The passenger compartment of the ES remained stable in the frontal offset test. Dummy readings showed good protection of all critical body areas for the passenger and good protection for the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger. Lexus showed that a similar level of protection would be provided to occupants of different sizes and to those sitting in different positions. In the full-width rigid barrier test, protection of the driver dummy was good for all critical body areas. Protection of the rear passenger was good or adequate but the pelvis slipped beneath the lap section of the seatbelt, behaviour that was penalised, and the rating for this body area was rated as poor. Also, the side curtain airbag did not deploy properly, and a penalty was applied to the scores in the side barrier and pole impacts. In these side impact tests, dummy readings showed that protection of all critical body areas was good. However, with the penalty applied for incorrect airbag deployment (seen in the full-width frontal test), protection of the head was down-graded to adequate. Tests on the front seats and head restraints demonstrated good protection against whiplash injury in the event of a rear-end collision. A geometric assessment of the rear seats also indicated good whiplash protection. The standard-fit autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system scored near-maximum points in tests of its functionality at the low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries are caused.
In both the frontal offset and the side barrier impacts, protection was good for all critical body areas for the 6 and 10 year children. The front passenger airbag can be deactivated to allow a rearward-facing child restraint to be used in that seating position. Clear information is provided to the driver regarding the status of the airbag and the system was rewarded. All of the restraint types for which the ES is designed could be properly installed and accommodated in the car.
VULNERABLE ROAD USERS
The ES has an active, deployable bonnet. Sensors in the bumper detect when a pedestrian has been struck and actuators lift the bonnet to provide greater clearance to hard structures in the engine compartment. Lexus showed that the system worked robustly for different pedestrian statures and over a range of speeds, so tests were done with the bonnet in the raised position. The protection to the head of a struck pedestrian was good or adequate over almost the entire bonnet surface. The bumper provided good protection to pedestrians’ legs and protection of the pelvis was also good. The AEB system performed well in tests of its reaction to pedestrians, in daylight and in low light, and in tests with cyclists.
The AEB system performed well when tested at highway speeds, with collisions avoided or mitigated in most situations. The Lexus ES has a seatbelt reminder for the front and rear seats and a camera-based speed assistance system which informs the driver of the local speed limit, allowing the driver to set the limiter appropriately. A lane keeping assist system is also standard, and helps avoid inadvertent drifting out of lane, but does not intervene in more critical emergency situations.