Lexus ES300h: comfort and joy as the Japanese firm aims to beat the Germans


This is an old-school four-door saloon that’s designed to take the fight to the pre-eminent BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6 in the executive class. And the ES300h we’re testing is a mid-life update to the car. The Takumi model, ours is the most luxurious (and therefore expensive) model in the range.

Some basics first. Although the ES name isn’t particularly familiar in the UK, the version we’re testing is the model’s seventh generation. The previous six will have slipped under most people’s radar because in their stead, we got the GS model in Europe. Then in 2018, the GS was replaced by the ES.

Unlike rivals which have an often-confusing array of available power units, the ES comes with just one. That’s a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine supplemented by a hybrid system for a total 218hp. This power unit drives the front wheels through an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Promised economy is 51.3mpg.

First impressions

Externally, the car looks low and sleek in profile. The design at the front won’t be to everyone’s taste but there are no doubts that you’re looking at a Lexus and it is certainly eye-catching.


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