Lexus goes back to the future; ES to return by end of 2013

In a move that will cast many minds back to the launch of Lexus at the dawn of the ’90s, Lexus Australia will bring the front-wheel drive ES back to Australian showrooms by the end of 2013.

Unlike the three generations of the car that were sold in Australia between 1992 and 2006, the new sixth generation ES is based on the larger Avalon rather the Camry. This, Lexus claims, should go some distance in nullifying those who argue that the ES is little other than a luxed up, overpriced Camry. It should be kept in mind, though, that the Avalon is, essentially, a lengthened Camry.

American ES buyers can help themselves to a panorama sunroof, heated steering wheel and seats, bamboo interior trim, a 15-speeaker 835W Mark Levinson sound system, automatic high beam headlights, smartphone app integration, Lexus Remote Touch controller, navigation, reversing camera, and electronic interior adjustment with memory key.

In the US and China, its primary markets, the new sixth-gen Lexus ES is sold with either a 3.5-litre V6 mated to a 6-speed auto (the ES350) or a hybrid (ES300h) with the same nickle-metal hydride battery, electric motor, CVT and 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine as the Camry Hybrid. An ES250 with a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine and a 6-speed auto is also sold in China, although it’s unlikely to appear down under.


Length: 4,900mm (+85mm over the Camry; -60mm compared to the Avalon)
Width: 1,820mm (-5mm compared to the Camry; -15mm compared to the Avalon)
Height: 1,450mm (-20mm compared to the Camry; -10mm compared to the Avalon)
Wheelbase: 2,820mm (+45mm over the Camry; same as the Avalon)

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]