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2021 Lexus ES Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Lexus ES?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Lexus ES? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The latest generation of Lexus ES is the greatest ever. Not only does this midsize luxury sedan offer superior ride comfort, abut it also has an extremely upscale interior. Meanwhile, a starting MSRP of less than $41,000 makes the new ES a clear value. Let’s find out why you should consider picking the new 2021 Lexus ES over the competition.

What’s New for 2021?

This year, Lexus has updated the ES lineup by introducing an all-new four-cylinder powertrain. A new Black Line Special Edition package has also arrived, which brings blacked-out exterior treatments and white upholstery. Meanwhile, standard onboard Wi-Fi makes the latest model an even better bang for the buck.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Lexus ES – The Pros

1. New Four-Cylinder Engine Arrives for 2021

Drivers seeking additional fuel savings will be interested in the sedan’s newly available four-cylinder engine. This same engine is found in the Toyota Camry, which pushes out an identical 203 horsepower. Although performance may not be quite as strong, most people will have no complaints about how quickly the four-cylinder model gets up to speed. The car actually feels quite responsive around town. In terms of fuel economy, Lexus stamps the ES 250 with a 28 mpg overall rating.

2. All-Wheel Drive Now Offered

Along with the sedan’s new four-cylinder powertrain comes a standard all-wheel-drive system. This a big highlight for owners who need more grip when wintry weather comes to town. Last year, the Lexus ES was only offered with front-wheel drive. Because this isn’t a full-time AWD system, fuel economy doesn’t take a noticeable hit. When the system detects a loss of traction, it automatically intervenes to counteract the slippery conditions. Drivers don’t need to take any additional action.

3. V6 Powertrain Provides a Strong Push

Many drivers will favor the sedan’s available V6 engine. The 2021 Lexus ES instantly becomes a more entertaining car to drive. Lexus rates this Toyota-built engine to pump out a solid 302 horsepower. There’s clearly a more forceful kick under the hood. Testers have clocked the V6-equipped ES with a competitive 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, which isn’t bad for a family-sized luxury sedan. A highway fuel economy rating of 33 mpg also helps drivers to save money when taking road trips.

4. F Sport Package

While the 2021 Lexus ES isn’t marketed as a full-fledged sports sedan, it can still keep drivers amused. Lexus' F Sport package is a popular upgrade. The package’s sportier suspension tuning helps the sedan to feel more controlled around corners. Adaptive dampers are found on the ES 350 F Sport, which allow drivers to choose their preferred amount of stiffness. Keep in mind that the F Sport package also gives the car a more aggressive look.

5. Sensational Reliability Rating

Some of today’s luxury sedans are prone to experiencing certain problems in the long run. This means owners must spend more money on repairs. Drivers who are concerned about long-term dependability will love the 2021 Lexus ES. No other luxury sedan in the segment has a higher predicted reliability rating. From the powertrain to the suspension, all of the car’s key components are engineered to withstand the test of time. You can travel without fearing an unexpected mechanical breakdown.

6. Boldly Styled Sedan

In the past, the Lexus ES didn’t look much more appealing than a regular family sedan. However, things have changed drastically. There’s no overlooking the current generation’s bold exterior. Multi-element LED headlights and an aggressive grille help the front fascia to draw a lot of attention. Featuring a black rear lip spoiler and other black accents, the newly available Black Line Edition model really strikes a pose. Lexus also offers the ES in some alluring paint colors, including Ultrasonic Blue Mica.

7. High Safety Rating

The 2021 Lexus ES will do a fine job of protecting passengers during a collision. Last year, it snagged a five-star overall safety score from the federal crash-testing agency. Every trim also receives a Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0 as standard equipment. This advanced safety system brings several highly recommended accident-avoidance technologies. The automatic emergency braking system reacts to vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. Lane Trace Assist is integrated into the adaptive cruise control system, thus helping to keep the car centered in its lane.

