2019 Lexus ES300h Review, First Drive

Enchanting –

  • One of a kind aesthetics
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Comfortable, spacious and fuel efficient
  • Great value for money price tag

Unsatisfying –

  • Dealership count is low, period
  • No cooled seats for rear passengers

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If you have been reading a lot on our website lately, you know that Lexus has come to the Indian market and we have had our hands on their recently launched vehicles. One of them was the ES entry level sedan that came at the time of launch of the brand. The manufacturer unveiled the brand new seventh generation sedan recently into the worldwide market and three months later after the global launch, the ES makes it to our shores. The ES in this journey has gone through a radical change. We drive it quickly around Delhi to tell you what the highlights are.

Styling

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The design is clearly an inspiration from the flagship LS sedan and Lexus confirms that with us. The grille is the new spindle frame which sits boldly at the front. The headlights are sharper and sleeker which also have three beams in them. All of them are LED, including the new tail-lamps. The side profile is the most captivating part where the window line ends perfectly and it has the right amount of glass and metal area to make it look perfect. The chrome painted wheels are another highlight which makes it stand out, in a good way, surprisingly, despite they are chromed painted.

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Interior

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Interior is where there has been a good change which includes aligning everything from the driver sight, buttons have been reduced, clocked has been relocated to the infotainment screen. There is a single cup holder, space to keep things is found below the armest and a small hole to pop the car key in. Space back is great, recline is adjustable, heated seated, not cooled are offered in the front.

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Front seats are electric and have both, heated and cooled option. Quality continues to be the same, leather has been used everywhere. The car key has been changed, which is a welcome move. NVH level is controlled really well and the cabin is, overall, a great place to spend in. Mark and Levinstiation deserve a special mention as it is crystal clear with 18 speakers and 1800 watts. Electric, infotainment with navigation, front and rear parking sensor, reversing camera, electric adjust for steering, parking brake, Auto 3 Zone Air Conditioner with Humidity Sensor, sunroof, wireless charger, HUD and much more is on offer. Android auto and Apple Car play is not on offer yet.

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10 Airbags – Driver, Passenger, Driver Knee, Passenger Knee, Front Side, Rear Side and Curtain Shield, ABS(Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Tyre Inflation Pressure Warning with Auto Location, Anti Theft System with Siren, Intrusion (Break-in) Sensor and Tilt Sensor, Impact Sensing Fuel Cut, Power Doorlock with Speed Lock Function, Power Windows with Jam Protection and Speed Control and Emergency Brake Signal are on offer when it comes to safety.

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Engine

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The drivetrain continues to be the same apart from the change in the mounting way of the electric motor, an improved nickel battery and a bit of change to the engine to make it efficient. The engine and gearbox have become smoother and far more responsive. It gathers speeds easily and smoothly. Top speed is limited to 189 km/hr. The naturally aspirated engine continue to make the same horsepower and torque of 218 PS and 220 Nm. 6-speed CVT continuous to be on offer and comes with paddle shifters. The engine is rev friendly, efficient and free revving and is relaxed at all speeds. It claims to deliver almost 22 km/l ARAI certified.

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Ride and Handling

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Dynamically, the chassis feels far more rigid and it is, by 65% says Lexus, thanks to a V-brace in the back seat area. The suspension feels far more mature. Low-speed ride is firm and the top-end damping is softer making it a comfortable ride at all speeds and despite this, vertical movement is well controlled. The car does feel more agile and connected to the steering which also has been revised a bit. Brakes offer good power and pedal bite. Steering also has more feedback than before and continues to be light for city duty.

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2019 Lexus ES300h Review, Verdict

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Overall, the ES has changed radically in total after a lot of minor changes in every area. This is clearly apparent in the design, drive and comfort that we witnessed. The ES now has some serious potential to go against its rival despite the lack of diesel engine. Since fuel prices right now don’t make much of a difference, the ES can find a lot of homes. Lexus says they have a good amount of bookings for the car, we are not surprised that the new benchmark in this class which has best in class capability from all its rivals, comes in one package wouldn’t tempt customers to get themselves the all-new ES at just Rs. 59.30 lakhs ex-showroom.

2019 Lexus ES India Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Features
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Practicality
  • Value
  • Space
  • Comfort
4.8

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