Lexus ES 300h interior & comfort
The Lexus ES 300h’s interior is beautifully made and interesting to look at, but the infotainment system is fiddly
Sitting in the Lexus ES is a luxurious experience, thanks to superbly comfortable seats, plenty of legroom and a superior ride quality that’s up there with that of a Mercedes E-Class. Unless you go for the F-Sport spec, that is – in which case the big wheels and stiffer suspension mean the ride quality is noticeably less pliant.
The F-Sport version isn’t noticeably more fun to drive, so it seems an unnecessary compromise, although its body-hugging sports seats are very supportive if you do insist on driving the ES hard. Inside all versions, the choice of materials, and in particular the impressively high quality of fit and finish, means the ambience is upmarket and luxurious.
Lexus ES 300h dashboard
The ES’ dashboard is a little more driver orientated than that of the now-superseded GS. There’s a clear instrument binnacle in front of the driver, as well as a head-up display for some models. The Takumi trim level gets a big 12.3-inch infotainment display that sits up on top of the dash, but you can upgrade the standard eight-inch display on some other models, too.
Equipment, options and accessories
The standard Lexus ES spec includes 17-inch alloy wheels, electrically heated and adjusting seats, dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker Pioneer stereo, parking sensors and the eight-inch navigation/infotainment display. Upgrading to sport adds those big 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, adaptive suspension and exterior body tweaks designed to present a sportier look.
In 2020, Premium was added to the range, sitting above the entry-level car. It adds over £3,000 worth of options for around £550 more than the entry model, making it a great option for most buyers. It adds 18-inch alloys, the larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and a heated steering wheel and windscreen, plus automatic wipers. Wireless smartphone charging is also added.
The range-topping Takumi – named after a style of Japanese craftsmanship, we’re told – is pretty much stacked out with all the available technology and goodies. The 12.3-inch infotainment screen looks great, along with a Mark Levinson audio system and 360-degree cameras. You also get triple-zone air-conditioning, reclining rear seats, adaptive LED headlamps and a powered boot lid operated by waggling your foot under the bumper.
Various option packs are available for the SE and F-Sport, but beware of crossing the £40,000 threshold for road tax. The ES Premium Pack includes leather upholstery, heated seats, LED headlamps and safety tech including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
A Tech and Safety Pack for the F-Sport gives you wireless phone charging, LED headlamps and a heated steering wheel, or you can also choose that Takumi Pack for the upgraded infotainment and audio system, head-up display and power boot lid.
Infotainment, apps & sat-nav
While the Lexus ES infotainment system looks impressive – especially the 12.3-inch top-spec unit. The touchpad operation system is difficult and fiddly to get to grips with, but the good news is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto was recently added across the range.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe ES 300h is luxurious, good to drive and beautifully built, with CO2 emissions that will please company-car taxpayers
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe Lexus ES 300h is targeted primarily at business users, and there are definite tax benefits over diesel rivals
- 3Running costsCompetitive pricing, economy and company-car tax advantages all work in favour of the ES 300h
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe Lexus ES 300h hybrid is superbly cosseting when driven in a relaxed fashion
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingThe Lexus ES 300h’s interior is beautifully made and interesting to look at, but the infotainment system is fiddly
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Lexus ES 300h’s ‘long coupe’ styling limits rear headroom, and the big boot is not as versatile as in popular SUVs
- 7Reliability & safetyWith plenty of safety kit and a rock-solid reliability story, the Lexus ES 300h has your peace of mind covered