By Asian Journal Auto Editor
For 2017, the Lexus ES 300h has very changes to its premium luxury sedan. There is an updated 2016 version of the now signature Lexus “Spindle” grille, sharper LED headlights, restyled fog lights and more chrome trim. New LED taillights, reshaped exhaust tips, and new wheels and colors from last years updates complete the look. Inside, the ES has alternative new interior trim finishes. Advanced safety technologies now include standard Backup Camera, Rain-sensing Wipers and Lexus Safety System+ with Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams and Pre-Collision System. The interiors now features Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Remote Touch Interface, and 4.2 multi-information display. Wwith a rumoured redesign about two years away, the ES 300h is still a very impressive car. For starters it incredibly roomy with enough back seat room for three adults and enough decent luggage room.
At the heart of the ES 300h is the Lexus Hybrid Drive system comprising a: 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine, a high efficiency electric motor and battery system designed to improve fuel economy and durability. Combined power is 200 hp. It probably does not sound like a lot, but the ES 300h it is a hybrid and besides, if you want more power there is two other non-hybrid version of the ES 300 with a 3.5-litre V6 with 268 horses. Fuel Rating (L/100KM) for the Lexus Hybrid Drive is rated at an impressive 5.8/6.1 (City/Hwy).
The signature Lexus design of the new ES features a lower, progressive profile, and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive low slung, sleek proportions.
The 2017 ES 300h hybrid features a distinctive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated spoiler. It looks good from any angle.
We tested a high option 2017 model in a stunning Caviar black paint that really sparkled in the recent sunshine we had on the west coast. Options on our tester included the touring package that included heated, power, tilt, telescoping steering wheel, Blind spot monitoring system, Rear Cross Traffic Alert system, Single in-dash DVD player, Display screen, Leather Seat Surfaces, Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Power Rear Window Sunshade, Rear door sunshade, Navigation System, Remote Touch Interface, Rain Sensing Wipers, Woodgrain Trim, Auto-levelling LED Headlamps and Premium Illuminated Entry System. Oh by the way, the simply fabulous Lexus’ Mark Levinson sound system and the large panoramic sunroof are also available on all trim lines.
On the road the ES 300h hybrid offers the driver four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. EV mode allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favours fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness. On the highway, the ES performs very well with its firm, yet comfortable ride and ability to shrug off rough roads. Steering is light and linear, but not as sporty as other more performance orientated Lexus models. It has less power and a less aggressive posture.
An array of safety features aid the driver. The available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps detect vehicles in side blind spots. The RCTA alerts the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. Available Lane Departure Alert (LDA) is integrated with automatic high beam dimming technology. The available Pre-Collision System (PCS) uses sub-millimetre wave radar to detect obstructions and prepare the vehicle for a potential collision. The ES 300h is not the top sports sedan it could be as its hybrid unit errs for fuel economy than performance. However with its roomy, luxurious interior, excellent reliability and resale the ES 300h is a brilliant example of attention to detail and superb execution in the premium sector. Highly recommended
2017 Lexus ES 300h: Base priced MSRP: $46,200.
Price as tested with options AC tax, Options, Freight and PDI $52,471.