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Carwow Review: The Lexus ES 300h

Lexus ES Review Carwow

Mat Watson from Carwow is one of the top car reviewers in the world, and this throughly entertaining look at the Lexus ES 300h is a perfect example of his craft:

Comments
Sakura
To understand why the Lexus GS didn't sell well in Europe, you have to understand the European market. No Japanese brand does well in Europe and this is why no Japanese brand really targets Europe heavily.
Do you know anything about European market at all? I mean I worked for Toyota in Europe for 9 years, but please tell me that Japanese brands do not do well in Europe, with Toyota going over 1 million units in 2017.

But hey, please let me know about why Japanese brands dont do well in Europe. I am all ears.
S
Levi
I am sorry if I came through as hostile, that was not my intention.


That is again a chicken or egg dilema. And yet, Japanese brands do quite well in Europe. It would be more accurate to say Japanese Premium brands do not do well in Europe, Europe has even no Acura. To sell with a markup you need a brand more than a product. I know you mention Audi as Premium, but looking at SUV/CUVs for example, a Q7 is in no quantifiable way better than a Touareg, they are exactly the same, yet it deamed a worse value because of the VW badge. So imagine how hard it is for any foreign brand, including Cadillac or Maserati.
Yes. Typo on my part. I meant Japanese Premium Brands do not do well in Europe.***

Definitely true. Audi and VW has a lot of cross platform vehicles. However - Audi carries enough badge prestige for people to turn a blind eye. That or - people just simply doesn't know because Audi markets themselves pretty well away from VW. This is one of things I have against Toyota - they don't seem to market or distance the Lexus brand that well away from their Toyota brand. One of the biggest problems with the ES, among car enthusiasts, is that it will always be a Camry/Avalon re-skin.
I think one way for Toyota to separate the Lexus ES from the Avalon is the feature listings. I would like to see the Lexus ES introduce the nice stuff - not the Avalon. I feel the Avalon's sequential turn signals should be Lexus exclusive and introduced on the ES. That would have hyped the ES and further separated the Avalon and ES badging. But Toyota decided to give those lights to the Avalon....

spwolf
Do you know anything about European market at all? I mean I worked for Toyota in Europe for 9 years, but please tell me that Japanese brands do not do well in Europe, with Toyota going over 1 million units in 2017.

But hey, please let me know about why Japanese brands dont do well in Europe. I am all ears.
As stated above - I meant the Japanese luxury cars - not Japanese brand as a whole. It was a honest mistake and typo. You don't need to get hostile or aggressive towards me. This is just a car forum and we all have a friendly chat - lets not make this a flame war.
Sakura
.

Actually - people did. Spwolf believes that the ES competes with the A6, 5 and E. And that's what we were talking about.

Toyota released a statement they canceled the GS in Europe due to emissions - not sales.
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
mediumhot
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
Nice post. Most Americans are also unaware that the German luxury brands sell a TON of fleet in this class, thus taxi's and company cars etc in Europe..i doubt Lexus can get any of that sans a hybrid model.
mediumhot
Yes, it will compete against the bottom end (base trim) A6, 5 and E-class which are majority of sales. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but E-class starts at 40,000 Euros over there while previous gen Audi A6 started under forty. That's still entry luxury price range. Lexus GS just couldn't cover that low end spectrum at all. GS was able to compete in mid to high tier of mid size sedans, it's starting price was almost 10,000 more than A6 or bit less than 8 grand more when compared to entry E-class. Standard equipment don't mean squat for buyers over there, they are pretty much happy driving that 2018 E-class with halogen projector headlights (I think that's what comes standard before two LED mutlibeam options) as long as they can save money on purchase and fuel. Lexus ES will compete with German base trim options a lot easier.

When it comes to emissions that might be true for the V8 and V6 hybrid (?) but the I4 hybrid is exact same thing that new ES will have so that doesn't make sense.

And here is halogen projector on new E
Not only that, but those GS300h "Business" models were sparsely equipped and with cloth seats, very un-Lexus, so people did not want to buy them for 47k that they were priced at.

