2018 Lexus ES 300h Review
2018 Lexus ES 300h – Click above for high resolution image gallery

2018 Lexus ES 300h Review

Car Tested: 2018 Lexus ES 300h; Road Test No. 992; Test Location: Greater Noida

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 74.34 lakhs

The new Lexus ES 300h is spectacular in terms of design, comfort and technology

In the ever rising luxury car market in India, there are certain products that stand out for various reasons like pricing, features, power, etc. One thing to note is that most of the luxury cars in India are Germans but there’s another major player bringing out extremely good products priced at par with the Germans and offering better peace of mind with reliability and relatively lower running costs. Yes, I’m taking about Lexus, and the car we’re driving is the ES which is in its seventh generation now.

Motor Quest: The first generation Lexus ES came out in 1989, based on the Toyota Camry. The ES has always been a very popular car in most markets and has been a successful model for the Japanese automaker. Lexus officially entered India in 2017 and they launched the sixth generation ES here, and now shortly after its global debut, the new ES has been launched in India.

Hard to find a fault with the ES’ design

Exteriors – The 2018 Lexus ES 300h looks gorgeous and the styling oozes class. Lots of sharp elements find their way to the body line and the ES looks very proportionate and grand, reeking the kind of presence a luxo barge should generally have. The spindle grille up front is prominent and I know everyone isn’t a fan of that design but you just can’t ignore it. The headlamps are crafted with a lot of detailing and so is the case with the rest of the car. The alloy wheels have a stylish design and the hollow structure makes them absorb most of the tyre noise so that it doesn’t filter inside the cabin. The rear continues with the car’s bold theme and all in all, the new ES definitely looks like a mixture of modern art and luxury.

The interior is high quality and feels special

Interiors – Just like the exterior, even the cabin of the 2018 Lexus ES 300h is well-finished and comes with exquisite materials used almost everywhere. However, certain bits like the power window switches are low-cost which is a downer. Fit and finish is excellent throughout, all controls are laid out in a very user-friendly manner and the ergonomics are just spot on. Attention to detail is in abundance and there are many small things which are intended to impress the customers and make them feel that they’re indeed travelling in a luxury car. When you sit inside the car, the steering tilts up and the driver’s seat goes backwards so that you get enough space to get in and then they go back to the last saved settings and the same thing happens when you switch off the engine and get out of the car.

The seats are very comfy and there’s no dearth of space

The upholstery is designed to make your skin feel comfy and prevents stickiness

Both the front and rear seats offer tremendous comfort. The seats are well-shaped and kind of hug you from the sides. The centre arm rest in the rear seat gets audio controls too. The boot is large enough and the best part is that the spare tyre is a full sized alloy wheel. Upholstery is top-notch and there’s a general feel-good factor in this cabin. The instrument cluster is digital and above that panel, there are 2 stalks, one on either side that are used for toggling the Sport/Eco drive modes and turning the traction control on and off.

Most users will take time to get familiar with the infotainment system

The ES 300h comes with many features on offer and a buyer will never feel wanting for more equipment. The front seats have a ventilated as well as heating function but funnily the rear seat (where most of the customers of this car will be seated) gets only heating. The 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system sounds very good to the ears but the infotainment system itself isn’t very intuitive to use. It gets a track pad and the layout of the menus and other features takes time getting used to. It also misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which is surprising because it’s available in the US market.