2017 Lexus ES300h Review
Car Tested: 2017 Lexus ES300h; Test Location: Ooty
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 67.18 lakhs
The hybrid luxury sedan is super comfortable & good for the environment
After a really long wait, Lexus finally entered the Indian market officially. The company is currently offering its cars via the CBU route and they have launched 3 vehicles here. We tested the 2017 Lexus ES300h first and this is a luxury sedan that is offered with a hybrid powertrain and is aimed at those seeking utmost comfort.
The Lexus ES300h shares its underpinnings and powertrain with the Toyota Camry Hybrid but it gets major revisions to the exteriors and interiors. Talking about the exteriors, you get the spindle-shaped Lexus grille up front which is finished in high quality chrome and makes the car look bold. The ES isn’t an out-and-out stunner and looks a tad quirky. Lexus has incorporated the L-shaped styling elements across the vehicle. The fog lamps also get an L-shaped housing. The side profile of the ES300h looks very clean while the rear is also neat-looking. The luxury sedan has an executive look to it.
The dashboard has a very ergonomic layout and is finished in good quality leather. The instrument cluster displays a variety of information since this is a hybrid while on the centre console you get a large screen for the infotainment system. The screen can be controlled via a knob on the console since it isn’t a touchscreen. The console gets a lot of buttons and you can easily make out that it is a Japanese car based on the quality and fit & finish of the buttons in general. The seats come wrapped in leather and the front seats are power adjustable. They are very comfortable and supportive. Moving to the rear, again the seats are large and the amount of space is excellent. You get good under thigh and lower back support. The rear seat of the ES300h is indeed the place to be in if you like to be chauffeur driven.
The hybrid powertrain offers decent performance & good efficiency
Under the hood of the Lexus ES300h is a hybrid powertrain which consists of a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor. The total power output combined is 202 HP while peak torque is 213 Nm at 4500 RPM. The powertrain is matched to an e-CVT transmission. Start the ES and the first thing you notice is how silent the car is. The car starts moving gently with light throttle inputs and the power is delivered in a very linear fashion. The grunt from the powertrain is satisfying but not too punchy. From standstill, the ES300h hits 100 km/hr in 8.5 seconds.
At higher RPMs, the engine starts feeling noisy and that’s the thing with CVT cars that the acceleration doesn’t really match the noise they’re making. You get Eco, Normal and Sport modes. We drove in Eco mode for a while and it offers sedate performance with an aim of improving fuel efficiency. In Sport mode, the engine feels punchier and offers a bit more eager performance. There is also a pure EV mode on offer which works when the speeds are low and when you start accelerating more, the engine starts. The transmission also gets a Sport mode along with a manual mode and the Sport mode made acceleration a bit more eager. The ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency is 17.8 km/l while an actual figure of 12-13 km/l is attainable with not-too-hard driving.