Driving The 2017 Lexus ES 300h

This week I was given a 2017 Lexus ES 300h sedan. The Lexus ES sedan has been the brand’s entry point for a quarter century, and now it’s available in hybrid.

If you’re not familiar with hybrids, they combine a gas engine with an electric motor. The battery charges as you brake which regenerates electricity. By doing this, you save money on gas, which I personally love.

The 2017 Lexus ES 300h comes with a 2.5-liter Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine which is mated to a high-output permanent magnet electric drive motor and provides 156 pounds-feet of torque. The vehicle delivers 200 horsepower and gives about 40 mpg in the city and 39 on the hwy.

The Lexus ES 300h gives you four driving modes, which are normal, sport, eco and EV. Normal balances the hybrid to blend the engine and motor for your every day driving. Sport focuses more on performance with later upshifts. Eco is designed to provide the best maximum efficiency. Lastly, EV allows you to lock in electric-only driving for short distances.

I do have to say that the infotainment system in this vehicle is not the easiest to work with. The infotainment system is what controls all your functions like audio, navigation, apps, voice command, and much more. It is the most challenging to work with and it took me a while to figure out how to select a station. There is a joystick to interact with the screen and you really have to be exact because it moves rapidly and you’ll lose your target. It could be quite frustrating.

As for safety, the Lexus ES 300h offers the Lexus Safety System which helps prevent accidents with High-Speed Dynamic Radar cruise control, which tracks the car in front of you and adjusts your speed automatically, preventing collisions. The pre-collision system with pedestrian detection uses radar and a camera to warn you of a possible collision and even brake automatically if needed.

Pricing for the Lexus ES300h starts under $43,000, but could go up depending on the packages you select. The one I drove was retailed at $49,630.

After driving this vehicle for a week, it really has me considering purchasing a hybrid. We have two vehicles in the family (a V6 and V8), and it was nice seeing the gasoline tank last longer. It truly seems like hybrid may be the way to go for your everyday duties. What do you think?