2018 Lexus ES 300h

2018 Lexus ES 300h
Save up to $2,357
2018 Lexus ES 300h
Save up to $2,357

Pros

  • Efficient hybrid powertrain returns high fuel economy
  • Luxurious interior with impressive fit and finish
  • Plenty of rear legroom, even for tall passengers
  • Lots of standard driver aids, and plenty of optional ones

Cons

  • Infotainment system's controller is frustrating to use
  • Grabby brakes make it difficult to slow down smoothly
  • Enform app suite is a poor substitute for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Lots of noise while the electric motor recharges the battery


Which ES 300h does Edmunds recommend?

There's only one version of the 2018 Lexus ES 300h, but a couple of option packages are worth considering. The Premium package is inexpensive yet adds appealing luxury touches such as a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings and wood trim (a definite upgrade over the standard piano black pieces). It's also required if you want to add the Navigation package. We think the Luxury package is another good buy: It bumps up the price by a healthy margin, but its extra safety features and real leather upholstery are worth the expense.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.2 / 10

What do you do when you're attracted to the fuel efficiency offered by a typical hybrid but want more room and an upscale cabin? A large luxury hybrid that doesn't cost a fortune might seem like an impossibility, but the 2018 Lexus ES 300h delivers on all fronts.

This comfortable cruiser provides spacious transport for up to five passengers, all while returning fuel economy around 40 mpg. You definitely get a lot of car for your money with the ES 300h. It costs just a bit more than the related Toyota Avalon Hybrid, but the Lexus is undeniably the more luxurious of the two.

That doesn't mean the ES 300h is perfect — you do give up some functionality when you upgrade. We're specifically referring to the Lexus' Remote Touch infotainment controller, which is frustrating to use even for seasoned tech veterans. Overall, though, the 2018 Lexus ES 300h should easily satisfy shoppers who want a fuel-efficient and roomy luxury sedan.

2018 Lexus ES 300h configurations

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h luxury sedan comes with a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, allowing it to achieve better fuel economy than its V6-powered ES 350 sibling. It's sold in a single, well-equipped trim level, with a number of available feature packages and stand-alone options. Note that some options and configurations may be limited depending on where the car is purchased.

The hybrid powertrain has a four-cylinder engine and electric motor with a combined output of 200 horsepower. The combo sends power to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting (headlights, taillights, running lights and foglights), automatic high beams, automatic wipers, a sunroof, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, and lane departure warning and mitigation. Also standard are dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way power lumbar), simulated leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, Lexus Enform Remote (allows for smartphone control of some vehicle functions) and Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications.

On the infotainment front, the ES 300h comes with a driver information display, an 8-inch central display screen, Siri Eyes Free (iPhone voice control integration) and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and a USB port.

There are a few notable packages available for the Lexus ES 300h, starting with the Navigation package. It includes the mouselike Remote Touch interface, a navigation system, voice controls, a second USB port, and the Enform suite of smartphone-connected apps and concierge services. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system can be added to this package.

The Premium package adds a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings and several wood trim choices. The Luxury package includes the Premium package and tacks on leather upholstery and heated and ventilated front seats. It also requires the addition of several stand-alone options, including front and rear parking sensors, a steering wheel trimmed in leather and wood, a power rear sunshade, upgraded headlights, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Finally, the Ultra Luxury package includes everything from the Luxury package plus a driver seat-cushion extender, passenger-seat memory settings, upgraded leather upholstery, manual rear side sunshades and ambient lighting. 

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Lexus ES 300h (2.5L inline-4 hybrid | CVT automatic | FWD). NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current ES 300h has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to the 2018 ES 300h.

Driving

6.5
The ES 300h is faster in a straight line than its chief rival, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, but neither is as entertaining to drive as a performance-oriented plug-in such as the BMW 330e. Handling is acceptable for a car like this, but hair-trigger brakes with a soft, spongy pedal are inexcusable.

Acceleration

6.5
Acceleration response is dull in the default driving settings. The Eco driving mode only exacerbates this issue, while Sport improves it somewhat with sharper power delivery. The ES can accelerate to 60 mph in a respectable 7.8 seconds.

Braking

5.0
The brakes are initially very grabby. Even when you're familiar with the brakes, smooth stops don't come naturally. We needed 117 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is average for this class of vehicle.

Steering

6.5
The steering has lots of assist, but the actual ratio is slower than average. There's also no steering feedback to speak of, though the on-center feel is sufficient enough to keep the ES 300h pointed straight at highway speeds.

