63 of 68 people found this review helpful
First time Lexus and Hybrid Owner - former "German-Only" car buyer
By g007 on
2013 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I was in the market for a vehicle that had a roomy back seat and good fuel economy and AWD or front-wheel drive for driving in snow.
I had a VW CC and looked at the Passat Diesel and Audi A8L.
I've owned only German vehicles because I like how they drive (Mercedes GL320, Porsche Boxter, VW Touareg, CC, and GTI).
The new 2013 Lexus ES300 caught my eye because of the 40 inch rear leg room, and 40 mpg in city and highway.
Plus, it uses regular fuel.
My German cars required premium fuel and diesel is not always convenient.
I never cared for the Lexus styling as I thought it was rather bland.
However, the new horizontal dash resembles the BMW styling and is much more stylish than the VW.
The easy to use voice activated system controls the AC, heat, navigation, and sound system.
The bamboo interior is also a nice change of pace to the typical red and brown woods.
The seats are comfortable, and it drives like a heavier vehicle than it is.
The remote start allows us to keep the car cooled for our pet, and automatically turns off when we open the car door (it cannot be driven away).
Our iPhone connects and charges inside a special compartment, and can easily be controlled by through the audio system.
I like having the monitor higher as my other navigations were lower, and not in my eyesight.
The blind-spot system and rear-camera is helpful, and doesn't delay like our VW.
The navigation does not display in a 3D or birds-eye view - it seems a little first-generation in this regard.
Also, it plays DVD's but the audio only.
My CC would play video and audio.
The voice activation system always requires that you confirm by saying "yes" even when most of the time it get's it right.
It does everything but you cannot tell it to drive to a pre-loaded destination, which is odd.
It will only recognize it if you enter the phone number.
For example, instead of saying "Go to destination grandma's house" you have to say "go to destination 555-222-1111" using the phone number.
I prefer a touch-screen to the mouse, but, it gets the job done.
You sound a bit like myself.
I have been considering the Passat TDI.
Looking for a sedan with lots of backseat room since I have two little ones in carseats.
Currently have two Audis (A4 & Q5).
My A4 is a 3.2 L which is very fun to drive but gets terrible gas mileage.
What made up your mind on the Lexus vs the Passat?
I've been told that if you are a German car enthusiast, you won't enjoy driving a Japanese or American car.
Appreciate your input.