''Traditional luxury'' is a term that describes the smooth, quiet and refined ride that buyers of cars built in the 70s and 80s would appreciate. Cadillac and Lincoln cars of that era had a lock on this segment of the market but when Lexus and other import luxury brands emerged in the early 90s, many of these buyers migrated to the higher quality offerings that were lacking in domestic vehicles at that time. Lexus was a big beneficiary in the United States as they are now the number one luxury brand in that country. Canadians often look across the Atlantic to European makers when choosing a luxury car but Lexus is still a force in this country. The best seller in the Lexus line is their RX crossover but the mid-to-full-sized ES is the second best seller. For 2013 Lexus is trying to maintain their traditional luxury buyer but also engage new prospects with a slightly more engaging and sportier ES.
Lexus has been systematically upgrading the look of all their products to a more aggressive and stylish design. Called ''progressive luxury'', Lexus is trying to move the brand into a new space that will appeal to more buyers. The exterior dimensions of this new 2013 model are almost the same as the outgoing model but the wheelbase has been stretched by 4.5cm to provide more interior space but the visual effect makes the car look more graceful. At first glance the ES has a more than passing resemblance to the GS sedan and that is a good thing. The grille has been successfully updated to include the same ''spindle'' grille and the edges of the car have a more angular approach. The sum total is the best-looking ES to date. For 2013 Lexus has included a hybrid model called ES 300h with different wheels and rear skirt to hide the exhaust pipe.