2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Sedan Test Drive

“2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Sedan”
A Bigger, Better and more Luxurious Hybrid

OVERVIEW

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division first added a hybrid model to their sixth generation ES Series in the 2013 model year..

The 2020 Lexus ES displays a longer wheelbase than its predecessors along with an increased overall length. It’s also wider. and it sits lower, while showcasing an evolutionary new design, enhanced performance and handling characteristics with elevated levels of refinement.

The first ever hybrid in the ES series made its debut as the ES 300h. The 300h was the first ES to become available with Lexus Hybrid Drive. The new 2020 ES 300h is available in three levels of trim: Base; Luxury; and Ultra Luxury.

SLEEK AERO EXTERIOR DESIGN

In terms of exterior styling and design, the four-door, five-passenger ES models appear the almost identical except for the rear fascia, badging and specific wheels. The Lexus ES 300h leads off featuring Lexus’ signature spindle grille (more reflective of an hour glass really). The grille is flanked at the top by the wraparound headlamps and in the lower fascia by integrated fog lamps. The profile is low and sleek with simple, smoothly flowing lines from front to rear, where the greenhouse, with its blacked-out “B” pillar and coupe-like imagery sweeps almost to the trailing edge of the abbreviated decklid. The drag coefficient 0.27. The lower rocker is pinched in with an accent line movement to the rear wheel well, and the shoulder flows along just outside the hood to the taillamps. The rear fascia of the ES 300h features a subtle horizontal lip, with the exhaust nearly hidden from view.

SUMPTUOUS CABIN

The interior of the ES 300h trim pieces are executed in Bamboo and the cabin design provides a sense of both openness and security. Rear seat leg and knee room is plentiful, as are the headroom and foot room. Seats are sculpted and provide luxurious comfort. with 10-way adjustable power (a 12-way power seat is optionally available with an extendable thigh support cushion. Double hand stitching adds an elegance to the interior ambience.

The cockpit is divided into two separate zones: a display zone, and an operational zone. The instrument panel features a long layered look, placing the main information display directly in the driver’s line of sight, supplemented by a center-mounted 3.5-inch TFT multi-information display. The Remote Touch Interface (control mouse provides intuitive operation and menu selection. There are three selectable drive modes: Eco; Normal and Sport.

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

The interior is host to a complete suite of features that enhance the total driving experience and connectivity and entertainment concerns are addressed with Lexus Premium Sound System with10 Speakers : 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD instrument panel display, aux and 3 USB audio input plugs, Bluetooth streaming audio, hands free phone and automatic phonebook download capabilities, CD player, HD Radio w/iTunes tagging (subscription free traffic and weather updates), integrated SiriusXM satellite radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription), remote touch interface controller, Lexus multimedia system w/8-inch color display and Scout GPS Link with MapStream and TurnStream (complimentary for up to the first 3 years of ownership), Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 Amazon Alexa compatible, Lexus Enform Wi-Fi (complimentary 4GB one-year trial included), Lexus Enform Remote app and Amazon Alexa compatibility (complimentary during first year of ownership), home screen divided into three customizable sections (HVAC, audio, traffic), voice command, Siri Eyes Free and Google voice control Radio w/Seek-Scan, MP3 Player, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System. Speakers are by Pioneer and there’s a Digital Signal Processor along with a Window. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as well.

EFFICIENT LEXUS HYBRID DRIVE

The ES 300h is powered by a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle, DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder with electronically controlled sequential fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing (intake) with intelligence (VVT-i). It generates 156 horsepower from the engine alone (total horsepower from the Lexus Hybrid Drive system is 215), while generating 163 pound feet of torque .The engine resides up front in a transverse orientation, and the driving force for the front wheels geared through an electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with driver selectable modes, sequential shift control and oil cooler.

AS TESTED

My test 2020 Lexus ES 300h hybrid came with an Atomic Silver metallic exterior finish, while the interior was done in Black with genuine wood and metal look trim accents . The base price was set at $41,760., with the final sticker climbing to $53,530 after factoring in the myriad of options, safety features and the delivery, processing and handling fee, and before allowing for the $7,500 federal tax credit or any state or regional credits.

PERFORMANCE

THE 2020 Lexus ES 300H delivers an outstanding ride quality, along with the handling characteristics that one would expect from a luxury sport sedan. Acceleration is more than adequate and the CVT operation is smooth.

The ES 300h adds an EV mode that allows for short distance drive on electric power at reduced speeds (up to 25 mph) from the Hybrid battery pack only, with a seamless transition between gas and electric operation.

Safety features include: Blind Spot Monitoring; Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Alert; Automatic High beam control; Auto Location; Whiplash Injury Lessening front seats; Pre-Collision System; 10 airbags (best in class); and Lexus Safety Connect with Enhanced Roadside Assistance and an Emergency Assistance Button, along with Stolen Vehicle Location services and Automatic Collision Notification with a one-year trial subscription.

THE FINAL TAKE

Bottom line, the new 2020 Lexus ES 300h now offers the equivalent of what earlier LS models provided. It is a truly a fine and luxurious hybrid automobile regardless of trim level.

All new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000 mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage. Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Lexus ES 300h Gas/Electric Hybrid Sedan

Base Price: $41,760.
Price as Tested: $53,530.

Engine Type and Size: 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle, DOHC 16-valve inline four-cylinder with electronically controlled sequential fuel injection and Variable Valve Timing (intake) with intelligence (VVT-i) Plus Lexus Hybrid Drive, Nickel Metal Hydride traction battery

Horsepower (bhp): 156 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./lbs.): 163 @ 4,500 rpm

Total combined horsepower: 215.

Transmission: Single speed Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission – (CVT) with driver selectable modes, sequential shift control and oil cooler.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.

Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut type with gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Rear -Dual-link Independent MacPherson strut type with gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, VSC, with TRAC, EBD, BA and Smart Stop technology. Regenerative braking

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL440 – 235/45 VR18 96W all-season mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels- machine face with short black inner spokes and inner wheel.

Wheelbase: 113.0 inches
Length Overall: 195.9 inches
Width: 73.4 inches
Height: 56.9 inches
Curb Weight: 3,704 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.0 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 43 mpg city /44-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.27
0 – 60 mph: 8.1 seconds

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