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Old 02-14-19, 12:23 PM
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Woodrow
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I'm looking at getting a different car. I've been pretty unhappy with the NX, due to what I firmly believe is poor programming of the transmission. Long story, but Lexus won't even acknowledge it because all of the NXs do the same thing. Anyway, after buying 6 Lexus, I'm still partial to them, and I'm really looking for long term ownership, someday. I've always enjoyed more sport oriented cars (handling and horsepower), but these days comfort is an ever increasing bonus, and you just don't get to take advantage of speed, handling, and horsepower any more. For example, our RX is the best road trip car I've ever had, and I love it. #Notaracecar

That said, I'm thinking of an ES for the first time, even though there is not yet an AWD version. I've long thought the ES was a fine looking car, but the latest version is even better! My question is .... what do you owners think of it? Any recurring issues? Road noise? Fit and finish (I love Lexus paint)? Materials? Or my least favorite thing about Lexus .... the technology? Would you buy the same car again? It seems to me that the new ES is really pretty close performance wise, to the IS350. Just newer. Is that a fair assessment? How about the hybrid version? I really don't want an SUV, but I like stylish.

As I sit here today, I'm pretty positive on the ES, and will actually go to the dealer this afternoon to see it in person. My issue is that I would also be pretty happy with a new truck, or a Mustang GT (talk about being bad in the snow!). A truck is more expensive, but still has a lot of the comfort elements. And, it's a truck. I would love a Mustang, but can't justify it as a daily driver. I looked at another IS (I had a 2011 IS350 that I loved), but they're going to get a major refresh in the next year or 2. Because they need one. Same for the RC. So, it keeps coming back to the ES
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Old 02-14-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
I'm looking at getting a different car. I've been pretty unhappy with the NX, due to what I firmly believe is poor programming of the transmission. Long story, but Lexus won't even acknowledge it because all of the NXs do the same thing. Anyway, after buying 6 Lexus, I'm still partial to them, and I'm really looking for long term ownership, someday. I've always enjoyed more sport oriented cars (handling and horsepower), but these days comfort is an ever increasing bonus, and you just don't get to take advantage of speed, handling, and horsepower any more. For example, our RX is the best road trip car I've ever had, and I love it. #Notaracecar

That said, I'm thinking of an ES for the first time, even though there is not yet an AWD version. I've long thought the ES was a fine looking car, but the latest version is even better! My question is .... what do you owners think of it? Any recurring issues? Road noise? Fit and finish (I love Lexus paint)? Materials? Or my least favorite thing about Lexus .... the technology? Would you buy the same car again? It seems to me that the new ES is really pretty close performance wise, to the IS350. Just newer. Is that a fair assessment? How about the hybrid version? I really don't want an SUV, but I like stylish.

As I sit here today, I'm pretty positive on the ES, and will actually go to the dealer this afternoon to see it in person. My issue is that I would also be pretty happy with a new truck, or a Mustang GT (talk about being bad in the snow!). A truck is more expensive, but still has a lot of the comfort elements. And, it's a truck. I would love a Mustang, but can't justify it as a daily driver. I looked at another IS (I had a 2011 IS350 that I loved), but they're going to get a major refresh in the next year or 2. Because they need one. Same for the RC. So, it keeps coming back to the ES
I love it. We also have an RX which is my wife's daily driver but I still prefer a sedan. AWD - for me, don't really need it. We had some nasty weather here in NJ earlier this week. The ES went though the slush and snow no issues whatsoever. This car has the tightest, most quiet ride I've ever experienced. My least favorite thing - the front end is low and I'm sure I will get some curb rash eventually - just very careful when I'm pulling into spots that have the concrete floor stops.
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Old 02-14-19, 12:40 PM
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J D Power has ranked Lexus #1 in dependability for eight years in a row. The ES has been #1 in the mid size premium class for five years in a row. Had a 2013 ES 300h and currently a 2017 ESh and have enjoyed them tremendously. Not one problem. Averaging 38 mpg.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lexus-e...s&page=1&pos=1
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Old 02-14-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Freds430 View Post
J D Power has ranked Lexus #1 in dependability for eight years in a row. The ES has been #1 in the mid size premium class for five years in a row. Had a 2013 ES 300h and currently a 2017 ESh and have enjoyed them tremendously. Not one problem. Averaging 38 mpg.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lexus-e...s&page=1&pos=1

I'd love to read that article. Too bad it's WSJ. Subscribe to read full story? NOPE!
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Old 02-14-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jimv1983 View Post
I'd love to read that article. Too bad it's WSJ. Subscribe to read full story? NOPE!

