2018 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid

#124
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

7.0

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

Imagine a car that offers you all the comforts of a luxury sedan along with the efficiency of hatchback, at a price point that rivals the entry level executive segment. Too far-fetched it seems, right? Well, Lexus seems to have managed to do this and more, with their ES 300h hybrid sedan.

The competition to the ES hybrid sedan comes in the form of Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and Infiniti Q50 Hybrid. All these cars are similar in the technology they use and the goal they wish to achieve, but they are extremely different in the way they set out to achieve it. So, is the Lexus the better car amongst the competition? Only one way to find out!


7.2/10
Features

 

5.7/10
Engine

 

7.6/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.6/10
Interior

 

5.7/10
Exterior

 

8.2/10
Safety

 
 
 

The biggest sell for this cruiser is the spacious rear seats, great for the people who would actually buy these cars. It can transport for up to five passengers in extreme comfort, all while returning a fuel economy around 40 mpg.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Features

7.2/10

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h is available in only one trim, which costs a moderately high amount of $41,820. For that money, you get a lot of bells and whistles, along with the impressively well finished cabin. The space inside is quite generous, which is usually expected from a car in this price range.

Trim

ES 300h

MSRP

$41,820

Key Features

  • Efficient hybrid powertrain returns high fuel economy
  • Luxurious interior with impressive fit and finish
  • Plenty of rear legroom, even for tall passengers
  • Lots of standard driver aids, and plenty of optional ones

We recommend

There is only one trim available, and it is a good one too. There are various options though, which increase the price steeply. Choose only the options you might need, or the ones that don't dent your budget.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Engine

5.7/10

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h luxury sedan comes with a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, allowing it to achieve better fuel economy than its V6-powered ES 350 sibling. It's sold in a single, well-equipped trim level, with a number of available feature packages and stand-alone options -Edmunds.com

The Lexus ES 300h is powered by two different mini power plants, a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The gasoline engine is a 2.5 liter inline 4, with intelligent variable valve timing to improve efficiency. The other is a high output, permanent magnet, electric drive motor, which can operate independently from the engine. The combined output is 200 horsepower, and 156 pound-feet of torque, which aren't really earthshattering figures.

Even with the low output, the instant torque from the electric motor deliver great relief, along with a wave of torque. The gasoline engine delivers power to the front wheels via an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission, which is efficient even though it isn't sporty.

Models

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

MSRP

$41,820

$35,605

$37,500

$50,600

Engine

2.5L l4

2.0L l4

2.5L l4

3.5L l6

Transmission

CVT Automatic

CVT Automatic

CVT Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

200 HP

188 HP

200 HP

360 HP

Torque

156 lb.-ft.

129 lb.-ft.

156 lb.-ft.

258 lb.-ft.

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is slightly less powerful than the Lexus, and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid makes the exact same power and torque figures. The Infinity Q50 Hybrid is the most powerful car in this comparison, and by quite a margin.

Acceleration

The only problem with a heavy luxury car is poor performance, and that is compounded by the fact the Lexus has very modest amount of power. It takes a lethargic 8.1 seconds to from 0 to 60 mph, and quarter mile comes up in 15.8 seconds. It also has various driving modes to select for different types of driving.

Models

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infiniti Q50 Hybrid LUXE

0-60 MPH

8.1 sec

7.1 sec

6.1 sec

5.0

Quarter mile

15.8 sec

16.6 sec

14.5 sec

13.5

Engine

2.5L

2.0L

2.5L

3.5L

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.4

4.4

4.4

6.1

The Lincoln is a whole second quicker than the Lexus to the 60 mph mark, which isn't impressive either. The Toyota is quicker by another second, which although still not quick, isn't too bad either. The Infinity is quicker still by another second, which brings it closer to acceptable levels of performance.

Braking and Handling

Braking duties on the Lexus are handled by both traditional and modern means. There are ventilated discs in the front, solid discs in the rear, and regenerative braking all around. Combined with a curb weight of over 3 and a half thousand pounds, the car takes a moderate 126 feet.

The ES 300h is focused more on comfort than handling, and as such is not the most entertaining car to drive. The brakes take but a mere touch to engage, as the braking regenerative system lies waiting for an opportunity. Although, the spongy pedal feel robs the system of any proper feedback. Even the steering is devoid of any feedback, which makes the driving experience less than enjoyable.

