The 2019 Lexus ES 300h sedan combines fuel efficiency (43/45 mpg city/highway + 44 MPG combined) with crafted elegance, premium finishes, stunning styling, exceptional comfort and assertive handling. It has an EPA-estimated Total Range of 581 miles.
The ES 300h is the hybrid version of the five-seat Lexus ES 350 midsize luxury sedan. The hybrid’s long wheelbase and fine-tuned suspension create what many refer to as an exhilarating driving experience. Reviewers say the transition from gas to electric mode is seamless.
U.S. News & World Report said about the 2016 model: “The 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid may be the most practical luxury sedan on the market. It has a smooth ride, class-leading fuel economy, bulletproof reliability, and copious rear-seat space, all for far less than you'd pay for most midsize luxury sedans.”
Fast-forward to the 2019 ES 300 Hybrid test-driven by By cnet.com/roadshow reviewer Manuel Carrillo II: “Luxury and efficiency in spades. ES 300h is the more fuel-efficient version of Lexus' midsize sedan, with its hybrid powertrain burning about 40 percent less fuel than the gas-only ES 350. That makes it one of the most fuel-efficient luxury cars out there. Sure, it's down on power compared with the V6-powered ES 350, but thanks to an all-new platform and sportier suspension tweaks across the board, the hybrid luxury sedan is surprisingly fun to drive.”
“Plop your backside into the ES's driver's seat, and it'll be love at first sit. There's more than enough room to stretch out, too. The ES has never been a stranger to spaciousness, but the new seventh-generation ES is 1.8 inches wider than its predecessor, while also offering a 2-inch-longer wheelbase. As a result, there's not an uncomfortable seat in the house, especially with high-quality cabin materials throughout. The interior is quiet, too, but not noticeably quieter than competing cars in this segment.”
The ES 300h comes in three trims: ES 300h ($41,560 MSRP), ES300h Luxury ($44,215 MSRP), and ES 300h Ultra Luxury ($45,210 MSRP).
Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, LED lighting (headlights, taillights, running lights and fog lights), automatic high beams, a sunroof, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control and various active driver aids. Dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, simulated leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, Lexus Enform Remote (allows for smartphone control of some vehicle functions) and Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications are also standard. The Navigation package uses an 8-inch display screen, the mouse-like Remote Touch interface, a navigation system, voice controls, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity and the Enform suite of smartphone-connected aps and concierge services.
Tech-wise, the ES 300h comes with a 7-inch touchscreen and multipurpose control knob, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free (iPhone voice control integration) and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB audio interface. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system can be added as well. Standard on the 2017 Lexus ES 300h are antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure intervention. Also standard are a rearview camera and Lexus Safety Connect with automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assistance button.
The interior presents a rich, refined design, excellent build quality and high-end materials such as wood and bamboo. Edmunds reviewers sum up the car this way: "No longer the early-adopter novelty product from a decade ago, hybrid cars are now ubiquitous on American roads. With few exceptions, most hybrids are of the hatchback or family sedan cloth, with only a handful of entry-level luxury sedans such as the 2017 Lexus ES 300h offered for sale. As a hybrid, the ES 300h prioritizes fuel efficiency over power, but it takes its luxury sedan responsibilities seriously, offering all the space and comfort you'll find in the V6-powered ES 350. Roomy for its class, the Lexus ES 300h is a relaxing place to spend time, with its exquisite interior trim and fit and finish, tranquil ride quality, and a large backseat.
What makes this Lexus truly desirable, of course, is outstanding fuel economy. The four-cylinder hybrid powertrain helps the ES 300h achieve an EPA-estimated 44 mpg combined while offering brisk (enough) acceleration. You can still get better fuel economy from, say, a Toyota Prius, but as generously sized luxury sedans go, the 300h is at the top of its class.
The 2019 Lexus ES 300h delivers a refined driving experience bolstered by the powertrain's quiet, all-electric operation at low speeds. While the hybrid ES is slower than the V6-equipped ES 350, its acceleration in normal traffic should be enough for most buyers, especially those who understand the trade-off for improved fuel economy. The regenerative braking system in many hybrids, which helps convert brake heat into battery energy, can feel unnatural and stiff compared to traditional brakes. Not so in the ES 300h, which feels remarkably normal and natural."
U.S. News & World Report auto reviewer Sarah Shelton says: “The Lexus ES Hybrid beckons travelers to be driven, rather than to drive. Between its polished ride, whisper quiet cabin, ample legroom, and indulgent seats, the ES Hybrid is a relaxing place to spend the day. It's an attractive choice if you want a comfortable luxury car with good road manners and top-of-the-class fuel economy.”
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the midsize luxury car top scores across the board – a rare feat. Test drivers report the cabin presents a modern, stylish environment and is well-insulated from road noise.
REWRITTEN JULY 2019
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