Lexus ES 300h: Spend on the Luxury, Save on Gas Money

With a stylish exterior, a spacious cabin and a ‘silky, near silent’ hybrid system that gets 44 mpg, this surprising overachiever meets the demands of most drivers. Dan Neil, for once, finds few faults


WELL RED The redesigned ES 300h averages 44 mpg, something no other car in its class can boast. PHOTO: LEXUS

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Dan Neil
Jan. 24, 2019 12:02 p.m. ETAT THE OUTSET of what will be a rave review of a slow beige hybrid sedan, I feel the need to lay out my car-guy bona fides. Naturally I enjoy being strapped in the nosecone of a hypercar like the McLaren Senna atop a blooming pillar of testosterone. I believe the greatest TV show in history is Alain de Cadenet’s “Victory by Design.” The three classics I would choose to be marooned with on a desert isle are the Citroën DS21 Decapotable, Facel Vega HK500, and a Porsche 959 Komfort.

But I contain multitudes. I also admire excellence in fuel-efficient, mass-produced large appliances such as our test subject, the redesigned-for-2019 Lexus ES 300h ($44,960 MSRP for Ultra Luxury package, $54,405 as tested). This is the most overachieving car I’ve driven lately, the most surprising, the one whose refinement and per-inch value will give snobby Mercedes and Audi intenders the longest pause. Toyota’s fourth-gen hybrid system is silky, near-silent and super-efficient: 44 mpg, combined. Even the beige—Moonbeam metallic—is fabulous.

I figure about 10% of this column’s annual mailbag is from readers seeking a car with the ES’s very attributes: full-size premium/entry-luxury sedan, extra spacious cabin, great seats, smooth ride, good fuel economy. Plenty o’ buttons. Not too dear—say, in the $50,000s. Lately these letters have been tinged with frustration as sedans themselves have become marginalized by crossover/SUV sales. These people don’t want an SUV, damn it.

Other notes are from longtime ES owners who, while loving their cars, would be interested in something a little less stolid, a little less of a bürgermeisterwagen.


The 2019 Lexus ES300H. PHOTO: LEXUSIt seems like Lexus designers have been talking to the same people. The seventh-generation ES—based on the Toyota Avalon box of parts—is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model, over a wheelbase 2 inches longer. The rejiggering of dimensions has cascading effects, both practical and poetic. The wider front and rear track and longer wheelbase made the chassis engineers’ job that much easier, improving the platform’s roll resistance and drivability without compromising the ES’s ride quality, which is super-bueno deluxe.

The extra longitude also helped grow rear cabin legroom without compromising trunk space. At 16.7 cubic feet, the trunk was large enough to support a family trip to a destination wedding requiring wardrobe changes like a Cardi B show.

‘The ES’s refinement and per-inch value will give snobby Mercedes and Audi intenders pause.’

On this more ample canvas, Lexus’s exterior stylists composed a compelling shape of light and shadow, bulge and hollow, rake and curve, and above all shameless amounts of brightwork. Please note the vertical bars in the ES 300h’s “spindle” grille, as compared with the warp-and-weave pattern in the LS sedan. The ES now enjoys some of the presence and formality of Lexus’s grand piano, the LS 500, plus its own sidling quintessence.

I have a theory about this car, supported only by long experience with Toyota. Management tolerated above-the-line development and material costs on this iteration because of its being the first ES to be sold in Japan, after years of it being mostly a North American product. It seems clear that Toyota-Lexus’s product development team were rising to home market expectations.

