The new Lexus ES 250 is now officially launched in Malaysia. The seventh-generation sedan was previewed in Malaysia late last year at KLIMS 2018, and the finalised local spec ES 250 has been present at Lexus Mutiara Damansara since July, when order books were opened. The CBU import is priced at RM299,888 on-the-road without insurance for the Premium and RM332,888 for the Luxury trim level.
The ES has always been a core model for Toyota’s premium brand since its birth in 1989, and it’s Lexus’ most popular sedan with over 2.3 million sales worldwide over three decades. None has looked so bold though, and this new one looks very much like a “baby LS” – pics don’t do it full justice. While the new “Provocative Elegance” exterior design is significantly more emotional and dynamic than the car it replaces, Lexus says that it contains a more spacious (class-leading rear legroom) and refined cabin.
That win-win is due to a wider and longer chassis – the Global Architecture K (GA-K) is essentially Lexus’ version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.
No one would say that the previous ES was a small car, but this one’s footprint is larger. At 4,975 mm long and 1,865 mm wide, it’s 66 mm longer and 46 mm wider than before, while the 2,870 mm wheelbase is also 51 mm longer. You probably wouldn’t have guessed so though, because the new car sits five millimetres lower and is far from being slab-sided.
It may be instantly recognisable as a modern Lexus and junior LS, but there’s no shortage of design cues unique to the ES. We notice that the spindle border is taller than the actual grille here, which isn’t full height. At the back, “full-width chrome bar” doesn’t do that piece of trim justice, as it wraps around the body, following the tail lamp clusters.
Power comes from the latest 2.5 litre Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine, making 204 hp at 6,600 rpm and 247 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. The direct-injection A25A-FKS petrol unit is paired to an eight-speed Direct Shift conventional automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels. 0-100 km/h is done in 9.1 seconds and top speed is 210 km/h. There’s auto stop-start.
By the way, this powertrain combo is unique to the ES in Malaysia, as our Toyota Camry carries over the 2AR-FE 2.5L and 6AT pairing from the previous generation.
Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+), which made its recent debut in the 2019 Lexus NX 300, is standard across the board here as well, along with 10 airbags. LSS+ includes Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Stop and Go function and Blind Spot Monitor.
The Luxury version adds on distinctive three bi-beam LED headlights on each side with Adaptive High Beam System (AHS) and washers. Sequential turn signals, too.
The example you see here is the ES 250 Luxury, and it comes with luxuries such as a 10-way powered front seat, memory for the front passenger seat, powered reclining rear seats (up to eight degrees of recline), three-zone climate control, head-up display, 12.3-inch centre screen with navigation, panoramic view monitor (360 degree parking camera) hands-free powered boot (kick to open), ambient lighting, rear door sun shades and a Qi wireless charger.
The entry Premium spec still gets bi-LED headlamps (you can tell by the single ‘eye’) with auto high beam, eight-way ventilated and powered front seats (memory for driver), shimamoku wood trim, an eight-inch centre screen, seven-inch digital instrument panel, sunroof, Drive Mode Select (Normal, Eco, Sport), keyless entry with push start (with smart card key), dual-zone auto AC with pollen filter and Nanoe ion generator, electro chromic rear view mirror and a Pioneer 10-speaker audio system.
Another difference is in the rear armrest, where the Luxury gets a control panel. The upholstery is NuLuxe synthetic leather on the Premium and semi-aniline leather on the Luxury. Both cars get 18-inch alloys, but the Luxury’s items are finished in Hyper Chrome Metallic Coating (Medium Grey Metallic Coating for the Premium) and the tyres are wider – 235/45 vs 215/55.
As for colours, one can choose from seven paint colours (Sonic Quartz, Red Mica Crystal Shine, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Sonic Titanium, Platinum Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Mica) and two interior colour schemes (Black, Topaz Brown) for this CBU Japan import.