Lexus ES – All about the 300h

Lexus ES – All about the 300h

The Lexus ES 300h was planned to be part of the range of cars being offered by the brand here in India, but that was when the car was in its sixth-generation. Thank fully, after the unveiling of the seventh-generation ES at the Beijing auto show, it made its way to India. The ES clearly borrows its styling elements from the larger LS flagship sedan. The new ES is a step-up from the old car in almost every way. In our market, it is the entry-level model but it is, by no means, cheap to buy. The ES is based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, so it is longer, wider and comes with a longer wheelbase as well. It gets new multi-link rear suspension and uses high tensile steel to help provide rigidity to the car. The weight, however, has increased.

Razor sharp

The Lexus ES looks like a baby LS in almost every way. We can start with the Z-pattern LED headlights with L-shaped DRLs, then the massive spindle grille that demands attention and a long, flat bonnet. From the sides, the Lexus ES shows off its sloping roof line, giving it coupe-like look and those 18-inch, multi-spoke chrome wheels look unlike anything else in the market. At the back, it sports a boot lid spoiler and new, sleek-looking tail lights. The design is pretty unique and Lexus Cars seem to know what the buyer wants.

Pure lux

Getting into the front of the Lexus ES is easy work, thanks to the automatically adjustable steering wheel and seats that move the moment the car is turned on/off. The quality of materials is top-notch and this includes the leather and the soft-touch plastics. The steering wheel is covered in leather and wood, giving it a classy look. What we didn’t like were the plastics found on the lower half of the dashboard and the switchgear isn’t up to the mark either. The instrument cluster includes a digital speedometer with a huge circular tachometer pod. Lexus Cars have also equipped it with a big head-up display and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and there’s a trackpad that helps you navigate through different settings. The physical buttons are laid out nicely and allow for easy access. What absolutely stands out is the 1800, 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. The seats provide great support and the cushioning is perfect. The front seats get heating and ventilation as well. We expect this one too to be chauffeur driven since the back seat is very comfortable. Headroom is not an issue despite the sloping roofline. And with the front passenger seat moved forward, there’s ample legroom. The ES 300h also features an electrically-reclinable backrest. The third passenger at the back will have the armrest coming in the way. The LS gets a 454-litre boot, which is massive and takes in a number of suitcases. The spare alloy wheel lies under the boot floor and this car also gets the hands-free opening-closing function.

A list of features include a 1800W Mark Levinson sound system, 18-inch wheels, wireless phone charging, heated seats, auto LED headlamps, paddle-shifters, cruise control, ventilated front seats, reclining rear seats, a sunroof and three-zone climate control, ESP, traction control and 10 airbags. Plus you get navigation as well. Audi RS Q8 – All you need to know

Hybrid horses

The ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine, producing 175bhp and 221Nm of torque. The electric motor is lighter and makes lesser power than before, and fuel efficiency is fantastic at 22.37kpl. The moment you dab on the engine start button, there is complete  silence; it moves ahead quietly and there’s sufficient torque to amble along in traffic without seeking help from the petrol engine. Put your foot down and the petrol engine kicks in smoothly; the petrol motor is hushed and refined, thanks to the thorough sound deadening. Power delivery is strong and the car picks up pace quickly, and even if pushed hard, the engine still remains refined. The CVT ‘box works well, but not without the presence of the rubber band effect. This car feels more comfortable being driven sedately.


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