Lexus ES 300h interior & comfort

The Lexus ES 300h’s interior is beautifully made and interesting to look at, but the infotainment system is fiddly

Sitting in the Lexus ES is a luxurious experience, thanks to superbly comfortable seats, plenty of legroom and a superior ride quality that’s up there with that of a Mercedes E-Class. Unless you go for the F-Sport spec, that is – in which case the big wheels and stiffer suspension mean the ride quality is noticeably less pliant. The F-Sport version isn’t noticeably more fun to drive, so it seems an unnecessary compromise, although its body-hugging sports seats are very supportive if you do insist on driving the ES hard.

Inside all versions the choice of materials, and in particular the impressively high quality of fit and finish, means the ambience is upmarket and luxurious.

Lexus ES 300h dashboard

The ES’ dashboard is a little more driver orientated than that of the now-superseded GS. There’s a clear instrument binnacle in front of the driver, as well as a head-up display for some models. The Takumi trim level gets a big 12.3-inch infotainment display that sits up on top of the dash, but you can upgrade the standard eight-inch display on some other models, too.

Equipment, options and accessories

The standard Lexus ES spec includes 17-inch alloy wheels, electrically heated and adjusting seats, parking sensors and the eight-inch navigation/infotainment display. Upgrading to sport adds those big 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, adaptive suspension and exterior body tweaks designed to present a sportier look.

The range-topping Takumi – named after a style of Japanese craftsmanship, we’re told – is pretty much stacked out with all the available technology and goodies. The 12.3-inch infotainment screen is a highlight, along with an associated Mark Levinson audio system and 360-degree cameras. You also get triple-zone air-conditioning, reclining rear seats, adaptive LED headlamps and a powered boot lid operated by waggling your foot under the bumper.

Various option packs are available for the SE and F-Sport, but beware of crossing the £40,000 threshold for road tax. The ES Premium Pack includes leather upholstery, heated seats, LED headlamps and safety tech including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

A Tech and Safety Pack for the F-Sport gives you wireless phone charging, LED headlamps and a heated steering wheel, or you can also choose that Takumi Pack for the upgraded infotainment and audio system, head-up display and power boot lid.

Infotainment, apps & sat-nav

While the Lexus ES infotainment system looks impressive – especially the 12.3-inch top-spec unit – it has a couple of fairly significant flaws. The touchpad operation system is difficult and fiddly to get to grips with, and neither Android Auto or Apple CarPlay are included – which might mean some smartphone users walk away.