The Lexus ES has undergone a number of changes since its debut in 1989. Currently in its seventh generation, the 2021 Lexus ES is no different in that it’s getting a number of changes as well. Fans of the luxury brand wait all year to hear what upgrades and changes will be made to their favorite models and this year is no different. Consumers are most pleased to hear that the 2021 Lexus ES is adding an all-wheel-drive option for the first time. Offered for the ES250 model, all-wheel drive couldn’t come at a better time for the brand.
Features of the 2021 Lexus ES
The interior of the 2021 Lexus ES is similar to the 2020 model; it’s comfortable, stylish, and made with high-quality materials. Both the front row and back row offer ample legroom, and the noise level is kept to a minimum. You’ll find 17 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk, which is more than some of the ES’s competitors. But, it doesn’t offer a folding rear seat so you don’t have access to the trunk from inside the sedan.
The 2021 ES comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment center, compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. All models come equipped with a 10-speaker audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth connectivity. Simply put, it’s not lacking in the technology department.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chose the 2021 Lexus ES as a Top Safety Pick+, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave it a perfect score in their crash tests, making it one of the safest sedans on the road. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The 2021 Lexus ES250 has all-wheel drive
Most exciting for the 2021 Lexus ES is that it will offer all-wheel drive for the first time, according to Car and Driver. The AWD version of the ES comes standard on the new-this-year ES250 model powered by a 203-hp 2.5-liter inline-four engine. The ES250 has an EPA estimate of 28 mpg combined, which is 2 mpg more than the front-wheel-drive Lexus ES350 powered by a V6.
The 2021 Lexus ES is offered at six different trim levels: the AWD ES250, the ES350, the hybrid ES300h, the ES350 Luxury, the ES350 F Sport, and the ES350 Ultra Luxury. Prices range from $40,925 starting out for the ES250 to $49,925 for the ES350 Ultra Luxury. Lexus made a great decision to add AWD to the lowest trim model, giving brand-loyal customers something new and exciting even at the lowest available level with great value.
Other AWD sedans brought to you by Toyota-Lexus
While AWD may be new to the Lexus ES this year, it is not the first sedan from Toyota-Lexus to get the AWD treatment. Also powered by the same 2.5-liter inline-four engine is the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Avalon. The Camry was the first sedan to go AWD for the 2020 model year, and the Avalon is debuting with it in 2021. But the Lexus ES is the first luxury car from the automakers offering AWD.
The similarities between the Avalon and the Lexus ES are pretty outstanding. Not only do they share the same engine, but they also share most of the same tech features, safety features (although the ES is rated more highly), and fuel economy ratings.
The biggest difference is simply that the Lexus ES has more luxurious tricks up its sleeve, like higher quality materials inside and a larger infotainment touchscreen.