The ES is a fairly roomy saloon that can comfortably transport four adults, and it has a surprisingly wide boot (although, in terms of total volume, it is actually a good 15% smaller than the class standard).
The roofline curves towards the rear and reduces head room, so taller adults in the back will find they have plenty of room for feet and knees but considerably less for scalps.
Inside, there are a couple of average-sized cupholders in the centre console, an armrest cubby and a glovebox that are both average in size, as well as a pair of usable door pockets just about big enough for drinks bottles or travel cups.
But the biggest obstacle to practicality is the structural reinforcement put in place by Lexus to strengthen the ES’s underbody and sharpen its handling. If you fold down the car’s back seats, instead of finding an empty space through which you could load long, awkward items, you’d find two metal braces – one ring-shaped and the other V-shaped – filling the void between the interior and the boot. Suffice to say, this isn’t the ideal car for flatpack furniture forays or trips to the tip. Given that most saloons in this class don’t have this restriction, that’s a problem for the ES.