Lexus Announces Pricing for New ES 300h Hybrid
by Zach McDonald - HybridCars.com
Lexus has announced pricing for the new 2013 ES 300h, a hybrid spin on its ES 350 sedan, which has also been remade for 2013. The 300h will start at $38,850 when the car goes on sale later this year, a $2,750 increase over the non-hybrid ES 350, which starts at $36,100. Lexus says the hybrid premium for the car is the lowest of any gas-electric model the carmaker has ever offered.
The 300h hybrid carries a EPA-rated combined fuel economy rating of 40 mpg, a 16-mpg improvement over the ES 350. As such, the state of California has certified hybrid as a super-ultra-low-emissions vehicle, which no longer grants you single-occupancy access to the state’s HOV lanes, but should give you the satisfaction of knowing you’re driving one of the cleanest cars on the road. Equipped with an identical drivetrain to that of the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, the 300h gets 156 horsepower from its 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, and 44 horsepower from a motor connected to its nickel-metal hydride battery pack, for a total of 200 horses.
In their styling, the ES 300h and ES 350 are difficult to tell apart, though the 300h adds a rear spoiler, hidden a exhaust pipe and the customary hybrid badging. On the inside, the two cars sport the refined look and quality materials that you’d come to expect in a Lexus, including sustainably harvested bamboo wood trim in the hybrid.
Lexus maintains that the ES 300h is not meant to replace the HS 250h, which was discontinued earlier this year due to slumping sales numbers. If that’s the case, it’s a rather happy accident. The two sedans are bound to draw comparisons, though the ES 300h offers more interior space, better fuel economy and more horsepower than the now-departed HS 250h. Overall, the 300h is a better fit in Lexus’ hybrid lineup alongside the sporty CT 200h compact.
The ES 300h hybrid is reportedly scheduled to hit the market next month.