Hybrid cars often get short shrift in a car review, but the 2013 Lexus ES300h is not a hybrid vehicle to discount. Virtually identical to its gas powered twin the ES350, the ES300h is a joy to drive in almost every way that counts for a luxury sedan. The hybrid version uses a 156 horsepower 2.6 liter 4 cylinder gas engine in conjunction with two electric motors. In total, the vehicle can put out almost 200 horsepower. The hybrid vehicle is estimated to have a city mpg of 40 and highway 39 mpg which makes it a virtual leader in gas mileage for a luxury sedan.
But as a luxury sedan, the ES300h is more than a modest consumer of gasoline. The hybrid gas electric engine is so smooth when it transitions from eco mode to regular, that most drivers will never notice. Most drivers will probably prefer the hybrid to the gas powered, due to the extra torque that the electrical motors apply when accelerating. There are three modes of driving–eco, standard and sport. The eco mode limits climate control in order to maximize gas efficiency. The ES300h achieves 60 mph from a dead stop in 8.1 seconds, which is an acceptable pace for a luxury sedan. Some drivers may prefer rear wheel drive ES models to the ES300h’s FWD.
No car review of a luxury sedan would be complete without examining the interior. The cabin has been subtly modified and improved. Nuluxe seats, with the option of leather, come standard. There is now increased rear leg room and a redesigned, more user friendly control system in which the displays comprise the upper part of the dash, while the operations panels take up the lower.
The overall ride should be more comfortable than in the 2012 ES models due to a redesigned rear-suspension geometry and shock tuning. The Mark Levinson audio system utilizes an innovative magnetic stereo system in order to cut weight and increase fuel efficiency without sacrificing sound quality o