The first luxury brand to introduce a hybrid vehicle nearly 10 years ago, Lexus continues its hybrid leadership by offering five models powered by the innovative Hybrid Synergy Drive. The latest addition, the ES 300h, debuted for 2013 as the first-ever ES hybrid.
The ES 300h cuts a striking figure, highlighted by the Lexus spindle grille dramatic L-themed LED daytime running lights and coupe-like profile. It is also a car with striking fuel economy figures, delivering EPA fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg city / 39 mpg highway / 40 mpg combined. That makes the ES 300h one of the most fuel-efficient luxury sedans available. The car’s shape cheats the wind with a low 0.27 coefficient of drag (Cd), which helps reduce fuel consumption and minimize wind noise. The ES 300h conveys its hybrid status in subtle ways, with specific split-five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, lip spoiler, hidden exhaust pipe and blue hybrid badges.
The ES 300h model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with an electric motor to generate 200 total system horsepower. Teamed to the system’s electronic continuously variable transmission, the powertrain can move the ES 300h in rapid fashion, with zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds.
The ES 300h driver can exert control over the car’s responses by selecting from among four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. In certain conditions, while in EV mode, the car can be driven short distances at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides an ideal blend of performance and efficiency for everyday driving. Eco mode favors fuel economy, and Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness for a more engaging driving experience.
In its second year, the new-generation ES 300h gains LED fog lamps with HID headlamps. In addition, now available are heated/ventilated seats in perforated NuLuxe trim. Leather is available, as is semi-aniline leather for a more refined look and feel.
Long a leader in user technology that’s easy to use, Lexus has integrated Sirii Eyes Free Mode, with technology licensed from Apple, in the 2014 ES 350. Compatible with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 models forward, Siri lets you call contacts, select and play music from iTunes, get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps, and much more. So you can keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, Siri can read notifications, read calendar information and allow you to add reminders, calendar appointments and notes.