Can The 2019 Lexus ES 300h Take The Fight To The Germans?

The Lexus ES is a new addition to the luxury automaker’s European range and it indirectly replaces the GS in the region, posing against traditional German executives like the Mercedes E-Class, the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-Series.

While the front grille retains that divisive new corporate look, the overall design of the new Lexus ES is quite smart as it avoids looking blunt like some of its rivals, but not so much that will scare customers away.

Lexus has also a tradition in creating some of the most well-built cabins in the business, and the same applies to the new ES; most of the materials are from the top shelf while some of the details make it look and feel expensive and special, as they should.

Sure, the infotainment system might require some time to get used to it and the positioning of some of the controls might look strange at first, but the seats are really comfortable and the sound insulation of the cabin is pretty impressive, giving the new ES valuable premium points.

Despite being available in Europe, there’s no diesel option like most of its competitors. Lexus only offers the ES 300h with a hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit with an electric motor. The result is a combined 215hp but, more importantly, fuel economy is a combined 60.1 mpg UK (4.7lt/100km), placing the ES 300h directly against the more popular diesel versions of the German establishment.

So, on paper the the 2019 Lexus ES 300h looks pretty competitive. In the following video you can find out if that translate on the road as well.

 

  • Bash

    It’s fine, but nah it can’t, it’s a front wheel drive to start with and the proportions are a bit weird and that front end is hideous. But the interior is good.

    • jimv1983

      The front end looks great. I think the grill looks better than any other current model I’ve seen. The Mercedes front end looks nice too.

      • Bash

        To be fair, I can live with that front end even though I’m not entirely on the liking side of it. but again, to me, there has been always something with its proportion that it hasn’t fixed with the current re-design. and i agree with the Mercedes front ends also, I like them tbh, even the A class.

        • jimv1983

          I’m not sure what you mean about the proportions.

          Yeah, the A Class front end looks nice too but that’s expected since there really isn’t much difference between the front end on different models. I couldn’t really tell the difference in the front end between the C Class, E Class and A Class.

  • no25

    I’ve already seen so many of these on the road. They look really good! The spindle grille is improved and the rear end is super aggressive. Overall, it’s really sleek especially the ES FSport. BUT I think they should still leave the GS to compete with the Germans. ES is not meant for that.

  • Merc1

    Hell naw. This is a FWD car for pensioners. The E and 5 will drive rings around it.

    M

    • Seats & a steering wheel

      They should drive better, they are quite a bit more expensive. Then again, this ES won’t be a reliability and maintenance nightmare as it ages unlike E and 5.

      • Christian Wimmer

        My dad drives a fully-loaded 2010 Mercedes E350 CGI W212 with over 200,000 km. The only thing that ever went wrong was a faded pixel display within the tachometer roundel. Fixed in less than an hour.

        Prior to that he drove a 2002 Mercedes E320 Avantgarde W211, sold it with close to 200,000 km on the clock. The only thing that ever failed was a dead battery during the winter – after the car wasn’t moved for over two weeks.

        Worldwide the E-Class (and 5er) are very popular, well-selling cars. If they were unreliable nobody would buy them or keep them long-term.

        Lexus is overrated.

        • alexxx

          True.My brother drives BMW 5 series all of his life…loves them,never talks about any issues…I don’t know where all this hate comes for Germans cars…I guess when you are top dog you get more hate for whatever reasons

          • jimv1983

            They just aren’t reliable. How long does your brother keep his BMWs? If he’s leasing and staying within the mileage limit he’s only putting like 36,000 miles on the car which is nothing.

          • alexxx

            Oh man…he had e 34 for some time,
            then e39 for roughly10 years…and now drives f10… I love Japanese cars and I am sure they are the most reliable cars out there, but BMW makes good cars…

          • jimv1983

            Ok, so he had a BMW for a long time. How many times did it have to go in for repairs? How much did it cost?

            I have a 2011 Camry that I got in June 2010 so it’s been almost 9 years. It has close to 170,000 miles. It’s had the basic maintenance like brakes, tires, spark plugs, etc but hasn’t needed any actual repair. That’s common for Toyota/Lexus but not for BMW.

