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In-depth reviews

Lexus ES saloon - Interior & comfort

Build quality is excellent, but the fiddly infotainment system frustrates

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Interior & comfort Rating

4.0 out of 5

Trying to push the Lexus ES is somewhat missing the point; this is a refined and comfortable cruiser that takes on the Mercedes E-Class for relaxed long-distance driving. For that reason, you should avoid the 19-inch wheels and stiffer suspension of the F-Sport model, which make the ride firmer and don’t feel as well suited to the ES’ laid-back nature.

Lexus ES dashboard

The dashboard is more driver-focused than the outgoing Lexus GS, while the overall build quality feels slightly better than the Jaguar XF, if not quite as good as the Germans. A transmission tunnel between the front seats gives a snug feel and this is where the controls for the infotainment system can be found.

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A large head-up display helps keep your eyes on the road, while a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen perches next to the instrument binnacle. It’s a large and clear display, that was made easier to use during the 2022 facelift with the introduction of the touch interface. Unlike older Lexus models, it also benefits from the option to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead of Lexus’ interface.

Equipment

The large touchscreen is standard in every ES fitted with sat nav. Entry-level ES cars come with an eight-inch display, DAB radio, parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof. ES Premium Edition adds bigger wheels, the 12.3-inch infotainment setup, a wireless smartphone charger, privacy glass and automatic wipers.

Stepping up to the F Sport trim adds sporty touches like figure-hugging front seats and adaptive sports suspension, while a powered boot, heated reclining rear seats, a 360-degree camera, LED adaptive headlights, triple-zone climate control and a Mark Levinson sound system are all reserved for the Takumi.

Options

Like many Japanese models, options aren't as prevalent for the Lexus ES, but the Premium Pack adds no less than 32 features to the entry-level trim, including adaptive headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and the upgraded infotainment setup. You can also add a Takumi Pack to the F Sport trim, bringing most of the features fitted to the higher trim, including its Mark Levinson stereo.

Selecting the Takumi model also unlocks the option of spending £1,600 on 'Digital Side-View Monitors', which replace traditional door mirrors with two cameras and digital screens attached to either windscreen pillar. We found the picture wasn't clear enough, and there was a slight delay between what was happening and the image. Like most rival systems, it still doesn't feel like an intuitive replacement for traditional mirrors, even if some of the guides that appear on the display can be handy.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

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    300h 2.5 4dr CVT [without Nav]
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  • Price
    £37,804

Most Economical

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    300h 2.5 4dr CVT
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  • Price
    £38,694

Fastest

  • Name
    300h 2.5 4dr CVT [without Nav]
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  • Price
    £37,804

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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