Sunday, May 26, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2021 Lexus ES?

Should You Buy a 2021 Lexus ES?

  • The base price for the 2021 ES in Canada is $45,250, $40,000 in the US.

  • The 2022 ES is already on sale and retails for about $1,000 more.

  • The Lexus ES is a rare true-to-form luxury sedan.

More often than not, arrogance leads to nothing good. In my experience, the automotive industry partakes in far too much boasting especially when an automaker wants to mask a given vehicle’s shortcomings or disappointing performance/styling/content. Lexus might over-sell some of its vehicles but not so with the ES.

2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

In fact, the current 7th generation Lexus ES is one of the best honest premium sedans currently available for purchase. Among the crop of remaining luxury sedans, it’s the last unpretentious car that wears its raison-d’être on its sleeve. The expanded competition, which includes the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Genesis G70, Cadillac CT4, and CT5, and Infiniti Q50, all promote themselves as performance luxury sedans. True, the Lexus IS is a closer rival to these cars, but the ES also matches with this group.

And in many ways, the Lexus ES is a class of its own. Do you remember what luxury is really about? Is that what you crave? Then the ES might be for you. Or is it? Read on:

Why you should buy a 2021 Lexus ES:

2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  • The ES looks like a mildly shrunken LS which instantly elevates the sedan’s profile and visual appeal.

  • The base version includes a vast series of features including AWD, power front cooled seats, and much more for $45,000.

  • The ES’ cabin is vast. It’s incredibly spacious and will easily accommodate five adults. The truck is capacious and accessible.

  • The front seats are far more supportive than expected. They are extremely cosseting and perfect for a long road trip.

  • Fit and finish are extremely good and rival the best that other premium brands offer.

  • For 2022, the standard 8-inch screen and optional 12.3-inch screen have been moved forward 110mm and are now touchscreen sensitive.

  • The standard naturally aspirated 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine provides more power than expected. In fact, in Sport mode, it’s actually entertaining.

  • The real upside is impressive fuel efficiency. A returned 8L/100km average is very possible.

  • The ES X300h hybrid version is even more efficient, capable of returning as little as 5.5L/100km in real-world driving.

  • The ES 350 is truly sporty thanks to 302-horsepower creamy-smooth 3.5-litre V6.

  • On the road, the ES is notably comfortable and refined. The cabin remains quiet even at highway speeds.

  • Steering, brakes, and the overall driving experience is quite good.

  • Overall reliability is projected to be very good.

2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Why you should not buy a 2021 Lexus ES:

  • The 2021 model year ES still uses the horrible Remote Touch Interface system to access the infotainment system. This is reason enough to avoid the ’21 and focus on the ’22.

  • If AWD is a must, it is only offered with the 4-cylinder engine unlike the IS 350 AWD.

  • As tested, the ES 250 AWD is no match performance-wise to the Audi A4 40 TFSI quattro which happens to retail for about $2,500 less.

  • Let’s not kid ourselves, the Lexus ES is still perceived as an old-person’s car despite how good it is.


Toyota revealed details on the updated 2022 Lexus ES in late spring of 2021. At the time of booking, only the 2021 was available and I certainly regret nothing especially after driving 1,000km at its helm on the same day.

2021 Lexus IS 300 AWD Review: Evolutionary Update

Sedans are a dying breed, especially dedicated unpretentious ones. Nearly all customers crave a certain amount of recognition, far more so than the actual lap of luxury. This explains why only the Lexus ES remains and why the ES isn’t a best-seller.

In this segment, it’s therefore impossible to overlook the German trio but frankly, I’m not sure I’d want to be like everyone else. While I do truly like the Lexus ES, I’d opt for an IS if mostly to avoid having friends and family refer to me as “old” more than they already do. Beyond that, the 2022 Lexus ES is superb.

2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2021 Lexus ES 250 AWD | Photo: Matt St-Pierre


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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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