Like the global model, the front fascia has been updated with the brand’s latest big ol’ spindle grille and new LED headlights. L-themed taillights have also been integrated into the facelifted ES. Rectangular exhaust tips, optional 17-inch alloy wheels, and four new exterior colors round out the visual changes for 2016.
The interior design tweaks will need a bit larger of a magnifying glass. The steering wheel has been redesigned, and there are new color combinations and trims, a new 4.2-inch TFT screen within the instrument cluster, and an IS-inspired shift knob. Lexus claims the ES’s connectivity features have been improved thanks to the addition of Lexus Enform Remote and Lexus Enform Service Connect via mobile apps for vehicle information and alerts.
As for the safety system, Lexus has made its Safety System+ Package available for the 2016 ES, which adds a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
While the global ES received a new turbocharged four-cylinder motor, the North American ES uses the same engine options from the current generation, including a 3.5-liter V6 which makes 268 horsepower for the ES350 and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor than develops 200 HP for the ES300h. The only transmission available is a six-speed automatic.
Lexus hopes the 2016 ES’s stylish new looks will lure consumers away from competitors like the Chrysler 300, Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Genesis, and Acura TLX. Pricing has yet to be announced, but don’t expect much of a premium over the present car’s starting price of $37,700.