Model

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

Brake Front (in.)

11.6

12.4

11.7

12.6

Brake Rear (in.)

11.0

12.4

11.1

12.1

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3,682

3,871

3,594

4,015

60-0 MPH (ft.)

126

116

118

121

The competition is better in braking than the Lexus, although just by a hair's breadth. None of the cars here have great handling, and all of them offer excellent rides. The Infinity is the heaviest car here, and although the weight doesn't affect the performance, it does affect the handling a lot.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Fuel Economy

7.6/10

The primary job of every hybrid car is to be the most fuel-efficient automobile ever designed. The Lexus works great in that regard, achieving 40 miles per gallon in the city and 39 on the highway with overall fuel economy figure reaching the 40 miles per gallon mark.

Model

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

MPG (city)

40

41

40

27

MPG (highway)

39

38

39

32

MPG (combined)

40

40

40

29

The Lincoln is slightly more efficient than the Lexus in the city, and a little less on the highway, which brings the overall efficiency level up to the same 40 miles per gallon mark. The Toyota posts the exact same figures as the Lexus, while the heaviest and the most powerful Infinity is the least efficient car here.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Interior

6.6/10

Aside from minor issues with getting into and out of the car, the ES 300h is easy to live with. Highlights include fantastic outward visibility and a spacious cabin. -Edmunds.com

Seating and Comfort

The ES 300h has a very plush and comfy interior. It seats 5 people in extreme comfort, with lots of space both in the front and back. There is plenty of legroom especially in the back, which is great for the people who like being chauffeured around. The seats are very comfortable, even over large distances, and the climate control system helps control the atmosphere inside the cabin.

Model

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.5/57.6/41.9

37.9/57.7/44.3

37.6/58.2/42.1

39.5/56.7/44.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.5/55.0/40.0

36.5/55.3/37.0

37.9/57/39.2

36.8/56.1/35.1

The competition also seats 5, similar to the Lexus, although only the Toyota Avalon has the same rear seat space as the Lexus. The front seat space however, is quite generous in all these cars and even the interiors are extremely well built.

Infotainment system

The ES 300h comes standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen (12.3 inch optional). There are also plenty of other features on offer, some of which are listed below:

  • 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System
  • DVD/CD player
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • Lexus Enform connected services

Cargo Capacity

The battery pack of a hybrid car takes up a lot of space in the trunk, which is a problem that plagues every hybrid car in the market. The trunk has a disappointingly low 12.1 liters of space, which is barely enough for two weeks' worth of groceries.

Model

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

Cargo Volume

12.1

11.1

14.0

9.4

All the cars here have small trunks, with the Infinity G50 hybrid deserving a special mention. Its lack of space is downright hurtful, and if you plan to ever have luggage in the back, then this the one car you should steer clear of.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Exterior

5.7/10

It costs just a bit more than the related Toyota Avalon Hybrid, but the Lexus is undeniably the more luxurious of the two. -Edmunds.com

Dimensions and Weight

The Lexus belongs to the midsize luxury sedan segment and has moderate dimensions and surprisingly light weight for a hybrid car. The length is a little more than 190 inches, and more than 70 inches wide. Negotiating traffic could be a little difficult during rush hour, but not by much.

Ground clearance is near six inches, not enough to go off-road, but enough to tackle high speedbumps and loitering rocks on the road. Even the wheelbase is long, in order to free as much space in the cabin as possible.

Model

Lexus ES 300h

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

Curb weight (lbs.)

3,682

3,871

3,594

4,015

Length(in)

193.3

194.1

195.3

189.6

Width(in)

71.7

73.4

72.2

71.8

Height(in)

57.1

58.1

57.5

57.2

Ground clearance (in)

5.9

5.0

5.5

5.1

Wheelbase (in)

111.0

112.2

111.0

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

62.6/62.0

62.3/62.0

62.6/62.2

60.4/61.4

The competition has nearly the same dimensions and weight as the Lexus, with the exception of the Infinity Q50 hybrid, which is quite a bit smaller yet a lot heavier. All the cars have large wheelbase in order to free up the rear legroom even more.

