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.
Long a leader in the premium sedan class, the 2022 Lexus 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.
Lexus has given the ES a light refresh for 2022, by tweaking the car’s headlamps, grille, and wheel designs. Inside, the 8.0- and 12.3-inch infotainment screens have been swapped out for touchscreens of the same size that are moved closer to the driver for easier access.
The F Sport trim can now be ordered on the hybrid ES300h and includes a new Dynamic Handling package when ordered on the V-6–powered ES350.
The 2022 Lexus ES’s suite of driver-assistance features—called Lexus Safety System+ 2.5—now includes pedestrian and cyclist detection, a new system that detects oncoming traffic in intersections, and a tweak to the adaptive cruise control system that slows the vehicle for sharp curves in the road.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Lexus ES gives buyers a choice of three powertrains. The ES250 is powered by a 203-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and comes standard with all-wheel drive.
All ES350 trims come with a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 302 horsepower and is governed by an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
With all ES350h trims, motivation comes from a hybrid powertrain that provides a net output of 215 horsepower; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard. At our test track, the gas-only ES350 sprinted from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
The all-wheel-drive ES250 and the hybrid ES350h both made the dash in a more leisurely 8.1 and 8.3 seconds, respectively. This Lexus sedan exhibits the composed handling and forgiving ride quality that’s cherished by many luxury-car shoppers.
For those seeking keener handling, the F Sport trim adds larger wheels and suspension tuning that’s more performance-oriented. Even with this upgrade, though, the 2022 Lexus ES is less athletic than competing models such as the BMW 5-series.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
According to the EPA, mileage for the Lexus ES350 tops out at 22/32 mpg city/highway. As you’d expect, the ES350h hybrid is even more frugal, achieving a mileage of 43/44 mpg.
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the new ES250 are 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. During our time with an ES350, we observed mileage of 39 mpg during highway driving at 75 mph over the course of 200 miles.
With the ES350h, we observed fuel economy of 45 mpg on the same test route and with the ES250 we observed 33 mpg. For more information about the 2022 Lexus ES’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
With its stylish, asymmetrical dash and high-quality materials, the ES’s cabin creates a plush environment for passengers. Both rows offer enough legroom for the long-legged, and the seats provide comfortable support. Notably, the cabin is unfailingly peaceful, even when the 2022 Lexus ES is being driven at highway speeds.
Both gas-only and hybrid models provide 17.0 cubic feet of room in the trunk, and this gives the ES more cargo space than rivals such as the Volvo S90 (14.0 cubic feet) and Acura TLX (14.0 cubic feet). Unfortunately, the 2022 Lexus ES isn’t available with a folding rear seat. This makes it difficult for this Lexus to accommodate outsize cargo.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Luxury-car buyers look for vehicles offering the latest and greatest tech features, and the 2022 Lexus ES doesn’t disappoint.
It comes standard with a touchscreen infotainment system with a standard 8.0-inch central display, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are onboard to provide hassle-free device integration; a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen is optional.
All models come with a 10-speaker sound system equipped with SiriusXM satellite radio. The list of standard tech amenities also includes Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth phone, and music streaming, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Scout GPS Link navigation.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
All ES models come standard with Lexus’s Safety System+ 2.5, which includes driver-assistance features such as pedestrian and cyclist detection, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring.
2021 Lexus ES250 AWD F-Sport
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$53,500 (base price: $46,825)
DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injection
152 in3, 2487 cm3
203 hp @ 6500 rpm
184 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.0-in vented disc/11.1-in disc
Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4, 235/40R-19 92V M+S
Wheelbase: 113.0 in
Length: 195.9 in
Width: 73.4 in
Height: 57.1 in
Passenger volume: 98 ft3
Trunk volume: 14 ft3
Curb weight: 3776 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 8.1 sec
100 mph: 21.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.6 sec
1/4 mile: 16.2 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (C/D est): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 167 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.86 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 23 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 33 mpg
Highway range: 520 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 28/25/34 mpg