Before I launch into our review of the Lexus ES250 F Sport, I’d like to share a short
anecdote about picking up the car.
Often when I call into a showroom for a press car someone says: “It is not quite ready yet,
would you like a coffee, tea or a cool drink while you’re waiting?”. I reply: “A white-coffee
please and a couple of Tim Tams.” They laugh and say: “Sorry our budget doesn’t run to
However, when I asked for Tim Tams at Lexus of Southport they said: “Of course.” Asked
me to wait in their lounge area – and brought out a couple of Tim Tams. That’s the sort of
attention to detail that makes Lexus stand out from the crowd.
Anyhow, on to the ES250 F Sport. It’s the higher-spec’d of the two ES250 variants, ahead
of the ES250 Luxury. There are also three hybrid models, ES300h Luxury, ES300h F
Sport and ES300h Sports Luxury.
ES250 F Sport is a great looking car with a long, low look further enhanced by changes to
make it different to the standard ES. It was admired by friends and relatives who saw it
during our test week.
The front grille starts off relatively narrow at the top, narrows sightly in the mid section,
then widens greatly in the lower area. The lights have a fascinating zig-zag shape.
Beneath them, the grille styling is repeated. The overall effect is excellent.
At the side a mild indentation begins at the lower edges of the front doors, then rises to
meet the rear lights. The lower edges of the windows sweep up towards the rear and meet
the upper edges in a neat ‘V’ shape that match the slope of the roof.
Then there’s a lip spoiler that gives it a nice aero effect. It’s probably not doing much for
the aerodynamics, but – hey, it looks good. And that’s what counts, especially in a sporty
The interior is upmarket, with quality materials and a design that looks just right.
It has a good amount of useable space in the front seats. But the rear isn’t quite as big as
expected in what is a fairly large car. As is common, the person sitting behind the driver
may have to sacrifice a bit of leg space if the driver is tall.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The ES250 F Sport has a four-cylinder 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 152
kW of power and 243 Nm of torque at 4000 revs.
The engine drives the front wheels, not the rear wheels as you would expect in a full-on
sports machine. As such the ES250 F Sport falls into the category of “sporty” rather than
It has an eight-speed automatic transmission so there’s plenty of ratios for the computer to
get the engine working in the correct range for the best performance.
Like most Lexus vehicles the ES is also available as a petrol/electric hybrid.
The ES300h F Sport generates 131 kW and 221 Nm at 3600 rpm with fuel consumption
listed at 4.8 L/100km compared to the 6.6 L/100 km from the petrol only ES250. CO2
emissions are 109 g/km and 150 g/km respectively.
The Lexus ES250 received a five-star ANCAP safety rating when tested in 2021.
Standard safety features include 10 airbags, 3-eye Bi-Beam LED headlights; auto-levelling
system, Headlight cleaners, LED Cornering Lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, Tyre
Pressure Warning System, ISOFIX child seat anchors, Rear Seat Reminder,
Automatic anti-glare mirrors, Blind Spot Monitor System and Hill-Start Assist Control.
The Lexus Safety System in the F Sport includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian &
Daytime Cyclist Detection, Lane Trace Assist, Adaptive High-Beam, Radar Active Cruise
Control, Road Sign Assist, Intersection Turning Assist and Emergency Steering Assist.
Lexus Connected Services provides Automatic Collision Notification and SOS Emergency
Call together with Stolen Vehicle Tracking.
The 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is large and easy to read as is the 8.0-inch driver
Both the ES250 Luxury and F Sport come with wireless Apple Car/Play and wired Android
Auto, DAB+ digital radio, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates and two USB
Sound quality from the 10-speaker Lexus Premium stereo is very good and it’s nice to
have a proper volume knob rather than having to mess around with a touchscreen. Doing
the latter can take attention off the road and possibly cause a crash.
The power-adjustable (height and reach) steering column is a lovely touch as it lets you
tailor the position to exactly what you want. For example, you may want it to be closer to
you when you’re having a fang on your favourite winding country roads. Or further away
when you’re cruising along on long trips in the bush.
For some reason the car we tested was relatively slow in responding to the throttle at
times. This may have been the car’s computer trying to match my needs as it is programed
to do. And when it has done so, it might respond more quickly. I certainly hope so.
There’s enough power, but only just, as this is a relatively heavy car and there are times
when we found ourselves wishing it had more grunt.
The steering responds to inputs very quickly. Feedback through the wheel is excellent,
which is what you want in a car with Sport in its title.
The ES250 F Sport has a rather firm ride but one that’s acceptable for a sporty model.
However, the seats are too firm and I had a sore back and bum after about 60 minutes
driving. On a long trip I would have to stop every hour or so to recover.
Okay, I’m not as young as I used to be – but neither are many people in the market for a
car like this.
I suggest you try the seats for comfort when you’re shopping around. Tell the sales person
that you would like to take it for a decent trip. Overnight would be nice – if they’re aware
that you’re serious about the car they may be willing to oblige.
Around town and in the suburbs, it used 7.5 to 8.0 litres per 100km not far off the listed 6.8
L/100km. On the motorway and easy paced country driving it was under 7.0 L/100km.
That’s pretty good for a relatively heavy car like this. It needs premium unleaded petrol
which is often ridiculously overpriced compared to standard.
The Lexus ES250 F Sport is an impressive machine that has a good mix of prestige and
styling and is a worthwhile competitor for the upmarket offerings from Germany and the
United Kingdom. It certainly deserves a place on your short list.
AT A GLANCE
ES 250 2.5 Luxury: $61,620
ES 250 2.5 F Sport: $70,860
ES 300h 2.5 Luxury hybrid: $63,550
ES 300h 2.5 F Sport hybrid: $72,930
ES 300h 2.5 Sports Luxury hybrid: $78,180
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Lexus dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Lexus ES 250 F Sport 2.5-litre four-door sedan)
Capacity: 2.487 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 152 kW @ 6600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 243 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.8 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 156 g/km
DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4975 mm
Wheelbase: 2870 mm
Width: 1852 mm
Height: 1445 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1680 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Four years / 100,000 kilometres