For some cars, their life cycles take ages. Just take a look at the current-generation Toyota Land Cruiser. The full-size SUV came out in 2007, and a new one will come along sometime this year, 14 years since its debut. But then, there are some cars with surprisingly fast life cycles. Case in point, the present Lexus ES.
It wasn't that long ago when we reviewed Lexus' executive sedan in late 2018. But time flew by rather quickly for the ES, as a facelift model is coming this year. Lexus announced that they are giving their best-selling sedan a minor makeover this 2021.
Details are scarce for now, and the teaser video Lexus published doesn't give away much either. All we get is a quick burst of the sedan running at speed and its headlights on the thumbnail. But with the few glimpses of the car, it seems that it will have minor updates from the outside. Then again, the Lexus ES buyer tends to be conservative, so a radical refresh might put off potential customers.
From the preview, we can pick up three differences from the current model. For starters, the trunk lid gets a bit of a redesign, but that's mainly because of the integrated spoiler attached to it. The second is the taillights, which seem to have a darker and smoked finish. But the most noticeable change is the bumper. The tailpipes no longer go through the panel. Instead, it's replaced by a black panel with a pair of reflectors. As for the headlights, it looks identical to the present ES.
We are more curious about the upgrades Lexus will do for the interior. We're expecting it to get some touches and features from the recently facelifted LS flagship sedan. We'd like to see new cabin materials, not that the current one feels low-rent. We are also wishing for an updated infotainment system with more smartphone pairing tech. Given that Lexus discontinued the GS, there's nothing in the way of the ES to get more premium and high-tech updates. The ES always emphasized comfort and serenity, so here's to hoping that this one gets massaging rear seats.
Don't expect any major upgrades under the hood, either. The tried and tested 3.5-liter V6 will likely carry over to the updated ES 350, as well as the 2.5-liter hybrid in the ES 300h. But if there is one thing we would like Lexus Philippines to do, it's to bring in the hybrid. After all, the ES is all about silent serenity, and having it drive around the city on purely electric power is as serene as it gets.