            Next month I’m getting a new 2019 ES hybrid. I’m only getting a new car because I want one. Not because it needs to be replaced.

          • alexxx

            Let me ask you…do you really think someone would buy BMWs constantly regardless of costs?! I wouldn’t…would you?!

          • jimv1983

            Yes, some people would. Some people never learn or I guess some just don’t care if their cars are in the shop more often than they are driven costing more than the price of the car itself over its lifetime.

          • alexxx

            Soooo…my brother is stupid😀 ok tnx on the info 😂😂😂
            Believe you me,if someone is stupid or smart,if you constantly loose money you get around pretty quick…
            One more thing,my other brother also drives BMW…1 series …also claims it’s the best car he has driven…
            That leaves only men driving Renault☺️

          • jimv1983

            Like I said, it’s also possible that he just doesn’t care. If that’s his opinion that’s fine. To your brothers the driving experience might be worth the trade off of having lots of expensive repairs.

            It’s a fact that BMWs have a high rate of problems compared to many other brands and it’s a fact that the maintenance and repair costs are very high compared to other brands. Some might be ok with that. Others, like me, aren’t.

            I’d only consider a BMW (or any German brand) if I was in the market to lease a car since I’d be giving it back in 3 years with no more than 36,000 miles. Since I drive 18,000 miles a year a lease isn’t an option for me so I won’t even look at German cars.

            “That leaves only men driving Renault”

            I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean.

          • alexxx

            That leaves only ME driving Renault.
            Changed it.
            At first opportunity I will ask my brothers to tell me about maintenance then I’ll get back to you.
            Till then…

          • jimv1983

            Not just normal maintenance but repairs as well. Also time of having the car. Just 2-3 year leases with 25,000-30,000 miles or long term ownership. It makes a big difference.

        • jimv1983

          200,000km is only like 125,000 miles. Is that supposed to be impressive? That’s nothing.

      • SteersUright

        You’re right. I’ve owned BMW, Porsche, and VW as well as Infiniti and Lexus. They are not comparable in terms of reliability. There Germans are truly impressive when they aren’t in the shop for repairs. The Japanese are so reliable you rarely even notice you own them. However, they are also that easily forgettable in their driving experience too. My prior GS350 never thrilled the way it should have, and the way the German cars I’ve owned have. My current car, an M235i, is probably one of the most fun I’ve ever owned.

    • jimv1983

      I’m curious WHERE you would drive such a car where driving it like you say would even be possible?

  • SteersUright

    Decent car? Sure.
    Comparable to Germans? Of course not.
    This is a modern day version of classic Oldsmobile, Cadillac, or Buick and suits the geriatric demographic very well.
    German luxury sedans lean far more towards the sportier spectrum, are generally more aggressive in their style and driving experience. I dont think anyone cross-shops the two.

    • Seats & a steering wheel

      It’s not comparable to German cars as it will last more than 5 years without the owner resorting to a very expensive maintenance and repair regime.

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        True. However that’s also 5 years trying to justify the looks to everyone. 😉

      • SteersUright

        True, and this is a very strong quality of Lexus, one that I admire very much. I wish Lexus and the Germans could cooperate whereby they learn how to make quality automobiles from the former, and desirable ones from the latter.

      • Jawohl

        You assume cost of ownership is a priority for German driver drivers. It clearly isn’t!

    • jimv1983

      Where do you even drive that actually allows you to take advantage of that sporty and aggressive driving experience?

      People that I see driving like you are talking about are the ones driving like morons weaving in and out of traffic, following way to close and almost causing accidents.

      • SteersUright

        Im sorry I scared you grandma, didnt know you were still up in these forums.

  • Ken Lyns

    The GS was intended to compete against the E-class and 5-series. However, it wasn’t marketed well and sold poorly. So here’s Lexus trying to shoehorn the ES in the GS’ place…

    • Merc1

      So true and that worries me about the GS which deserves to continue. It should be redesigned as a A/S5 Sportback/Panamera style car. A regular sedan for them is dead in this segment.

      M

      • jimv1983

        Does the car industry really need ANOTHER hatchback? They are like modern day station wagons which should stay dead and buried.

