A few days ago, Lexus previewed the updated ES. The Japanese luxury marque has since pulled the covers off it, and you will need a very keen eye to spot what's new. But given that the car is barely three years old, we weren't expecting dramatic changes. Nonetheless, an update is an update.
Let's start at the front, and the most apparent difference between this and last year's model is the grille. That said, it's not the most obvious change given that the new pattern is finished in gray. Also (slightly) new are the headlights with updated Bi-LED patterns.
Other changes? The 2022 ES will have new wheel designs and new color choices. These consist of new and darker shades of gray and silver. At the back, the ES gets new taillights that seem to have a darker and smoked finish. Another change at the rear is the bumper. The tailpipes no longer go through the panel. Instead, it's replaced by a black panel with a pair of reflectors.
The interior looks much like the one we tested back in late 2018, but Lexus assures everyone that they changed a few things in there. Like the heavily updated IS, the 2022 ES infotainment system can now be controlled by touch. But for those who still prefer using the trackpad, Lexus kept it there for good measure.
Lexus also boosted the standard safety equipment in the 2022 ES. From now on, all variants will get Lexus Safety System+2.5. It's packed with active safety systems such as Pre-Collision System, Automatic Emergency Braking, Emergency Steering Assist, Cyclist and Pedestrian Detection, and Low-Speed Acceleration Control, just to name a few. The system also includes adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam headlights. We can also expect most of these functions in the local-spec models since Lexus made it standard for all variants.
As for other changes under the skin, Lexus claims they did some tweaks under the chassis. The automaker says they enhanced the rear suspension braces to give it a more comfortable ride and better stability. We rated it a perfect ten for comfort a few years back, and we rarely give out those scores when it comes to that. We can only imagine how plush this one will ride.
Engine options remain the same. Most markets will get a 2.5-liter hybrid in the form of the ES 300h, or a 3.5-liter V6 in the ES 350. Select countries will also get an ES 250 with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine from the RAV4.
For the past few years, we've rated the ES as one of the quietest and most comfortable luxury sedans in the country today. With all the improvements made to this model, we're looking forward to trying it out, preferably from the back seat.