2022 Lexus ES upgrades standard features, adds touchscreen

April 23, 2021

The refreshed 2022 Lexus ES mid-size sedan will come with more standard safety features, a revised infotainment interface, and some minor cosmetic and suspension upgrades when it goes on sale this fall, Lexus announced this week at the Shanghai auto show. 

The 2022 ES gets standard LED headlights, new wheel designs, and a new mesh pattern on the bold spindle grille. The flashy F Sport appearance package with a trunk spoiler, 19-inch black wheels, and other black elements will be offered on the ES 300h hybrid for the first time. 

The most notable changes appear on the inside of the luxury sedan. The standard 8.0-inch and available 12.3-inch infotainment display screens have been moved forward 4.3 inches and turned into touchscreens. It resolves one of our biggest issues with older Lexus models, but the touchpad in the console remains if owners prefer that futzy interface. Lexus says it also streamlined the instrument panel, but it won't be evident how until we test drive it later in the year.

Lexus expands on its commitment to safety by equipping every ES with blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts. Optional last year, those features join automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, adaptive cruise control with a lane change function, and automatic high beams as standard equipment. 

The discontinuation of the GS leaves the Toyota Avalon-based ES to fill a luxury and performance gap between the IS compact and LS flagship sedans. Lexus adds a rear suspension brace to increase torsional rigidity and make for more balanced handling. A larger brake pedal and braking system should increase pedal responsiveness and feel, Lexus said. The ES 350 F Sport has an upgraded Dynamic Handling package with Sport+ and Custom drive modes and adaptive dampers. 

Otherwise, the powertrains carry over. The base ES 250 uses a 203-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 with available all-wheel drive. The ES 350 has a 302-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with front-wheel drive, and the range-topping ES 300h has a 2.5-liter inline-4-based hybrid setup good for 215 hp and an impressive 43 mpg city, 44 highway, 44 combined.

Additional trim features and pricing will be announced closer to the fall arrival of the 2022 Lexus ES.  

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