Lexus has announced that its ES saloon is set to receive another infotainment upgrade, among other tweaks, as part of a minor model update that will go into production this year.
This will be the second update that the ES has received in the last 12 months, after the car was given a larger mid-life facelift in October last year, consisting of cosmetic changes, interior trim additions, suspension updates and a bigger 12-inch infotainment screen on the dashboard.
This time around, Lexus has upgraded the software that this infotainment system runs on. Described as “confusing” by many motoring outlets around the time of the saloon’s UK launch in 2019, Lexus promises that this revised multimedia console is more responsive and intuitive than before.
A cloud navigation feature now comes as standard, which provides real-time road and traffic information, and displays information on local fuel prices and parking. The manufacturer also says that it has improved the voice recognition of the on-board assistance feature – activated by saying “Hey Lexus”.
Apple CarPlay is wireless, but if you use an Android smartphone then you’ll still need to plug it in to use the Android Auto feature.
The infotainment update allows the vehicle to communicate with mobile networks and the internet, meaning that the car can connect to Lexus’ ‘e-Care’, an online diagnostic service for drivers in the event that something goes wrong.
This also means that Lexus can monitor the condition of your ES from afar, and also means that the driver can use a smartphone app to lock or unlock the doors, operate the hazard lights and set the air conditioning before driving.
This minor refresh comes with revisions to the centre console below the infotainment screen – Lexus has ditched the trackpad multimedia control next to the gearstick in favour of two cup holders and USB ports for device charging.
Other than these revisions and an additional sand-coloured interior colour scheme, the powertrain, specs and styling of the ES remains the same. Lexus has also announced that a new range-topping trim, the ‘F Sport Design’, will be added to the ES range when this update goes into production in August – but there is not much information on this new trim as of yet.
With a current Expert Rating of 66%, consumer titles have rated the Lexus ES highly for its build quality, comfort and refinement, while performance-oriented titles have criticised its driving dynamics.