In the 2013 we have received first ES hybrid version and for 2014 Lexus ES300h we do not expect any drastic changes. This car combines high level of luxury with improvements in the fuel economy thanks to the hybrid powertrain that Lexus offers.
Distinguisheding an ES has always been like trying to differentiate the flavors in oatmeal– a porcelain bowl of it from room service at the Hyatt, but oatmeal. Lexus’ best-selling sedan boasts incremental managing improvements and refined trip quality in its sixth-generation redesign, but the interior is a variety, and so is my judgment.
2014 Lexus ES300h Changes
Available as a V-6 ES 350 or first-ever hybrid ES 300h, the ES expanded longer and taller for 2014. It now comes from the Toyota Avalon’s longer platform rather than the Camry, with which it traditionally shared underpinnings. At a media sneak peek, I drove both ES drivetrains together with the previous generation.
How It Moves
If standing on the gas, the ES 350’s 3.5-liter V-6 moves out with a muscular exhaust note. A Lexus spokesperson told me it’s a couple of ticks slower than the last ES– a tradeoff for much better gas mileage– but crank the Lexus’ Drive Mode Select to Sport mode, in contrast to Eco or Normal, and sharper accelerator progression renders an even quicker climb. Alas, the six-speed automatic transmission still suffers bewildering incongruities: Sometimes it kicks down a gear or two for instant passing power; other times it hunts aimlessly for the right gear.
Sport mode reduces power-steering aid for palpably better steering feedback. The previous ES had a tendency for the wheel to snap all of a sudden back to.
The 2014 Lexus ES300h pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two motor-generators and a constantly variable automatic transmission for 200 combined horsepower against the ES 350’s 268 hp. At complete bore, the automobile hustles well enough, however it lacks the passing self-confidence deserving of a luxury badge, and the droning, here-it-comes CVT appears anything but fine-tuned.
Like any full hybrid, the 300h can work on electric power at low speeds for short distances; an EV mode, activated via Drive Mode Select, raises the threshold where the car transitions to engine power. Drive Mode Select blocks EV mode if the car’s nickel-metal-hydride battery power is too low or if you press the gas for too much power. Stand on the pedal, even in EV mode, and the ES 300h springs to full power in moments.
Thanks to lower curb weight and much better aerodynamics, EPA mileage in the ES 350 is up to 21/31 mpg city/highway, a total enhancement of about 2 mpg over the last ES. One plus: The ES runs fine on routine fuel; numerous rivals need or advise premium.
No rating for the 2014 Lexus ES300h has been given at this time, but Lexus says it expects the combined rating to be 39 mpg. That would make it the most efficient luxury sedan on the market, though the EPA has yet to give estimates for the redesigned Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
The front seats have stiffer side reinforces, which became noticeable together with the prior ES. It moved to the larger Avalon’s platform, the ES’ cabin space falls closer to that of the revamped Camry: Total volume is 100.1 cubic feet, up 5.2 cubic feet from the last ES, which falls in line with a moonroof-equipped Camry. Manual sunshades in the doors and a power rear shade are optional, however the rear shade requires hollering to the driver, as the deployment controls are up front just.
Trunk volume in the ES 350 is 15.2 cubic feet, up 0.5 cubic feet vs. the last ES. That’s in between the improved BMW 3 Series’ 17 cubic feet and the Acura TL’s surprisingly small 13.1 cubic feet. Common of a hybrid, the 2014 Lexus ES300h places its battery behind the rear seats, which decreases trunk volume to 12.1 cubic feet. Like the prior generation, the ES 350 gets a center pass-through however no folding backseat; the ES 300h has no opening at all. A power-closing trunk is optional.
Remote Touch plays out like a computer system mouse, with haptic feedback to fast-track your guideline to the on-screen choices, which consist of a suite of smartphone-tethered applications such as Yelp, Pandora and Facebook Places by means of Lexus’ Enform system. While the ES lacks the stunning area of the GS’ 12.3-inch system, it’s user-friendly enough to work when the car is stopped.
Requirement functions on the ES 350 include keyless gain access to with push-button start, dual-zone automatic environment control, a moonroof, power front seats, a USB/iPod-comparable CD stereo, Bluetooth phone operation and synthetic leather furniture. Genuine leather, warmed and ventilated seats, front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system and a scenic moonroof are among the options.
Price For ES300h
Lexus ES in the Market
Since this writing, Toyota’s luxury department has yet to price the 2014 Lexus ES300h, which hits dealerships later this year. But the prior-generation sedan ranged from the mid-$30,000 s to the mid-$40,000 s as options ballooned. No contending luxury sedan has the ES beat across the board, however others chip away at its various disadvantages.
The ES is no tarted-up Toyota; the quality gets against a loaded Camry are noticeable, and its strengths are clear. This is the sharpest-looking ES in at least 3 generations, and the hybrid’s 39-mpg EPA integrated score ought to all however ensure more interest.