The new 7th generation Lexus hybrid electric ES 300h (a
fourth generation hybrid) has been improved on several fronts. We check out the
changes and its overall performance.
2487 Inline L4 petrol
Permanent Magnet Motor
Number of battery cells
Hybrid System (Max output)
Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission
Length X width x height (mm)
4975 x 1865 x 1445
AND FEATURES OF 2018 LEXUS ES 300H HYBRID ELECTRIC
I must confess that there was a time when I found the
spindle shaped grill of the Lexus somewhat odd. But the more I gazed at it and
the more I watched it carefully, I realised it was a masterpiece of sorts, like
a page out of Picasso’s genius, very stylish and very upmarket. Overall, the
new Lexus ES 300h looks very sophisticated and modern. Built on a brand new
Global Architecture (GA)-K platform, the new ES 300h is wider and lower than
its predecessor. The overall length of the car is now 4975mm, i.e. 65mm more
than its predecessor. The wheelbase too is 50mm longer at 2870mm. While the
width has been increased by 45mm at 1865mm, the car’s height has been reduced
by 5mm at 1445mm. The almost coupé
shaped car has a strong face with its spindle grille and compact LED headlamps.
The headlamps now comprise of 3 eye Bi-beam LEDs, similar to the one that is
there in the top end LS and Lexus vehicles. The DRLs are L shaped. The car also
gets LED cornering lamps which are multi weather lights. So not only do these
lights shine when turning left or right but during rain it distributes more
light in the direction of forward travel and to the sides. The car also gets L
shaped rear combination lamps. The rear
bumper bears an uber design. Sophisticated features also include acoustic glass
for the front and rear windscreens and special UV-cut window glasses. The Lexus
also has a smart moonroof for a clear view of the sky even at night.
Talking of exteriors, the new ES 300h comes with
hands-free power trunk lid. This hands free motion to open and close the trunk
is so much better and practical than the ones found in several other upmarket
cars. Here, all one has to do is to simply move one’s foot in and out under the
bumper at the centre of the car, and the trunk lid opens. One more similar
motion will prevent the trunk door from opening full. Once you slide in your
stuff, you can repeat your foot movement and the trunk closes. This is so cool
and so much better than in other cars where you almost trip yourself trying to
sway your leg from left to right or from right to left. The boot area has a
capacity of 454 litres.
AND FEATURES OF 2018 LEXUS ES 300H
The interiors of the Lexus ES 300h is an interesting
story by itself. The seats are extremely comfortable and are stitched well and
are of fine leather material. The wood finish strips on the dash and sides add
to the elegance of the interiors. The 4-way front seats especially get massive
lumbar support with separate upper and lower sections. Switches electronically
control 4-way horizontal and vertical adjustments. The under thigh support too
can be adjusted. There are a plethora of sleek buttons that can tune and change
an almost infinite number of functions. These buttons are found on the dash
area, rear passenger arm rest and on the steering wheel. To add to the delight
of those seated in the front there is also a remote touch interface that again
changes several settings from the menu that include audio control , radio
control, navigation, smart phone settings, air-conditioner settings etc. The
Lexus ES 300h offers you a 3-way climate control. Controls on the steering can
also help you change or see a plethora of settings from cruise control, audio,
tyre pressure monitoring, voice command, etc. Incidentally the tyre pressure
monitoring shows the tyre pressure reading of all the four wheels and also the
spare tyre! Two levers above the steering wheel help you choose your drive
modes from Eco, Normal and Sport. The one on the right helps you to deactivate
traction control. As for the screens to view, the car comes with a 7 inches TFT
screen and a 12.3 inches Multi Media screen. While on the move, the driver can
also get to see a fully coloured Head-Up display of 260m x 97.5mm size.
The moment you mention audio, you realise that the Lexus
has one of the world’s best audio system. This one has a Mark Levinson surround
sound system with 17 speakers. It’s like a theatre sound experience while
driving around in this car.
The centre console box has a wireless charger where one
can simply place the Qi-compatible smartphones and electronic devices on the
charging tray. The lid on the centre arm rest too can be opened two ways, i.e.
can be operated by both front passengers. This is an interesting feature.
Storage areas are limited inside, with the inner door panel cavities only
designed to accommodate small bottles of 500ml size.
The rear armrest also comes with an integrated control
panel that can allow the rear passengers to adjust audio system, seat recline,
ambient temperature (Lexus climate concierge), etc. It also has two cup
holders. The rear passengers can also electronically adjust the rear windshield
sun shade. The ones on the windows need to be adjusted manually. There is also
a trunk through functionality that enables easy access to the trunk and also
facilitates carrying of longer items that won’t usually fit in the trunk.
PERFORMANCE OF 2018 LEXUS ES 300H HYBRID ELECTRIC
The Lexus ES 300h is a very safe car to say the least. It
comes with 10 SRS airbags. That is a great reassurance by itself. Since it is a
hybrid, it means it combines the strengths and advantages of a gasoline engine
and a nickel-metal hydride battery. No, this is not a mild hybrid with a
start-stop function but a full blown one that smartly combines the power of the
two sources to give a perfect carbon footprint for Lexus to be proud of. While
the top end hybrids in the Lexus range have lithium-ion, here it is
nickel-metal hydride battery which is placed now under the rear seats. In the
earlier versions of this car, the battery was in the boot area, compromising on
Well, once you are seated on the driver’s seat and are
ready to move, you are delighted to see the MM screen all light up the moment
you press the start button, welcoming you with the Lexus sign. Now if you want
to start your journey on a green foot, then all you have to do is to depress
the EV button. Provided the battery is charged at least 50 percent, you can
silently drive out. This feature is to be used when you are moving out from
your garage or you are getting out or getting into your neighbourhood at night.
The silent battery run car will not disturb anybody.
But even if you are not on EV mode, the car starts on the
battery mode and is silent. It’s when you push that accelerator that the IC
engine takes over and propels you further. From there on it’s a constant switch
of battery charging and battery assistance. In fact, it’s fascinating to watch
on the MM screen, the Energy Monitor display. It’s so cool. You feel as though
you are really contributing a wee bit to the Green Earth.
Green does not mean that you need to compromise on
performance. Nay! The three modes of driving – Eco, Normal and Sport—allow you
to choose your driving style. You want to feel the power of speed, then it is
the Sport mode that you need to choose. The TFT screen displays a reddish tinge,
signifying aggressiveness. Step on the accelerator and you can hear the engine
screaming as it beings to devour the distances in a hurry.
The car handles well and at corners you can feel it
behaving in a balanced way. The braking too is perfect. Because of the special
glasses all around and the additional insulation that this new model has got on
its floorboard chassis, road noise too is limited. The suspension is on the
softer side, making city driving so very comfortable.
This new Lexus ES 300h is pitted against the likes of the
Audi A6, the BMW 5 series, the Mercedes E Class and the Volvo S90. Going by
what competition has to offer, this Lexus car has a clear cut advantage. It is
not only stylish, comfortable and strong on performance, but it is also one
green step ahead of the others!
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