‘Lexus is finally becoming comfortable in its own skin’

As Lexus moves towards electrification and targets leading brands, interesting times lie ahead

These are interesting times at Lexus. For years, Toyota’s luxury brand has been an interesting left-field alternative to the established German premium manufacturers and Jaguar Land Rover, but no more than that.

It nailed customer service from the start, of course, and our annual Driver Power poll indicates that Lexus hasn’t lost its touch in that area. But the company’s attempts to capture BMW and Jaguar customers by offering its interpretation of ‘driver involvement’ have, by and large, fallen flat.

New Lexus ES 2018 review

There are some signs, though, that Lexus is finally becoming comfortable in its own skin.

The latest ES is not the last word in driver excitement. But at some point during its development, Lexus’s engineers were clearly given the brief to chase after the principles of not the latest BMW 5 Series but rather the likes of the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 – models that focus on refinement and comfort instead of B-road alacrity. And they’ve succeeded.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The final piece in the jigsaw for Lexus could be the seemingly relentless sway away from diesel engines. More of the firm’s rivals are moving towards electrification, but Lexus has bags of experience in not only developing hybrid tech, but also explaining it and selling it to customers.

It isn’t likely to overtake BMW, Audi and Mercedes in European markets any time soon – not least because Lexus sees discounting as a dirty word when it’s an everyday reality, especially in fleet sales. But it’s fascinating to see how instead of scrabbling desperately to get closer to buyer trends, Lexus is suddenly able to allow them to come in its direction.

Read our review of the latest Lexus RX L



Lexus LF-30 concept car Tokyo 2019

New Lexus LF-30 electric car concept wows Tokyo show

The Lexus LF-30 concept car has been unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show providing a glimpse of the brand's future
23 Oct 2019
Lexus badge

Lexus One online car subscription service launched

Lexus One allows drivers to subscribe on a monthly basis with the option to change cars or end their subscription every four weeks
6 Jun 2019
Most reliable SUVs and 4x4s header
Lexus RX

Most reliable 4x4s and SUVs 2019

These are the most reliable 4x4s and SUVs on the market according to the thousands of UK car owners who the 2019 Driver Power survey
24 Sep 2019

Most Popular

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s built a horse-themed Continental GT Convertible

The bespoke Continental GT Convertible Equestrian Edition features tweed door panels, a walnut dash and gold “horse and rider” emblems
9 Mar 2020

MoT tests: six-month extension granted in wake of coronavirus

Transport Secretary announces six-month MoT extension for drivers whose cars are due MoT from 30 March, though vehicles must be kept “in roadworthy co…
25 Mar 2020
Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
Tips & advice

Can I drive my car during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown?

The UK has been put on lockdown to help combat the spread of COVID-19, but does this mean you can’t drive your car anymore?
24 Mar 2020