Updated tech features. For 2022, Lexus has finally added touchscreen capability to the ES sedan’s infotainment system. While the infuriating remote controller is included, owners can bypass it by simply touching the screen. This may seem like a small change, but it drastically makes the system easier to use. Lexus has also moved the touchscreen closer to the front of the dashboard to make it easier for drivers to reach.

Additionally, the 2022 ES now comes with more standard safety features. The midsize sedan comes with rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring as standard for the new model year. These features build upon the ES sedan’s extensive list of features that includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

For the ES Hybrid, the electrified sedan now has the automaker’s Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite of advanced safety features. For 2022, the system includes intersection turning assist and improvements to other features.

Sporty on the outside, classy on the inside. From the outside, one would think that the ES is a pure sports sedan. While the sedan’s aggressive design may cause some debate, the ES certainly looks unique. The most polarizing part of the design is the automaker’s spindle grille that’s found on every vehicle the brand sells. On the ES, the grille dominates the front end and sets the tone for the aggressive lines.

The interior is a different story. It oozes class and feels plush. The design is striking without going overboard, which is the problem with the exterior, while having a generous amount of space in both rows. Every material in the ES looks and feels upscale, even the few plastics that you have to search to find. The best quality about the ES’ cabin is just how peaceful it is while driving. Noise is kept out to keep things quiet, regardless of what’s going on outside the car. This is especially true in the hybrid.

The major downside to the ES’ cabin is that the rear seats don’t fold down. This is a large disadvantage for consumers that plan on using the ES to transport large items. Trunk space, which comes in at 13.9 cubic feet of cargo space in both models, is average for the midsize class.

Comfort over pep. The ES is available with three powertrains, including the hybrid. None of them provide peppy performance but are fine for daily use. Additionally, the engines match the ES’ relaxed nature.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 203 horsepower. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with all-wheel drive. The next step up is a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It produces 302 hp and offers much livelier acceleration off the line. It also makes passing on the highway far easier than with the four-cylinder engine. Oddly, Lexus offers the V6 engine with front-wheel drive. It’s a strange business decision, as we think all-wheel drive would greatly increase the V6 engine’s appeal.

Lastly, there’s the available hybrid powertrain. The hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 215 hp. Despite the extra weight, the ES Hybrid feels just as energetic as the base four-cylinder engine. Of course, the main reason to go with the hybrid model is because of its great combined fuel economy rating of 44 mpg. The best the base four-cylinder engine can get is up to 28 mpg combined.

Regardless of road condition, the ES delivers a comfortable, smooth ride on a daily basis. The sedan isn’t set up for agile cornering. While it’s available as an F Sport model, which is available with a new Dynamic Handling package for 2022, it doesn’t have sharp handling, despite being available with updated suspension tuning, larger wheels, and more available drive modes.

Great value. Luxury cars aren’t known for offering good value, but the ES gives you a lot for your money. Pricing for the sedan starts at $41,875 (with destination), which undercuts a lot of its competitors. This makes the ES more affordable than the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Genesis G80, and Audi A6.

While the ES costs less than its main rivals, the sedan doesn’t feel like a budget-friendly vehicle. The only place where you’re losing out compared to other midsize sedans is when it comes to power and handling. As long as you’re not looking for something overly sporty, the ES brings a lot of bang for your buck.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Lexus ES is a flawed sedan, but in a way that might appeal to a lot of shoppers. The exterior design is aggressive and it’s not the sportiest sedan in the class, but it spoils passengers with an opulent cabin, a comfortable ride, and loads of features. We would like some extra power from the ES’ engines, but we’ll trade that for great fuel economy with the hybrid.

For comparison, the Genesis G80 offers nearly the same amount of value as the ES. It has a gorgeous design, loads of high-tech features, an upscale interior, and powerful engines. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class continues to be a yardstick with powerful engines, a balanced ride, a lavish cabin, and cutting-edge tech features.

Check prices for the 2022 Lexus ES