2021 Lexus ES 250

MSRP $39,900 - $48,900

Ranked #19 in Midsize Sedan

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2021 Lexus ES 250 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


In a segment dominated by cars from major German manufacturers, Lexus decided to bring in an addition that could prove to be a great alternative. The premium compact sedan segment is immensely competitive and Lexus has managed to bring in just the right car that could provide you with all of the premium features and creature comforts that you could hope for in a very handsome price tag. All that with a reliability quotient that Lexus is known for. The Lexus ES 250 is the newest addition to the ES lineup and provides you with the best of Lexus and seems to be a very attractive option for those who wish to have a Japanese premium compact sedan.

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See detailed review »

Pros

Excellent ride quality

Aesthetically appealing interior design

Impressive build quality

Cons

Engine unit lacks performance

Infotainment trackpad controller seems fussy

Heavier than its rivals

What's New?

All-new for 2021 


See all »

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$39900

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

152 cu.in.

horsepower

203 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed auto shift manual w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

12/11.1 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

113 in.

length

195.9 in.

width

73.4 in.

height

56.9 in.

curb weight

3780 lbs.

capacity

passenger volume

99.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

16.7 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.2 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/34 mpg

highway range

540.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$39,900 onwards

  • 10-Speaker Pioneer audio system
  • 8-Inch touchscreen display
  • Amazon Alexa integration
  • Led headlights
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Sunroof

Luxury$45,100 onwards

  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Perforated leather upholstery
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Wood interior trim

Ultra Luxury$48,900 onwards

  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Navigation system
  • Rear door sunshades
  • Surround-View camera system
  • Upgraded suspension

Colors and Styles

2021 Lexus ES 250 in Nebula Gray Pearl color
Nebula Gray Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

8.0

6.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.9

Overall Rating


The 2021 Lexus ES 250 comes in three trim levels that are named Base, Luxury, and Ultra Luxury with prices starting from $41,025. It competes with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan, the 2021 Audi A4, and the 2021 BMW 3 Series.


7.0/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

6.0/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Lexus ES 250 Features

The 2021 Lexus ES 250 trims have three levels - Base, Luxury, and Ultra Luxury. The base model starts at $41,025 while the highest trim level goes up to $50,025. The base trim level does come with a plethora of standard features including some of the best infotainment features in its class, while the upper trims add some luxury features and creature comforts to offer you the best ride quality and comfort. Lexus has made sure to fit in as many features as they could in the ES 250 as it will be competing against some established names in the segment.

Trims

Base

Luxury

Ultra Luxury

MSRP 

$41,025

$46,225

$50,025

Key Features

Dual-Zone climate control

8-inch multimedia color display 

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

 

Interior Air Filter

14-way power-adjustable driver's seat

Heated and ventilated front seats 

 

14-way power-adjustable driver seat

10 speaker pioneer audio system 

Power-folding outside mirrors & Power- tilt-& telescopic steering column

 

Perforated-Nuxe leather trim

Parking assist

Lexus memory system for driver's seat, outside mirrors & steering wheel

 

Amazon Alexa Compatibility

Power rear sunshade

12.3-inch multimedia color display 

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and intuitive

Mark Levison 17-speaker 1,800-watt PurePlay Premium 

Which trim should you buy?

The Luxury trim level that sits right in between the three trim levels might be the right choice to go for in the segment as it not only has a host of features in the exterior and interior from the base trim level, but it also brings in some luxurious design elements inside such as perforated seat upholstery, wooden trim inserts as well as 18-inch 10-spoke high gloss aluminum alloy wheels which add to the luxury element.

2021 Lexus ES 250 Engine and Performance

7.0/10

As far as the ES 250 goes, its engine unit is the only component that seems to be a major drawback for the car. Despite being priced similarly to its rivals, the Lexus ES 250 gets an underpowered engine unit. The sedan sports a naturally aspirated 2.5L inline-4 engine that produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. The engine does seem enough for a car of its caliber and has enough power and grunt to move it without stressing. 

All trim levels of the ES 250 get the same powertrain and transmission unit - an 8-speed automatic that shifts through gears in a very smooth and swift manner and never hesitates to go down a gear if you need to accelerate. The transmission unit also works along with the individual drive modes such as ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, and ‘Sport’. The ES 250 is only available in an AWD drivetrain unit and the drivetrain system helps to build up confidence and add traction to the ride.

The Lexus ES 250 can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.1 seconds and can cover a quarter-mile distance from a standstill in 16.4 seconds. It has a top speed of 142 MPH.