While Germans have base E/A6/5 series, they also have special value models that add nav, leather, led to the base model for minimal fee, so the car at least feels luxury enough...

All this reminded me of new 1 series sedan review by Autocar... it is FWD econobox now and Autocar claimed that it was actually sportier than old RWD 1 series.
spwolf
Not only that, but those GS300h "Business" models were sparsely equipped and with cloth seats, very un-Lexus, so people did not want to buy them for 47k that they were priced at.
Wow, I thought the cloth seats in chinese domestic market CT/IS are bad enough.
Pricing has been announced for Spain, starting from 45k EUR (ES 300h)

IS 300h starts from 36k while GS 300h starts from 54k. I honestly thought they wanted to price it around 38-39k vis-a-vis the US market but they decided to upgrade it to a new pricing tier so it betters differentiates itself from the 3 Series and C Class. a 10k price difference between the IS and ES is very telling about the quality that the new ES delivers.
asoksevil
Pricing has been announced for Spain, starting from 45k EUR (ES 300h)

IS 300h starts from 36k while GS 300h starts from 54k. I honestly thought they wanted to price it around 38-39k vis-a-vis the US market but they decided to upgrade it to a new pricing tier so it betters differentiates itself from the 3 Series and C Class. a 10k price difference between the IS and ES is very telling about the quality that the new ES delivers.
is there a list of base equipment for ES300h?
spwolf
is there a list of base equipment for ES300h?
Here's a link to Lexus Spain's ES press kit released at the Madrid Auto Show on May 21st:
https://prensa.lexusauto.es/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/NDP-LANZAMIENTO-ESPAÑA-NUEVO-ES-.pdf

Page 6 informs us that Spain will offer ES 300h in 5 trim levels:
Lexus ES 300h ECO: 45.000 €
Lexus ES 300h Business: 49.900 €
Lexus ES 300h Executive: 59.000 €
Lexus ES 300h F-Sport: 62.000 €
Lexus ES 300h Luxury: 65.800 €

Pages 7 and 8 list standard equipment for each level. I'm not going to translate each and every word, but I will summarize the main points:

- The only notable differences between ECO and Business is wheel size: 17" for ECO and 18" for Business. Also, Business adds Navigation. Both have heated front seats and upholstery in "Tahara leather" (Eurospeak for NuLuxe imitation leather).

- Executive adds upgraded headlights with AHS, shark fin antenna, leather seats with driver's seat memory and ventilation up front, wood trim (including steering wheel), rain-sensing wipers, rear cross-traffic alert, Blind Spot Monitoring and Qi wireless phone charging.

- F Sport, I think is pretty obvious. As in North America, it's only offered with NuLuxe/Tahara imitation leather. In Spain, Mark Levinson audio is standard on F Sport, as is Adaptive Variable Suspension and Performance Dampers.

- Luxury adds heated steering wheel, power rear and side shades, semi-aniline leather seats, heated and reclining rear seats (8 degree recline), 3-zone climate control, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert with braking and 360 degree parking camera.
R
Joaquin Ruhi
Here's a link to Lexus Spain's ES press kit released at the Madrid Auto Show on May 21st:
https://prensa.lexusauto.es/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/NDP-LANZAMIENTO-ESPAÑA-NUEVO-ES-.pdf

Page 6 informs us that Spain will offer ES 300h in 5 trim levels:
Lexus ES 300h ECO: 45.000 €
Lexus ES 300h Business: 49.900 €
Lexus ES 300h Executive: 59.000 €
Lexus ES 300h F-Sport: 62.000 €
Lexus ES 300h Luxury: 65.800 €

Pages 7 and 8 list standard equipment for each level. I'm not going to translate each and every word, but I will summarize the main points:

- The only notable differences between ECO and Business is wheel size: 17" for ECO and 18" for Business. Also, Business adds Navigation. Both have heated front seats and upholstery in "Tahara leather" (Eurospeak for NuLuxe imitation leather).