Exterior Features

The exterior of the Lexus also has a few features to boast. These are as follows:

  • Projector headlamp
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Spindle grille
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Safety

8.2/10

Safety Ratings and Reliability

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h comes fitted with a lot of safety equipment to keep its passengers safe. The standard safety features are as follows:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS and Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Lexus Enform w/Safety Connect Emergency SOS
  • Lexus Safety System+ Forward Collision
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) w/Steering Assist Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) w/Steering Assist Lane Departure Warning
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver and Passenger Knee Airbag and Rear Side-Impact Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Outboard Front Lap and Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners

Safety Ratings by NHSTA

Overall Rating

5 Star

Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating

4 Star

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver

5 Star

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger

4 Star

Overall Side Crash Rating

5 Star

Side Barrier Rating

5 Star

Side Barrier Rating Driver

5 Star

Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat

5 Star

Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat

5 Star

Combined Side Rating Front Seat

5 Star

Combined Side Rating Rear Seat

5 Star

Rollover Rating

4 Star

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Competition

Lexus ES 300h vs. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Premiere

The Lincoln MKZ hybrid Premiere is a great car at a great price and is mostly comfortable for a family of four (or five). The fuel savings are exceptional, especially in the urban crawl, and although it isn't the best car in this segment, the Lincoln manages to hold its own.

The mild-mannered dynamics, along with the lack of rear seat space and trunk space, push the Lincoln towards the back of the segment. Even though it is a great car for the price, we would have wanted a little more from it.

Lexus ES 300h vs. Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE Plus

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid is the closest to Lexus in terms of everything and is better in performance. What's more, the Toyota is actually cheaper too, which makes it a much more lucrative buy.The Lexus however has more cabin comforts, more space, and better interiors. If you are looking for the best luxury experience while also saving the polar bears, then the Lexus makes more sense.

Lexus ES 300h vs. Infinity Q50 Hybrid LUXE

The Infinity G50 Hybrid is the heaviest, most powerful and consequently the least efficient hybrid system here. The benefits of the hybrid system are actually negated in this car, as both the performance and the efficiency suffer.The Lexus hybrid is a great car, let alone a great hybrid car, and it comfortably outperforms the Infinity in the important aspects.

2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid Final Verdict

Lexus has a winner in its hand with the ES 300h, and it sure to become popular in the near future. If only it was a little quicker, it would have been the perfect car, although the backseat passengers wouldn't care much for the pace. Overall, it's a luxurious car with oodles of space and lots of gadgets onboard.

 

Pros

Quiet and smooth operation

Plush cabin

Spacious cabin

Fuel efficiency

Cons

Road noise seeps into the cabin

Poor acceleration

Not particularly fun to drive

What's New?

No major changes


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$41820

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

152 cu. in.

horsepower

156 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

156 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

cvt

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11 in. ventilated front disc/11.6 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

111 in.

length

193.3 in.

width

71.7 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

3682 lbs.

ground clearance

5.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

100.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

12.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

14400 lbs.

payload capacity

1058 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.6 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

40/40/39 mpg

highway range

670.8 mi.

highway range (evs/hybrids)

670.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid in Silver Lining Metallic color  2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid in Matador Red Metallic color  2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid in Eminent White Pearl color  2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid in Caviar color  2018 Lexus ES 300h hybrid in Atomic Silver color
Silver Lining Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.2

Engine

5.7

Fuel Economy

7.6

Interior

6.6

Exterior

5.7

Safety

8.2

Comfort

8.5

Driving

6.4

7.0

OVERALL RATING

Top Lexus Cars

2018 Lexus GS 300
8.1/10

Engine: 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2018 Lexus LS 500 hybrid
8.0/10

Engine: 416 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2018 Lexus GS F
7.8/10

Engine: 467 hp @ 7100 rpm, 5 L V8

MPG: 19 combined

2019 Lexus RX 350
8.0/10

Engine: 295 hp @ 6300 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined

2019 Lexus GS F
7.8/10

Engine: 467 hp @ 7100 rpm, 5 L V8

MPG: 19 combined

2019 Lexus LX 570
7.3/10

Engine: 383 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.7 L V8

MPG: 15 combined

2019 Lexus RC 350
7.3/10

Engine: 311 hp @ 6600 rpm, 3.5 L V6

MPG: 23 combined