Models

2021 Lexus ES 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

2021 Audi A4

2021 BMW 3 Series

MSRP

$41,025

$42,650

$42,000

$42,245

Engine

2.5L inline-4 

Turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 

Turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 

Turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 

Drivetrain

AWD

RWD

AWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

203 hp. @ 6500 RPM

255 hp. @ 5800 RPM

261 hp. @ 5000 RPM

255 hp. @ 6000 RPM

Torque

184 lb-ft. @ 4000 RPM

273 lb-ft. @ 1800 RPM

273 lb-ft. @ 1600 RPM

295 lb-ft. @ 4400 RPM

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.1

5.4

5.5

5.6

Quarter mile (sec)

16.4

14.0

14.0

13.8

Top speed (MPH)

142

 167

 167

168

The lack of a turbocharged engine unit with some extra power and torque output is felt when you drive the ES 250 as all of its rivals seem to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in under 6 seconds and have better quarter-mile timings and top speed figures as well. One thing that the Lexus benefits from is the AWD system that ensures a smooth acceleration with uniform power distribution, especially because of the torque which peaks very late in the RPMs. 

How well does the 2021 Lexus ES 250 handle?

The 2021 Lexus ES 250 handles like a true Lexus in every way. The ride is stable at all times and the car doesn’t hesitate to corner with confidence, thanks to the splendid suspension system as well as the front and rear anti-roll bars that make sure the ride feels stable and plush at all times.

The ES 250 is one of the best cars in the segment when it comes to ride quality and comfort and the dampers seem to soak up all of the bumps and rough road conditions in a very efficient manner that helps the ES 250 offer the comfortable and subtle ride quality it is known for.

2021 Lexus ES 250 Braking Performance

The 2021 Lexus ES 250’s braking performance might not be the best in class, but it sure is assuring and confidence-inspiring with the right kind of feel and feedback from the brake pedal. The ES 250 gets 12-inch brake rotors in the front and 11.1-inch brake rotors in the rear along with a host of braking and safety aids that help it to brake efficiently.

The ES 250 is the heaviest car in the segment in terms of curb weight and it is impressive that it manages to have a stopping distance of 112 feet when decelerating from 60 to 0 MPH with a curb weight of 3,780 lbs. and smaller brakes than what its competitors possess.

Models

2021 Lexus ES 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

2021 Audi A4

2021 BMW 3 Series

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12

13

13.3

N/A

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11.1

11.8

13

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

3780

3472

3726

3582

60-0 MPH (feet)

112

110

110

N/A

The Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C 300 both seem to have an impressive set of brakes and being lighter than the Lexus ES 250 gives them an advantage when it comes to braking performance. Both these sedans come to a halt at 110ft when decelerating from 60mph and while the performance capabilities of the BMW are not yet known, we expect it to be on par with the competition.

2021 Lexus ES 250 Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The 2021 Lexus ES 250 manages to offer a really good fuel economy with a thirstier engine compared to its competitors. This type of engine configuration does seem to produce lesser power and torque output, but its combined fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon seems impressive. It also offers a fuel economy of 25 and 34 MPG in the city and highway driving conditions respectively. The ES 250 gets a 15.9-gallon fuel tank capacity that helps it offer a combined range of 445.2 miles and a maximum range of 540.6 miles on the highway.

Models

2021 Lexus ES 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

2021 Audi A4

2021 BMW 3 Series

MPG (City)

25

23

24

26

MPG (Highway)

34

35

31

36

MPG (Combined)

28

27

27

30

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

15.9

17.4

15.3

15.6

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

397/540/445

400/609/469

367/474/413

405/561/468

The Mercedes-Benz C 300 sedan offers the best in class range with a maximum range of 609 miles and a combined range of 469.8 miles all thanks to its fuel tank capacity which is the largest in the segment. The BMW 3 Series on the other hand has the most fuel-efficient engine in the segment that offers a combined fuel economy of 30 MPG.

2021 Lexus ES 250 Interior

7.0/10

The Lexus ES 250’s interior design and layout are arguably the best that you can get in the segment with a wide range of color combinations and features that you can opt inside. It also offers you the most comfortable and regal experience that you could get in the segment. The dashboard has signature Lexus DNA when it comes to the way the features are arranged and looks sleek, premium, and has a modern touch to it which appeals. The interior comes in single and dual-tone color options with various color options that you can configure as per your taste.

The front seats are power-adjustable and are some of the nicest ones in the segment when it comes to quality, fit and finish as well as the comfort and confidence they provide. The seats get leatherette upholstery as well as power lumbar control for added convenience and feel. The second row of the ES 250 offers the best legroom in the segment and the rear seats are some of the most comfortable and premium-looking seats in the segment. The rear seats get additional features such as individual HVAC vents in the center console, DC power outlets, and an armrest.

The Lexus ES 250 also seems to have an impressive cargo capacity of 16.7 cubic feet which is one of the largest ones in the segment. A wide cargo entry and remote access further increase the practicality and convenience of loading cargo.

Models

2021 Lexus ES 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

2021 Audi A4

2021 BMW 3 Series

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.5/55.9/42.4

37.1/55.3/41.7

37.3/55.9/41.3

38.7/56/42

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

37.8/54.3/39.2

37.1/55/35.2

37.4/54.5/35.7

37.6/54.6/35.2

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

16.7

12.6

12.0

17.0

The Lexus ES 250 has one of the most appealing interiors in the segment and has a premium feel with amazing build quality along with the best interior volume in the segment. The BMW 3 Series, on the other hand, offers the best cargo capacity in its class of 17 cu.-ft. However, both the other German counterparts, the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, while closely matched in terms of passenger space, lack the trunk volume their rivals possess. 