Handling

7.0
Considering this is a large, soft-riding Lexus with a big battery pack, it handles OK. Body roll is well-controlled even if the tires don't provide much grip. It doesn't do as well with quick transitions; the car is slow to respond.

Drivability

8.0
The ES 300h usually pulls away from stops in a pure EV mode, but the engine fires up smoothly and quickly when needed. You can feel when the engine kicks on, but overall the transition is impressively smooth.

Comfort

8.0
In classic Lexus fashion, the ES 300h exhibits a soft ride quality that diminishes or altogether neutralizes any jitteriness that poorly maintained roads can cause. Performance from the sedan's climate control system is disappointing, though.

Seat comfort

8.5
All outboard seats are comfortable over long distances. The rear bench is set to a gentle recline, though passengers would further benefit from a seat bottom with a little more rear tilt. A lack of lateral support is understandable given the car's mission.

Ride comfort

8.0
The ride is predominantly soft and comfortable. Highway cruising is enjoyable. But the ride can get a little bouncy while traveling on undulating roads, and some midcorner bumps will send the occasional shudder through the cabin.

Noise & vibration

7.0
Road and wind noise is reasonably quelled. When the electric motor is recharging, it produces a high-pitched whine that some buyers might not expect. The gas engine sounds a bit overworked when you dig into the accelerator for power.

Climate control

6.5
Dual-zone automatic climate control comes standard, and heated and ventilated front seats are included with our tester's Luxury package. The ventilation function is weak, while the heaters will only toast rear ends on the highest setting. Heated rear seats are not available.

Interior

8.0
Aside from minor issues with getting into and out of the car, the ES 300h is easy to live with. Highlights include fantastic outward visibility and a spacious cabin. One caveat: We haven't tested an example with the panoramic sunroof, which could affect headroom.

Ease of use

8.5
All controls in the front are clearly labeled and within easy reach of the driver. There's even a long pad just aft of the mouse controller so you can rest your hand while using it.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
Taller drivers will find it fairly difficult to avoid grazing a knee on the steering wheel bottom when getting in, even with the wheel tilted all the way up. Otherwise, entry is easy all the way around. Low seat bottoms in the back slightly impede exiting.

Driving position

7.5
The driver's seat provides a nice range of adjustment and is a nice place to sit overall. For long-legged drivers, the bottom cushion may feel slightly short (without the Ultra Luxury pack) while the armrests are a little low if you like to cruise with your hands at the 3 and 9 positions on the wheel.

Roominess

8.5
This big sedan has abundant legroom and shoulder room for all outboard passengers. The standard sunroof doesn't cut into front headroom at all, though tall rear-seat passengers might brush their hair against the roof when fully leaning against the seatback.

Visibility

9.0
A low beltline, narrow pillars and large windows with light tint combine to give the driver excellent outward visibility, even with the seat set in its lowest position. A rearview camera comes standard; front and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring are optional.

Quality

8.5
The ES displays the solid build quality we've come to expect from Lexus. Trim pieces line up perfectly, and contrast-colored stitching looks good. There's nothing terribly daring or awe-inspiring but perhaps that's for the best, considering the busy interiors we've seen in other Lexuses of late.

Utility

7.5
The ES 300h's cargo area dwarfs rivals' by several cubic feet, but because of battery pack placement, you can't fold the rear seats down to increase it. Adding child seats is easy thanks to the large back seat and easily accessible LATCH anchors.

Small-item storage

6.0
There's a pair of cupholders front and back, and the front door pockets will each accept a standard water bottle laid on its side. There are no rear door pockets or additional trays in the front.

Cargo space

8.0
The cargo area measures 12.1 cubic feet, which is larger than you'll find in rival hybrid sedans. However, with the battery compartment pressed against the bulkhead, there's no pass-through and you can't fold the rear seats down.

Child safety seat accommodation

8.5
There are two LATCH anchors that stick out from each of the outboard seats. They are easy to access, though they are unsightly considering they aren't hidden at all. Three tethers on the rear shelf are concealed and similarly easy to find and hook on to.

Technology

6.0
All the latest safety systems are here, but the ES 300h stumbles on other tech fronts. You have to download Lexus' app to have access to things such as Pandora, and the infotainment system's mouselike controller continues to fall short in user-friendliness.

Audio & navigation

4.0
The Lexus infotainment system's mouse controller is unintuitive and frustrating to operate. Give it an extensive test run at the dealership, so you know you can live with it. The Mark Levinson system sounds good but lacks a little strength to fully satisfy our audio demands.

