Lexus ES

The Lexus ES is based on a platform similar to the Toyota Avalon, and that car's longer wheelbase affords a roomier interior, particularly for rear passengers. The ES features independent suspension all around for a smooth, effortless ride.

The ES 350 comes powered by a 3.5L V6 that makes 268 horsepower and delivers an estimated 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. This is mated to a 6-speed sequential-shift automatic. The ES 300h Hybrid utilizes a 2.5L 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that is paired with an electric motor. The duo produces 200 horsepower and returns an estimated 40 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. The 300h features an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission to deliver seamless, efficient shifts.

The ES is rich in standard equipment, with perforated NuLuxe upholstery, power locks and mirrors as well as one-touch up/down windows, 10-way power adjustable front seats, one-touch open-close power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, leather seating and much more. Technology features include steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control, Display Audio with a back-up camera, driver-selectable engine mapping, 8-speaker sound system, and Lexus Enform Remote, which allows ES owners to remotely view and control certain features such as the locks, engine stop/start and climate control via mobile app. Bluetooth hands-free technology is also standard.

The ES' options and packages take the luxury to another level. Among the amenities available: hard-drive-based navigation with voice command, heated and ventilated leather seating, a panorama glass roof, a power rear sunshade and a Mark Levinson premium sound system. Other tech includes a lane-departure warning system, radar-based cruise control, parking assist and blind-spot monitoring.

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Editors' First Take

Nobody buys the Lexus ES for driving excitement, and that will not change for 2022. Mildly refreshed, this cushy cruiser remains true to its roots, focusing on comfort, fuel efficiency and long-haul dependability instead of corner-carving performance or cutting-edge design. The 2022 Lexus ES 300h gains new infotainment tech, added safety features and a few styling enhancements -- including a new F Sport package -- which are small alterations that make a solid product just a little bit better. 

Minor updates for 2022

A few things set the ES apart from last year's model, the most noticeable of which is an updated grille on non-F Sport models. The texture filling that gaping maw is more pronounced than before, consisting of chiseled "L" shapes radiating outward from the Lexus badge. Beyond that, several fresh wheel designs are offered, and the rear suspension gains a new brace for greater torsional rigidity, which Lexus claims enhances stability and riding comfort. Even rolling on honkin' 19-inch wheels, this ES 300h F Sport is still a paragon of refinement. When driven on pockmarked backroads the suspension does an excellent job filtering out harshness, meaning there's little vibration or grittiness to be felt in the passenger compartment.

The ES also gains an updated braking system. On gasoline-powered models, this includes an upsized vacuum booster for a more linear pedal feel. Hybrid variants also benefit from a massaged regenerative braking system, which supposedly provides improved performance. In testing, the ES 300h's brake pedal is firm yet easy to modulate for mostly smooth performance, though it can feel a bit abrupt when slowing to a stop, like the brakes grab too much at 1 or 2 mph.

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