2014 Lexus ES 300h review carsguide com au

17 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2014 Lexus ES 300h review carsguide com au отключены
Lexus ES Electric Cars

2014 Lexus ES 300h review

Lexus ES300h Sports Luxury. Photo Gallery

Keith Didham road tests and reviews the 2014 Lexus ES 300h review with specs, fuel economy and verdict.

Lexus ES 300h 4

What s the connection between a gaggle of camera-toting tourists wandering aimlessly around Hobart s waterfront and a flock of seagulls sunning themselves in the middle of the road? The answer is they both nearly got run over by a super quiet Lexus, forcing some evasive driver action on my part so not to harm a hair nor feather.

It s a peculiar problem with driving a hybrid at slow speeds in crowded streets when battery power kicks in. Tourists and birds alike can t hear you coming, so added vigilance is a must. I had been warned by the friendly Lexus salesman that the new ES 300h was exceptionally quiet, but I hadn t been prepared for deaf cruise ship passengers or gulls playing chicken.

Two of these big and spacious Lexus luxury tourers are making a return to the Aussie market after seven years absence — this time round we get the 2.5-litre 300h (for hybrid) and the 3.5-litre V6 ES 350. Prices range from $63,000 to $74,000, positioning them competitively against a gaggle of luxury imports. Interestingly, in 2001 when the fourth generation ES was launched in this country it had a price tag of $84,900 — and the new version is today a bigger car.

So the ace card held by Lexus is the value for money story with plenty on offer for the asking price. There are two levels of specification Luxury and Sports Luxury to suit your budget.

We ve been driving the top spec Sports Luxury hybrid which came with a powered sunroof, excellent satellite navigation system, three-zone air conditioning setup, heated and cooled seats (heated in the rear), and a superb Mark Levinson 835W surround sound system with 15 speakers.

The 2.5-litre twin-cam Atkinson cycle petrol engine (118kW) is matched to a 105kW electric motor and a continuously variable transmission with sequential manual shifting if needed. The maximum combined output is 151kW, giving the car a claimed zero to 100km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds.

The big tick for the hybrid is its frugal fuel usage, the downside is a somewhat lacklustre handling on the open road. It s a compromise however I could well live with.

What was remarkable was that over two weeks we saw a low average fuel consumption of a remarkable 2.6 litres/100km and an overall average of 6.7/100km. Lexus official fuel rating is 5.5 litres/100km which is not that far removed from reality. With soaring fuel prices low running costs for such a big car is a key point.

The sleek profile has more than a hint of Euro design about it but what is impressive is the roomy cabin, the level of quality in the fit and finish and they way Lexus has dampened NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) to cutting edge levels. At city speeds the most you will hear is the peculiar whirr of the electric motor kicking in and some tyre rumble. The petrol engine sounds a little overworked however when pushed.

Lexus has based its ES advertising campaign on the catchcry of Luxury of Space and boldly claims there is more than a metre of rear leg room I don t know how they measure it but let s say it is generous, even by my ruler. Actually, the best seats in the Lexus house are the rear pews.

Power up the rear blind, clip up the side curtains, turn on the rear air conditioning, switch on the heated seats, adjust the music volume, stretch out on the leather trimmed seats and relax and let someone else do the driving. I tried it once on the way to work, playing the role of the executive boss, but my driver (she s the real boss) drew the line at running round and opening the door for me.

There s much to like about the Lexus, but shiny, plasticky woodgrain trim isn t my cup of tea although overall the interior decor works a treat. The stubby bootlid (power operated of course) opens high to reveal a reasonable amount of luggage space, albeit slightly handicapped by being a little short because of the storage of the batteries. There s a full sized spare under the flat floor.

You can just about tick all the boxes for available safety features. The Lexus has everything from a blind spot warning system in the door mirrors, to 10 air bags, reversing camera, parking sonars and smart electronics to drive the stability, traction and braking systems.

This Lexus was primarily aimed at the North American market which likes soft riding cars with plenty of bling and plushness. What is noticeable is that this latest version is much stiffer than previous models and that is reflected in its road manners, especially in straight-line stability.

Lexus ES Electric Cars

There s no hiding the fact that the ES s Achilles heel is its less-than-crisp handling. Having a car that s super quiet and having all the advantages of being a hybrid is all and well and good. But it comes with a price. In this latest version Lexus has given more weight to the electric steering, but more is needed.

There remains some isolation between road and wheel.

There is much to like about the ES 300h. It s plush, comfortable, quiet and frugal. Is that enough to overcome its sometimes ponderous performance at the odd occasion when you want to tackle that twisty road? Perhaps.

And you don t buy the ES as a performance car anyway.

Would I buy the hybrid? No question.

Lexus ES 300h Luxury from $63,000

Lexus ES 300h Sports Luxury — from $72,000

Lexus ES 350 Luxury from $65,000

Lexus ES 350 Sports Luxury — from $74,000


Lexus ES

Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars
Lexus ES Electric Cars

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