Sedans

2019 Lexus ES is a wallflower no more

A new generation of Lexus' most-popular sedan is Beijing Motor Show-bound and should get oodles of new tech, too.

Lexus

The Lexus ES has long been the most quiet-spoken denizen in the company's lineup, a strait-laced sedan among a fleet of increasingly avant garde (and indeed, controversially styled) models. Even after it adopted a version of the brand's now-trademark Spindle Grille in 2013, the ES still managed to look a bit meek. Beginning with the 2019 Lexus ES, that's clearly no longer the case.

Now brandishing bold, mini-LS looks, the 2019 Lexus ES will bow later this month at the Beijing Motor Show. From its oversized grille to its slashing, LED-underlined headlamps and chromed intake fangs, the new ES is markedly more assertive than before. 

So far, there's no word on any mechanical changes underneath the skin, but the new ES is once again expected to share quite a bit with the redesigned fifth-generation 2019 Toyota Avalon. The latter, which has also received a more dramatic appearance, features a 3.5-liter V6 paired to an 8-speed automatic, along with an available ES 300h hybrid model utilizing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor assist. The Avalon even offers a new adaptive suspension. Look for similar hardware on the 2019 ES.

Boasting aggressive new sheetmetal, the 2019 ES will look to shed its seniorly image once and for all.

Lexus

On the tech front, the 2019 Toyota Avalon also received a bevy of new cabin tech features, including Apple CarPlay integration and Amazon Alexa voice assistant, wifi hotspot, Qi wireless charging, and smartwatch integration. We'd expect for the more-premium 2019 Lexus ES to pick up on these features, and even add a few tricks.

The ES remains Lexus' most popular sedan, having sold over 51,000 examples last year in the US. However, that's a far cry from the current generation's peak sales of over 72,000 units in 2013 and 2014 (let alone the ES' all-time peak of nearly 83,000 in 2007). 

If this new seventh-generation ES amps up the cabin quality, infotainment and safety tech, it should help stem the model's sales slide, but it's going have to fight to be noticed in an SUV-crazed marketplace.

Good thing the ES' bold new face looks ready for a stare down.