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Roadshow Video Reviews
2013 Lexus ES300hThe Lexus ES is the car to get when you're serious about MPG.
-There is not much in the Lexus line you can't get with a hybrid power plant including this that kind of hot look in ES 300h, the hybrid, and check the tech. Now, the ES used to always get kind of some snide remarks for being sort of Dowdy, a tarted up Camry. You've heard all the lines. This is a pretty hot looking car in this sedan class. You got that trapezoidal mouth, which is the new Lexus look, yet come to some much swoopier lines down the roof line and to the rear, and the car has got a little bit of the Lexus LS bearing without being so overbearing. Let's get inside. Now, first off, when you get into this ES, this is a really nice car, really nice materials, nice and soft. I'm always amazed that how smooth they polished this wood part of the wheel in a Lexus, but then it serves to jar me a little bit. There's every single aspect of a French curve uses somewhere on this dash. You've got trapezoids, and you've got the Lexus grill echoed here, and then you've got tapers, and it's kind of chaotic. My other problem is this color of the interior. I'm sorry, but shammy colored hard plastic doesn't do any car maker any favors, and the Lexus is no exception. Now, notice here, we have a screen on this car, but we don't have navigation, but this is what they call display audio system. I think it's optional, but I doubt you'll ever an ES hybrid that doesn't have it. You've got a nav controller here, but it's different than what you've get with nav, which would be that Lexus palm controller. So, everything changes, but you still have nav and controller for a bunch of basic settings. The most interesting of which are your media. Now, of course, you've AM and FM radio. We have HD Radio on this car as well. That's part of and optional package though that it's not strictly based. If you to the media setting, we have our CD slot right here. You see we got nice read out of the text from the tracks there, great no database, and here's our Bluetooth streaming player. Now, this is my android phone. I'm not getting metadata. Doesn't mean that you won't own yours, but on a least line ain't happening and that's always annoying to me. The good news is we have very reliable AVRCP, the remote control protocols, so this track adjustment pause and play work really well for me every time. I have a gripe though about the radio screenings. Where they do the actual meta tags coming in from the RDS system? They don't use all the real estate that they could, that second line there where the tag is. It always seems to be cutting something off and sometimes just kind of funny and of course you see here we don't have Toyota Lexus generally app support. They call that in tune no Toyota, in form on the Lexus. It's one of the best in the business, but you've an option into that. Now, the other nav on the console after you get rid of all this head unit stuff is this one over here for your drive select. It's very interesting. You'd seen it before on the City. You push it to go to normal mode. You rotate once to go sport, which also turns your left gauge from an ECO gauge to attack and lights everything up in red. You go to the left counterclockwise for eco mode. Below, that's a button for EV mode to force it to run electric more often than that, and then on your transmission, you've got a sport mode. This is turning to become madness. It's not just Lexus. This transmission by the way is a CVT. It's got traditional shifting gate, but it's just a continuously variable gear box. No real gears in there, and you do have a rear camera on this car, but that is optional, although again, I bet ES hybrids probably gonna shift with this. You get a wide angle camera if you go to a higher trim with nav. Last thing I wanna point out on this car is while the seats are very comfy, they are also very hot. The seats here go from position 1, which is okay that's too hot up to position 3, which is good grip color consumer product safety commission. They got to give me a like a half point in here somewhere. You think you're serious. Now, the ES has always gotten lots of raving for being some kind of fancy Camry. Here is one place where it does share the guts with the Camry, its hybrid motor. This is not the Prius powertrain. It's the Camry hybrid power train. 2.5 liter lean burn in line 4 in spite of the fact his car is called 300. It not a 3 liter, coupled that with electric motor of course, front-wheel drive only in that one choice CVT gearbox. 200 horsepower, doesn't sound like much, but of course hybrids are full of torque. Unfortunately, Lexus doesn't quite a torque number for this car, so we'll have to go on the roads even if it has enough. They do quote MPG, of course, 40 city, 39 highway for a car that weighs nearly 3700 pounds. Compare that the V6 on this car, the standard gas engine, you'd be getting a much lower 21/31 MPG. There is a real difference. Okay, it's a hybrid with a strong electric mode, so you put it on the gear, you start it, nothing happens, the car just starts to move. That's a little odd to begin with. This car can go a few miles. I think that's about 2 miles or so in pure EV mode and depending on the conditions, it can do that at relatively high speeds up to about 3-way speed, I think. Now, there's a big difference between sports where it really forced on the torque. Electric motors are good for that, and here's ECO where it's really kind of iridescent to move well. Normals actually a great blend. The right quality dialed together like a Swiss watches you might imagine, nothing rattle at all. On the other hand, the ride was a little bit unrefined. [unk] to go up sport ride with sometimes is just out of place. This car to me is luxurious kind of an affordable premium sedan and I got too much road input, and the real world MPG, what were seeing was somewhere in the mid 30s, a combination of driving on freeway city, up and down hills and some torrential storms we had the last few days. That's a really nice real world number. One more thing about driving this car that kind of annoyed me, there is a very slight high pitch whine on deceleration or acceleration, coming from somewhere over here on the left side of the dash, the hybrid, probably a power inverter thing. I'm guessing, but I can hear it. My ears are pretty damn good. I got sound like gets up around 15k or more bit it annoys me after a while. Now, let's price this 2013 ES 300h. About 397 is your base with destination. Won't have a lot of tact at that point. You can add about 2600 bucks to get navigation, premium audio, and a few other nice of these. That would be kind of your main entry point to go CNET style. To go hog wild though, you spend 10,600 on top of the base and that gets you every tech toy in the book, and these guys do all their technology pretty well. So, very little if any of it is gonna be wise.