Lexus ES 300h Takumi

Lexus ES300h, dynamic
Lexus ES 300h, side
Lexus ES 300h, rear
Lexus ES 300h, boot
Lexus ES 300h, interior
Lexus ES 300h Takumi, 2020, door mirror

DOOR mirrors don't normally excite any comment - but the digital monitors that replace them on the ES 300h Takumi steal the limelight.

Still present is the conventional door mirror shapes - albeit extremely thin - but they contain high-resolution cameras that feed two in-car monitors on either end of the dashboard showing the area behind and immediately alongside the vehicle - adapting automatically to give an extended view when turning or reversing.

The system is designed to fall within the driver's intuitive line of sight but it still takes a bit of getting used to as you initially look at where the door mirror should be rather than where the monitor is situated. However it's not a huge inconvenience and you soon pick up the habit of where to cast your glance before manoeuvring.

Without the need for a physical mirror the new slim heated housings for the cameras are aerodynamically efficient as well as eliminating any possibility of wind noise raising a ruckus. This combined with a powertrain that makes Harpo Marx sound loud ensures peace and quiet as well as fuel efficiency.

The hybrid-powered self-charging ES boasts 215bhp from the petrol-electric set up allowing 62mph to be achieved from a standing start - with the help of a smooth automatic transmission - in 8.9 seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 112mph.

There is no need to plug it in as power is returned to the battery via a combination of regeneration and engine power.

It all adds up to a fuel-efficient beast capable of 54.3 miles per gallon under WLTP testing protocols - helped by an ability to run as often as possible on electric power which also keeps emissions reasonably low at 125g/km.

For occasions when you are in slow moving traffic there is an EV mode allowing the car to run solely on electric power at low speeds over short distances reducing fuel consumption as well as producing zero emissions.

This is an executive saloon set up to cruise rather than sprint with a comfortable ride the priority of an efficient suspension that successfully shields you from the many humps and hollows littering our roads these days.

That's not to say it can't hold its own on country lanes as the steering is informative while levels of grip are confidence-inspiring.

The modern, spacious cabin also lifts the spirits with seats that cosset driver and passengers with those in the back benefiting from excellent levels of legroom. The boot is reasonably roomy at 454 litres with a powered bootlid giving easy access

The £47,280 top-of-the-range Takumi model boasts a 12.3-inch touchscreen that gives access to goodies like the digital radio and Mark Levinson audio system as well as the sat nav. There is also a natty seven-inch TFT screen in the instrument panel and an informative head up display.

Thoughtful features include intelligent parking sensors with rear pedestrian detection and braking function, wireless smartphone integration, plus an electric rear screen sunshade as well as manual ones for the side windows in the back.

The sleek exterior is pleasing on the eye as the ES boasts stylish lines, a distinctive grille, and a coupe-like shape curtesy of a curved rear roofline.

FAST FACTS

Lexus ES 300h Takumi

Price:£47,280

Mechanical:215bhp, 2487cc, 4cyl petrol-electric hybrid engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph:8.9 seconds

Combined MPG:54.3

Insurance Group:38

C02 emissions:125g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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