Bear in mind that this three-star rating could improve once Lexus confirms prices and equipment levels, because the ES’s whole mission statement, as far as the UK market is concerned, is to put Lexus on the company car map. The ES is likely to represent a better-value, more rationally appealing prospect than the GS, and an attractive price – however unlikely Lexus might be to offer it – would be a fine way to emphasise that strategy.
The ES isn’t likely to appeal to keener drivers, but it might just win a few fans for its alternative, angular looks, plus it has the comfort, refinement, fuel economy and good cruising manners to serve high-mileage drivers very well.
That said, it’s a car of some frustrations, including the irksome infotainment controller, an unwilling hybrid engine and the inability to open up boot space via folding rear seats. But the lure of that company car tax-friendly hybrid engine and a relaxing driving experience should make it a more justifiable purchase compared with other sensible front-wheel-drive executive saloons such as the Volvo S90 and Audi A6.