Some of the standout interior features of the 2021 Lexus ES 250 are:

  • Dual-zone automatic front climate control unit 
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Front and rear cup holders
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Sunroof
  • Dual-tone interior
  • Ambient lighting
  • Perforated leather seat trim
  • Metal and wood trim inserts

What’s there to keep you entertained in the 2021 Lexus ES 250?

The 2021 Lexus ES 250 does get some really interesting infotainment features like an 8-inch infotainment display, a 10-speaker Pioneer audio system, Lexus Enform Service Connect, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The higher trims get additional features like a 12.3-inch infotainment display unit as well as a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround sound system. Connectivity features onboard that come as standard include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth Phone Connectivity, 4G WiFi internet access, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

Some of the standout infotainment features are:

  • In-built navigation
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • 8-inch infotainment display unit with trackpad controller
  • Optional 12.3-inch infotainment screen with trackpad controller
  • Pioneer audio system with 10 speakers as standard
  • Optional Mark Levinson premium surround sound system with 17 speakers and a 1800w amplifier
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity 
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • 4G internet access WiFi hotspot

2021 Lexus ES 250 Exterior

6.0/10

The Lexus ES 250 is definitely a looker with its signature Lexus style chrome grille with bright and bold LED DRLs, projector-beam LED headlamps, and sleek yet aesthetic LED tail lamps. With the right proportions, exterior design elements, sleek roofline, and a strong rear fascia, the ES 250 seems to be the best-looking car of the lot without a doubt.

It gets 17-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels as standard while the upper trim levels get optional 18-inch hyper chrome aluminum-alloy wheels as well as 18-inch high gloss dark silver wheels.

Models

2021 Lexus ES 250

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

2021 Audi A4

2021 BMW 3 Series

Curb Weight (lbs)

3780

3472

3726

3582

Length (inches)

195.9

184.5

187.5

185.7

Width (inches)

73.4

71.3

72.7

71.9

Height (inches)

56.9

56.8

56.2

56.8

Ground Clearance (inches)

N/A

3.8

5.2

N/A

Wheelbase (inches)

113.0

111.8

111.0

112.2

The Lexus ES 250 has the longest wheelbase in the segment which helps it provide the best-in-class interior and cargo space. The exterior also has a very strong aesthetic appeal which makes it seem no less than a luxury car. The styling is sleek and is very distinctive that makes the car different from its rivals. The only disadvantage is the high curb weight which not only burns more fuel but also makes the car a bit hard to maneuver through city traffic at lower speeds.

Some of the standard exterior features are:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels 
  • Auto on/off LED projector headlamps 
  • LED tail lamps
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Black grille with chrome surrounds
  • Cornering lights

2021 Lexus ES 250 Safety

6.0/10

The 2021 Lexus ES 250 safety is rated at a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA and similar ratings from the IIHS as well for the 2021 model year version. Lexus has always eMPHasized the build quality, reliability, and safety of their cars and ES 250 is a prime example of the level of commitment Lexus have towards the safety quotient of their cars.

The ES 250 comes with a plethora of standard safety features like Lexus Safety System+, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Collision Mitigation, Driver Monitoring Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, and more.

Some of the notable safety features include:

  • Low Tire Pressure Warning 
  • Side Impact beams
  • Blind-Spot Assist
  • Lexus Safety System+
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Front and Rear Collision Mitigation
  • Driver Monitoring Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Backup Camera

2021 Lexus ES 250 Competition

8.0/10

2021 Lexus ES 250 vs. 2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan

The Mercedes-Benz C 300 seems to be the most competitive option in the segment as it offers the best performance capabilities in the segment and the latest and famed MBUX infotainment system in the C 300 is a preferred infotainment system by many. The Lexus ES 250 might not have the performance figures to match that of the Mercedes-Benz C 300, but when it comes to ride quality, comfort, space, and the safety quotient of the Lexus, the C 300 seems to be a step behind it.

2021 Lexus ES 250 vs. 2021 Audi A4

The Audi A4 certainly has a more powerful engine and the ride quality seems surprisingly refined. But the Lexus ES 250 has much more to offer to you than the Audi A4 in terms of interior quality, features, ride quality, and the overall experience of traveling. The Lexus ES 250 also has a better fuel economy and range on offer compared to the Audi A4.

2021 Lexus ES 250 vs. 2021 BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series has a phenomenal fuel economy and range on offer and its iDrive infotainment system as well as dynamic driving quality makes it a favorite of many in the segment. The Lexus ES 250 compared to the BMW 3 Series feels much more premium, poised, and has an elegant design layout throughout.

2021 Lexus ES 250 Final Verdict

If you need a premium sedan with a mix of impressive ride quality, space, features, and safety quotient in the segment, the 2021 Lexus ES 250 is the perfect choice for you. It also has its own set of drawbacks when it comes to performance and handling capabilities when compared to its rivals, but it outperforms them when it comes to ride quality, fuel economy, and reliability.