Buddy Review: How Does The 2020 Lexus ES 300h Handle A Surprise Snow Storm?

2019 saw a major redesign for the Lexus ES, the brand’s most popular sedan that competes against the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, among others. Unlike any of that bunch (at least in the U.S.), the Lexus ES 300h is the only available hybrid model in the class. Built on the Toyota GA-K platform, it’s similar underneath to a Toyota Avalon, but this Lexus ES is a different animal. But how well does it actually work in the real world? In this video, Tommy and Roman take a deeper look at Lexus’ latest hybrid sedan.

With the departure of the aging GS, the 2020 Lexus ES lineup represents the main front in the brand’s fight against its luxury rivals. The hybrid model uses a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine mated to an electric motor. Combined, they put out 215 horsepower, which is the same figure you’ll get in a Camry or Avalon Hybrid. The Lexus ES 300h also comes with an “eCVT” transmission, rather than the 8-speed automatic you’d get in conventional ES models. All 2020 cars are strictly front-wheel drive, although an all-wheel drive (non-hybrid) option is coming for the 2021 model year.

Where the 2020 Lexus ES 300h wins out against its rivals, however, is on efficiency. The car manages 44 mpg combined, as well as a 43 city / 44 highway rating.

2020 Lexus ES 300h options

The 2020 Lexus ES 300h is available across three trims, with prices starting at $41,810 before destination. The standard hybrid model comes with Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, including features like forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, dynamic cruise control, lane keep assist and automatic headlights. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa capability also come as standard fare in the 2020 models.

Our test vehicle did come with a plethora of options, though stepping up to the Luxury or Ultra Luxury trim will bundle these features in. The most expensive among them included the $2,900 Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio Package. That includes a 12.3-inch display, as well as a 17-speaker, 1800 watt audio setup with 3 years of Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and parking assist is a $1,065 option on this trim. $1,375 gets you the Premium Package, which adds ventilated and heated memory seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and rain-sensing wipers. Other options included $480 for a heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, $400 for illuminated door sills, $1,515 for triple-beam headlights and $500 for a 10.2-inch head-up display.

All in, our 2020 Lexus 300h comes out to $53,810, including destination. That’s a lot of car for the money on paper, but check out the video above to see more of our impressions. Nathan also takes a look around the ES in the video below: