest13

        Agreed. Haven’t you seen the ads? Old luxury, like Lexus and Mercedes, is dead. Audi is the new king.

        • Hung Low

          Audi is more about fashion these days, give me a BMW or MB with a proper chassis any day.

  • KH

    looks way too similar to the GS

    i wonder how they’ll price and market this, the refined grandpa version of the GS?

  • K20A

    There is something ethically wrong about a 5m long, 1.8 tonne luxury sedan driven by front wheels. It should not be allowed.

    Aspiring ES owner take note: take a chunk out of the retirement fund and get a GS, or get a IS and have some leftovers for sheepskin seat covers.

    • F1orce

      Most people want a comfortable, smooth and refined car.

      Not a sports sedan with hardened springs, rough ride and an intimidating exhaust & engine noise.

      • K20A

        I’ve driven both GS / IS and can assure you they’re not lacking one bit in refinement, comfort and quietness.

        But if they are too hard, rough, loud and intimidating for you.. then yes, the ES is definitely your kind of car..

        • Zaccy16

          i agree, you dont want so stiff suspension your back breaks over bumps but you want a good compromise between ride and handling, (i prefer a little extra handling!)

      • $29896495

        It’s good t see the re-emergence of normal headlights. Still can’t handle the dash it’s just terrible as is the grill. Over all it has the look of an old Accord Euro, which isn’t a bad thing. If it’s good on the road,  just have to keep your eyes up as much as possible. It’s only other road uses that will have to put up with that grill.

    • Crazy n00b

      Plenty of large and heavy cars are FWD’s with V8’s as well. For example large American sedans, Cadillacs, etc.

  • bd

    The GS is not a “large” sedan and competes in the midsize segment.

    The ES is actually a couple of inches longer than the GS.

  • Resident

    FWD = more rear legroom and cheaper assembly costs… making it cheaper than the GS and possibly with a few more features. If it is priced not too much more than the IS350 they could have a winner… volume wise.

  • pixxxels

    Ah, the long-awaited return of the Lexus Camry! One of the most cynical cars ever conceived. Alas, at least it looks decent now.

    • ES4ME

      The onlthing cynical about this story is your post!

    • Force-15

      If you reckon that the Lexus ES is cynical, what would you think of the Porsche Cayenne? Or what about (arguably) the most cynical car of all – the Cadillac Cimmaron?

      • pixxxels

        The Cadillac Cavalier is without a doubt the most cynical car ever made, the nadir of the American automotive industry, and irrefutable proof that GM was being run by the ghost of Hitler during the 80s.

        I’ve always been torn about the Cayenne though. On one hand it is a blatant cash grab, on the other it is a means to an end (would Porsche be considering building 5 model lines of dedicated sports cars without it?). Besides, it is actually a quality vehicle, and isn’t even all that ugly these days. 

        Eh, I’ll allow it.

  • F1orce

    I prefer the exterior design of the previous ES350

  • MisterZed

    I was just over in the US and I saw about 500 of these things. Average looking I guess. The last ES sold here was $76,500. Should be interesting to see what the new one costs.

    • Crazy n00b

      It is because:
      ES 350
      Starting at US$36,100 [*]ES 300h
      Starting at US$38,850 [*]

      Over in the USA.

      • Llpp

        They’ll list it here at twice the USA price but Lexus seem to avoid the barrage of complaints which seem to be restricted to the German brands.

        • Jkgh

          Um, no they don’t.

        • Hung Low

          People vote with their wallets, and looking at their sales, pricing and brand perception, the survey says that are still charging too much here. As good as they are and highly equipped, they are not perceived as premium as they think they are.
          I see Audi in the same light, but sheeple see them as a glorified fashionable car.

          • Blueberry

            Thats true for the older models as they too closely resembled Toyota cars… Especially interiors…

            Not now… Now they barely look like Toyotas and sitting inside them you would hard pressed to make any links to Toyota’s at all. 

            Smoothness and serenity have always been hallmarks of Lexus cars but now also they look and feel the part too. With a dab of sports thrown in for good measure. Not sports car but more sportier in how they drive.