In other words, the ES feels over-engineered, particularly in the realm of chassis construction. What the hell did they put in this thing? Oh, I see: extensive laser screw-welding; twice as much structure adhesive as before; elaborate structural reinforcement at the front strut towers; a third more sound deadening insulation, covering 93% of the floor. Our test car also sported the 18-inch wheels with noise-reducing profiles. So, to recap, dead quiet, solid as a rock.

Like the Avalon, the ES can be had with one of two power sources: a 3.5-liter, 302-hp V6 combined with an eight-speed transmission, returning 26 mpg combined fuel economy. That’s quite good. Our car was fitted with the optional hybrid powertrain: a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, paired with a hybrid transaxle with integrated electric motors, good for a system max of 215 hp. The 300h’s mileage is outstanding. At anywhere near the rated 44 mpg combined, a user would recoup the system’s $1,000 cost in 2.3 years (assuming 15,000 odometer miles annually and $2 a gallon for gas) and then just keep saving.

On my multiday, 800-mile round trip along the East Coast’s Blue Ridge Parkway, we averaged 41 mpg, which is a real-world number that few gas-burners can match.

It wasn’t what you would call fast. The hybrid gives away 87 hp to the V6-powered version while its max torque is curiously unspecified. It feels like about 260 lb-ft on either side of 3,500 rpm, pitted against a vehicle weighing 3,704 pounds. But whatever exertions the powertrain was making the 300h didn’t complain. Only occasionally, during moments of highest load, I could hear a faint whine, like a beehive in the trunk. Zero-to-60 mph acceleration is 8.1 seconds, a flaming catapult of temperance.

The ES line is front-drive only—no provision for all-wheel drive—so that limits the model’s appeal in the Snow Belt. And despite its disguising proportions, it is also resolutely a front-drive car, with almost 60% of the weight on the front wheels. No matter what engine Toyota puts in it, the ES will never be a sports sedan, running nose-to-tail with a BMW 5. Anywhere outside a racetrack, the BMW’s premium seems harder to fathom.

2019 LEXUS ES 300H ULTRA LUXURY


The Lexus ES 300h interior. PHOTO: LEXUSBase Price: $44,960

Price, as Tested: $54,405

Powertrain: Gas-electric hybrid: Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter DOHC direct-injection four-cylinder with variable-valve timing; dual electric motors integrated in front axle, with regenerative braking; 29.1 kW nickel-metal hydride battery; front-wheel drive

System Net Power: 215 hp (176 hp engine/39 hp electric)

Torque: 260 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm (est.)

0-60 mph: 8.1 seconds (manufacturer estimate)

Length/Width/Height/Wheelbase: 195.9/73.4/56.9/113.0 inches

Curb Weight: 3,704 pounds

EPA Fuel Economy: 43/45/44 mpg, city/highway/combined

Trunk Capacity: 16.7 cubic feet

Write to Dan Neil at [email protected]

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Old 02-14-19, 02:36 PM
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@Woodrow, what did you think after seeing it at the dealer?
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Old 02-14-19, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Freds430 View Post

Lexus ES 300h: Spend on the Luxury, Save on Gas Money....

Awesome. Thanks.
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Old 02-14-19, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by nuraman00 View Post
@Woodrow, what did you think after seeing it at the dealer?
I just got back! I'm pretty impressed! Based on what I've seen here, and what I saw at the dealer, I'm thinking there's an ES in my future. Unless they can make a terrific deal on a really pretty RC they had.

It feels like enough power, and although the steering feel could be better, it's still good and the handling seems WAY improved. They didn't have an FSport, but I think I could be very happy with the standard version. If the FSport is an improvement, it would only be a bonus. Typical Lexus on the inside, which is exactly what I would want.

Overall, I was very impressed!
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Old 02-14-19, 03:28 PM
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After 2 months of ownership I would say overall I like the car. Is it 100% - No. There are some features I'd change. Would I buy it again? Yes...
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Old 02-14-19, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
I just got back! I'm pretty impressed! Based on what I've seen here, and what I saw at the dealer, I'm thinking there's an ES in my future. Unless they can make a terrific deal on a really pretty RC they had.

