Lexus as a brand has long been known for its electrified offerings by way of hybrids – with each release offering more pomp, polish, and performance. This is certainly the case in the ES (standing for “Executive Sedan”) line of mid-size cars. The nameplate, which has been around since 1989, started offering an electrified powertrain more than 10 years ago, and clearly has been on an upward trajectory in terms of hybrid technology development.
Over here, Lexus Philippines has added to the ES options of Filipino customers with the ES 300h Luxury – upping its hybrid electric choices in the nameplate to two, joining the previously released ES 300h Executive. With the internal-combustion-engine-equipped ES 350 Premier, browsers can now more keenly choose their ES depending on their preferences.
Lexus Philippines said that the hybrid electric variants of the ES “are designed for those who appreciate higher levels of comfort and convenience – plus the sustainable nature of the Lexus hybrid drive technology. It features an elevated level of sophistication to surpass the expectations of an uncompromising luxury-car buyer.”
The Lexus ES 300h Luxury, as with its current-gen siblings, is said to be “more spacious, quieter and safer than ever before, while a new generation of customers will find a saloon with sharp performance, class-leading safety technology, and a level of craftsmanship rarely found in this market segment.”
The sedan similarly bears the vaunted Lexus Driving Signature philosophy, which gives the motorist more balance, refined control, and confidence through linear steering, brake response, and optimized handling with exceptional ride quality. The ES also features a rear suspension member brace to improve torsional rigidity, handling stability, and ride comfort. ES hybrids boast an enhanced pedal feeling in connection with the Electronically Controlled Brake System (or ECB) lending unique regenerative and hydraulic brake control characteristics.
Under the hood is a robust 2.5-liter four-cylinder serving up 178hp and 221Nm. It carries laser-clad intake valve seats that allow increased airflow into the cylinder and an intake port shape that promotes high-speed combustion through the “tumble-flow turbulence of incoming air and fuel.” Lexus also reports that the engine achieves “world-leading thermal efficiency, combining robust power delivery with excellent response to deliver superb fuel efficiency.” The ES hybrid system promises heightened fuel efficiency and powerful acceleration on account of its hybrid transaxle with improved efficient internal power flow and a higher-efficiency power control unit. All told, the gasoline engine and electric motor submit a system output of 218hp.
The ES 300h Luxury, priced at P4.258 million, gets the updated front grille and headlamps of its ES siblings. It shares the interior hues of the range-topping Premier, along with its 235/45R18 rollers, rain-sensing wipers, smooth leather seats, 10-way power adjustment driver seat with memory, front passenger seat with eight-way power adjustment, kick sensor for the automatic trunk, and 12.3-inch Electro Multi-Vision Touch Display. The compact hybrid battery’s location underneath the rear seats contributes to optimum weight balance and a low center of gravity, and also bestows a larger cargo space.
The premium accoutrements extend to the important matter of safety. A comprehensive suite of features in the Lexus Safety Sense (LSS) are equipped on the ES. It gets the Pre-Collision System (PCS), Adaptive High Beam System (AHS), Automatic High Beam System (AHB), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The newest version the LSS has also been “tuned to operate in a way that feels more natural to the driver, and thus more reassuring.”
The reliability of the ES hybrid system, now equipped with a fourth-generation hybrid battery, is underscored by the fact Lexus offers an eight-year HEV battery warranty on the electrified variants, on top of a three-year/100,000km standard drive train warranty.
The ES350 Premier updated price is at P4.878 million, while the ES300h Executive updated price is P3.878 million.