2022 Lexus ES Interior, Colors, Price, Redesign – Lexus was not only Toyota’s great way of selling luxury vehicles but also a testing platform for introducing hybrid models to the masses. Sure, the Prius came first, but Lexus made going green cool with models like the Lexus ES. If you look at its current range in the USA, most of the cars it offers are available with a hybrid powertrain. Even the LC performance grand tourer can be equipped with a cleaner, greener engine. HOWEVER, the ES was one of the first, and in our opinion, still one of the best. It may come across as an oddity in size and segment, but it has always been the thinking man’s GS/LS. It offers Lexus build quality, a long list of standard features, and a ride that puts German cars twice the price to shame. The only downside is the lackluster performance from the ES 300h’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder/electric motor combination, which remains the only hybrid engine option in the range.
New 2022 Lexus ES Redesign
The significant changes are only applicable to the gas-powered ES models, but the hybrid lineup benefits from a few new features added across the range. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard from the base model. Lexus’s Enform Safety Connect suite is standard across the range, which includes Wi-Fi. A new Rich Cream interior option is also available. The most significant change is one the owner will likely never see. Lexus dumped the old nickel-metal hybrid battery in favor of a lithium-ion version. This battery now sits underneath the rear seats, increasing overall trunk space. Lexus also says it improves handling, but since the ES was never about canyon carving, we doubt drivers will notice.
As with the Interior, the ES is almost unrecognizable from the outgoing generation. The old car’s cheap wood and mismatched surfaces are long gone, and stylish new materials have taken their place. Interior ergonomics are excellent, with clever nods to practicality like a convenient slot to place your phone in the center console. Unfortunately, the Lexus Enform infotainment system still ranks among the worst due to its distracting touchpad controller. Still, this one features Apple CarPlay and an optional 12.3-inch multimedia display – an eight-inch screen is standard – with precise resolution. There are also plenty of physical buttons to control the radio, climate, and heated/ventilated seats without having to fuss around on the touchpad. My tester included an optional head-up display for $500, which further reduced the need to use the Enform infotainment system. This new generation ES has ditched the old-fashioned analog gauges in favor of a sporty-looking digital instrument cluster, which changes based on drive modes.
Lexus didn’t get too fancy with what sits under the hood, but the old recipe has been doctored with some extra spice. The 3.5-liter V6 engine now produces 302 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque going out to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine found in the Toyota Camry and Avalon, where it produces one less horsepower, though the powertrain does feel smoother in the ES. If you care, this potent V6 is powerful enough to launch the 3,600-pound sedan from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (half a second quicker than the outgoing model) while maintaining rather good 22/26/33 mpg ratings for city/highway/combined cycles. The top speed is 131 mph. Lexus also sells the ES 300h with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a hybrid system developing 215 hp if you care more about fuel economy than effortless passing power. The sprint to 60 mph is slower at 8.8 seconds, but gas mileage improves significantly to 43 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. It is worth noting the F Sport model doesn’t add any power to the 3.5-liter V6 and only includes changes to the appearance and suspension.
New 2022 Lexus ES Release Date and Price
The new Lexus ES represents a severe bargain in the luxury sedan segment in the US. The base model has a base price of $39,600, while the Lexus ES Luxury trim cost is bumped up to $42,255 MSRP. Opting for the Luxury trim adds perforated leather, 14-way power driver’s seat, wood trim, ambient lighting, heated and ventilated seats, seat memory, automatic wipers, and a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel. Stepping up to the Ultra Luxury trim, like my tester, ups the pricing to $43,250 and adds perforated semi-aniline leather, a power-opening trunk with kick sensor, lateral performance dampers, and rear sunshades.
My tester also included a few optional specs such as blind-spot monitoring, park assist, and a 360-degree camera ($1,900), wireless charger ($75), noise-reducing 18-inch wheels ($950), triple beam LED headlights ($1,115), navigation and 17-speaker 1,800 watt Mark Levinson audio ($3,000), glass roof ($500), and heated steering wheel and windshield ($480). The as-test price of this green Lexus ES sedan was a palatable $53,742, though you could easily save money forgoing some of the pricier options. It is also worth noting the equivalent ES 300h configurations are less than $2,000 more than the price of the Lexus ES 350, and the sporty F Sport trim starts at $44,135.