Smartphone integration

7.0
You have to download Lexus' Enform App Suite to use smartphone apps such as Pandora and Yelp through the central display screen. Enform Remote lets users perform basic functions such as door unlocking and cabin heating and cooling from their phone. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are notably absent.

Driver aids

8.0
The ES 300h comes standard with several advanced safety systems, including lane departure alert and pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The last one is especially important; it comes in handy given how difficult it is to effectively use the brakes.

Voice control

7.0
Lexus' voice command prompts you to communicate with preselected phrases, but we found detection of natural speech to be limited. Siri Eyes Free is theoretically available with connected iPhones, but we were unable to get it to work on our test car.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Lexus ES 300h.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

We love it!
Floyd Sense,08/23/2018
I've owned the car for less than a week, and here are my initial impressions: I'm an average sized person and find the seats very comfortable on long Interstate drives. My car has the leather seats, not the Lexus version of vinyl. The mouse-like control for navigation and other display functions sometimes gets a bad rap in reviews, but I find it easy to use and perfectly positioned. If you're used to using a mouse with your PC, it will be second nature to you. The car's display is sheltered in a recessed cove on top of the dash and that completely shields it from sunlight and there is never any glare. If it were a touch screen, you wouldn't be able to reach it, hence the mouse control. The display is as clear and sharp as any I've ever seen. The instrumentation is superb, and the Bluetooth operation and audio quality is perfect. So far, my only complaint is rather minor: there's no storage spot for sunglasses in the overhead console as many other cars have today. One thing to be aware of: the car is not absolutely quiet as many reviewers have claimed. The gas engine noises are well muted but you'll still hear tire noise at 70 mph on the freeway. On another car I own, I found that Pirelli tires are somewhat quieter than the Michelin Primacy tires that come stock on the Lexus. But, the car seems to be quieter than the other hybrids I've tested (Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Avalon). If you're considering one of the better hybrids but are put off by the Lexus MSRP, consider the Camry or Avalon - they're very close in terms of comfort and noise levels.
High end hybrid
J,01/24/2018
Excellent car. Very comfortable, smooth and quiet. Not quite getting the advertised 40mpg... closer to 35 combined.
Great looking/terrible seats
K Smith,05/17/2018
The seats are very uncomfortable. After driving/riding for two hours or more the seats feel very hard. The seats feel like sitting on a mental plate. The dealership told me that the seats are standard Lexus seats. Since this is the third Lexus I have owned I know the quality of comfort has dropped considerably.
My Dream Car
Ronald Balderach,07/10/2018
I have wanted to buy this car for several years. I was concerned about the gas mileage because a previous Lexus I bought in 2000 got very poor miles per gallon. My Ford Fusion got such good mileage, I decided to go ahead and get the car I really wanted.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$41,820
MPG
40 city / 39 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
200 hp @ 5700 rpm
See all 2018 Lexus ES 300h features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite ES 300h safety features:

Blind-Spot Monitor
Illuminates a light when a vehicle is in the ES 300h's blind spot. Also detects vehicles moving across your path while in reverse.
Park Assist
Alerts the driver as the ES 300h approaches an object in front of or behind the vehicle.
Pre-Collision System
Alerts the driver if a front collision is deemed imminent and can automatically apply the brakes to lessen or avoid the impact.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%

