Lexus adds wireless Apple CarPlay, gets rid of center touchpad for 2023 ES

Late last year, Lexus Philippines officially launched the updated ES luxury sedan. Billed as a 2022 model year, the midsized four-door received some nifty upgrades like a new touchscreen infotainment, a restyled spindle grille, smoked LED taillights, intelligent driver aids called Lexus Safety Sense, and a new hybrid variant called the ES 300h.

All looks well and good, but it seems Lexus is not yet satisfied with the updates they made for the luxury sedan. That's because over in Europe, the automaker has just released the 2023 ES with additional tech upgrades.

2023 Lexus ES swaps center touchpad for cupholders image

For starters, iPhone users will be happy to know that they can now sync their devices to the 12.3-inch touchscreen via wireless Apple CarPlay. Sorry Android users, you still have to connect a cable in order to use Android Auto on the 2023 ES.

The sedan now also comes with cloud-based navigation which gives drivers real-time road and traffic information while on the go. Should cloud connection be lost, a dedicated navigation system can maintain coverage for the driver.

Another notable upgrade present in the 2023 ES is an intelligent onboard assistant that can be activated by saying “Hey Lexus”. This allows drivers to make phone calls, operate or adjust the climate controls, as well as make changes to the infotainment by just saying a command. Over in The Old Continent, the system can recognize 19 different European languages, as well as respond to various informal comments such as increasing the temperature in the cabin after one says “I'm cold”.

2023 Lexus ES swaps center touchpad for cupholders image

There are also new wireless connectivity features thanks to a data communication module (DCM) upgrade that enables the 2023 ES to communicate with mobile networks and the internet. More importantly, the DCM upgrade has made it possible for owners to remotely access the ES with the Lexus Link smartphone app. From remotely locking/unlocking the doors, setting the climate control, as well as triggering the hazard lights, the wireless features allow for a more convenient experience before you hop inside the ES.

Another important change Lexus applied to the 2023 ES is the revised center console. Gone is the center touchpad as it has been replaced with two cupholders. Meanwhile, the wireless charging pad is now outside the console box for easier access. Last but not least, there's a new USB data port and a USB-C charging port. Since the screen can now be operated via touch, we're not entirely surprised Lexus ditched the touchpad function for the 2023 ES.

2023 Lexus ES swaps center touchpad for cupholders image

Exterior-wise, customers who have always wanted an F Sport version can now get one in the 2023 ES lineup. Only available for Europe (for now), the executive sedan gets stylish 19-inch alloy wheels, 10 exterior color options, a choice of four interior color grades, and F Sport Design badges on the front fenders.

2023 Lexus ES swaps center touchpad for cupholders image

With Europe the first market to get the 2023 Lexus ES, we can expect other markets (including the Philippines) to get the refreshed midsize sedan later this year or in 2023.