TodayApril 15, 2022

2020 Lexus ES 300h new car review

2020 Lexus ES 300h ultra-luxury sedan

What do you think of the Lexus hybrid? I asked my husband, Stretch. “It drives like a German car, he replied. It’s a got a lot of torque, it must be a six-cylinder.

No, it is not a six-cylinder. The ES 300h’s 2.5-liter, the four-cylinder gas engine runs on the Atkinson cycle and couples with a smaller, more power-dense electric motor and an all-new hybrid transaxle. Combined powertrains give you a 215 total system horsepower and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission and comes with Smart Stop technology.

2020 Lexus 300h engine

2020 Lexus 300h engine

Stretch, and I play the game of what do you think it’s worth and what do you think the fuel economy is on this car. Stretch thought the car was more expensive than $53,530 listed and got twenty miles to the gallon. He was pleasantly surprised when I told him the official EPA number was 44 miles per gallon.

While the SUV is all the rage, I am still excited by a luxury sedan. I own a 1993 Lexus LS400 V-8 that gets twenty miles to the gallon that you can still set the bar to against other vehicles. The Kentucky-built Lexus ES takes its styling cues from the LS flagship sedan. The seventh-generation ES is built on Toyota’s Global Architecture K-platform, with the redesigned ES being longer, lower, and wider than the sixth-generation.

The ES is a full hybrid, not a plug-in hybrid. There are three driving modes; Eco, Normal, and Sport. The increase in efficiency comes from the regenerative braking, which allows you to stick it in electric mode when you have ample charge. The battery pack is located underneath the rear seat, adding more cargo room to an already large cargo space. As is normal, Sport mode gives just that extra boost of sporty feel while driving.

Bi-LED headlights and daytime running lights flank the Lexus signature spindle grille. The chiseled rear features L-shaped LED taillights and a rear spoiler. All this sleekness sits on 17-inch split 5-spoke wheels.

17-inch split 5-spoke wheels.

17-inch split 5-spoke wheels.

The interior is quiet and spacious—a 10-way driver’s and passenger’s power seat combined with heated seats.

The 2020 ES 300h comes standard with Lexus Safety System + 2.0, which includes Pre-collision with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam headlamps, and road sign assist.

Lexus premium sound systems is created by Mark Levinson’s group, part of the Harman International sound system. The 17-speaker Mark Levinson PurePlay sound system, created just for the ES, allows for immersion into 1800 watts of excellent sound quality.

Lexus offers an outstanding warranty that includes a 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance, and 72-months/70,000 miles of power train coverage, which includes an 8-year/100,000 for the hybrid powertrain.

The Lexus 300h is a good value for a luxury sedan with some great features and best in class fuel efficiency.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Lexus ES 300h

VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger Luxury sedan
BASE PRICE___________________ $41,760 (as tested: $53,530)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 4-cylinder engine plus Lexus hybrid drive
DISPLACEMENT_________________ 2.5-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 215 hp (176hp engine + 39hp battery)
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_________________ 163 lb.-ft. @ 3,600-5,200 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 195.9 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,704 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 13.2 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 43 mpg city, 44 mpg highway, 44 combined

ES 300h base price: $41,810 Luxury: $44,665 Ultra Luxury: $45,660

ES 300h base price: $41,810 Luxury: $44,665 Ultra Luxury: $45,660

ES 300h base price: $41,810 Luxury: $44,665 Ultra Luxury: $45,660

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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