Interior layout

Lexus ES review

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Lexus ES
Review continues below...
7 Jun 2018 11:00 | Last updated: 14 Sep 2018 14:26

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

The ES gets a digital instrument screen and an 8.0in infotainment system as standard, but the latter is upgraded to a 12.3in screen on higher trim levels or as part of an option pack. We have yet to test the standard version, but the upgraded system is controlled via a ‘remote touch’ fingertip-entry touchpad that isn’t the easiest to operate. You trace your fingertip to move an icon around the screen, a bit like using a trackpad on a laptop computer – except the system insists on the kind of precision that will be difficult to muster for many with their left hand and in a moving car. The pad is supposed to also recognise pinch, swipe, double-tap and handwriting input, and yet zooming the navigation map to your required scale takes two or three attempts, while even routine tasks such as changing the radio station can be tricky.

The driving position is straight and sound, and is comfortable rather than sporty, with good visibility. The seats (Lexus’s optional 10-way adjustable ones) are comfortable, with decent lateral support. Meanwhile, the digital instruments change their appearance according to drive modes (which are selected using an odd-looking stalk that’s a bit of a stretch to reach, since it sprouts from the side of the instrument binnacle). If you want an analogue-style rev counter dial, you can have one; but speed is indicated on a digital counter both in the binnacle and – if equipped – on the unusually large head-up display.

The interior uses materials of fairly impressive quality, although it’s not likely to appeal to the senses quite like the interior in an Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. More expensive models use soft, tactile leather generously, but they also have slush-moulded and hard plastics masquerading as hide in places – and not very convincingly so in some areas. Overall, the interior doesn’t quite have the lavishness of Lexus’s bigger models, although there’s little to really complain about, and most will be happy that it feels like a proper premium-quality environment.

 

Lexus ES
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There are 12 trims available for the ES saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
Executive Edition
One step up from base trim is our preferred specification. There’s heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and automatic high beam...View trim
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Sport
Sport trim benefits from a number of sporty exterior touches, including a black front grille, mirror covers, wheels and lower rear bumper. Mechanically the car remains the same as the base SE...View trim
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Advance
Advance brings the welcome addition of leather upholstery, 8 way adjustable heated and cooled front seats and increased lumbar support...View trim
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F-Sport
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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ES
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
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Premier
The most expensive trim choice is Premier, which supplements the Luxury edition’s kit list with five-spoke 18in alloys, premium navigation, a larger 10.3in central display, DVD player, 15-Speaker M...View trim
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F-Sport
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Takumi
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£45,660
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LS
This entry-level trim only comes with rear-wheel drive and on standard suspension (air suspension is not even an option). However, you still get plenty of kit for your money, including dual-zone cl...View trim
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OUR PICK
Luxury
Spend a little more and you get air suspension, four-zone climate control, semi-aniline leather upholstery, even more adjustment for the front seats, heating, ventilation and electric adjustment fo...View trim
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F-Sport
Over the entry-level model, you get sportier bodystyling, variable ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, sports seats, hands-free boot closing and a 23-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. We’d take some o...View trim
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Premier
Top-spec models come only with four-wheel drive and it’s the only trim that has the option of cut-glass and pleated interior trim. Over Luxury, you get a more advanced safety system with semi-auton...View trim
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