- Executive adds upgraded headlights with AHS, shark fin antenna, leather seats with driver's seat memory and ventilation up front, wood trim (including steering wheel), rain-sensing wipers, rear cross-traffic alert, Blind Spot Monitoring and Qi wireless phone charging.

- F Sport, I think is pretty obvious. As in North America, it's only offered with NuLuxe/Tahara imitation leather. In Spain, Mark Levinson audio is standard on F Sport, as is Adaptive Variable Suspension and Performance Dampers.

- Luxury adds heated steering wheel, power rear and side shades, semi-aniline leather seats, heated and reclining rear seats (8 degree recline), 3-zone climate control, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert with braking and 360 degree parking camera.
Am I missing something here? Assuming similar prices translate to the US thats $70k for a average ES... Way expensive.
reposado
Am I missing something here? Assuming similar prices translate to the US thats $70k for a average ES... Way expensive.
you are missing that prices dont translate like that in other countries... EU has 10% custom duty on Japanese vehicles and Spain has 21% sales tax.....
R
spwolf
Spain has 21% sales tax
Whoa.
reposado
Whoa.
i would say it is about average for EU... my country has 25% sales tax.
This may be a little of discussion here but am I the only one fearful that Lexus are showing they are about to enter a 'cookie-cutter' Audi-like design process with the ES?

To me it's just a slightly mutated LS in design.

Other alarm bells are the full width rear tail light now being shown on the LS+, LF Limitless and UX.
They're definitely more similar than they've been, especially the front and back, but from the side this new ES is still recognizably an ES, in my opinion.
Rydo
This may be a little of discussion here but am I the only one fearful that Lexus are showing they are about to enter a 'cookie-cutter' Audi-like design process with the ES?

To me it's just a slightly mutated LS in design.

Other alarm bells are the full width rear tail light now being shown on the LS+, LF Limitless and UX.
Lexus has definitely developed some design similarities across the lineup, but the ES/LS is the first time we've seen the more traditional cookie cutter approach. I think the UX/NX/RX show the current Lexus strategy -- major similarities, but different shapes.
krew
Lexus has definitely developed some design similarities across the lineup, but the ES/LS is the first time we've seen the more traditional cookie cutter approach. I think the UX/NX/RX show the current Lexus strategy -- major similarities, but different shapes.
I posted some up on my IG story and got two people confused if it was a LS or ES.... that really haven't happened to me before even with similar front ends. As you stated I love the current strategy/shared cues but not so similar......
mikeavelli
I posted some up on my IG story and got two people confused if it was a LS or ES.... that really haven't happened to me before even with similar front ends. As you stated I love the current strategy/shared cues but not so similar......
I dont think they are too similar? There will always be people who wont know the difference between old ES and new ES too, so I dont think we need to pay attention to them.

As long as LS looks great, filtering that down is not a problem, as we can see by MB. For instance, for me, BMW's dont make too much sense since 7 series does not look great... but I dont think anyone cares, they still sell, lol.
7ES pricing listed in China, pre-order starts today:

ES200 Base ¥285,000 ($42,100)
ES200 Premium ¥304,000 ($44,900)

ES260 Base ¥341,000 ($50,400)
ES260 F-Sport ¥384,000 ($56,700)
ES260 Luxury ¥404,000 ($59,700)

ES300h Base ¥365,000 ($53,900)
ES300h Luxury ¥424,000 ($62,600)
ES300h Executive ¥474,000 ($70,000)

The 300h is at a much better value than the 260. However only the 260 gets the F-Sport package which is expected to be a major seller. I expect the volume to go as following: ES200 Premium, ES260 F-Sport, ES300h Luxury, ES300h Executive.

