2020 Lexus ES 300h Review: German Luxury Challenger

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 - Lexus
2020 Lexus ES 300h Review: German Luxury Challenger | It is a well-known thing that premium high-middle-class ranks both in Europe and in Germany. Audi, BMW and Mercedes would like to “steal” a Japanese Lexus who sends a new ES sedan to battle, both private and corporate.

2020 Lexus ES 300h Exterior & Interior

And it is quite a peculiar way, because it offers a novelty with only one motorization. But we’ll get to that.

I’d rather start with one number: 30. Just 30 years ago, Toyota introduced the luxury Lexus brand and also the first car that carries the name – LS. But in 1989, the smaller ES sedan, which has been seven generations since then, also went on sale.

And even the best-selling sedan brand, 2.3 million were sold in less than 30 years. Yet you may have never heard of the 2020 Lexus ES 300h. The explanation is simple because Lexus ES has never been sold in Europe, the Japanese car manufacturer has deployed the GS . Only with the seventh generation is it changing. GS is gone, so the 2020 Lexus ES 300h is coming.

Already a premium in the upper middle class suggests to some extent what this news is. The Lexus ES is a large sedan that is 5 meters long and accurately measures 4,975 millimeters. In this respect, the German competitors beat, Audi A6, BMW 5 and  Mercedes-Benz Eare slightly shorter. Conversely, the wheelbase has the shortest Lexus, “only” 2.870 mm.

Lexus ES – a comparison of dimensions with other upper middle class sedans
Model Lexus ES Audi A6 BMW 5 Jaguar XF Mercedes-Benz E
Length (mm) 4975 4939 4936 4954 4923
Width (mm) 1865 1886 1868 1880 1852
Height (mm) 1445 1457 1479 1457 1468
Wheelbase (mm) 2870 2924 2975 2960 2939
Luggage (l) 454 530 530 505 540

The design is typical “Lexus”, the days when the Japanese car maker was producing conservatively looking cars, they are long gone. At first glance, you will surely be impressed by the huge radiator grille with a wide bottom, which, by the way, depending on the version uses a differently designed radiator grille. The mask is complemented by narrow headlamps, which are interestingly recessed in the bow.

2020 Lexus ES 300h Interior Photos

The side view reveals a low sports profile, thanks to a sloping coupe or fastback roof. And the stern is dominated by lights using graphics with the letter L. The appearance of the bumper is again determined by the particular version of the car.

Even though the 2020 Lexus ES 300h has the shortest wheelbase compared to the German competition, you don’t know inside it. The interior is pleasantly spacious, especially the place in front of the rear seats deserves praise. In addition, in the Director’s position at the back right, space can be easily increased by moving the passenger seat and lowering its back. There are two buttons to reach the driver.

On the other hand, Lexus collides with a sloping roof, and with its 182 centimeters, in the fully straightened position, I was touching the head of the ceiling. The “hollow” joist and the possibility of 8 ° backrest tilt are a little bit helpful – so you don’t have to sit so upright in the back.

A suitcase? Even in this case, Lexus is losing, with a volume of 454 liters. But I don’t think the size of the luggage compartment is one of the most important parameters in a management sedan.

Much more important is the atmosphere inside, the way the crew feels in the car. And in this respect, Lexus is good at it. Except for one big problem.

The car came to the test in the most expensive Luxury equipment and it was inside, there is nothing to complain about in the area of comfort. Leather upholstered seats are also perfect thanks to many options, wood decors are suitable for the character of the cabin – you can even have the wood on the steering wheel, which is quite unusual today. The processing is flawless, and the 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround will delight audiophiles.

The dashboard is intriguingly shaped and I am personally pleased that Lexus still relies on buttons and physical drivers. At the same time, of course, with the time, so not to miss displays. There are two distinctive 2020 Lexus ES 300h- the 12.3-inch central and the 7-inch digital instrument panel. In addition, Lexus also offers a head-up display.

The dashboard can change shape depending on the driving mode you are driving – the modes are, by the way, switched by a slightly unusually positioned rotary knob sticking out of the instrument cluster. It’s not a bad solution, because the driver is very handy. Also, the mentioned digital shield is well-arranged, well-arranged and easy to read.

But with the second display, I have a problem. Big problem. But it’s not the screen itself, though it might have a better resolution, but infotainment and its control. Reservations to the Lexus Information and Entertainment System are very common and believe that they are also justified.

The 2020 Lexus ES 300h infotainment itself is not very good, but it is mainly controlled by the touchdown area in the center tunnel. And unfortunately, it isn’t exactly intuitive. Any action requires concentration, at the expense of concentration on driving, because the control is not exactly accurate – and therefore not fast. Especially entering the navigation target made me annoyed, even so much that I gave up and drove on the phone as many times.

In my opinion, it is a great pity that Lexus cars are very damaging. Sure, bad cars have other brands, but not so bad. Plus, we’re talking about a premium. Japanese premium. If it hadn’t been for me, I wouldn’t have had much reproach for the interior.

