Refreshed 2022 Lexus ES Aims For A Broader Audience With Style, Tech And Handling Improvements: News

ES buyers will have more choice than before going into the new model year

New for the 2019 model year, the current-gen Lexus ES is still fairly fresh, but Lexus aims to freshen it up and address a few of its shortcomings. (Photos: Lexus)

This 2022 Lexus ES range adds more functionality and F Sport flavor.

In the world of luxury sedans, Lexus’ midsize ES sedan faces no shortage of competition. It’s still fairly fresh in its current iteration, but the constant need to adapt and offer some upgrades places the rival to the Acura TLX, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series next in line for a mid-cycle update. Styling changes are up on the agenda, for a start. From new grille patterns across all trims to the updated LED headlights and new exterior colors, there are some fresh options from previous model years. New safety and tech updates as well as chassis tweaks and expanded F Sport availability mean this could be a more appealing contender to the car that debuted three years ago.

As it stands for trims and powertrains, there are no major changes to the 2022 Lexus ES lineup. The base ES 250 and range-topping ES 350 remain, with 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines respectively. Both non-hybrid options come mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. F Sport versions are still available for both, but this year you have the option of getting the package on the ES 300h hybrid as well (in select regions, says Lexus). That means U.S. hybrid F Sport models will join the rest with unique badging, a truck spoiler and unique 19-inch wheels.

Across all ES models, Lexus added a new rear suspension member brace to increase rigidity and improve handling. For 2022, the ES also has updated brakes (with a larger brake pedal) to improve stopping confidence. Gas models get a new brake master cylinder and booster to improve linear brake feel.

New (to the ES) Dynamic Handling Package at the top end

If its performance you’re after — at least specifically within the ES lineup — the 2022 Lexus ES 350 F Sport also adds the Dynamic Handling Package. That includes Sport+ and Custom drive modes, parking assist and, most importantly, Adaptive Variable Suspension.

Finally, a touchscreen!

When the current Lexus ES debuted, one feature carried over that, being honest, none of the TFL crew enjoyed using: the “remote touch interface” track pad. Some customers clearly agree, because Lexus is adding what it calls “human-centered updates” to the infotainment system. The updated ES sees its screen moved 4.3 inches closer to the driver, and I’ll bet you can guess why. Like the updated RX crossover, the 8.0-inch standard (or 12.3-inch optional) display now has touchscreen functionality. The interior layout is otherwise similar in the 2022 ES versus earlier models. Not that Lexus’ decision to largely leave the rest of the cockpit alone was a bad thing. Again, our major interior gripe centered around how you command the infotainment system. At least now you don’t have to use the touchpad to control everything.

Safety updates: Lexus Safety System+ 2.5

Lastly, the 2022 Lexus ES gets an update to its safety system, lest you think the automaker forgot about that. The new Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 is the latest iteration that adds “Intersection Turning Assist” to the mix. Among all the other features you’ve come to expect, turning assist detects an oncoming vehicle if you’re making a left turn or a pedestrian when performing left and right-hand turns, and brakes accordingly if necessary. The Pre-Collision System, as it were, has also been updated to include Emergency Steering Assist. That’s meant to help the driver prevent leaving the road during an evasive steering maneuver. Lane Tracing Assist also employs better lane recognition while using radar cruise control.

In short, if you’re a fan of this sort of tech, Lexus isn’t leaving you out in the cold here. What they are keeping close to the vest (for now) is pricing, options and exact exterior/interior color choices. All that information will be available prior to the refreshed ES lineup’s arrival at dealerships this fall.

For those of a winter disposition, the ES lineup also recently added an all-wheel drive model. Note the changes above for the 2022 model, but you can get an idea what to expect in our review below: