The Good The 2013 Lexus ES 300h is an attractive vehicle inside and out, with great build quality and a quiet, stable ride. A wide range of technology and comfort options are available to the driver. The 300h delivers great hybrid fuel economy.
The Bad The engine sound in Sport mode is unrefined and very un-Lexus. Most of the best tech options are only available as part of expensive packages.
The Bottom Line The 2013 Lexus ES 300h is a solid option for drivers looking for a premium hybrid. Unfortunately, its cousin -- the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid -- is just as good, but a much better value.
Luxurious Lexus edged out by thriftier Toyota twin
To be honest, the Lexus ES is a hard car for me to get excited about. I've always sort of thought it as an overpriced Toyota Camry for old folks with a few extra bucks to spend on leather seats.
The new 2013 Lexus ES strikes back at my expectations with a handsome design both outside and inside. I'm particularly pleased by the leather-trimmed cabin highlighted by tasteful wood and metallic accents. I'm also a huge fan of brown cars, so I was happy to see our 2013 Lexus ES 300h arrive in Fire Agate Pearl, which is fancy-pants automaker speak for pearlescent brown. Don't turn up your nose, it's a gorgeous color.
However, the freshly relaunched and redesigned Lexus ES faces stiff competition, both from the expected rivals bearing Audi, Infiniti, and Hyundai badges, and also from its platform-mate: the freshly relaunched and redesigned, which offers a nearly identical level of comfort, efficiency, and technology for thousands of dollars less.
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