Spindle grille
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The 2013 Lexus ES

Spindle grille
Lexus is in the process of fitting its entire lineup with what the company calls a spindle grille. (Think of a short, angular hourglass.) (Lexus)
Dual exhaust
Lexus stretched the taillights and added a small lip to the trunk lid and dual exhaust pipes. (Lexus)
Dashboard
The dashboard layout of the ES is new and, unfortunately, overwrought. There are too many lines and folds in addition to a smattering of buttons, knobs and storage bins on either side of the driver.  (Lexus)
Legroom
Rear legroom is up 4 inches, making the back seats positively cavernous for this segment. Throw in the most comfortable headrests this side of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and you have a lovely place to spend some time. (Lexus)
Longer wheelbase
This ES has grown; the wheelbase is almost 2 inches longer, while the length is up an inch. Previous versions of this car were based on a platform shared with Toyota’s Camry, but for 2013 the ES is based on the larger Avalon. (Lexus)
Hybrid
If you’re willing to trade some horsepower and trunk space for noticeable fuel economy, consider the hybrid ES 300h. A first for the ES line, this version uses the same electric motor and 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine as Toyota’s Camry hybrid, for a total of 200 horsepower. (Lexus)
40 mpg in the city
Paired with a continuously variable transmission, the hybrid version gets 40 mpg in the city and 39 on the highway. The hybrid starts at $39,725, a $2,730 jump over the base engine. (Lexus)
Drive settings
Both ES models (the 300h is shown here) come with a dial that enables drivers to choose the Eco, Normal or Sport setting for the throttle and steering systems. The inclusion of this feature is undoubtedly a move by Lexus to up the ES’ performance cred a hair, and the Sport setting’s added boost of throttle from low speeds is appreciable. (Lexus)
Standard features
Both ES models (the 300h is shown here) come standard with 10-way power driver and passenger seats, faux-leather seats, moon roof, eight-speaker sound system with Sirius radio, dual-zone climate control, LED daytime running lights and eight air bags. (Lexus)
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