2018 Lexus ES 300h for Sale

Lexus ES 300h 2018 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus ES 300h
Base
(3)
Pohanka Lexus of Chantilly
10.2 mi away
MSRP$48,889
Est.Loan: $840/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Lexus ES 300h 2018 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus ES 300h
Base
(20)
Lindsay Lexus of Alexandria
25.8 mi away
MSRP$49,116
Est.Loan: $850/mo
View Details
Lexus ES 300h 2018 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus ES 300h
Base
(7)
Lexus of Towson
53.7 mi away
MSRP$48,889
Est.Loan: $840/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
NAV, Sunroof, Heated Seats, CD Player, Satellite Radio, Onboard Communications System, Dual Zone AC. ES 300h trim, SILVER LINING METALLIC exterior and PARCHMENT WMATTE BAMBOO interior. FUEL EFFICIENT 39 MPG Hwy40 MPG City! READ MORE!KEY FEATURES INCLUDESunroof, Back-Up Camera, Hybrid, Satellite Radio, CD Player, Onboard Communications System, Aluminum Wheels, Keyless Start, Dual Zone AC. Rear Spoiler, Keyless Entry, Remote Trunk Release, Steering Wheel Controls, Child Safety Locks.OPTION PACKAGESLUXURY PACKAGE wood trim on center console and cup holder, Memory Exterior Mirrors, Memory Driver Seat, Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Memory Steering Wheel, electric tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Wood Trim, ambient illumination door trim, Power TiltTelescoping Steering Wheel, NAVIGATION PACKAGE advanced casual-language voice recognition system, navigation system, remote touch navigation controller wside enter buttons, MP3WMA and dual USBiPod audio input plugs, Lexus Enform Destination Assist One year trial, Lexus Enform App Suite Subscription free, destination search, Yelp, iHeartRadio, Facebook Places, Movietickets.com, OpenTable, Pandora, Slacker, stocks, fuel prices and sports, TWIN PROJECTOR BI-LED HEADLAMPS LED DRLs, foglamps, and automatic high beams, INTUITIVE PARKING ASSIST clearance and back sonar, BLIND SPOT MONITOR WREAR CROSS TRAFFIC ALERT lane change assistOUR OFFERINGSAs a result of Lexus' philosophy to Experience Amazing, Lexus vehicles are without question the best quality and most reliable luxury vehicles on the road today. We look forward to providing you with a superior ownership experience for many years to come in our all-new, state-of-the-art facility.Horsepower calculations based on trim engine configuration. Fuel economy calculations based on original manufacturer data for trim engine configuration. Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.

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More about the 2018 Lexus ES 300h

It doesn't seem like that long ago when hybrid cars were novelties for early adopters. Now they are commonplace, aimed primarily at the midprice family market. Where hybrids are in short supply is the entry-level luxury class, and that makes the 2018 Lexus ES 300h stand out. The hybrid ES prioritizes fuel economy over dynamic performance but never forgets that it is a luxury sedan. And it offers up all the comforts and amenities found in the non-hybrid, V6-powered Lexus ES 350.

The ES 300h is roomy and relaxing, even compared to its competition. Interior trim is excellent, fit and finish are impeccable, and the back seat is generously sized. We are less enamored by the Remote Touch interface. While the idea of a computer's mouselike interface is novel, it is not well-suited for operation in a moving car. It requires too much attention be taken away from the road. If cutting-edge infotainment technology is a priority, we recommend spending plenty of time with the system during your test drive.

Fuel economy is the ES 300h's raison d'être, and the powertrain is similar to the one found in its Toyota Camry Hybrid cousin. It uses a continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Beneath the hood is a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder mated to Toyota's proven Hybrid Synergy Drive system. This is not the most sophisticated of hybrid systems, and total system output is a mere 200 horsepower. The ES 300h accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds during our instrumented testing, which is not bad for this segment.

But we don't mind giving up a little power for the sort of fuel economy the ES 300h returns. The EPA rates the Lexus ES 300h at 40 mpg combined (40 city/39 highway), a figure we were able to match in our own tests. All-electric operation at low speed enhances the trademark refinement of the ES, but the cabin is even library-quiet at highway speeds. Ride quality along those highways is not as smooth as in other vehicles in this class. But safety ratings for the ES are excellent.

Lexus offers the ES 300h in a single trim level that includes most of what we expect from a modern-day luxury sedan. That includes the high-quality simulated leather upholstery so prevalent in luxury cars on the market today. Additional options — including navigation, alternate interior trim choices and genuine cowhide — are bundled into packages. The content and availability of those packages can vary by region, however. If you're considering this fuel-efficient luxury sedan, Edmunds can help find the perfect 2018 Lexus ES 300h for you.

2018 Lexus ES 300h Overview

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h is offered in the following submodels: ES 300h Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What do people think of the 2018 Lexus ES 300h?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Lexus ES 300h and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 ES 300h 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 ES 300h.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Lexus ES 300h and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 ES 300h featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Lexus ES 300h?
2018 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $42,815. The average price paid for a new 2018 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $2,357 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,357 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$40,458.

The average savings for the 2018 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is5.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2018 Lexus ES 300h 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 Lexus ES 300hs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Lexus ES 300h for sale near. There are currently 3 new 2018 ES 300hs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $48,889 and mileage as low as 10 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Lexus ES 300h. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,597 on a used or CPO 2018 ES 300h available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Lexus ES 300hs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Lexus ES 300h for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,004.

Find a new Lexus for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,240.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Lexus ES 300h?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lexus lease specials