The ES is a tech-laden car even if you don’t care for voice assistants. The standard model includes an 8-inch center display, but you can spring for a navigation package that gives you an ultra-wide 12.3-inch screen and a mobile Verizon hotspot. Every variant comes with an updated pre-collision detection system that can detect cyclists. And this being a Toyota brand, there’s naturally a hybrid variant — the ordinary V6-equipped ES 350 is joined by a hybrid ES 300h whose updated electric motor is better at mimicking the power delivery of a gas engine. You shouldn’t see as much of an obvious change when the electric motor kicks in.
Lexus hasn’t divulged pricing for the new ES (the 2018 model starts at $38,335), but it should reach dealerships in September. We’d expect CarPlay to reach other Lexus vehicles as the 2019 model year arrives. As with the earlier Toyota announcements, this iPhone tie-in isn’t likely to reel you in by itself. Rather, it’s that you no longer have to rule out a Lexus if CarPlay is a must-have.