2018 Lexus ES 300h Review
Edmunds expert review
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.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
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.
Noise & vibration7.0
Ease of use8.5
Getting in/getting out7.0
Child safety seat accommodation8.5
Audio & navigation4.0
Edmunds expert 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.