Both sedans are all-new for model year 2013, and this is the first time the ES includes a hybrid powertrain in its model lineup. The 2013 Lexus ES 300h hybrid sedan is powered by Toyota’s tried and true 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor which combined generate around 200 horsepower, a decent enough figure at this segment. But it’s the Lexus ES 300h’s fuel economy figures which, hopefully, will catch the discriminating buyers’ eye. According to Toyota, it expects the 2013 Lexus ES 300h to get an EPA-estimated 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and a combined 40 mpg. Toyota states the Lexus ES 300h can travel on electric battery for short distances though hasn’t released the range at the time of this post. Pricing for the Lexus ES 300h is expected to start at $39,745 which includes a destination and handling fee of $895.
The 2013 Lexus ES 350 is the powerhouse of the two, with its 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine generating 268 horsepower. Yet fuel economy of the ES 350 still remains respectable with EPA-estimated figures to be 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Pricing for the 2013 Lexus ES 350 starts at $36,995, which includes the $895 destination and handling fee. Both sedans come equipped with six-speed automatic transmissions.
Typical of Toyota vehicles, both models of the Lexus ES come equipped with a host of standard safety features like ten airbags. The automaker is offering Lexus Safety Connect, which allows owners to summon help in the case of an accident or even locate the ES if it’s been stolen. A one-year trial subscription is available. Other safety equipment includes blind spot detection and lane detecting sensors, which are optional. Finally, Lexus is offering its Enform system as part of its optional navigation package. Lexus Enform allows ES owners to sync their smartphones with the sedan’s infotainment system to do such things as search the Internet via Microsoft Bing or listen to customized music via iHeartRadio or Pandora apps. We’ve driven the 2013 Lexus ES, which we found retained its easy-going and toned-down spirit expected of a Lexus yet more engaging to drive than tis predecessors.