8. A Nice Number of Standard Luxury Features

Even the lowest-priced 2021 Lexus ES feels genuinely luxurious on the inside. Lexus’ standard NuLuxe upholstery rivals the quality of genuine leather. Drivers can also make use of the sedan’s standard electronics. The infotainment system’s 8.0-inch screen provides Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto smartphone integration. Onboard Wi-Fi is included as well. While an upgraded sound system is offered, most people will be perfectly content with the standard 10-speaker Pioneer stereo unit.

9. Comfortable Interior Design

Passengers will appreciate this sedan’s roomy accommodations. A big backseat with lots of legroom enables families to de-stress. Even after hours of traveling, everyone will feel cozy. This is also a great car for drivers of all sizes. The adjustability of the driver’s seat is a big plus. Heated/ventilated cushions, a power--adjustable steering wheel, and sunshades are optional.

10. Thrifty Hybrid Model

Drivers who take pride in living a green lifestyle will prefer the ES 300h model. While this model isn’t geared towards performance, its 215 horsepower production is ideal for daily commutes. In regard to fuel economy, drivers can trust the hybrid-powered ES to average around 44 mpg.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Lexus ES – The Cons

1. Infotainment System Can Be Tricky to Use

While the 2021 Lexus ES may have a modern infotainment system, it can be a bit tricky to use. Lexus’ Enform interface consistently ranks near the bottom of the segment. Complicated menus put this system a step behind the pack. Some people also may not be fond of the system’s touchpad controller. Although a stunning 12.3-inch HD display is offered, don’t expect it to be any easier to operate. Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system is far better.

2. Not a Serious Sports Sedan

The new Lexus ES prioritizes luxury as opposed to pure performance. It’s not built to be a serious sports sedan. Although the available F Sport package does indeed sharpen the car’s driving dynamics, there are limits to its handling capabilities. Folks who desire a more aggressive luxury sedan should take a look at the Lexus GS.

3. V6 Engine Does Not Offer All-Wheel Drive

The arrival of all-wheel drive is a major plus for the 2021 Lexus ES. Folks who reside in the Snowbelt region can enjoy better traction. Unfortunately, Lexus still does not offer all-wheel drive with the sedan’s more potent V6 engine. This may disappoint drivers who yearn for a punchier performance. Although the four-cylinder engine has a decent kick, it clearly doesn’t pack as much muscle.

4. Styling May Not Satisfy Everyone’s Taste

Many people are extremely fond of the sedan’s more upbeat styling. On the other hand, others may desire a more sedated look. Even the car’s standard front fascia is quite bold.

5. Rear Seats Don’t Fold

The new ES provides an average amount of cargo space in its trunk. On the downside, drivers may not be able to accommodate larger items. Lexus didn’t design the car with a folding rear seat.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2021 Lexus ES vs Acura TLX

Some major updates were made to the redesigned 2021 Acura TLX. A new turbo six-cylinder engine is available for the TLX, which gives it a major performance advantage over the 2021 Lexus ES. Nonetheless, the ES is still a better pure luxury sedan. Superior reliability gives the Lexus ES yet another edge over the competition.

2021 Lexus ES vs 2021 Audi A4

The 2021 Audi A4 is a fine pick for anyone in the market for an entry-level luxury sedan. Like the Lexus ES, it now comes standard with all-wheel drive. While the Audi A4 offers more overall driving enjoyment, most people agree that the ES provides better over-the-road comfort. Because the ES offers more passenger room, families will have more space to stretch out.

2021 Lexus ES vs 2021 Volvo S90

Many people will like the 2021 Volvo S90’s spacious, upscale interior. It offers an amazing list of high-tech features. In terms of long-term reliability, the Lexus ES leaps past the Volvo S90.


There are many reasons why car shoppers should give the 2021 Lexus ES a thought. For starters, it’s one of today’s most affordable luxury cars to maintain. With routine servicing, this car could last for decades. While the new four-cylinder engine provides standard AWD, many drivers will prefer the performance of the available V6 engine.

While the new ES is a great pick, it does have a few weak areas. Before buying this car, drivers should make sure they’re comfortable using Lexus’ overly complicated Enform infotainment system.

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