They’re two of the biggest selling luxury cars on the market, but both have the same badge. The Lexus ES 300h and the ES 350 both offer discerning drivers the Lexus experience and are well-crafted, mid-size luxury sedans. However, there is one key difference between the two – the powertrain.
The beating heart of the Lexus
Underneath the bonnet of the ES 350, you’ll find a grunty, torquey V6. This 3.5litre engine delivers 302Bhp and 267lb. ft torque, giving it blistering performance and a smooth power delivery all the way through the rev range. Despite the V6 configuration, fuel economy is good, with a city/open road combination of 13.6kilometres per litre).
By comparison, the ES 300h employs an Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder teamed up with the Lexus Hybrid drive system. An output of 215 total system bhp may be a little down on the ES 350. But where the ES 300h makes up is in its fuel economy. That super-efficient hybrid system pushes the city/open road combination up to 24.1kilometres per litre), almost double that of the ES 350 around town.
The ES 300h – Hybrid technology for a greener choice
The ES 300h sits in a high-performing class alongside the BMW 5 Series, the Mercedes E-Class and the Audi A6. It holds its own against these big hitters, delivering a more refined driving experience and a luxury interior that often puts more expensive options to shame. This quality sedan is stately and frugal around the city but show it an open road, and it stretches its legs, delivering smooth power transition and a serene travelling experience.
The 2022 version has had a bit of an upgrade when it comes to looks, though, and the first thing you'll notice as you walk around it is that striking front grille, teamed up with slimmer, three-eye LED headlights. The ES 300h has real road presence, making it an eye-catching option that breaks away from the ‘jelly-mould’ look of most modern sedans.
One major upgrade in the 2022 model is a new and improved infotainment system. The ES 300h now has an intuitive and easy-to-read touch screen and must-have essentials like Apple CarPlay® integration and Android Auto™ compatibility.
The ES 350 – a class leader
The Lexus ES 350 was pretty much perfection already, although the addition to a better touchscreen system for the onboard infotainment system has been widely welcomed. However, while it too has adopted that curvaceous grille and sleeker, meaner front profile, the ES 350 has focused its upgrades elsewhere. Unlike the ES 300h, it relies on a V6 engine that delivers an extra 87Bhp compared to the hybrid. To give it that infamous Lexus ride quality, the smart suspension minimises body roll, making the ES feel planted and responsive through the curves and quick off the line from a standing start.
The 2022 model has seen some upgrades in the safety department, including the new Lexus Safety System Plus 2.5. In this comprehensive and reassuring package, you get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.. And if you’re passionate about hitting the twisties in those mountain passes, Curve Speed Reduction will slow the vehicle through tight curves for a smoother exit line and better grip.
So which is better? The ES 350, with its V6 performance? Or the ES 300h with its hybrid technology and superior fuel efficiency? It really depends on what you want to do with your luxury Lexus and your driving style. To make up your mind, book in for a test drive today and discover more about the Class of 2022 from Lexus.