2019 Lexus ES 300h Ultra Luxury

Exhilarating performance, unprecedented technology

2019 Lexus ES 300h Ultra Luxury
2019 Lexus ES. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The 2019 Lexus ES is offered in three model lines: 350, 350 F Sport, and 300h. My focus will be the ES 300h hybrid that is powered by the Lexus Hybrid Drive, which teams up an electric drive motor with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine optimized through Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence on Exhaust Cam (VVT-iE).

This hybrid powertrain delivers 215 total system horsepower, carried to the wheels through an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT). This is good for a 0-60 dash in 8.1 seconds, while achieving 43 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway, for a combined 44 mpg average. The ES is a conventional as opposed to a plug-in Lexus hybrid vehicle!

The 2019 ES is based on a new platform that's longer, wider, and lower. Available Adaptive Variable Suspension delivering super handling by keeping wheels on the road.

Inside, the ES has a spacious cabin with class-leading legroom. Long-trip comfort is ensured with power rear sunshade, semi-aniline leather seats, and power-tilt steering wheel. Other ultra-luxury features are the 14-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way lumbar support and Lexus Memory System. The driver would feel assured having Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, plus Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking. Panoramic View Monitor is another great driver assist options package that carries a $1,900 price sticker.

 ES interior with semi-aniline leather. (Courtesy of Lexus)
ES interior with semi-aniline leather. (Courtesy of Lexus)

The standard Lexus infotainment system centers around an 8.0-inch color display, and envelops the cabin with ten speakers. Scout GPS Link, another standard feature, provides an alternative to the Navigation System options package that uses a smartphone app to provide 3D map and turn-by-turn driving directions.

My favorite feature was the Lexus Enform Remote App with Alexa compatibility. Lexus Enform is a remote connectivity technology that allows you to track various vehicle status and perform some commands through your smartphone. With Alexa compatibility, this capability is further extended to Amazon Alexa devices.

The new low light Pedestrian Detection technology and the world's first in-car Mark Levinson PurePlay Sound System were also parts of my ES ensemble. The cabin was well-lit, and the convenient moonroof offered a scenic view.

Outside, the new Lexus ES draws attention with an athletic stance that comes from the increased size. The 2019 model has an overall length of 195.9 inches, a wheelbase of 113.0 inches, a width of 73.4 inches with mirrors folded, and a height of 56.7 inches. The new proportion works well riding on 17-inch split 5-spoke alloy wheels.

The sleek silhouette is elevated by the ultra-compact, attractive LED tail lamps, and the signature "L" shaped daytime running lights.

 Sleep and compact tail lamps. (Courtesy of Lexus)
Sleep and compact tail lamps. (Courtesy of Lexus)

Lexus uses extensive sound-dampening measures to ensure a quiet ride. The engine is mounted on a vibration-dampening sub-frame, and the floorboard has been coated with sound dampening materials as well. This significantly reduces road noise, making for a quieter and more comfortable ride.

The super ultra-low emission vehicle certification is a testament to the vehicle being responsible to the environment.

The ES 300h offers exciting performance and dynamic handling. It drives well in heavy traffic and on smooth-flowing highways. Plus, it does that while delivering remarkable mileage!

I would have preferred less tight-fitting front seats and a little more room in the seat itself. There needs to be a balance between comfort and safety.

Warranty 4-year/50,000-mile Basic Warranty 6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Warranty 6-year/unlimited mileage Corrosion Perforation Warranty 8-year/100,000-mile Hybrid System Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or [email protected].
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