The 2019 Lexus ES 300h comes roaring back with more power than ever. This latest generation of the luxury mid-sized hybrid adds 15 horses, increasing to 215 hp from last year’s 200, It also improves on its combined mpg rating by 4 mpg, achieving an estimated 44 mpg versus 2018’s 40; the highway mpg is now rated at a noteworthy 8 mpg more than the previous. It also has an updated look, with a sleeker profile and dominant grille that Lexus designers chose for a more athletic and aggressive appearance. Other sporty elements on this new edition include paddle shifters, quick steering, and updated dampers.
The ES 300h is still powered by the same 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, one for each axle. The primary motor and the regenerative braking system charge the battery pack, which is smartly tucked below the back-row floor to maximize passenger space.
There are three levels of ES 300h to choose from: the base, the Luxury, and the Ultra Luxury. Options packages include the Premium Package (highlight: heated and ventilated leather front seats), the Navigation Package, and the Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package. A la carte options range from a heated steering wheel with wood and leather trim to triple-beam LED headlamps.
This is a Lexus, so you know already that it’s exquisitely comfortable and uncommonly quiet. The 2019 model has a longer wheelbase that adds 2.5 inches of length, which along with 2 more inches of width delivers a tad more room for passengers and another 1.5 cubic feet of trunk space. Noise-reducing wheels are available to make the ride even more peaceful and enjoyable. Authentic Japanese design elements in the seat stitching and interior trim make the ES 300h’s cabin artful and unique, and the dash and instrument panel have been redesigned. Bluetooth compatibility, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay capability are all standard equipment to enhance communication and connectivity.
The excellent Lexus Safety System is of course in place for ultimate occupant safety. This includes adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane departure assist, auto high beams, and pedestrian detection. A backup camera is also standard equipment, and a blind-spot detection system is available. State-of-the-art passive features, including ten airbags, protect passengers when there is an impact.