Lexus has revealed a refreshed version of its least interesting bestselling ES sedan today at the Shanghai auto show.

The 2016 ES’ most notable styling update is its adoption of the Lexus “spindle” grille, and new headlights and taillights with “L-shaped” elements that more closely link the car’s look with that of its linemates.

Mechanically, Lexus expands the ES’ appeal (read: affordability) with a new four-cylinder model we assume will slot in below the ES 300h hybrid and V6-powered ES 350 models that carry over from last year. Lexus says additional sound deadening behind the dashboard will help further reduce engine noise in a cabin that was already one of the most serene in the ES’ price range.

Interior changes are more subtle: a new steering wheel frames a gauge cluster that incorporates a larger, thin-film transistor (TFT) information display, the seats gain a quilted pattern, and there are new colour themes from which to choose.

Additionally, the ES is the first production model to get the brand’s new Safety System+ suite of driver assistance technologies, none of which are anything groundbreaking: pre-collision system (PCS) uses a front-facing camera and radar to detect vehicles and pedestrians; the suite also incorporates lane departure alert, an automatic high beam function, and radar-based cruise control.

Look for the 2016 Lexus ES in showrooms later this year.


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