The Lexus ES250 marks the end of a 7-years hiatus
The return of a classic The Lexus ES250 manages to convey an image of inoffensive styling and understated luxury - just like its predecessors; it is a spacious and luxurious sedan with excellent elbow room and rear legroom

THE Lexus ES has to be the classic Lexus. Even with a dramatic spindle grille, the sixth-generation of this mid-sized sedan model manages to convey an image of inoffensive styling and understated luxury - just like its predecessors.

The last time the ES was sold here was seven years ago as the fourth-generation ES300 because the fifth-generation car was not available in right-hand drive. But the ES's popularity is such that this has since been rectified.

The latest model is the ES250 with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to drive the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission (a petrol-electric hybrid, the ES300h, is also offered here).

In keeping with the ES formula, the 4.9-metre long ES250 is a spacious and luxurious sedan with excellent elbow room and rear legroom.

Softly sprung for a comfortable ride, it also has two other attributes that make it suitable as a chauffeur-driven car - its long 2,820 mm wheelbase and the rear centre armrest with audio, climate and seat ventilation controls.

But one big surprise is the sophistication of the chassis. The ES has a pretty rigid body with a wide footprint and Lexus engineers have actually leveraged on that to enhance handling stability.

For example, the front MacPherson struts have counter-wound coil springs, that is, the left coil is wound the opposite way from the right coil. This adds to straight-line stability and steering feel. At the rear, there are dual-link struts with coil springs and a stabiliser bar.

So even though the ES250 exhibits good ride comfort on uneven roads, it remains well-balanced without undue body roll in high-speed curves. One thing its pillowy ride does not sacrifice is control and this has to be the most impressive aspect of the ES250.

There are no steering wheel-mounted shift paddles but turn the Lexus Drive Mode Select knob to the Sport program and manual shifting of the gear lever can be good fun.

In keeping with the Lexus philosophy, the powertrain is fairly refined too. Despite having only four cylinders now, the naturally aspirated engine's 183 hp and 235 Newton-metres do a good job of hauling the 1,600 kg car around. Together with the smooth six-speed automatic transmission, it has a useable operating range. Revving it hard doesn't unfaze it, so even if the zero to 100 kmh acceleration of 9.8 seconds is nothing to write home about, the ES250's performance is satisfactory.

With consumption under the combined cycle stated at 7.9 litres of petrol per 100 km (12.7 km per litre) and a tall and deep boot, it is also a very practical car.

Two trim versions are available - Executive and Luxury - but in typical Lexus style, both promise to be equally . . . luxurious.

SPECS

Lexus ES250

Engine 2,494cc inline-4

Gearbox 6-speed automatic transmission

Max power 183 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Max torque 235 Nm @ 4,100 rpm

0-100 kmh 9.8 secs

Top speed 207 kmh

CO2 emissions 190 g/km

Average OMV $38,000

Price from $238,000 (with COE)

Distributor Borneo Motors

Tel 6631 1388

 

CAR INFORMATION

Lexus ES250 2.5 Executive (A)

Price

:$226,000

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line DOHC Dual VVT-i

Engine Cap

:

2,494 cc

Horsepower

:

181 bhp / 6,000 rpm

Torque

:

235 Nm / 4,100 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) ECT

Acceleration

:

9.8 sec (0-100 km/h)

Top Speed

:

207 km/h