We saw the 2016 Lexus ES in Shanghai a few months ago, but now the automaker is showing off the North American version of its refreshed midsize sedan. Just like the overseas version, our Lexus ES features a bolder grille, updated lighting, and an interior with more personality.
As we learned a few months ago, the ES benefits from an overhauled spindle-grille front fascia that puts it in line with other new Lexus cars. Elegant satin chrome trim adds a bit of flourish to the front end, while fog lights peer through the corners for a sleeker appearance. Out back, look for new taillights and chrome-tipped rectangular exhaust ports. Along with new wheel designs, our Lexus ES receives four new exterior colors, including Autumn Shimmer, Nightfall Mica, Caviar, and Eminent White Pearl.
Inside the cabin, the ES 350 benefits from more choices and upgraded technologies. Buyers can select between a number of accents, including Linear Dark Mocha wood, Illustrious Piano Black wood, and Bamboo with a matte finish. The steering wheel has a sportier look and feel, and a simpler shift knob resembles the one from the IS. Although new models like the Lexus NX 200t receive an updated infotainment control touchpad, the Lexus ES still features the mouse-like controller which can be difficult to use.
Meanwhile, expect some minor feature updates. A new Lexus Safety System+ bundles a number of safety technologies into one package: pre-collision braking, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beam, and lane departure alert with steering assist. Also, a Mark Levinson Premium sound system is available on all option packages.
The Lexus ES 350 soldiers on with the same 3.5-liter V-6 delivering 268 hp. The hybrid-powered ES 300h receives a familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce a total of 200 hp. This engine continues to top the lineup in terms of fuel economy, achieving an EPA-rated 40/39 mpg city/highway.
Check out the gallery for a closer look at the North American-spec 2016 Lexus ES.