Lexus ES 300h

Premium Edition

Lexus ES 300h, 2022, front
Lexus ES 300h, 2022, side
Lexus ES 300h, 2022, rear
Lexus ES 300h, 2022, interior

IN the current market you would be hard pressed to find a large, luxury saloon with hybrid technology and a sub-£40,000 price tag.

And perhaps one of the last places you would look for such a model is in the prestigious Lexus stable.

But after driving the Lexus ES 300h I reckon I have found one of today's motoring best buys.

For the ES300h Premium Edition is as big as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, or BMW 5-Series and just as classy yet is priced at just £38,605.

That's not too much more than some of the mid-sized family cars from more mainstream manufacturers which, while good, are hardly in the same league when it comes to image, build quality and refinement.

With its 2.5-litre petrol engine working in tandem with an electric motor this is a sleek executive saloon par-excellence.

Ride quality is superb and from inside the cabin there is barely any engine noise, making it difficult to be sure at times when the car is running on electric or petrol power.

And the best thing of all is there is none of the range anxiety associated with full electric cars as the battery is always charged by the engine.

And while a large car with a 2.5-litre engine might suggest it's heavy on the fuel the hybrid combination means this car will average up to 53 miles per gallon.

At the same time it can deliver real gutsy performance in mid-range driving where it excels, eating up the miles while you relax in comfort.

Even its 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time is a very respectable 8.9 seconds although its raison d'etre is smooth effortless motoring rather than the sporting, quick off-the-mark style of many of its competitors.

But make no mistake, when you want to push on this large, luxury saloon can handle the sharpest of corners and fastest of bends at speed with ease and impressive stability

Take a seat inside and it's executive styling all the way, with plenty of space to stretch out for both front and rear seat passengers.

Home comforts extend to heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a tilt and slide sunroof, a wireless charging tray for your mobile and a 10-speaker Pioneer audio system with CD player.

There's a large, 12.3-inch touch screen which can also be navigated by a computer-style touch pad near the gear shift and there's a classy executive style two-tone interior colour scheme.

And I particularly liked the large, chilled storage box near the gear shift with its clever left and right hinged lid, allowing easy access by driver or passenger.

Build quality, as you would expect from Lexus, is first class and the doors close with the very gentlest of pushes with a nice solid sound.

You have a choice of eco, normal and sport modes and you can also switch to pure electric for short distances such as when travelling through towns.

Switch to sport mode and the power meter - which surrounds the digital speedometer readout - is converted to a rev counter for more active driving or for when using the paddles behind the steering wheel rather than letting the CVT automatic transmission do its own thing.

FAST FACTS

Lexus ES 300h Premium Edition

Price:£38,595

Mechanical: 215bhp, 2,487cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via six speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:112 mph

0-62mph: 8.9 secs

Combined MPG: 50.4 - 53.2

Insurance Group: 32

C02 emissions: 125 g/km

Bik rating:30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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