NEW LEXUS ES 250 SET FOR MZANSI DEBUT

Lexus South Africa is tired of sitting idle, watching the Germans bite chunks off of premium car volumes day and day out. On a good month, Audi BMW and Mercedes-Benz together can sell up to 5 000 units. Now Lexus is going after some of that volume with the announcement of the new 2013 ES sedan. The ES is actually the biggest-selling Lexus in the world, although Mzansi is getting its first taste with this 6th generation model.

2013 Lexus ES 250 2

I sat inside the car, both front and back. Space is quite abundant, with legroom also being very generous. However, the big question at the posh unveiling where yours truly had an excellent dinner in great company, courtesy of Lexus SA, was where exactly does the ES fit in when it comes to segments? This is when considering that it is just as big as the GS (slightly longer overall but shorter on wheelbase), but has the smallest engine in the range.

2013 Lexus ES 250 3

The answer will lie in the price, which we understand to be approximately R440 000. Performing a quick search reveals that this is quite cheaper than the smaller IS 350, falling into the company of cars like the Audi S3, BMW X1 xDrive20d, Volvo S60 T5 and Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI Multitronic. As you can see, these are smaller than the ES.

2013 Lexus ES 250 4

No offence, actually we believe this to be a compliment. We think the ES is what the Camry would have eventually evolved into had it stayed in the country longer. Camry by the way, is the biggest-selling car in the USA. And not the old Camry you might imagine: it’s evolved into a very sophisticated machine.

 

The ES typically has pretty much everything a family guy wants in a car. Listed as part of the standard items list are things like 17-inch alloy wheels, Lane Assist with Blind Spot Monitor, 10 airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Cruise Control, a 20cm screen with satellite navigation, sunroof, keyless entry, park distance control and leather interior.

2013 Lexus ES 250 5

Not much is happening under the bonnet, but that’s to be expected of a sedate family luxury sedan. Power is encouraged by a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder motor with 135kW and 235Nm of torque. It is mated with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Lexus says it will stroll off the line and reach 100km/h in under 10 seconds, while huffing its way to a top speed of just over 200km/h. clearly the ES 250 is not for track days, or robot to robot races.

 

More urge will be available via the ES 300h, a hybrid with the same 2.5 plus a 105kW electric motor totalling 151kW in system power. Said car is claimed to move from 0 – 100km/h in 8.5 seconds, but top speed is a much less thrilling 180km/h. This is understandable though, given that the car is made in Japan where the national speed limit happens to be 180km/h.

 

The ES 250 will be on display at the Lexus stand during the 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show in NASREC.

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