2017 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Sedan Test Drive Review

2017 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Sedan Test Drive Review
- the Lexus ES arrived in 1990 keeping comfort as top most priority, adopted aggressive spindle grille in recent years, did not provide sportiness and performance, one of the few models that does not offer an F Sport package

- majority ES sales are of the V-6 powered ES350 model, 268 horsepower, brisk acceleration, surprising customers don’t opt for the ES300h hybrid

- quieter, slower, more efficient hybrid, lofty 40-mpg EPA ratings

- ES300h’s hybrid, a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four, two electric motors, 200 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, two seconds behind the ES350

- similar to Toyota hybrid systems, adequate torque for more sedate driving, the ES300h deftly and smoothly blends electric and gasoline power

- ES floats softly in a manner that’s not even found in Buicks anymore

- light and heavily boosted steering combines with ample body roll to make for a ponderous sedan that resists enthusiastic driving

- 172-foot stop from 70 mph is adequate, the pedal feel is unpredictable and unnatural

- wide, flat front comfortable seats with no lateral support, cushy and plush interior, lazy large wood-and-leather steering wheel

- knobs and buttons twirl and push with nice weighting and precise action

- standard NuLuxe leather upholstery is soft enough

- rear seat boasts expansive leg and headroom

- Remote Touch interface mouselike controller diverts far too much attention from the road, controls the large central display screen

- gas-electric ES a tough sell considering its fuel economy, 40 mpg combined, our averaged 26 mpg overall, just 1 mpg better than the last ES350, the ES300h’s 37-mpg result in our 75-mph highway, still 4 mpg less than a conventionally powered BMW 330i’s impressive 41-mpg result

- hybrid’s advantages eroding over competitors’ nonhybrid drivetrains

- Lexus could sell more ES300h models if it took a page from the Lincoln MKZ’s book and priced the hybrid at the same level as its conventional gasoline counterpart

Starting Price $42,815
Vehicle Type 4 door sedan, front engine, front motor, front wheel drive
Engine -- DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 156 hp, 156 lb-ft -- permanent-magnet synchronous AC electric motor, 141 hp, 199 lb-ft -- combined output, 200 hp -- 1.6-kWh nickel-metal-hydride battery pack
Transmission continuously variable automatic, manual shifting mode
Wheelbase 111.0 in
Length 193.3 in
Width 71.7 in
Height 57.1 in
Curb weight 3743 lb
Passenger volume 100 cu ft
Cargo volume 12 cu ft
0-60 mph 7.8 sec
0-100 mph 20.6 sec
Top speed 116 mph
Rolling start (5-60 mph) 7.9 sec
Top gear(30-50 mph) 4.2 sec
Top gear(50-70 mph) 5.3 sec
Braking (70-0 mph) 172 ft
Fuel economy (city/highway) 40/39 mpg
C/D observed 26 mpg
Pros better cabin and rear seat, smooth and quiet operation
Cons fuel economy, poor brake pedal fee