Automobile

2022 Lexus ES Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

Luxury means different things to different people, and the 2022 Lexus ES delivers a quiet, comfortable form of luxury that’s appealing to many. Although in theory it competes against premium sports sedans such as the Audi A6 and the Mercedes-Benz E-class, the ES forgoes the athleticism of its rivals and focuses solely being an effortless cruiser with a pleasant, well-dressed interior. The base model comes with a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, but a more powerful V-6 is optional, as is a fuel-efficient hybrid setup. No matter the powertrain, the ES is a smooth operator; its interior is lined with upscale materials, its seats are supportive and comfortable, and there’s plenty of tech for both driver-assistance and infotainment purposes. It might not have the moves of its sportier rivals, but it delivers just as much luxury and costs less as well.

What’s New for 2022?

Lexus has given the ES a light refresh for 2022, by tweaking the car’s headlamps, grille, and wheel designs. Inside, the 8.0- and 12.3-inch infotainment screens have been swapped out for touchscreens of the same size that are moved closer to the driver for easier access. The F Sport trim can now be ordered on the hybrid ES300h and includes a new Dynamic Handling package when ordered on the V-6–powered ES350. The ES’s suite of driver-assistance features—called Lexus Safety System+ 2.5—now includes pedestrian and cyclist detection, a new system that detects oncoming traffic in intersections, and a tweak to the adaptive cruise control system that slows the vehicle for sharp curves in the road.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

    We think upgrading to the ES350 with the Ultra Luxury package is worth it even though it increases the price significantly over the base model. The Ultra Luxury package adds special 18-inch wheels, semi-aniline leather upholstery, a hands-free power trunk lid, a power rear sunshade, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, and an adaptive suspension. To that, we’d add the Navigation package, which upgrades the infotainment display to the larger 12.3-inch setup and adds in-dash navigation and voice recognition.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    The Lexus ES gives buyers a choice of three powertrains. The ES250 is powered by a 203-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and comes standard with all-wheel drive. All ES350 trims come with a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 302 horsepower and is governed by an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. With all ES350h trims, motivation comes from a hybrid powertrain that provides a net output of 215 horsepower; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard. At our test track, the gas-only ES350 sprinted from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The all-wheel drive ES250 and the hybrid ES350h both made the dash in a more leisurely 8.1 and 8.3 seconds, respectively. This Lexus sedan exhibits the composed handling and forgiving ride quality that’s cherished by many luxury-car shoppers. For those seeking keener handling, the F Sport trim adds larger wheels and suspension tuning that’s more performance oriented. Even with this upgrade, though, the ES is less athletic than competing models such as the BMW 5-series.

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    According to the EPA, mileage for the Lexus ES350 tops out at 22/32 mpg city/highway. As you’d expect, the ES350h hybrid is even more frugal, achieving mileage of 43/44 mpg. The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the new ES250 are 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. During our time with an ES350, we observed mileage of 39 mpg during highway driving at 75 mph over the course of 200 miles. With the ES350h, we observed fuel economy of 45 mpg on the same test route and with the ES250 we observed 33 mpg. For more information about the ES’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    With its stylish, asymmetrical dash and high-quality materials, the ES’s cabin creates a plush environment for passengers. Both rows offer enough legroom for the long-legged, and the seats provide comfortable support. Notably, the cabin is unfailingly peaceful, even when the ES is being driven at highway speeds. Both gas-only and hybrid models provide 17.0 cubic feet of room in the trunk, and this gives the ES more cargo space than rivals such as the Volvo S90 (14.0 cubic feet) and Acura TLX (14.0 cubic feet). Unfortunately, the ES isn’t available with a folding rear seat. This makes it difficult for this Lexus to accommodate outsize cargo.

    Infotainment and Connectivity

    Luxury-car buyers look for vehicles offering the latest and greatest tech features, and the 2022 Lexus ES doesn’t disappoint. It comes standard with a touchscreen infotainment system with a standard 8.0-inch central display, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are onboard to provide hassle-free device integration; a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen is optional. All models come with a 10-speaker sound system equipped with SiriusXM satellite radio. The list of standard tech amenities also includes Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Scout GPS Link navigation.

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    All ES models come standard with Lexus’s Safety System+ 2.5, which includes driver-assistance features such as pedestrian and cyclist detection, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. For more information about the ES’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

    • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
    • Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keep assistance
    • Standard adaptive cruise control

      Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

      Lexus provides longer warranty coverage than rivals such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, it trails Genesis in this area, which offers one of the best warranties in the segment.

      • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
      • Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
      • Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles

        Specifications

        Specifications

        2021 Lexus ES250 AWD F-Sport

        VEHICLE TYPE

        front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

        PRICE AS TESTED

        $53,500 (base price: $46,825)

        ENGINE TYPE

        DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
        Displacement

        152 in3, 2487 cm3
        Power

        203 hp @ 6500 rpm
        Torque

        184 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

        TRANSMISSION

        8-speed automatic

        CHASSIS

        Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink

        Brakes (F/R): 12.0-in vented disc/11.1-in disc

        Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4, 235/40R-19 92V M+S

        DIMENSIONS

        Wheelbase: 113.0 in

        Length: 195.9 in

        Width: 73.4 in

        Height: 57.1 in

        Passenger volume: 98 ft3

        Trunk volume: 14 ft3

        Curb weight: 3776 lb

        C/D TEST RESULTS

        60 mph: 8.1 sec

        100 mph: 21.5 sec

        Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.7 sec

        Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec

        Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.6 sec

        1/4 mile: 16.2 sec @ 88 mph

        Top speed (C/D est): 130 mph

        Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft

        Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.86 g
        Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

        C/D FUEL ECONOMY

        Observed: 23 mpg

        75-mph highway driving: 33 mpg

        Highway range: 520 miles

        EPA FUEL ECONOMY

        Combined/city/highway: 28/25/34 mpg

        C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

        More Features and Specs

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