2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Engine

Interestingly, Lexus proceeded to offer motorization. In Europe, it offers only one single – hybrid with the designation 2020 Lexus ES 300h. This is the fourth generation hybrid system that uses a new internal combustion engine, a new electric motor, and new batteries.

The hybrid is based on a 2.5-liter atmospheric four-cylinder petrol engine that works in the Atkinson cycle. It boasts excellent thermodynamic efficiency in excess of 40%, which is facilitated by the use of direct suction ducts, increased valve angle, and laser processing of valve seats. The excellent thermal management is also influenced by the variable displacement oil pump, the multi-hole injectors, the VVT-iE variable valve timing system, and the variable cooling system.

The 131 kW engine works with a more compact 88 kW electric motor that draws its energy from a nickel metal hydride battery. He managed to shrink so that he could move from under the trunk under the rear seats, which increased the luggage space. In addition to the classic planetary gearing, the gearbox includes a parallel shaft and multi-function gearing, which includes a planetary gear unit for power distribution, parking lock and countershaft, all in one compact unit.

Hybrid system performance is 160 kW. If you’re interested in acceleration, then you know that from 300 to 100, the 2020 Lexus ES 300h will get in 8.9 seconds. The maximum is 180 km / h.

The Japanese sedan is quite agile, but of course, the sprinter is not, do not expect any exciting acceleration. However, the hybrid system has enough power for comfortable overtaking.

Overall, the driveline knows that Toyota has been engaged in hybrids for a long time. As a whole, it is nicely tuned, quite responsive to gas, flexible enough and cultivated. Even in the ES, you will not lose the known “vacuum cleaner” effect, ie the monotonous humming of the engine at a constant speed during acceleration, but it is not so significant.

Frequent disconnection of the internal combustion engine and the use of the electrical part of the hybrid system have a positive effect on consumption. After a week’s test, which included movements in the city and after country roads and highways, the onboard computer showed me an average of 7.6 l / 100 km. It’s not really bad. I believe that with a little effort you can get up to 6 l /100 km.

The seventh ES sedan is based on the new GA-K platform, shared with the 2020 Toyota Camry. It is said to have been designed to reduce the center of gravity of the vehicle and increase its rigidity. This is aided by laser bolt welding or a special V-shaped stiffener behind the rear seats (which unfortunately does not allow the rear bench to be folded down, there is only a ski grip), while the center of gravity will benefit from a combination of aluminum components (bonnet, front fenders), high strength steel steel.

The chassis uses McPherson’s front suspension with a multi-link, whose trailing arm mounting and larger housing improves chassis work on poor quality surfaces. In addition, a wider spacing between the attachment points of the stabilizer sleeves contributes to more effective tilt control. Specialties are also dampers that use hydraulic stops.

The result is an amazingly comfortable and refined car. And not only in terms of overcoming inequalities, but also the silence on board. In both qualities, Lexus is surpassing my German rivals. Pity just the occasional vacuum cleaner.

The new platform also means a front driven axle. While the Lexus GS was a rear wheel, the front wheels are powered by the ES. At first glance, it may be a shame, but if you think about the character of the car, it doesn’t even matter. Lexus itself highlights the advantage of the front wheel in its interior as well as the fact that most of its customers are more suited to its slippery behavior.

Personally, the presence of the front-wheel-drive does not bother me mainly because I do not perceive the 2020 Lexus ES 300h as a sports sedan. While driving very nicely, the steering is accurate with a really perfectly tuned booster, the car is also sympathetically agile and only slightly understeer, but lacks such a hard-to-describe feature that sometimes makes you drive a longer but more fun way. And on it, really unpack it. Lexus is somewhat more sedate.

But that does not mean that you will not like to drive the 2020 Lexus ES 300h, on the contrary. You will just look forward to it for other reasons – mainly because you can manage the planned route in a relaxed peace and absolute comfort. And I think this is perhaps the most important thing in this class.

The good news for Lexus is that it is in this ability that it can compare with German competitors. I would say that in terms of driving quality, it even overcomes it.


The existence of a single motorization is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is that thanks to the hybrid Lexus is different, it is different. In addition, it has a long-standing practice in the hybrid drive industry and knows how to make it to work best. On the other hand, the manifestation of the hybrid system is not so much, especially during acceleration, as “soft” and “velvet” as in a petrol or diesel six-cylinder.

Lexus hopes that customers will also be impressed with the price. Therefore, for the first 50 customers, it has prepared a price advantage, thanks to which the basic price without VAT is below a million crowns – in the 2020 Lexus ES 300h Elegance Plus version it costs Around $43,899, the Luxury design costs $57082without VAT.

Otherwise, the standard list price starts at around $60642 (with VAT) for Elegance Plus and ends at 79,098.

2020 Lexus ES 300h Review: German Luxury Challenger Pictures

2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Dimensions and Changes2020 Lexus ES 300h USA Release date and Pricing2020 Lexus ES 300h Release Date and Price2020 Lexus ES 300h Price in Australia2020 Lexus ES 300h Interior Photos2020 Lexus ES 300h Interior Features2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid VS BMW 3 Series2020 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Engine Specs
2020 Lexus ES 300h Review: German Luxury Challenger | cash | 4.5

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