2017 Lexus ES300h review, test drive

    Always fancied a Lexus sedan? The likeable ES 300h could be the car you’ve been waiting for.

    Published on May 09, 2017 07:03:00 PM


    What’s it like on the inside?

    The Lexus experience starts in earnest the moment you shut the doors. Sound insulation is really good and little of the outside noise creeps in. Drivers will also like the easy access to their seats – the steering rises and seat rolls backwards to ease ingress/egress and get back into pre-set position once the ignition is switched on.

    The general look of the cabin is rather nice too. The dashboard is split horizontally into display areas (instruments cluster and centre screen) and control areas (centre console and steering buttons) but it’s not solely about functionality here. The layered-look dashboard is attractive and is characterised by a sweep on the dashboard top, in the region of the centre screen. The classic analogue clock adds in a bit of class too. Quality is really impressive in places (such as the upper section of the dash) and good in others, but somehow you don’t get quite the same sense of luxury as you would in a European luxury sedan. The ES 300h competes with the BMW 5-series and Volvo S90s of the world on price, and so it shall be judged. Some of the plastics on the centre console don’t look premium enough for the money and sadly some buttons look a bit last-gen. The power window switches and mirror adjust controls are a straight lift from the Camry and that’s a bit of a downer too.

    The ES 300h uses Lexus’ screen-based infotainment system. It’s not a touchscreen but you operate it via a central controller near the gear lever. The selector works almost like a computer mouse and though it takes some time getting used to, it is intuitive to use on the go. The infotainment system offers the essentials but does miss out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Indian cars don’t get functional satnav for the moment either. What does more than make amends is the superb 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. The speakers really bring out the best of your music.

    In terms of other features, the Lexus ES 300h gets quite a lot. There’s only one trim on offer and it includes 10 airbags, LED headlights, a sunroof, electric adjust front seats, memory seats and mirrors, electric rear sunblind, three-zone climate control, cooled front seats and a reverse camera. Curiously, the rear seats don’t get a recline feature as offered on the Camry.

    Seat comfort is largely good in the ES. Cushioning on the perforated leather seats is superbly judged and the large front seats are very accommodating. There’s loads of legroom in the back but a longer seat squab would have made the rear seat experience nicer still. Still, it’s a seat you will happily slouch down on after a tough day at office while sinking your feet on the thick floor carpets. 

    Lexus ES
    Lexus ES

    ₹ 78,58,050 * on road price (New Delhi)


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