USD equivalent included so our American fellows know how much to pay when Mr. Trump passes the tariff. $70,000 for a fully loaded ES300h, get ready.
ssun30
USD equivalent included so our fellow Americans know how much to pay when Mr. Trump passes the tariff. $70,000 for a fully loaded ES300h, get ready.
Actually, given the U.S. manufacture of the Lexus ES, it might not be quite that dire. A Toyota USA News Release contains this passage:

If tariffs are imposed, Toyota estimates the cost of the Kentucky-built Toyota Camry will increase by $1,800, the Texas-built Tundra truck by $2,800 and the Indiana-built Sienna minivan by $3,000. The government is expected to decide later this year on whether to impose tariffs.
On the other hand, if the increased tariffs come to pass, I'd imagine that the price of the Japan-built Lexus GS will rise even more versus the U.S.-built ES, perhaps hastening the GS's demise in the U.S. market.
Joaquin Ruhi
Actually, given the U.S. manufacture of the Lexus ES
Totally missed the fact that the ES will be produced at TMMK.

But the point stands, imagine the 5-series or A6 at $70,000, base trim.
ssun30
7ES pricing listed in China, pre-order starts today:

ES200 Base ¥285,000 ($42,100)
ES200 Premium ¥304,000 ($44,900)

ES260 Base ¥341,000 ($50,400)
ES260 F-Sport ¥384,000 ($56,700)
ES260 Luxury ¥404,000 ($59,700)

ES300h Base ¥365,000 ($53,900)
ES300h Luxury ¥424,000 ($62,600)
ES300h Executive ¥474,000 ($70,000)

The 300h is at a much better value than the 260. However only the 260 gets the F-Sport package which is expected to be a major seller. I expect the volume to go as following: ES200 Premium, ES260 F-Sport, ES300h Luxury, ES300h Executive.

USD equivalent included so our American fellows know how much to pay when Mr. Trump passes the tariff. $70,000 for a fully loaded ES300h, get ready.
How does it compare with old prices?
spwolf
How does it compare with old prices?
More expensive across the board. Then of course it's larger and packs much more features than the 6ES. Cheaper than a base E200L.

FYI the current lineup looks like this:

ES200 'Elite' ¥279,000
ES200 'Comfort' ¥298,000

ES250 'Elegant' ¥325,000
ES250 'Luxury' ¥381,000

ES300h 'Comfort' ¥354,000
ES300h 'Luxury' ¥401,000
ES300h 'Prestige' ¥467,000

Some notes on common trim names Lexus uses in China:
Base trim is usually called 'Comfort', 'Excellence', or 'Avant-garde'. An even more barebones trim is called the 'Elite'.
Premium trim is called 'Elegant'.
Luxury trim is called 'Luxury' or 'Superior'.
Ultra-luxury trim is called 'Prestige' or 'Supreme'.
For ES and LS there is the final 'Executive' trim.
@ssun30 that is pretty small diff in pricing... also is all of this with lower customs?
Yes. The 6ES prices are post tariff cut. Pre tariff cut 6ES out-of-shop prices are actually similar. Dealers are getting all the benefit.
Back to the main thrust of this thread: Lexus 7ES reviews. It seems that WardsAuto's Steve Finlay (as opposed to the customary Christie Schweinsberg) was waiting for Lexus to reveal pricing before posting his review from the Nashville long-lead preview. Worth the wait, though, for he provides a good read:

https://www.wardsauto.com/test-drives/team-engineers-help-highlight-new-lexus-es-350
I'm on a 7000km road trip and thus can't get a first look of the 7ES in dealers. However on our way I saw dozens of trucks loaded with the 7ES, C-HR, and new Corolla. Just from that rough impression I know this is a no-brainer.
S
spwolf
I dont think they are too similar? There will always be people who wont know the difference between old ES and new ES too, so I dont think we need to pay attention to them.

As long as LS looks great, filtering that down is not a problem, as we can see by MB. For instance, for me, BMW's dont make too much sense since 7 series does not look great... but I dont think anyone cares, they still sell, lol.
Agreed. There will always be people that won't know the difference between the cars and there will be car people that will. There are still people that get confused from older generation and newer generation of Audi, BMW, MB and Porsche. Especially - BMW and Porsche, they look the most similar to their older models.
2019 ES Configurator is Live:
https://www.lexus.com/models/ES

J
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