What is it like on the inside?
Smart, well-equipped (especially in full house ‘Takumi’ grade), lovely Mark Levinson stereo on some versions, comfy seats… the ES has a lot going for it from the point of view of just existing inside it.
Lexus – as ever – has a name for the driver-centric set-up of the displays and buttons, and calls it ‘Seat in Control’, which is just a conceptual tag for a cabin that feels like someone thought where to put all the buttons. But more vitally, the seats and wheel all seem to be in very accommodating positions for a variety of drivers. It’s not hard to get comfortable in here.
WHAT’S THE TECH LIKE?
Lexus has upgraded the multimedia system for 2022 models, with the 12.3-inch infotainment display now offering touchscreen functionality, while still allowing operation via the central trackpad. It’s a welcome addition although the graphics aren’t quite as crisp, nor is it as intuitive, as you find in a BMW or a Mercedes.
There’s also head-up display (only standard on Takumi grade, mind), that shows lots of relevant info: speed, fuel, gear, speed limit signs, nav directions and lane keep assist warnings. It might sound confusing, but it really isn’t. Ditto the touchpad control – it’s more intuitive than it first appears, pretty much like everything in here; it might look like a lot of buttons and functions, but you get used to it quickly.
WILL MY PASSENGERS BE COMFORTABLE, THOUGH?
There’s plenty of room up front, slightly less in the rear – blame that sloping roofline – but generally more than you’ll need. The rear seats don’t fold down (thank the extra bracing to make it feel more structurally sound than the US Camry for that) though you do get a handy ski hatch, but the 454-litre boot itself isn’t the biggest in the sector – you get a like-for-like 76 litres more in the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series and 86 litres more in the Mercedes E-Class.
There’s a lot of solid craftsmanship and thought that’s gone into the ES, and although it’s a little nerveless, it’s got some qualities that will definitely shine through should you spend a decent amount of miles in it.