The 2019 Lexus ES is freed from its burden of being the mid-size sedan for every luxury buyer, the 2019 Lexus ES sedan has grown slightly sharper in each of its several distinct flavors: ES350, F Sport, and ES 300h hybrid. Beneath its sleek, toned shape the 2019 Lexus ES has a split personality. Base ES350 and hybrid ES 300h models prioritize plush control, while the F Sport pipes in a sporty personality, as well as exhaust sounds. For this review, we’ll be focusing on the the ES 300h hybrid and it’s claimed combined 44 mpg.
Part of the seventh generation of this popular sedan, the 2019 ES 300h is fully redesigned this year. The improvements include fuel efficiency, more safety features, upgraded technology, and additional cargo space.
Lexus styling landed somewhere in excitement between pro golf and echinacea supplements, and the 2019 ES is the best sedan result yet. Less a scaled-down LS than a spindle-grilled 5-Series, the ES spills all Lexus’ visual tricks at once. The grille stands tall and proud and pinched at its waist, the roofline trails lower and in a more daring fashion, and brightwork glints off the rear doors at the roof pillar. Big shoulder lines draw attention back toward the trunk’s shapely LED taillights.
The ES 300h features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric motor for a combined 215 horsepower (up from 200 hp). It receives criticism for a lack of performance, since it only accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is slow by luxury standards.
The Lexus ES 300h is significantly less powerful than the ES 350, a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 302 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The gas-powered ES 350 is understandably much quicker, going 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, matching most of its competitors. Predictably, the ES 350’s gas mileage (22-33 mpg) falls way short of the ES hybrid model.
Lexus is finally offering Apple CarPlay, a real plus on a sizable road trip. But even though the standard 7-inch instrument display screen is very crisp, we aren’t fans of the touchpad mouse that makes operating the infotainment interface more difficult than it should be.