First Drive: 2018 Lexus ES

11 October 2018 - 17:37 By Thomas Falkiner
Since its launch here in 2013 the Lexus ES has become the premium Japanese brand’s bestselling vehicle. That’s no mean feat in a market that has seen so many buyers shunning sedans in favour of SUVs.

The volumes have been small, but Toyota South Africa CEO Andrew Kirby believes the new-generation ES, with its smart new styling, will do better than its anonymous-looking predecessor at attracting buyers and taking on German rivals.

Those rivals, size-wise, are the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-class and Audi A6, but in terms of pricing (at least for the entry-level Lexus ES) they’re the 3 Series, C-class and A4 — and that’s what makes the ES an attractive prospect, says Kirby.

The more expensive ES 300 has additional items like a high-end Mark Levinson audio system, heated steering wheel, head-up display, navigation and a wireless smartphone charge.

Coinciding with the launch of the new ES, Lexus SA has announced a new seven-year/ 105,000km warranty and maintenance plan which is also applicable to the rest of the Lexus range. Service intervals are every 15 000km or once a year. – Denis Droppa