The Lexus ES is a series of mid-size luxury sedans sold by Lexus since 1989. Six generations of the sedan have been introduced to date, each offering V6 engines and front-wheel drive. The first five generations of the ES were built on the Toyota Camry platform. Manual transmissions were offered until 1993, a lower-displacement inline-four engine became an option in Asian markets in 2010, and a gasoline-electric hybrid version was introduced in 2012. The ES was Lexus’ first front-wheel drive vehicle until 1999, when the related Lexus RX 300 arrived, and the sedan occupied the entry-level luxury car segment of the Lexus lineup in North America and other regions until the debut of the Lexus IS in 1999.
Introduced in 1989, the first generation ES 250 was one of two vehicles in Lexus’ debut lineup, the other being the flagship LS 400. The second generation ES 300 debuted in 1991, followed by the third generation ES 300 in 1996, and the fourth generation ES 300/330 in 2001. The first through fourth generation sedans shared body styling elements with Japan-market Toyota sedans, and a domestic market equivalent, the Toyota Windom, was sold until the launch of the fifth generation ES in 2006. The fifth generation ES, featuring Lexus’ own L-finesse body styling, debuted in early 2006 as a 2007 model. The sixth generation ES debuted in the first half of 2012 as a 2013 model, and features increased cabin dimensions due to a longer wheelbase which is shared with the full-size Toyota Avalon.
Since the fourth generation model, the Lexus ES has been aimed at the comfort luxury segment, with an emphasis on interior amenities, quietness, and ride quality, in contrast with more firm-riding sport sedans. Buyers seeking more performance-focused models are targeted by the Lexus IS and rival makes, with such models offering a sportier drive with differently-tuned suspensions. In Europe, Japan, and other markets, the ES is not sold and the Lexus GS sport sedans occupy the mid-size category in the Lexus lineup. In the United States, the Lexus ES has been the best-selling Lexus sedan for over fifteen years.