$31,416 - $31,416

2017 Lexus ES Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Lexus ES was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

The interior of the 2017 Lexus ES blends opulent luxury with high-tech gadgetry. From the contrast stitching to the analog clock, Lexus pays close attention to the finer details with the ES, meaning build quality as well as fit and finish are impeccable. For seating comfort, you'll have the choice of standard leatherette upholstery or upgraded genuine leather. There's plenty of rear-seat room, even for taller adults. Both the standard and optional infotainment systems use a frustrating interface, and the upgraded system's optional joystick controller is overly sensitive. While the ES offers a spacious trunk, the rear seats don't fold down to allow for more room, making a small, narrow pass-through your only option for hauling long items.

  • "The 2017 Lexus ES 350's cabin is modern and stylish. The analog clock in the center of the dash is a classy touch that breaks up the otherwise high-tech environment. Some examples of interior colors and trim materials available include a matte-finish bamboo trim and 'flaxen' upholstery combo that creates a positively Swedish look. The richness of the materials varies depending on whether you opt for leather or stick with the standard perforated vinyl, but either way, the build quality is excellent." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2017 Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan boasts upscale interior materials and the exacting fit and finish we've come to expect in Lexus vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The dashboard features high-tech instrumentation set among modern lines that still manage to be classy. Materials quality is excellent, and some surfaces even have exposed stitching."-- Autotrader (2016)

Seating

The 2017 Lexus ES comes standard with leatherette upholstery and 10-way power-adjustable front seats. Options include heated and ventilated front seats, perforated leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and memory settings for the seats.

The ES provides complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on both outboard rear seats and a tether-only connection for the middle seat. The ES' LATCH system earns a score of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Seating is relaxing, with great ergonomics. The standard leatherette upholstery has a quality look and feel, so you may not feel the need to upgrade to the real deal. The ES' spacious interior manages four adults comfortably, but it can handle five in a pinch. Headroom is tighter in models with the available panoramic glass roof, however. The rear seats provide plenty of head- and legroom, which is uncommon for the luxury midsize car class.

  • Space is ample all around, and 6-footers will be quite content in the comfy front seats. Rear seat legroom, in particular, is very impressive, though taller occupants will find their heads touching the roof in ES 350s equipped with the optional panoramic sunroof." -- Edmunds
  • "The seats are comfortable and the interior is roomy enough for four adults. Rear-seat legroom is ample." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The front seats provide adequate support, and rear passenger space is exemplary, particularly in regard to legroom. The standard NuLuxe imitation-leather upholstery looks pleasant and durable enough to consider skipping the optional real stuff." -- Autotrader (2016)

Interior Features

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a rearview camera, and an 8-inch infotainment screen with an eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB, satellite radio, HD Radio, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free. Standard advanced safety features include forward collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, and lane departure warning with lane keep assist.

Available features include a panoramic glass roof, navigation, Lexus' Remote Touch infotainment controller, text messaging assistance, the Lexus Enform App Suite, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and parallel park assistance.

Both the standard infotainment setup and the upgraded system can be frustrating to use. The stock system relies on a knob controller, which you use to navigate through a slew of media categories and configurations. Although the system can be daunting at first, its interface gets easier with time. The upgraded navigation-outfitted alternative uses the Lexus Remote Touch interface controller, a joystick that uses a cursor appearing on the ES' display. While it sounds great on paper, this system is overly sensitive and can be maddening. Lexus added multiple buttons last year and a "back" button this year.

See 2017 Lexus ES specs »

  •  -"All models offer a centrally mounted multimedia screen above the center air vents, operated by a console-mounted mouse-like Remote Touch system, which some find overly sensitive and frustrating to use." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The climate controls are simple to use, but the audio system is a little more complicated due to the sheer number of available media types. This is true whether you get the standard Display Audio touchscreen/multipurpose knob controller, or upgrade to the Lexus Remote Touch system included with the Navigation package. The latter is essentially a mouse-like joystick device that controls a cursor on a large centrally located screen. Although interacting with this interface is very similar to using a computer mouse, the ultra-sensitive nature of the controller can make it clumsy and distracting to operate while driving." -- Edmunds
  • The available Remote Touch interface takes some getting used to, but software refinements and the inclusion of enter buttons have made it easier than before." -- Autotrader (2016)

Cargo

With a 15.2-cubic-foot trunk, the 2017 ES offers an above-average amount of trunk space compared to other luxury midsize cars. However, if you need to haul long, bulky items, you're out of luck. There's a rear pass-through, but it has a small opening only useful for long, thin items like skis. To help with loading and unloading, a power-operated trunk is available. It will open and close electronically at your command.

  • The trunk offers 15.2 cubic feet of space … The rear seats unfortunately do not fold down, however, and only a pass-through is offered." -- Edmunds

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