The Lexus ES (Japanese: レクサス・ES, Hepburn: Rekusasu ES) is a series of mid-size executive cars marketed since 1989 by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, across multiple generations, each offering V6 engines and a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. The first five generations of the ES used the Toyota Camry platform, while the sixth and seventh generations are more closely related to the Avalon. 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’ only front-wheel drive vehicle until 1998, when the related RX was introduced, 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 IS in 1999. The ES name stands for “Executive Sedan”. However, some Lexus importers use the backronymic name, “Elegant Sedan”.
Introduced in 1989, the first generation ES 250 was one of two vehicles in Lexus’ debut range, along with the 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 (Japanese: トヨタ・ウィンダム, Toyota Windamu), was sold until the launch of the fifth generation ES in 2006. The word “Windom” is a combination of “win” and the suffix “dom” expresses a state of perpetual victory. The fifth generation ES used body styling marketed by Lexus as L-finesse and 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 XX40 series Avalon.
Lexus has positioned the ES in 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 where it was not available until the seventh generation model, the GS sport sedans occupy the mid-size category in the Lexus lineup until it was cancelled August 2020. In the United States, the ES has been the best-selling Lexus sedan for over fifteen years.