The Lexus ES 300 full-size sedan has a new redesign, aimed to bring in a new slew of buyers. It is still a luxury sedan that remains a bench mark in this sector defend by quality, engineering and reliability. It has always been liked for its low key looks, the comfortable cabin and high quality associated with the brand. Incredibly the ES is now in its seventh generation, since its introduction in 1989. The current ES, now rides on a new GA-K chassis, 2.6 inches longer, 0.2 inches lower and 1.8 inches wider, and it has a 2-inch longer wheelbase with a wider front and rear track. The shape is sleek and dramatic. It’s a big car! A new larger grille, now better integrated, is flanked by aggressive looking headlamps, giving the new ES a confident, strident look. Its imposing, and efficient looking. The ES’ new platform is also stiffer with the use of high tensile steel.
The ES is available in two versions: the ES 350 and 4th generation Self-Charging ES 300 hybrid as tested and the subject of this review. The ES300h hybrid model is powered by Lexus’ fourth-generation hybrid technology; a 2.5-liter four-Atkinson Cycle engine, delivering 215 horsepower combined between the gas engine and electric motor—a 15-hp boost from the previous ES. There is an all-new nickel metal hydride battery pack which is smaller than previous unit. It’s mounted under the backseat, so as not to swallow up trunk space. Fuel economy ratings are an impressive 5.5/5.2 (City/Hwy).
The ES 300h is priced from $47,000. However our gorgeous looking Nebula Grey Pearl tester came with the Ultra Luxury Package, an eye watering $14,500 option package that added such niceties as: Heated Steering Wheel, , semi-aniline perforated leather interior trim, power open/close trunk* with kick sensor, lateral performance dampers ES 300h 18 inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels, Enform App Suite 2.0, Lexus Navigation, 12.3″ Display Screen, 17 Speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audio System, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Semi-Aniline, Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging with charge indicator light.
Also part of the package is: Touch-free Power Back Door, Clearance and Backup Sensors, Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging, Power Rear Window Sunshade, Rear Door Sunshade – Manual, Rear Door Sunshade – Birds Eye View Monitor, 10-inch Head-Up Display, Mirrors Linked to Seat Memory, Power-Adjustable Mirrors, Reverse Auto Tilt, , Triple LED Headlamps, and Ambient Lighting
The new interior, of the ES300 has look and feel that’s very well designed and finished. The materials and plastics are of superb quality as befits a Lexus, with an impressively, sporty upscale look. The seats in front are comfortable. The comprehensive dash has a swoopy futuristic design, clear legible dials and silky feeling switch gear. The twitchy touchpad controller needs some getting used to as it is pretty sensitive. The Lexus Enform App Suite is very comprehensive and offers traffic, sports, weather, stocks and even fuel price updates. It works with Apple CarPlay. Rear sunshades as on our test car and the sumptuous rear seats offer limo like luxury in the back.
Safety is high, with all ES models arriving equipped with 10 airbags, and the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which includes a Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Bicycle Detection, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection , Road sign recognition and auto high-beams. A blind-spot monitor and 360-degree camera is also available.
On the road, the Lexus hybrid system is incredibly smooth operating. It accelerates instantly from a standing start and hybrids electric assist keeps it going at lower speeds in an eerie quite fashion. On the highways, Lexus offers enough passing power, and the transition between electric motor to gas engine is seamless, virtually undetectable. With its tuned suspension, and rigid chassis, cornering is better than before with less roll and more linear steering. With good soundproofing, the hybrid remains quiet, whether in town or on the highway. The ES300h also offers a supremely comfortable ride on all road conditions. There is noticeable improvement overall in performance. Overall, the 2019 Lexus ES300h is a wonderful luxury sedan with good performance, style and comfort. There is an enviable standard roster of safety, creature comforts and an even more upmarket cabin. Hybrid fuel economy is a high point, while reliability, build quality and reputation remain rock solid. Options add to the luxury- at a price, however the ES300h is a truly great car to drive and own. Top marks. A no brainer if you want luxury and efficiency. A recommended buy.
Lexus ES300h Ultra luxury sedan: Priced from $47,000. Price as tested with options ($14,500.) and Freight, -$63,701.