Lexus ES Hybrid Review
The 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid ranks 5 out of 13 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Lexus ES Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.
While the 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid gets great fuel economy and has a comfortable, luxurious interior, reviewers say some shoppers may be turned off by its uninspiring handling and quirky tech features.
The Lexus ES 300h has a four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, and test drivers say the ES 300h has sufficient power, though it’s notably slower than its gas-only sibling, the V6-powered Lexus ES 350. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The Lexus ES Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 40/39 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car. The ES 300h is tuned for comfort and the ride is smooth and serene, auto writers say. However, they point out that’s not likely to matter to shoppers who prize comfort over sporty handling.
Upscale materials and superb fit and finish make the 2014 ES 300h’s cabin feel luxurious, auto writers say. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, they note, and there’s space to stretch out in the back seat with plenty of legroom. Standard features on the Lexus ES Hybrid include a moonroof, an eight-speaker CD audio system, an auxiliary jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone connectivity and satellite radio. Optional features include an upgraded stereo with surround sound, bamboo trim, a power rear sunshade, navigation, Siri integration for iPhone, parking sensors, a backup camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning. Test drivers find the controller for the available navigation and infotainment systems difficult for drivers to operate, and they’re frustrated that some audio functions aren’t available while the car is in motion.
- “If you have an eye on the bottom line, you'll find that loaded versions of Toyota's very similar Avalon Hybrid and the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid will give you much the same fuel economy fix at a significantly lower cost. All that said, we like the Lexus ES 300h quite a bit, and it's a fine choice if you want both the comforts of an entry-level luxury sedan and the fuel economy that only a hybrid car can deliver." -- Edmunds
- "This is the sharpest-looking ES in at least three generations, and the hybrid's 39-mpg EPA combined rating should all but guarantee more interest. But too many surprise-and-delight features fall flat." -- Cars.com (2013)
- "The new hybrid adds to the value - it's a large car with decent power that delivers 40 mpg. But those looking for a sporty option will want to look elsewhere." -- MSN (2013)
- "True the ES won't land on the shopping lists of many enthusiasts, but for those on the opposite end of the scale, the 2013 ES 300h might just be the perfect vehicle." -- Left Lane News (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid capable of running on electric power alone for up to 38 miles. While reviewers say it has a cramped back seat, they praise its refined powertrain and say it drives much like a gas-only car.
The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is all-new for 2014 and reviewers say it has oodles of tech features and an intuitive infotainment system. While the Q50 Hybrid uses more fuel than the ES 300h, it’s also a lot more powerful, and reviewers love the acceleration that the Q50 Hybrid’s V6 engine and electric motor provide.
Details: 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid
The 2014 Lexus ES 300h seats five and has front-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor are paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Only one trim is offered, though a number of option packages are available. The gas-only Lexus ES 350 is reviewed separately. The ES 300h was introduced for the 2013 model year and has seen few changes since, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.