Compared: 2022 Lexus ES vs. 2022 Lexus IS

If you're shopping for a Lexus four-door sedan, the IS packs a sportier punch versus the larger and more fuel-efficient ES.

2022 Lexus Is 350 F Sport white vs 2022 Lexus ES grayLexus | IS (top), ES

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The 2022 Lexus ES and 2022 Lexus IS models represent different sides of the same luxury sedan coin. The rear-drive-based IS caters to enthusiasts who want to add some sportiness to their compact luxury sedan experience, highlighted by a new F Sport trim powered by a V8.

In comparison, the front-drive-based midsize ES is a smoother instrument, providing occupants with room, comfort, and excellent fuel economy with an available gas-electric hybrid.

2022 Lexus IS 350 F Sport in grayLexus | IS

2022 Lexus ES vs. 2022 Lexus IS: Price

For the same starting price of around $42,000 buyers can choose either the ES 250, which comes with all-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine or the V6-equipped 350 with 302 horsepower going to its front wheels only.

The ES is also available as a hybrid model, the ES 300h, which has 215 horsepower and starts at around $43,000 but is only available with front-wheel drive.

The entry level Lexus IS 300 starts around $40,000 and comes with rear-wheel drive (RWD). The base Lexus IS comes standard with a turbocharged 241-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but the compact sedan also offers two versions of a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Starting at around $42,000, the IS 300 AWD gets a 260 hp 3.5-liter V6. The F Sport RWD gets a more powerful engine — 311 horsepower — at a nearly $45,000 price point. Adding AWD increases the price to about $47,000. The IS 500 F Sport Performance is the new V8-powered model in the family, and this 472-hp sport-sedan is priced at just over $58,000.

2022 Lexus ES interior dashboardLexus | ES

2022 Lexus ES vs. 2022 Lexus IS: Interior

The ES resembles a shrunken version of the Lexus LS flagship sedan, and that's reflected in the larger amounts of passenger space front and rear compared to the compact IS. However, the ES's rear seats cannot be folded down to accommodate larger items unlike in the smaller IS and its 60/40 split fold-down seats.

The IS's standard 8.0-inch infotainment system can be upgraded to a larger 10.3-inch screen that features new software with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability and Amazon Alexa integration. The ES shares the base 8.0-inch screen but offers a bigger 12.3-inch infotainment display.

The IS also benefits from more supportive front seats, which were part of the model's updates in 2021. The ES's thrones are focused on comfort, and while they are plush enough to soak up the miles, non-F Sport models lack the bolstering needed to keep occupants solidly planted when hustling down twisty roads.

2022 Lexus ES 300hLexus | ES

2022 Lexus ES vs. 2022 Lexus IS: Fuel Economy

Despite coming in a smaller package, the most fuel-efficient IS — the 300 RWD — gets an EPA estimated 25 mpg. Choosing the available V6 drops fuel economy to 23 mpg, and adding AWD into the mix drops it to 22 mpg. The sportiest version, the IS 500, gets just 20 mpg with its powerful V8 engine.

Given that the 2022 Lexus ES was designed with comfort in mind, it starts out where the sportier IS leaves off. The lowest fuel economy estimate for the ES 350 F Sport with the V6 is 25 mpg. The ES 350 improves that figure to 26 mpg, and opting for the four-cylinder ES 250 with AWD nets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg.

The hybrid ES stands out with its electrified-four-cylinder, which earns an impressive 44 mpg.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Carl Malek
Carl Malek is an automotive journalist with more than 10 years of professional experience. He covers all aspects of the automobile industry but specializes in vehicle reviews and industry analysis with strong knowledge in both fields. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Emily and being involved in other family activities.