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      True. You literally never hear about them

    • SteersUright

      True. And very sad. It was an excellent sedan, very capable albeit let down by a poor powertrain that was both underpowered and dim-witted.

  • ErnieB

    But why so damn ugly?

    • PK

      do you expect any good designs from the japs?

      • Seats & a steering wheel

        Yes, this is a refreshing change from sterile German offerings.

        • PK

          ehh…

        • jimv1983

          Especially BMW. They’ve had the same boring front end for years.

        • Jawohl

          For the few who will buy one?

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        Mazda?

        • PK

          meh…

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            The 6 is ugly?

          • PK

            if you’re talking about the grille then yes. in fact i’m not taking bmw’s design philosophy seriously these days. they’ve kind of lost their way in terms of design language.

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            Are you talking about a BMW grille or the 6’s?

          • PK

            the entire thing!

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            ?
            If you think the Mazda 6 is ugly what do you consider to be a handsome car on the current market?

          • PK

            anything that isn’t the japs currently.

          • Loquacious Borborygmus

            ANYTHING!? That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, is it not?

          • PK

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • XtremWize
        • PK

          that’s korean.

          • XtremWize

            Sorry, I was wrong, you’re right

          • PK

            (y)

    • no25

      That’s your opinion lol

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        Mine too.

      • Jawohl

        Not just his

    • jimv1983

      I think it looks great.

  • PK

    lmfao no.

  • TheBelltower

    Why does the front plastic need to look like a nightmare?

    • jimv1983

      I think it’s one of the best looking front grills of any car on the market right now.

  • Rani

    Not really interested in the car but I’ve seen a few of these here in So Cal and must say it looks quite striking and not as offensive as I thought. Lexus may be on to something and thats good on them.

    Now how about a new GS?

    • Bash

      I vote for the new GS too.

  • jimv1983

    I can’t wait for my ES 300h to be delivered next month. I love the grill.

    • DMJ

      We know that you love the grill. You’ve writen that in ALL comments in this article. Enjoy your ES, and let the other enjoy their BMW’s and Mercedes.

      • jimv1983

        That’s fine. Enjoy your Mercedes or BMW. Your mechanic will appreciate all the money he makes off you and your German car. LOL. His kids will probably appreciate you putting them through college. Hahaha

        • DMJ

          I live in Europe, the college here is free, so I don’t need to buy a geriatric car to give my kids a future.

          • jimv1983

            Ok. You got me on the college thing. Either way your mechanic will be making a lot of money off of your car choice.

            And there is nothing “geriatric” about Lexus.

    • Six Thousand Times

      You get a grill with it? Is it warm enough there for a cookout? Our winter stuck around for too long and I’m dying to fire up my grill.

      • jimv1983

        You know I meant the front grill on the car right?

        • Six Thousand Times

          So, you meant grille? That’s actually a different word.

          • jimv1983

            I’ve literally never seen anyone add an “e” to the end of “grill” for any use.

          • Six Thousand Times

            You must be joking. Is this your first time reading anything car-related?

          • jimv1983

            Nope. Not at all.

  • Will Suwandi

    i’m a f01 740Li user and es300h, it does goes beyond my expectation. it has a sweet interface and the experience was nowhere near bland! the 215hp delivers well and promising for a weight of itself, but the real winner gotta be the Rear Seat Entertainment Option (electronically reclining seat + 2 TVs) and fuel efficiency 5L/100km mannn future is here!

    • jimv1983

      You’re lucky. In the USA we don’t get all the fancy back seat options. Luckily I’m not going to be spending much time in the back seat. Still, kind of sucks for my passengers.

  • Jawohl

    Lexus have never been able to get near the Germans in desirability, sales or tech. Hence why their real competitors are other sub premium brands like Acura, Infiniti etc.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Nah, it’s an FWD Toyota Avalon in drag. Not abad car at all but not top tier. Having said that, it’ll probably never break.

  • Kapi19

    NOPE its FWD only plus it seems its more like stop gap solution for Lexus in Europe

  • CommonSense033

    Bring back the SC400.

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