Quick Spin: 2013 Lexus ES 300h car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus hybrids green scene green reviews greenreviews
2013 Lexus ES 300h. Click image to enlarge

First Drive: 2013 Lexus ES

Manufacturer’s web site
Lexus Canada

Review by Mike Schlee, photos by Mike Schlee and David Miller

Photo Gallery:
2013 Lexus ES

The ES 300h is nature approved! At least that is the feeling I got during a recent press drive when a colleague and I pulled over for a photo shoot. Immediately after parking the new 2013 Lexus ES 300h, the first ES hybrid model ever, a family of raccoons approached us, and the car, in broad daylight. Was it the quiet allure of us entering the parkette on electric-only power that caused these nocturnal animals to deviate from their usual behavior schedule? Or maybe it was the new ES’s L-Finesse styling that had the raccoons acting out of the ordinary. A man in the corner of the parking lot who had been feeding the raccoons crackers tried to correct us in that the real reason was that they were overly tame due to people constantly feeding them. Sure buddy, whatever you say; we all know it was really the Lexus.

Quick Spin: 2013 Lexus ES 300h car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus hybrids green scene green reviews greenreviews
Quick Spin: 2013 Lexus ES 300h car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus hybrids green scene green reviews greenreviews
2013 Lexus ES 300h. Click image to enlarge

Pending raccoon endorsement deals aside, Lexus has big plans for the new 2013 ES. They have taken the previous boring conservative design and added some life and real style to it. This is Lexus’ third model to incorporate the latest L-Finesse styling language and, although not as striking as on the GS or RX, it still works on the ES. The ‘spindle grille’ has been softened on this design but the car is unmistakably the ‘new’ Lexus. The rear taillights have stabilizing fins, like the RX, that aid in forward stability. From behind, it will be easy to tell the ES 350 apart from the ES 300h as the 350 incorporates dual, exposed exhaust tips while the ES 300h has a single exhaust hidden behind the lower bumper lip. Otherwise, not much will distinguish these two models other than wheels and badging.

Lexus hopes to attract some new buyers to its showroom with hybrid version of the 2013 ES. Since the ES is loosely based on the Toyota Camry platform, it makes sense that the ES 300h would use the Camry Hybrid’s powertrain. The 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine produces a combined 200 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque that sends power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. That is enough to move the 1,610 kg ES with decent authority while returning a claimed 4.7 L/100 km in the city and 5.7 L/100 km on the highway. Of course, individual results may vary.




About Mike

Mike Schlee is the former Social Editor at Autos.ca and autoTRADER.ca. He began his professional automotive writing career in 2011 and has always had a passion for all things automotive, working in the industry since 2000.