You may have seen the updated 2016 Lexus ES at its world premiere in China this past April, but this is the North American-spec version for the USA and Canada.
The cosmetic changes are common with the international model. These include an ever-so light exterior makeover with a new uninterrupted front spindle grille (that is, until you screw in the license plate), freshened up LED headlamps that are now standard across the range and a reprofiled front bumper with edgier looking fog lamps
Elsewhere on the outside, there are L-themed taillights and new chrome-tipped rectangular exhaust ports for the ES350 at the back, new optional 17-inch alloy wheels and four new exterior colors named Autumn Shimmer, Nightfall Mica, Caviar and Eminent White Pearl.
Pop open the door and if you’re really, really familiar with the ES, you might notice a few novelties like the redesigned steering wheel, a fresh assortment of color combos and trims that include Linear Dark Mocha, Illustrious Piano Black (replaces Piano Black) and Bamboo with a matte finish (replaces gloss finish), a 4.2-inch TFT screen between the instruments and a new IS-inspired shift knob with a leather boot.
Lexus says it has also improved the ES’ connectivity features with the Lexus Enform Remote and Lexus Enform Service Connect through mobile app or website for vehicle information and alerts.
Also new for 2016 is the optional Lexus Safety System+ Package that combines the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Finally, the Mark Levinson Premium Sound is now available with all option packages.
Unlike the China-market 2016 ES that gained a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the North American model sticks to the same powertrain lineup as last year and which includes the ES 350 with a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 teamed to a 6-speed automatic, and the ES 300 h that combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with an electric motor to deliver a total of 200hp.
Pricing has not yet been announced.