          • $29896495

            I don’t know, saying tat about the outside is a pretty long bow, in fact inside the dash – I don’t think so either.

  • 2tomo

    It looks nice inside n out

  • Martin

    Just so it’s crystal clear, the ES is a 6 cylinder 3.5L front wheel drive that will cost less than a 4 cylinder 2.5L rear wheel drive GS?

    • F1orce


      The base price would be very close to the base IS, same as in the prime market USA

      The ES will be much cheaper than base GS

    • Pro346

      I could be wrong but I’m sure the gs is a v6 2.5l just like the is.

      • Blueberry

        I think in China yes but not elsewhere. Also the 2.5l in China might actually be a 4 cylinder not a 6. Happy to be corrected if the article I read was wrong

  • Ryan76

    It looks great! Given that it will be priced between the IS and the GS makes it even more attractive!! Can’t wait!

  • JiM

    everyone who has commented on here seems to be somewhat deranged!! why is everyone making fun of lexus’ for being based on toyota platforms??!! this i do not understand – do you not understand that all audi’s, some porsches, some bentleys and some lamborghini’s are based off VOLKSWAGEN platforms????? Why is this not a big deal for these companies? toyota is the japanese equivalent of volkswagen so where is the shame in basing your luxury vehicles on proven, sound and reliable base platforms????? All lexus vehicles except for he LX look completely different to the models they are based on, i just dont get why people seem to go on about this stuff like its a negative. in my opinion the fact that lexus vehicles are based on toyotas is a huge positive as you can count on them being reliable unlike many other prestige marques that demand more money for less reliable products.

    if people are going to continue to complain about this i want them to ask why they never mention the same issue when talking about models from the VW Group like audis.

    i think you will come to realise that this is not a negative whatsoever!!!

    • Rocket

      Pity Toyota don’t offer cheaper versions of the IS and GS.

    • Keev

      Well Said.

      I have 2 cars in my garage — 2009 Toyota Aurion and 2010 Lexus GS450h.

      You CAN tell the difference in their driving dynamics (due to FR vs. FF drive), and the quality of materials and built.

      But you CANNOT tell the difference in their high-level quality / reliability.

      • JiM

        thankyou for your support i have no idea why there are so many people on here hating on this car and toyota/lexus in general. toyotas are great no nonsense reliable cars and lexus add to that great luxury and now finally sporting dynamics. lets remember lexus is no.1 in the US but australians somehow seem to think we are better than that haha

    • Blueberry

      I agree. You are not going to see any tighter connection than that between VW and Audi

  • Zaccy16

    people have no legs to stand on that say the rwd gs is based on a crapry/aurion! this is a fwd so much more likely!

  • racrepus

    The sleeker greenhouse does wonders to the overall look. Over all looks better than the Camry/Aurion that still use that horribly dated greenhouse from the 2003 Camry. The front is utterly boring and lacking any personality. Still can’t stand that tinged metallic trim or that not-quite-black leather though. It just looks ugly.

    • TG

      uh, uh, uh… “leather-accented”, not “leather”. The ACCC is watching. :)

      • JiM

        toyota only uses artificial leather in TOYOTAS you fool. lexus has long been regarded for having wonderful quality leather. FYI mercedes has been using ARTICO artificial leather now for years and again no body complains.

        personally i have no problem with artificial leather at all. it is still better than cloth and is usually hard to tell the difference. if you are going to start taking a dig at toyotas quality maybe you should stop and go and drive one. maybe then you would realise why they are no.1 for quality/reliability/satisfaction. 






        the TRUTH is that you do not achieve these things if you are as bad as everyone on here makes out. 

        toyota is a winner and we are lucky to have them operating her is AUS :)

        here’s to toyota!!!!!

        • $29896495

          A lot of that is past tense. unreliability and poor build quality seem the norm these days. Also hiding things so they don’t have to do recalls. The point about the leather, They mislead people, charged them for full leather when it was mostly plastic. So you don’t get upset if you’ve been duped?

  • Hung Low

    This is the best looking ES so far. Would suit a Lexus buyer looking for value and not having a clue on which end drive the wheels. Needs to be priced similar to the IS to sell well.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Looks nice, but can it provide sportiness?