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Lexus ES interior, tech and comfort

2019 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by Tom Wiltshire Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 3 July 2023

  • Peerless build quality
  • Design much improved with touchscreen infotainment
  • Feels a little dark

How is the quality and layout?

The ES has a similar cabin layout to most Lexus models, but since the 2022 facelift it’s become significantly more user-friendly. That’s mainly thanks to the addition of a new touchscreen infotainment system, which replaces the previous touchpad-driven interface with one that’s much easier to use, especially for fine work like typing out addresses.

The rest of the interior is straightforward, with a panel of physical climate control switches a particularly welcome addition. The large, bulky gear selector takes up slightly more room than is necessary, but generally it’s easy to get yourself acquainted with the ES’s interior.

Build quality, meanwhile, is stellar. Everything feels built to survive a nuclear apocalypse, every surface you touch is swathed with nice, expensive-feeling materials and there are lots of nice touches, like the way the volume dial is weighted or the soft-close action of the electric windows.

Infotainment and tech

Every ES now features a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system similar to the one on the NX and RX SUVs as well as the latest Toyota models. It’s a huge improvement over the screen that came before it with its touchpad media controller, though still lags behind the best offerings from BMW or Jaguar in terms of ease-of-use.

The screen is large and very clear, with most functions given large touch buttons that are easy to hit. But for our taste a few functions are still buried one or two menus two deep, such as the controls for the driving dynamics and active safety equipment.

Lexus ES - interior
The Lexus’ cabin makes a lot of sense, even if it feels its age in some places.

While the ES does have a digital display for the driver’s gauges, it’s looking very small and low-res next to the best offerings from rivals such as Audi’s virtual cockpit. It lacks configurability, and can’t do things like display a full-screen map. While it does have unique touches such as a physical, movable bezel that shifts depending on which driving mode you’re in, these don’t really add up to a better user experience.

The standard stereo sounds good but for music lovers it’s well worth up-speccing to the excellent 17-speaker Mark Levinson system, standard on Takumi cars or lower-range cars equipped with the Takumi pack.


  • Superb seats
  • Great refinement
  • Excellent comfort levels front and rear

The ES isn’t exactly a sports saloon but it makes up for that with excellent comfort levels. The front seats are very supportive and comfortable, with lots of adjustment for drivers of all sizes – though we wish the driver’s seat went a little lower.

The rear seats are similarly comfortable, and wherever you’re sat – other than the rear middle – you’ll manage a long journey with minimal fatigue.

Refinement is excellent too, with the well-insulated cabin effectively filtering out most wind and road noise. The engine can be a little vocal if you put your foot down but driven normally it’s very hushed.