2016 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid Gets Styling Update, Nicer Interior


The Toyota Camry Hybrid was restyled for the 2015 model year, and now its Lexus ES 300h luxury sibling is getting a similar treatment.

First seen at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show, the 2016 Lexus ES 300h looks considerably different from its predecessor, but is mechanically unchanged.

On the outside, the ES 300h gets a new front fascia with an enlarged, one-piece version of the "spindle" grille that's become a Lexus calling card.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid Unveiled At New York Auto Show

Lighting has been upgraded front and back, with LED headlights and taillights with L-shaped elements: "L" for Lexus, presumably.

Rounding out the exterior changes are a new design for the 17-inch alloy wheels, and four new exterior colors--Autumn Shimmer, Nightfall Mica, Caviar, and Eminent Pearl White.

As before, the hybrid is distinguished from other ES models by its trunk spoiler, hidden exhaust pipe and model-specific badges.

2016 Lexus ES 300h

2016 Lexus ES 300h

Interior revisions include a new steering wheel and shift knob, additional color choices for the trim, and some changes in fabrics and surfaces.

For 2016, the ES 300h also gets the new Lexus Safety System+, which bundles several electronic driver aides.

That includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, intelligent high-beam control, and adaptive cruise control.

ALSO SEE: 2015 Toyota Camry: New York Auto Show Live Photos (Apr 2014)

Another new technology feature for 2016 is Lexus Enform Service Connect, which allows owners to use an app (iOS only) or a website to set push notifications for vehicle maintenance.

What hasn't changed is the hybrid powertrain--which still consists of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which uses a pair of electric motors that substitute for a transmission.

This is the same arrangement used since the ES added its hybrid variant in the last redesign, for the 2013 model year.

2016 Lexus ES 300h

2016 Lexus ES 300h

Total system output is still a nice round 200 horsepower, sent to the front wheels.

EPA-rated fuel economy is also the same 40 mpg combined (39 mpg city, 40 mpg highway) as before.

MORE: Lexus Bypassing Plug-In Hybrids, Looking At Fuel Cells, Maybe EVs

That's nearly the same as the 40 mpg combined (41 mpg city, 39 mpg highway) of the 2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid--another luxury model based on a mainstream mid-size sedan, in this case the Ford Fusion.

The 2016 Lexus ES 300h will be priced from $41,860, including destination.

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