The 2016 Lexus ES, which recently debuted at 2015 Shanghai Motor Show, does not look dramatically different from the current Lexus ES, which has been in production since 2013. This should not surprise anyone because the 2016 model is just a mild mid-cycle refresh of the current model with some updated features both inside and out. Expect an all-new vehicle in another two or three years.
At first glance, you will have a tough time noticing any major differences between the new 2016 Lexus ES and the current ES as they both share a similar grille and overall body design. However, if you are a Lexus enthusiast, then you will notice that the design of the new 2016 Lexus ES is a lot sharper than the current model as it adapts some of the more aggressive styling cues from its recently redesigned little brother, the Lexus IS sport sedan.
Up front, the 2016 Lexus ES receives a newly redesigned spindle grille, which is framed by new bright satin chrome strips and connects to the hood, which gives the front end a more fluid design. The 2016 Lexus ES also receives a pair of narrower headlights with LED projector lamps and includes bold, L-shaped arrowhead daytime running lights, which surround the lower part of the spindle grille.
Out back, the taillights receive the L-shaped brake lights, which matches the taillights found in other Lexus models. As part of the refresh, the 2016 Lexus ES also receives rectangular exhaust tips, like the ones found on the flagship, Lexus LS and these new tips give the ES a more mature and well-rounded look.
For 2016, Lexus has added Amber, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl paint options on top of the six existing paint choices which are available on the current model. The four new paints come with an interesting feature known as self-healing technologies, which protect the car from sunlight damage.
Once inside the new 2016 Lexus ES, keen-eyed people will notice the sportier steering wheel, embossed seats in four natural colors, which consist of Flaxen brown, parchment, gray and black upholstery. Additional seating material options include semi-aniline leather, natural leather and Lexus’s NuLuxe synthetic material, which almost has the feel of the real leather.
For 2016, the Lexus ES also receives new trim options and they include, piano black, dark wood, bird’s-eye maple, Shimamoku wood ornamentation and bamboo with matte finish.
Occupants in the new 2015 Lexus ES will notice the quieter cabin as Lexus engineers have added extra noise insulation materials behind the dashboard to filter out the engine noise from the cabin.
Additional changes easily noticeable in the 2016 Lexus ES is a new, 4.2 inch TFT screen between the speedometer and the odometer as well as two “Enter” buttons around Lexus Remote touch interface . Aside from these minor interior changes, rest of the interior layout is carried over from the 2015 models.
In China and other International Markets, the 2016 Lexus ES receives a new 2.0 L, direct-injection, 4-cylinder engine. However, the U.S. bound 2016 Lexus ES models will keep its current 3.5 L V6 engine with 268 horsepower and 248 lb.ft. of torque and the current hybrid drivetrain found in the current Lexus ES 300h.
For 2016, Lexus engineers have retuned the ES’s chassis for better handling and improved ride quality, like they have done with the new IS sport sedan. The chassis is connected to the ground via a quartet of ally rims ranging from 17 to 20 inches in diameter.
The 2016 Lexus ES debuts Lexus Safety System +, which combines safety features like adaptive cruise control, automatic high beans, forward-collision alert, auto-braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning into a simple and well priced packaged.
Overall, since this is just a mid-cycle refresh of the current generation Lexus ES, don’t expect the price of the 2016 Lexus ES to be higher than the price of the current ES models, which have a base MSRP of $38,625 for ES 300 and $41,505 for the ES 300h hybrid. The 2016 Lexus ES models will being to arrive at your local dealerships later this year, so probably by the end of summer or beginning of fall.