If nothing else, you can definitely say that Lexus design striking looking cars. The front grille of this new ES is imposing, the chrome details and the shapely lines of the car body are done well, they stand out without being garish. The sloping line of this new Lexus is more reminiscent of a coupé than a luxury saloon with the overall shape being attractive, stylish.
The seats, arm-rests, steering wheel and dashboard are covered in hand-stitched leather. The attention to detail on the stitching is evident and pleasing. The front seats are electrically adjustable, and you can program memory settings for the driver and in the premium model the front passenger as well. The premium model’s front seats come with electrically adjustable lumbar support. Even without the lumbar support the seats are incredibly supportive and comfortable. In fact, all the leather elements are super soft to the touch with the steering wheel and arm-rests being especially supple. In the rear, there is plenty of space, and even though the rear seats aren’t adjustable in all the models, they still score very highly for comfort factor. From the slope of the roof I was worried before I got into the car that there wouldn’t be much headroom in the rear, I needn’t have been. An adult can comfortably sit in the back with a good amount of clearance overhead and between their knees and the seat in front.
The ES300h comes with an exceptional sound system. 17 speakers spread around the interior give great quality sound and the system decompresses your compressed audio giving a much crisper, clearer sound to any streaming music. Often a good sound system will drown out any external noise, but even with the stereo off there is next to no noise inside this car. The cabin is essentially sound-proofed with even the sound of the engine at full rev being remarkably dampened.
Powered by a 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder engine that can generate 176bhp and an electric motor that puts out 118 bhp, the combined powertrain of the ES300h is 215bhp. Top speed is listed as 180km/h and the car can get up to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds. So, as you can see, this isn’t going to be your car of choice for taking down to the drag strip. The ES300h isn’t a slow lumbering car by any stretch of the imagination, but speed isn’t what the ES is all about. Lexus have made a luxurious, comfortable beast here. If you’re looking for a snarling speedster you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re after a drive that will leave you feeling relaxed and ready for whatever you’ve got coming up next, this will be right down your street.
Though the ES is brand new for Western Europe it is now in its seventh generation and has been available in other markets since 1989. Since then Lexus and the ES range have gained a reputation for reliability and quality.
Running Costs: 5/5
The advertised fuel consumption of the ES300h trims range from 4.4l/100km to 4.6l/100km that’s between about 61 and 64mpg. Those figures are very impressive for a car of this size, of course these figures are based on absolutely ideal conditions and perfect driving. In the real world we were getting closer to 45mpg, which though not quite as good is still very good.
Filling the 65L petrol tank will set you back around €86 at today’s average prices.
The advertised emissions are just over the 100g/km mark so this car will slot into the €190 tax bracket.
This car handles incredibly smoothly, the suspension and damping working perfectly to flatten the road beneath you. The steering feels natural and easy. Whether for short jaunts or longer hauls, you shouldn’t have any complaints in this new offering from Lexus.
Euro NCAP rigorously tested the new ES300h and released the results in October last year. It received one of the highest safety scores ever recorded by the European testing agency and was awarded 5 stars. This model comes as standard with a slew of safety features and driver assists, with everything from AEB and lane assist included.