This week we are wafting about in comfort spending time with the new Lexus ES 300h. This is a car that has received various exterior design updates, including a new grille pattern, new headlights, more colour options to include this Graphite paint our test car was in. There is also a number of new wheel options starting off with the17-inch wheel which now features thicker spoke ends that are layered in “V” formations for a nicer design. The larger 18-inch wheel, which is available on Base and Luxury trims, has also been updated with a split 10-spoke design with two-tone Black and machined finish. An additional 18-inch five-spoke alloy noise reduction wheel is available with the Premium trims. ES F Sport models get exclusive 19-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with a black finish that fills the arches nicely!
In true Lexus fashion, the 2022 ES has taken several luxurious steps forward in the interior department and once again stepped up to the mark to ensure it can compete with its many rivals. The brand has continued to embrace driver-focused updates to the Lexus Multimedia System and available Navigation System. The standard 8.0-inch or 12.3-inch colour multimedia displays have been moved closer to the driver by 4.3-inches. This was an essential move as it now features touch-screen functionality, in addition to the remote touch interface, for intuitive driver and front passenger interaction. In fact everything is within easy reach when you are behind the drivers wheel and this new streamlined instrument panel design really embraces seamless cabin integration and does away with the mountain of buttons from outgoing models.
There’s not much to choose from in the power department really because the new ES is available with just the one 2.5-litre hybrid engine. This naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 29kW electric motor is paired with a CVT automatic gearbox and power is sent to the front-wheels. It’s a smooth engine we are familiar with from the likes of the Rav 4 but it can get a little shouty when you sink the go pedal. Often these modern Hybrid systems feel like your clutch is on the way out but in fact, it’s the way it delivers the power through the electric drivetrain. The revs don’t necessarily match the speed but by adopting a slightly different driving style, you will never notice!
This has to be where the Lexus ES really shines! Continuing the brand’s commitment to safety the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 has been further enhanced and is now standard on all trim levels. Already one of the most sophisticated systems of its kind, LSS+ 2.5 adds new capabilities to provide additional safety to the driver and passengers. The Pre-Collision System (PCS), which include Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection and Bicyclist Detection, features an enhancement to the lens camera and millimeter-wave radar elements to give even sharper response times. It also now has Intersection Turning Assist (ITA), Emergency Steering Assist (ESA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), which can be activated above 50 kph and is designed to perform vehicle-to-vehicle distance controls. DRCC also includes a new feature that allows for smooth overtaking of slower vehicles. If traveling behind a vehicle going slower than the preset speed, once the driver engages the indicator, the system will provide an initial increase in power in preparation for changing lanes. After the driver changes lanes, the vehicle will resume acceleration to the original preset driving speed. Add to this Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/ SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Road Sign Assist (RSA) and you are surely in one of the safest cars available on Irish roads!
Entry level pricing for Lexus ES 300h ownership kicks off at roughly €54,000 for a Dynamic specification Trim. Next on the ladder is the F Sport model starting at €61,000 followed by the top of the range Premium specification priced upwards of €67,000. Like all Lexus models currently for sale in Ireland there are various finance and PCP deals available through your local Lexus dealer.
It is no secret that the ultimate goal from Lexus was to deliver a new generation of vehicle that is more balanced, refined in control, and engaging than ever before. By working tirelessly on linear steering, brake responses, and optimised handling with exceptional ride quality, the result is a car that is very pleasurable to live with. Is it engaging to the same degree as a 5-Series BMW or Audi A6? Perhaps not but I’d argue you get a lot more for your money with the Lexus. Is it as refined or sumptuous as an E-Class Mercedes inside? Again possibly not, but it’s not far off! As a package it is most certainly a worthy alternative to its many rivals. For a technology and engineering standpoint the Lexus is second to none. You know you are buying reliability, quality and one of the most economic vehicles in this segment. The stress free and super frugal Hybrid offers you the very best of both worlds. No need to charge, ample power and that 3 year, or 100,000km warranty with 5 year cover for your hybrid battery adding further peace of mind. We enjoyed our time with the new Lexus ES 300h and look forward to seeing more on Irish roads.
Slightly Rev Happy