Lexus, the luxury brand of cars from Toyota, has made its India debut. Its first product in India, the Lexus ES 300h sedan has been introduced to spice up things in the local executive sedan segment that has been primarily dominated by the Germans so far. At Rs 55.27 lakh and with a 308bhp hybrid engine, it is the most powerful of them all but, does it have the firepower to take on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series, the Volvo S90, the Audi A6 and the Jaguar XF? Let us find out.
The Mercedes E-Class has been around for more than 20 years in India and has been the highest selling executive sedan in the country. The new E-Class comes in the long-wheelbase avatar only and starts at Rs 56.7 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. At this price, you get the E200 petrol which develops only 181bhp of power as compared to the 300+ bhp from the Lexus. The rear seat comfort including the limousine-like leg space in the back of the E is unmatched in its class but the Lexus is certainly not too far behind. If you have chauffeur driven luxury on your mind, there is no better option than the E, but, if you are looking for something sporty, the Lexus might just be what you need.
BMWs are supposed to be drivers’ cars but the current generation of the 5 Series is a bit too mushy. At Rs 54 lakh, you get the 520d M-Sport with the 184bhp 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. The M-Sport is a fully loaded trim and the diesel engine provides decent performance with good fuel economy. The Lexus on the other hand is better equipped than the BMW and has a much powerful petrol engine. With hybrid technology, it does claim some fancy numbers for fuel economy as well. But then, the new BMW 5 Series launch is around the corner and the new car is said to be much better than the outgoing one.
Volvo’s flagship sedan has been the first challenger to the German trinity and is known for its classy design. The S90 offers unbridled luxury motoring experience with the frugal diesel engine. The Lexus on the other hand is brash and aggressive with its styling as well performance. The two cars are so different that the only common ground for their comparison would be the four wheels and the price tag and of course the luxury features inside the two cabins.
Jaguar has brought the new XF to India last year and the English saloon manages to pip the Mercedes E-Class in length. The XF brings the famed sporty handling and dynamics of Jaguar to the equation and does wrap it in thorough luxury. The Lexus is no doubt luxurious, but it is a tad too busy in terms of design. It does have a lot more horsepower but its in the face styling might not be to everyone’s taste, especially the ones looking for an executive luxury sedan.