2021 Lexus ES250 facelift (CBU) launched in Malaysia with new F Sport variant, priced from RM295,664 to RM345,134
For all of the hype surrounding its SUVs and eye-catching behemoths like the LM350 and the recently-unveiled LX600, it’s easy to forget that the bulk of Lexus’s business is built on the success of its luxurious saloons. Of all its three-boxed designs, the ES has been the biggest commercial success, with over 2.6 million units sold globally at time of writing.
In Malaysia, the ES is popular amongst those looking for a posh saloon that’s bigger on comfort and refinement than outright performance – more along the lines of an upmarket D-segment sedan rather than a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. And they now have the option of buying one with the added dash of F Sport styling.
For the first time in Malaysia, the Lexus ES250 F Sport tops a three-model range for the newly launched ES facelift. The range starts with the ES250 Premium that’s priced from RM295,664, before rising up to RM329,911 for the ES250 Luxury and RM345,134 for the F Sport. All prices include SST exemptions that remain in effect until the end of the year, which a big a rebate as those enjoyed by some of its continental rivals given Lexus’s CBU-only catalogue.
Regardless which model you go for, you’ll get a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine good for 204hp at 6,600rpm and 247Nm of torque delivered at 5,500rpm. This modest output is paired to an eight-speed ‘Direct Shift’ automatic, which, according to Lexus, gives the ‘direct feel of a dual clutch system with the smoothness of a traditional torque converter’. Needless to say, performance stats are similarly reserved, with 0-100kph done in 9.1 seconds while top speed is capped at 210kph.
Inside, Lexus has improved the multimedia with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen (8.0 inches for the Premium) that sits 112mm closer to the occupants and angled 5 degrees more towards the driver for better ergonomics. There are USB-C ports to go with it and something Lexus calls a Nanoe-X ion generator for better cabin air quality – perfect for these pandemic-stricken times.
Naturally, the F Sport model gains extra goodies such as a three-spoke F Sport steering wheel, the option of ‘Flare Red’ upholstery, aluminium trimmings and the signature movable dial first seen in the LFA. Along with the ES250 Luxury, the F Sport also rides on ‘performance dampers’ mounted directly on the chassis to keep out ‘resonances that might generate interior cabin noise’.
On the safety front, all models are equipped with the Lexus Safety System+ package which includes nifty driver aids such as pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane keeping assist and adaptive high beam, among many other features. Not that we expect any less from a car that broaches the territories of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class as far as prices are concerned.