Lexus ES Hybrid Review
The 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid ranks 15 out of 23 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.
Critics say that the all-new 2013 Lexus ES 300h is spacious and comfortable, but that it also falls short with lackluster handling and confusing electronic features.
The 2013 Lexus ES 300h has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which most auto writers say provide adequate power. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) sends power to the front wheels. Most rcritics offer little comment about the CVT, though one critic says it sounds unrefined under hard acceleration. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 40/39 mpg city/highway, which is significantly better than the Lexus HS 250h that the ES Hybrid replaces. Few auto writers consider the all-new ES 300h fun to drive, noting that its suspension is tuned for comfort rather than sport. However, most agree that the 2013 ES 300h delivers the posh ride quality that they’ve come to expect from the Lexus ES. The ES 300h's strong reliability rating also helps it stand out from the pack.
The all-new ES 300h and gas-only ES 350 are built on the same platform as the new Toyota Avalon. As a result, reviewers note that the new ES 300h has a spacious cabin and a roomy back seat. The ES 300h’s cabin also shares many styling cues with the Lexus GS Hybrid, and test drivers say that the ES 300h’s build quality is top-notch. However, few reviewers like the ES 300h’s available infotainment and navigation system, saying that the controller is difficult to use, and that some functions are inaccessible when the ES Hybrid is in motion. Standard equipment includes a moonroof, push-button start and an eight-speaker stereo with a USB port and satellite radio. Features like navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a backup camera, bamboo trim, leather and heated front seats are available either in packages or as standalone options.
- "Of course, the hybrid trumps the V-6 model on economy: 40/39 city/highway mpg versus 21/31. That taken into consideration, the ES 300h really is a standout: a luxuriously appointed, hugely spacious sedan that returns 40 miles per gallon in urban settings -- nearly double that of its V-6 sibling." -- Motor Trend
- "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
- "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
- "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
Other Cars to Consider
The Chevrolet Volt isn’t as spacious or luxurious inside as the Lexus ES 300h, but reviewers like the Volt’s composed handling and high-tech powertrain. The Volt can also go up to 38 miles on electric power alone, and like the ES 300h, it earns great safety ratings.
The Buick Regal eAssist can’t match the ES 300h’s fuel economy, but it still uses less fuel than most upscale midsize cars. Although the Regal eAssist costs significantly less than the ES 300h, it comes with more standard features and wins reviewer praise for its balanced handling.
Details: 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid
The 2013 Lexus ES 300h seats five and has front-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter 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 ES 300h is all-new for 2013 and shares its platform with the gas-only Lexus ES 350.