2019 Lexus ES

Interior


MSRP
$39,750
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Lexus ES Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 6.9

Inside, the 2019 Lexus ES is whisper quiet and replete with first-class materials. The comfortable, well-cushioned seats grant plenty of legroom for each passenger, and its trunk is larger than most. A wealth of standard tech and safety features adds to the ES' value, but its infotainment system can be maddening to use while driving.

  • "I'm happier about the swaddling that happens in the new interior, which feels impressively upscale. Boasting comfortable seats, good-quality switchgear and materials, it's a pleasant place to be no matter which model you're in, and despite the design's more dramatically sloping roofline, there's plenty of headroom back there for 6-footers." -- CNET
  • "The sporty spirit extends to the interior, which is as posh as the other members of the clan, with the addition of nicely bolstered front bucket seats—available in snappy red leather that is heated and ventilated—that would be right at home in an Audi. Luxury abounds in the cabin throughout the line, with tasteful decors and first-rate materials." -- Car and Driver
  • "Designers went for a cool and elegant cockpit centered around the driver, much like the LS and LC. There are LED lights throughout the cabin, and the F Sport has a new metal trim called Hadori aluminum, reminiscent of the ancient sword polishing process, that creates a wave pattern throughout the cabin. Some surfaces could be softer, though." -- Motor Trend

Seating

The ES 350 luxury sedan has room for five people. It's supremely quiet and comfortable, with a generous amount of space for every passenger. Synthetic leather upholstery and 10-way power-adjustable front seats come standard. Available upgrades include genuine leather seats, semi-aniline leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, driver's seat memory, a power rear sunshade, and manual rear-door sunshades.

LATCH hardware for child safety seats includes two sets of lower anchors (located on the outboard seats) and three tether anchors (one for every rear seat).

  • "The first thing I noticed was how big the new ES feels inside, way bigger than a 3-Series or A4 and almost as big as a 5-Series, though it's a few inches down all around. I continue to say Buick and Lexus make the best non-racing seats and the ES does not disappoint. They're coddling and adjustable, and not laterally supportive enough for hard apexing moves. That's fine. There's a ton of room in the back seats. I had at least 6 inches of kneeroom with the front seat adjusted for my 5'10" frame." -- Autoweek
  • "These seats are another improvement over the previous-generation ES, which was already quite comfortable to sit in. There's plenty of legroom in the rear, although, as with the last generation, passengers much over 6 feet tall will run out of headroom." -- Edmunds
  • "The objective is quiet comfort, and the new car delivers on both counts, particularly hushed operation. While quiet interiors have been a Lexus virtue since the beginning, this car is a library at midnight." -- Car and Driver

Interior Features

Standard tech features in the ES 350 include a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch infotainment display, three USB ports, Bluetooth, a CD player, HD Radio, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, voice commands, Siri Eyes Free, Google Voice Control, 10 speakers, a rearview camera, and smartphone integration compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Also standard is the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0. This suite of safety systems includes a pre-collision system, oncoming vehicle detection, low light pedestrian detection, daytime bicyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, lane departure alert with steering assist and road edge detection, lane tracing assist (similar to lane keeping assist), automatic high beams, and parking support alert.

Upgraded features include a panoramic sunroof, Apple CarPlay, a Mark Levinson audio system, navigation, a 12.3-inch display, wireless charging for enabled smartphones, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, a head-up display, parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera system.

A mouselike touchpad controls the infotainment system, with climate control buttons, steering-wheel controls, and voice commands on hand as well. The entire system is distracting to use and takes more time than most to learn. The newly available Apple CarPlay streamlines entertainment options, but Amazon Alexa proves only somewhat cooperative.

See 2019 Lexus ES specs »

  • "Unfortunately, what you won't avoid, no matter what package you order, is the Remote Touch Interface that stands between the driver and nearly every vehicle function. Although the display screen that organizes the entertainment, communication, navigation, and vehicle settings is large and bright, the laptop-style touchpad required to access them is perhaps the worst system currently offered in the industry. Strong words, but I actually stopped using the system altogether while driving, as I found it dangerously distracting. The pad is too awkward and imprecise, the on-screen menus difficult to parse, and the overall experience frustrating and requiring a huge amount of attention to achieve desired results." -- New York Daily News
  • "And now we come to the one area where the new ES falls short of its predecessor. As in every other Lexus with this interface, there are generally far fewer physical buttons. Some climate control settings and radio presets are among functions that used to have physical buttons and now require more complicated interaction with the infotainment system. In a car with an easier system to use, this wouldn't be an issue, but in the ES, buyers upgrading from the previous generation might find cause to complain." -- Edmunds
  • "There is absolutely no way to use [the infotainment system] without staring at the screen, which is not where a driver's eyes should be. And the ES driver's eyes will be there for a long time, because the menu layout buries common functions in obscure places. … The ES now offers voice-activated Alexa connectivity; I tried it and the responses were so slow I resigned myself to the awful touch-pad, suspecting that the car's warranty would run out before Alexa figured out where the nearest used book store was. … Of all the infotainment controllers I've tried—and that's most of them—Lexus' touch pad is, in my opinion, the worst." -- Automobile Magazine

Cargo

The ES has a 16.7-cubic-foot trunk, which is above average for a luxury midsize sedan. With the optional hands-free power trunk lid, you can open the trunk with a wave of your foot – a convenient feature when your hands are full.

  • The trunk has also grown slightly, up to 16.7 cubic feet. That's not class-leading, but it is very generous. Unfortunately, the rear seats don't fold down, so that's pretty much all the space you get aside from a pass-through for longer items." -- Edmunds
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2019 Lexus ES

MSRP: $39,750 - $44,285

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