Lexus ES Hybrid Review
The 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid ranks 8 out of 18 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.
Most reviewers applaud the 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid's comfortable interior and outstanding fuel economy, but some dislike its dull handling and confusing infotainment system.
Most automotive journalists find that the four-cylinder engine and electric motor that power the 2015 Lexus 300h deliver acceptable acceleration, but well below that of the V6-powered Lexus ES 350. For an upscale midsize hybrid the ES Hybrid's EPA-estimated 40/39 mpg city/highway is good, but it's stellar when compared with the entire upscale midsize class. Most auto writers are happy with the ES Hybrid’s comfortable ride, but some complain that it handles sloppily, with sluggish steering, poor tire grip and lots of body lean during cornering. Hybrids use regenerative brakes to recover energy, and sometimes they can feel strange compared to normal brakes, but critics say they feel fine in the ES 300h.
The 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid's interior is hushed and opulent, with an attractive design, stunning materials and finely crafted fit and finish, critics say. They find the front and rear seats roomy and supportive; the trunk space is acceptable for a hybrid sedan. Standard features in the 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid include a rearview camera, a moonroof, push-button start, an eight-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio and Lexus’ Display Audio infotainment system, which includes a 7-inch screen. Available features include heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic pre-collision braking, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, smartphone app integration and a navigation system with Lexus’ Remote Touch controller, which operates like a computer mouse and is used to select items on the navigation screen. Some reviewers write that the ES Hybrid’s audio system is complicated and that the optional Remote Touch controller is too sensitive, which can make it difficult to use.
- "While not as engaging to drive as a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Cadillac CTS, the Lexus ES has a reputation for reliability, comfort and a strong resale value that continues to resonate." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With its 2015 ES 300h, Lexus adds fuel-sipping hybrid technology to its plush entry-level luxury sedan. Great fuel economy and Lexus pampering? It's a win-win situation." --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)
- "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 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid has powerful acceleration and a composed ride, according to critics. They also appreciate its sleek interior design and easy-to-use infotainment system.
The diesel-powered BMW 328d gets even better highway fuel economy than the ES Hybrid, and test drivers say it has strong acceleration and very nimble handling. The 328d also earns praise for its user-friendly infotainment system and roomy back seat.
Details: 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid
The 2015 Lexus ES Hybrid 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, the ES 300h, is offered, though a number of option packages are available. The gas-only Lexus ES 350 is reviewed separately. The ES Hybrid was introduced for the 2013 model year and has seen few changes since, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 model years.