- Exceptional hybrid economy
- Strong V-6 power
- Calm, quiet ride
- Good steering
- Good safety
- That grille
- That CD player
- That touchpad
- No fold-down rear seats
features & specs
The 2022 Lexus ES splits the difference between the stately LS and sprightly IS in the Lexus sedan family.
What kind of car is the 2022 Lexus ES? What does it compare to?
The 2022 Lexus ES is a premium mid-size sedan with good handling and great hybrid gas mileage. It’s a quiet contender in a shrinking class that includes the 2022 Acura TLX, 2022 Genesis G80, and 2022 Cadillac CT5.
Is the 2022 Lexus ES a good car?
Long a leader in the premium sedan class, the ES does what good sedans do best with efficient and potent powertrain options, and a peerless ride quality ideal for road trips. Its good value and strong safety rating also boost its TCC Rating to 7.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new in the 2022 Lexus ES?
The refreshed 2022 Lexus ES mid-size sedan comes with standard LED headlights, a revised touchscreen infotainment interface, and some minor cosmetic and suspension upgrades.
With the GS gone and the related Toyota Avalon discontinued, the Lexus ES serves a big role in the broader Toyota Lexus family. Straddling the mid- and full-size sedan divide, the ES wears the spindle grille, pronged headlights, taut body creases, and other Lexus design elements in a cohesive, appealing style that carries over inside. The standard 8.0-inch and available 12.3-inch infotainment display screens have been moved forward 4.3 inches and turned into touchscreens this year, and they rule over a cabin trimmed in wood and aluminum.
Three powertrain choices are underscored by a calm, quiet ride. The 203-hp ES 250 has a 2.5-liter inline-4 with standard all-wheel drive. The front-drive ES 350 turns it up with a 3.5-liter V-6 making 302 hp and has a pleasing Sport mode. New dampers and rear suspension braces bolster higher trims, but despite the performance upgrades, we’d pick the ES 300h hybrid. The parallel hybrid with an electric motor and 2.5-liter inline-4 nets an EPA-rated 44 mpg combined for efficient around-town use and excellent highway touring.
The Lexus ES seats five adults, but four would prefer no fifth. A leather- and wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated and cooled leather seats, and other upgrades make for all-day easy cruising. The rear seats don’t fold flat, but a pass-through opens up space for longer items that can’t fit in the trunk’s 13.9 cubic feet of space.
Crash-test scores have been excellent, and the ES has standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors newly standard this year.
How much does the 2022 Lexus ES cost?
Spending $41,875 will get either the ES 250 AWD or ES 350. Standard goods include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa, power front seats covered in synthetic leather, and a good 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.
The $42,975 ES 300h hybrid provides the best overall value when considering cost of ownership. An Ultra Luxury Grade adds a surround-view camera system and a head-up display to the heated wood-trimmed steering wheel, quilted leather upholstery, and 14-way power front seats of the Luxury Grade; add in the Navigation package with the 12.3-inch touchscreen and the price tips $54,000.
Where is the Lexus ES made?
In Kentucky and in Japan.
2022 Lexus ES
Big on grille, light on gauche, the Lexus ES is busy on the outside, calm on the inside.
Is the Lexus ES a good-looking car?
The big spindle grille cinches the front of the Lexus ES like a corset, smoothing out any rolls and wrinkles down the body into an attractive sedan. The exterior design earns a point, and the calming interior earns another point despite a busy center interface. It’s a 7.
The ES balances the brand’s signature looks with more grace than in its other sedans and the more pronounced bookends of its crossover SUVs. LED headlights pinch the grill before flowing back in step with the creased hood. Twin body lines snap the profile into shape, and F Sport models flex larger 19-inch wheels with turbine-like designs.
Inside, the broad dash envelopes the driver in space smoothed out by warm and calming materials such as open pore walnut wood offset by aluminum. A standard 8.0-inch or an optional 12.3-inch touchscreen front the dash, atop a series of small climate buttons no bigger than a watch battery. A crease cuts to the driver, seemingly dividing the new from the old below, represented by a CD player. The darker hues inside the F Sport cancel out the mixed materials, which is why we’d opt for the mocha and espresso tones in other ES models.
2022 Lexus ES
Three powertrain options flex the range of Lexus ES performance.
Lexus powers the ES with a dependable inline-4, a smooth V-6, or an efficient hybrid. In any case, the ES dials up the comfort with a placid road demeanor that earns it a point. The performance of the volume ES 350 V-6 earns it another point to 7.
Is the Lexus ES 4WD?
Glad you asked. Lexus sells the ES 250 and ES 350 for the same price, despite a big engine difference. The ES 250 comes standard with all-wheel drive; the ES 350 and 300h are front drive only.
How fast is the Lexus ES?
The ES 250 uses a 203-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 with an 8-speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive system shared with the discontinued Toyota Avalon. We haven’t driven the ES 250 yet and we might never if it follows the path of the Avalon; a mid-eight second sprint to 60 mph is disappointing for a premium car.
The ES 300h pairs a 215-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 with a nickel-metal hydride battery and an electric motor. The tried-and-true parallel hybrid provides gas-free driving at low speeds and muted power anywhere else, though the inline-4 can grumble when coaxed. Since the ES is designed more for chill than thrill, the Hybrid might be the optimal powertrain for efficient around-town driving and calm highway cruising.