It feels like enough power, and although the steering feel could be better, it's still good and the handling seems WAY improved. They didn't have an FSport, but I think I could be very happy with the standard version. If the FSport is an improvement, it would only be a bonus. Typical Lexus on the inside, which is exactly what I would want.

Overall, I was very impressed!
What are your opinions on the two most common complaints showing up on here for the 2019 ES.

1. The sound system. Did you notice a big difference between front and back sound quality? Did the car you looked at have the standard Pioneer or the Mark Levinson? Personally I didn't have any issues on the ES cars I tested other than the Mark Levinson sounded noticeably better on XM radio.

2. Wind noise coming from the driver window area at highway speeds (maybe 50mph+). I didn't notice it on my 2 test drives.
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Old 02-14-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
I just got back! I'm pretty impressed! Based on what I've seen here, and what I saw at the dealer, I'm thinking there's an ES in my future. Unless they can make a terrific deal on a really pretty RC they had.

It feels like enough power, and although the steering feel could be better, it's still good and the handling seems WAY improved. They didn't have an FSport, but I think I could be very happy with the standard version. If the FSport is an improvement, it would only be a bonus. Typical Lexus on the inside, which is exactly what I would want.

Overall, I was very impressed!
FSport is a bit different just fyi - different gauge cluster, more agressive seats, bigger wheels and sportier exterior. Comes down to personal preference but FSport was the only trim I wanted.
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Old 02-14-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jimv1983 View Post
What are your opinions on the two most common complaints showing up on here for the 2019 ES.
I didn't turn on the radio. I actually prefer most of the music in front of me (is that the "sound stage"?), and adjust the music on my cars to accommodate that preference. I rarely have anyone in the back seat. If I do, we aren't listening to the radio, and it wouldn't matter that volume in the back seat might be reduced. I would probably go for the Mark Levinson radio, but this simply isn't important to me. Whatever I end up with will be better than what I have.

I actually listened for the excessive noise, and didn't hear it. I may not be the best judge, though. Both of our current cars seem to have more noise than I would expect from a Lexus. I heard wind noise at freeway speed, but it certainly wasn't excessive.
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Old 02-14-19, 06:09 PM
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Read all the threads here about wind noise on some ES's.
Read all the threads about the stereo so you know what you are getting.
Read the "what you love or hate" thread
If you decide to go ahead with your purchase, check out my "picking up your ES" thread, although based on what you said, you probably know more about that than me.

Last edited by Steve300h; 02-14-19 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 02-15-19, 07:42 AM
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I just found an awesome site that told me everything I wanted to know about the ES. It describes all of the options and all of the packages in detail. Unfortunately for the sales person, I've now made a list of questions that need confirmations or demonstrations. I can't wait to see how many he doesn't know about. He wasn't aware for example, that the FSport has a different instrument cluster.

https://lexusenthusiast.com/2018/06/...hnical-review/

After reading all of your responses and several reviews, I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of owning an ES. It seems like a common thread is that this car is REALLY good at what it's trying to be, and everyone that has that expectation seems very happy with the car. Only those that want something more sporty seem disappointed. I thinks it's a function of Expectations Management".

A quick comment on the stereo. After reading several more negative comments, I will go back and listen for myself. That said, reading the last page of that thread on this forum, seems to bring closure to the argument (in my mind, anyway). Bottom line is that some people simply expect sound from all of the speakers, but that's simply not what they bought. If the sound they want is in the track, it comes out the appropriate speaker. I'll see if I can hear what the complaint is about on my own
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Old 02-15-19, 08:52 AM
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I took some time to check out the new ES when I was picking up my GS a couple weeks ago. Man, they are awesome! That interior was just fabulous.

My only advice is to get the triple beam headlights if you can. I got them on the GS and they are absolutely amazing, in both effectiveness and looks.
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