Provocative Elegance – that is what Lexus likes to call the 2019 Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury sedan’s aggressive design. The low and long roof coupled with the well-sculpted bonnet sits well within the broad shoulders of the vehicle.
Perhaps the most notable is the chiseled rear which serves an aesthetic purpose as much as it does to reduce the coefficient of drag. Move on over to the front, and the sleek lightning shaped headlights along with the bold spindle grille design almost shock buyers into taking the vehicle seriously. However, there is more to this beast’s beauty as we soon found out during the course of this review.
After having reviewed many ES’ in the past, we can safely argue that the 2019 Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury is the best ever. Older models had an almost inoffensive body design; they were dull and arguably devoid of any notable eye-catching features. Even the outgoing generation was mundane, to say the least despite the bold spindle type front grille design.
The Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury 2019 is thankfully based on Toyota’s new Global Architecture or TNGA as it is called, similar to the RAV4, Avalon and Camry. The latest platform widens and stretches the vehicle as compared to previous models. Despite the grille still in your face, this year though it matches the rest of the body’s aesthetic giving it a crisp profile from all angles.
Hop inside the cabin and here too Toyota’s latest design language can be seen across all aspects of its design. Drivers are greeted by a large infotainment screen placed on top of the center stack. The cabin isn’t particularly exciting or boring for that matter, so you feel that the designers are not trying hard enough arguably as they did with the exterior.
The door panels and center console are covered with soft leather, with glossy wood running through sections of the dash. It all feels very premium with the wood option perhaps being the best in our opinion. Overall enough has changed in the cabin allowing us to give it an extra point or two.
The strongest selling points for the 2019 Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury sedan has to be its ride comfort and the quality of the interior. The center stack has a simple layout, an easy to understand climate control switch, and an easy to find volume knob. Even though the center stack buttons work exceptionally well, the infotainment screen does take some getting used to.
The front seats are remarkably comfortable, soft and come with cooling and heating. Taking the 2019 ES on a mini road trip will be a no brainer especially because it is so comfortable. ⠀
Sure the cabin will not win a design award anytime soon, but it is still roomy, comfortable and very premium feeling compared to the competition. It can comfortably accommodate five adults and still have reasonably good space. People seated in the rear have 39.2 inches of room, while those seated in front having a generously large 42.4 inches. The 37 inches of headroom ensures that almost nobody will complain of not having enough headroom except for if they are over 7ft tall.
The harshness levels, vibration, and noise, are kept to a minimum thanks to excellent soundproofing. While you can still hear the engine buzz when going hard on the throttle, daily driving is exceptionally silent. We did hear some wind and tire noise at high speeds but that’s something which is hard to engineer out of any vehicle.
Performance and Handling ⠀
Right off the bat, we have to say that the 2019 ES 300h’s hybrid engine is amongst the best we’ve seen. The electric motor is paired with a set of planetary gears which dole out exceptional power along with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and one additional electric drive motor. The peak output is 215 horsepower which is around 15HP compared to last year’s ES300. Plus, the ES can drive on only electricity at speeds of up to 35 mph provided that you don’t go hard on the accelerator.
The only drawback with the 2019 ES300h Sports Luxury Sedan is despite all that power the car isn’t the quickest in its class. It is good compared to other luxury hybrids like the MKZ Hybrid. But the ES’s sleek look can fool you into thinking that this is a drag race winner when in fact it is far from it. That said Lexus never designed the vehicle for quick acceleration or to win drag races, it was intended to be luxurious, and the excellent steering control does precisely that.
Owners of the 2019 ES will get the best performance out of the vehicle at highway speeds. It is quiet, comfortable and tends to soak up most bumps without a hiccup. All you need is to leave the car in ‘Comfort’ mode and watch the hybrid powertrain do it thing.
Fuel Economy ⠀⠀
Don’t expect a similar fuel economy to the Toyota Prius, that said it still has an EPA rating of 43 miles to the gallon for city driving, and 46 on the highway. Its nearest competitor the MKZ Hybrid falls short at just 42 mpg for city and 39 for highway driving. The only vehicle in its class that comes near these figures is the Avalon Hybrid at 43 mpg for city and 44 on the highway. ⠀ ⠀
The new Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury is a significant leap forward; it offers space, comfort and many other features that drivers of its predecessor may have wished it had. The drive is buttery smooth, and the ES300 looks the part of a sporty sports sedan. We think it is an excellent alternative to the AMGs out there which end up being more expensive than the ES but arguably offering the same ride quality.
Additional DetailsCar Make: Lexus
Car Make: ES300h Sports Luxury