2023 Lexus ES 250 F SPORT Has the Look But Not the Pedigree

January 27th, 2023 at 2:24pm


Names like Avalon and Camry don’t make you think of lapping the Nurburgring, but despite sharing the same platform as those mainstream passenger sedans, Lexus did a good job of installing some sporty character into the Lexus ES 250 AWD F SPORT.

Cosmetics play a big role in that. Not only has Lexus been trying to inject some youth into its designs, but the ES 250 F SPORT comes with unique styling features, like the front bumper, grille surround, rear spoiler and 19-inch wheels, which help fill out the wheel wells.

Also standard with the ES 250 F SPORT is all-wheel drive, a tuned suspension system and sport drive modes. Add it all up and the car feels rather sporty overall; a ride that leans towards the rough side of the scale with steering inputs that feel direct.


Under the hood is a 203 horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. It’s a naturally aspirated unit and it provides decent responsiveness, but the noise it makes when you step into a bit is surprisingly coarse, at least for a Lexus. I don’t think I would think twice about it if it was a Toyota.

While it may seem like I’m heaping a bunch of praise on the ES 250 F SPORT for its sportiness, don’t for one second think that I think this is some sort of great track car. I know if you ever put it on a track all the concessions that were made to make this platform a good mainstream sedan would rear their ugly head.

There is one thing that I will criticize and that’s the auto high beam lights. I know it’s an odd complaint, but they were really annoying. When I first got in the car they were already on and I couldn’t figure out how to turn them off right away. And the lights would come on and off when I didn’t think they should. Not only did I end up blinding a number of drivers, but they even popped on in the fog, when bright lights make it harder to see. I quickly pulled out the owner’s manual to figure out how to shut them off. Turns out there’s a button on the end of the turn signal stalk.


Speaking of the interior, the first thing you notice on the ES 250 F SPORT is the two-tone seats. They’re nicely bolstered and model we drove had a nice black and red pattern. It’s also highlighted by a HUD and 12.3 inch infotainment screen.

Pricing for the Lexus ES 250 F SPORT starts at right around $47,000.

–Sean McElroy

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One Comment to “2023 Lexus ES 250 F SPORT Has the Look But Not the Pedigree”

  1. Mike McALLISTER Says:

    Wrong intro:

    It has the look, but not the GOODS.