- - Thursday, February 11, 2016

It’s an entry level luxury sedan with an exciting list of new bells and whistles in 2016.  It is also an excellent choice for car buyers looking to buy an entry level sedan with a hybrid moniker. Along with a silent cabin that has been tweaked to perfection there is also a new grille and a new safety package. The 2016 Lexus ES 300h most certainly hits all the high notes and count on impressive fuel efficiency and new colors choices as well.

Keep in mind that the 2016 Lexus ES 300h is one on a short list of entry-level luxury sedans that are also hybrid.  Even so, luxury and comfort are still an important part of the equation on the Lexus.

Competition in this hybrid class includes the Lincoln MKX Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid with all the extras or the BMW 330e Hybrid.

The 2016 Lexus ES 300h is the hybrid version of the ES 350 midsize sedan from Lexus and the features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights and tail lights, fog lights, sunroof, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry and the driver-select drive modes including Eco/Normal, EV and Sport.  There is also dual-zone automatic climate, eight-way power front seats, upscale vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a rearview camera.  Other standout features are the auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Lexus Enform Remote.  In regard to technology, there is a Display Audio interface with a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connect and an auxiliary audio jack and USB interface.

Of course, if all of these features are not enough, there are additional packages you can choose including the Navigation package with a larger display screen, Remote Touch electronics interface, navigation system, voice controls, more speakers and DVD-audio capability.

For the Premium package, inclusions are a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory functions and wood trim or, the Ultra Luxury package goes as far as offering a driver seat cushion extender, rear side sunshades and ambient lighting.

For stand-alone features, there are a number of additional safety functions like rain-sensing windshield wipers, bi-LED headlights, blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors.

Under the hood, there is a hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine on the 2016 Lexus ES 300h with an electric motor that gives up to 200 horsepower to the front wheels.

Standard safety features are the antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side, full-length side curtain and front knee airbags. The rearview camera comes standard along with the Lexus Safety Connect that will give you automatic crash information as well as offering an emergency assist button.

The Lexus Safety System+ add-on package is perfect for the safety conscious driver since it offers the pre-collision system, which will apply the brakes to avoid a collision and lane departure warning as well.

A beauty inside and out, the 2016 Lexus ES 300h is stylish and comfortable and take note of the option to choose the sustainable interior. For luxury, even the base features are impressive, but as you choose the luxury package add-ons it gets even better. 

The buttons and knobs are easy to use, but the audio touchscreen knob controller or the upgraded Lexus Remote Touch is a bit more complicated and finicky until you get used to it.

The trunk space is 12.1 cubic feet due to the battery mounted in the rear and the seats in the back do not fold down so the trunk capacity is not idea for any major hauling. 

Once behind the wheel of the ES 300h it’s a genuinely quite and luxurious ride. With the hybrid feature you will wonder if the car is even on at times, but once you need to accelerate you won’t have any questions.  Without a bump or a turn felt as you glide, the Lexus ES 300h is definitely all it is cracked up to be for 2016.

Should You Need to Know:  Keep in mind that the 2016 Lexus ES 300h is the same vehicle as the Lexus ES 350, which is a midsize luxury sedan without the hybrid feature included.

Miles Per Gallon: The Lexus ES 300h that I drove had 40 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The Lexus ES 300h with the Luxury and Convenience Package  that I drove had a price tag of $49,410.

For more auto tips and information, follow Rita @RitaCook13.



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