After the unconvincing HS 250h, Lexus is fitting a new base hybrid sedan to its lineup. The 2013 Lexus ES 300h is a much more convincing proposition.
For a start, it shares Lexus' strong new design language with other recent arrivals, like the Lexus GS and LS-series models. That gives the ES a sharp profile, uniquely Japanese but no longer bland like some previous Lexus sedans. At the front, the now-typical "spindle" grille design means that the ES could only be a Lexus, and it looks both sporty and expensive at the same time.
The ES range counts two powertrains. The ES 350 centers around a 3.5-liter V-6, but we're more interested in the hybrid ES 300h.
This uses a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine. This is paired with an electric motor-generator system, which works similarly to other Toyota and Lexus hybrids. Gentle acceleration results in electric running alone; drive a little quicker and the gasoline engine takes over, and pushing harder still will cause the...
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