Lexus ES saloon gets chassis, tech and styling tweaks for 2022

Lexus’s engineers have picked through the ES 300h saloon, with this facelift improving almost every aspect of the car

Lexus has launched a facelifted version of the ES saloon for the European market, following the introduction of an updated version of the brand’s BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class at April’s Shanghai Motor Show. 

The updated ES will go on sale in the UK priced from £35,905, and arrives with a mixture of styling, technology and chassis updates. 

The ES’s chassis comes with an overhaul thanks to new braces for the rear wishbones and updated dampers. The company says the changes have made the saloon a little more comfortable and slightly more predictable – especially when making high-speed lane changes on the motorway.

Lexus has tweaked the car’s braking system, too, fitting a larger brake pedal pad and extra bracing around the mount to reduce vibrations when the pedal is pressed. The parameters for the ES’s electronic braking system have also been recalibrated.

On the technology front, there’s a new pair of digital side-view mirrors and a fresh 12.3-inch infotainment system. The former is available as an option on the flagship Takumi model, while the latter comes as standard on every ES fitted with sat-nav.

The ES is also now available with new “three-eye” LED headlights, which are standard on the flagship Takumi model and optional across the rest of the line-up. They’re fitted with Lexus’s BladeScan Adaptive High-beam technology, which uses a fast-rotating mirror to focus the light beam and give a wider field of vision when using dipped lights.

Lexus has made a few tweaks to the ES’s driver assistance technology, too. Its pre-collision system can now detect cyclists during the day and gains an intersection turn assist system, which can detect vehicles and pedestrians crossing in front of the car when the driver turns into a junction.

The ES’s emergency assist system can also now recognise when the driver is taking evasive action and will assist their steering inputs to keep the car stable, while dynamic radar cruise control can now better manage the car’s speed while cornering.

Styling tweaks for the ES are relatively restrained, being limited to a new radiator grille for all but the F Sport model. The headlights are slightly narrower and there’s a couple of new alloy wheel designs in either 17- or 18-inch diameters.

Inside, it’s much the same story. Apart from the new infotainment system, the only changes are some optional Dark Brown and Sumi Black walnut trim inserts for the dashboard and some new Forest Brown synthetic leather upholstery. The F Sport car is also now available with White Tahara sports seats with contrasting black bolsters.

As before, the ES 300h is only available with a single hybrid powertrain. It’s a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which is supported by an electric motor and a compact battery pack. The system has a combined output of 215bhp and returns up to 54.3mpg.

Updated Lexus ES: prices and specifications

The ES line-up is separated into seven trim-levels, with prices for the base-model starting from £35,905. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-LED headlamps, front and rear parking sensors and a sunroof. Inside, there’s electrically adjustable and heated front seats, a 10-speaker stereo and an eight-inch infotainment system, although buyers can upgrade the touchscreen to the new 12.3-inch unit for an extra £890.

The ES Premium Edition is priced from £36,555 and comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and a host of extra technology, including rain-sensing wipers, a wireless smartphone charger, a heated windscreen and the new infotainment system.

Premium Pack cars build on the base-model’s specification with a host of comfort-focussed extras, such as LED ambient lighting for the cabin, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats and an electric rear sunshade. There are also scrolling indicators and power door mirrors. Prices start from £41,105.

Stepping off to the side of the standard line-up, Lexus also offers a couple of racy F Sport models, which feature 19-inch alloy wheels and some model-specific styling tweaks. Prices start from £38,370, and standard equipment includes adaptive dampers, a Sport+ driving mode, sports seats and a leather steering wheel.  As with the base-model, the 12.3-inch infotainment system is an optional extra – although, now, it’s only an extra £690.

Moving up along the same vein, there’s the F Sport Tech and Safety Pack. As the name suggests, it adds some extra technology and safety equipment to the F Sport model, with buyers getting Lexus’s new BladeScan LED headlights, a heated steering wheel and a wireless smartphone charger. Prices start from £39,280.

Next up, there’s the F Sport Takumi pack. It’s priced from £44,160 and adds a 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system, a head-up display, power-operated sunshades and a hands-free power-operated boot with a kick-sensor.

At the very top of the line-up, there’s the ES Takumi, priced from £49,455. Upgrades include performance dampers, semi-aniline leather upholstery and all the fancy technology from the F Sport Takumi variant. Buyers can also have Lexus’s new digital side mirrors as an optional extra on this model only.

Now click here to read all the latest news on the new Lexus NX, which features the firm’s first PHEV powertrain… 

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