The V-6 remains the popular choice, even as other automakers retire it in favor of turbo-4s. The 3.5-liter V-6 in the ES 350 makes 302 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It hustles the ES with surprising quickness in spite of its 3,700-lb weight, and the everpresent power is delivered smoothly. Teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission with a Franken-knob of drive modes on the lip of the instrument cluster, the V-6 provides a pleasing range of driving styles including a punchy Sport mode.
The ES Ultra Luxury uses front and rear lateral performance dampers that work like damped sway bars from the retired GS and other Lexus F Sport models to smother noise and vibration effects in the steering wheel and ride while combating body lean. Sport mode provides a bit more resistance to the steering feel, though the steering is direct in any mode.
The charm of the ES 350 lies in this balance between being a good cruiser yet having enough performance bite to dig into the road, should you choose. Choice is good.
2022 Lexus ES
Comfort & Quality
A comfy cruiser, the Lexus ES exudes calm.
The Lexus ES seats up to five in a quiet, spacious cabin lined with available open pore wood and quilted leather. Trunk space is limited to 13.9 cubic feet and the fifth seat is narrow. It’s an 8 for comfort and utility.
At nearly 196 inches long, the ES is slightly longer than an Acura TLX but not quite as long as the Volvo S90, so it straddles the mid-size and full-size sedan segments. Five adults fit inside, but the rear seats and its generous 39 inches of leg room best fit two without having to worry about encroaching limbs. The middle rear seat fulfills its duty as an armrest or pass-through for longer items in the trunk, since the rear seats don’t fold down.
The cabin favors front-seat occupants with soft leather or convincing synthetic upholstery. Comfy power bucket seats with available heating and cooling ease fatigue during longer rides, and the leather- and wood-trimmed steering wheel never gets old. Open pore walnut trim contrasts with aluminum on the dash in warm elegance, but the stack of touchscreen, HVAC controls, CD player, and the console touchpad busies the center stack design. Once you get everything set how you like it, and only need to rely on the steering wheel controls, it’s an oasis of calm on road trips, abetted by laminated front windows and other sound deadening techniques that isolate road and wind noise from the cabin.
2022 Lexus ES
The Lexus ES puts safety first.
How safe is the Lexus ES?
The IIHS and the NHTSA give the Lexus ES top crash-test ratings, earning it a point each. A full suite of standard safety features and good outward vision add two more points to a 9 for safety.
The ES gets a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, but a four-star rating for frontal protection. The IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick+, and top models with LED headlights level up to a TSP+.
All ES sedans have good outward vision, and come with standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams. Options include parking sensors and a surround-view camera system.
2022 Lexus ES
Good standard features and improved infotainment burnishes the 2022 Lexus ES.
Both the ES 350 and ES 250 AWD start at $41,875 and come well equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa, a three-month satellite radio trial, a wi-fi trial, power front seats covered in synthetic leather, 10-speaker Pioneer sound, and the suite of standard safety features mentioned above. The standard gear, extensive options list, and good warranty earn it a point each to an 8 out of 10.
Every Lexus comes with a 4-year, 50,000-mile warranty, and the first two service visits are complementary.
Which Lexus ES should I buy?
The ES 300h hybrid costs $42,975, or just $1,100 more than the gas-only models. Equipped the same, it would take about 20 months to recoup the upcharge at the pump, based on EPA estimates.
Lexus offers packages and grades, such as the Luxury Grade with wood trim, heated steering wheel, quilted leather upholstery, 14-way power front seats, or an Ultra Luxury Grade that adds a surround-view camera system and head-up display. The Navigation package includes the 12.3-inch touchscreen, while the Premium package adds smartphone wireless charging, heated and cooled front seats, and other items.
How much is a fully loaded Lexus ES?
Any ES can be upgraded to an F Sport for $46,425. F Sport includes the Premium package and adds 19-inch black gloss wheels, the horizontal performance dampers, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats with more substantive bolstering, a rear spoiler, and stiffer suspension tuning. The ES 300h Ultra Luxury tops the lineup at $52,075.
Lexus appears to marry three generations of in-car infotainment in the refreshed 2022 Lexus ES. The base 8.0-inch or available 12.3-inch touchscreens move 4.3 inches nearer to the driver for easier access. Yet, there’s still a kludgy touchpad on the console. And there’s still a CD player. The touchscreen is quicker, simpler, and safer to touch than scrolling on the touchpad, and steering wheel controls handle the rudimentary functions of volume and tuning.
2022 Lexus ES
Go green with the 2022 Lexus ES hybrid and its 44 mpg.
Is the Lexus ES good on gas?
The 2022 Lexus ES 300h gets 43 mpg city, 44 highway, 44 combined, according to the EPA. The hybrid can’t be matched by any gas-powered rivals. That would be an 8 here, but we base our rating on the most popular model. The bestselling ES 350 fares decently for a V-6 with front-wheel drive; it gets 22/32/26 mpg, which is 1 mpg better than the Acura TLX. It’s a 5.
The 4-cylinder ES 250 with all-wheel drive rates at an impressive 25/34/28 mpg, while the ES 350 F Sport drops to 22/31/25 mpg.