For those who don’t like to skimp on luxury, but hate the hole in the wallet after filling the gas tank, the Lexus ES 300h is a great compromise. Averaging about 40 mpg (combined city/highway), yet still providing all the high-end features Lexus is known for, the 300h has both beauty and brains. Inside, the ES 300h comes standard with a sunroof, Lexus Safety Connect, satellite radio, Bluetooth and all the music options you could want.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system in the ES 300h features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine, a new, low friction twin cam engine that utilizes a sophisticated power management system, 12.5:1 compression ratio, and Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The beltless motor is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions.
The ES 300h hybrid has four drive modes — Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. The 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 suited to everyday driving, while the Eco mode favors fuel economy. The Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness.
The ES 300h complements the ES 350 lineup, which is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with Dual VVT-i. The six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides enhanced performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency.
The new ES models have 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 proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior. The ES unmistakably bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille.
The LED daytime running lights and combination rear lights reflect the “L” design motif. The ES 350’s rear bumper sports dual exhaust pipes, while the ES 300h hybrid has a distinctive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated spoiler.
The modern interior of the 2014 ES has been designed to provide both a sense of openness and security. New sculptured seats enhance driver and passenger comfort. Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the result of the redesigned and more spacious cabin. Knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is increased by 4.1 inches. The new design also offers more foot room below the front seats.
The MSRP on the 2014 Lexus ES 300h is $39,500.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to <Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com>.