2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport Review: Elevating Style With New Changes

The 2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport Hybrid is a mid-size luxury sedan that offers exceptional levels of comfort and a competitive entry-level price. Despite being based on the Toyota Camry, it offers a more refined and stylish appearance and an upscale interior. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, and the powertrain operates smoothly and quietly. The ride is incredibly smooth, making it an excellent option for those who prioritize comfort over sporty driving.

Additionally, the 300h Hybrid model offers exceptional fuel efficiency with a 44mpg highway rating. Overall, the 2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport Hybrid is an excellent option for buyers who value comfort, fuel efficiency and a competitive price point. Incidentally, the ES300h is one of the most economical vehicles in the list.

What’s new in 2023: F Sport Handling

The 2023 Lexus ES has some exciting new features! First, a new F Sport handling package is available on the ES350 and ES300h models. This package includes adaptive suspension with Sport+ and custom driving modes, as well as a heated steering wheel with the F Sport logo. In addition, the F Sport Design package now offers an optional panoramic roof. Inside the car there are new interior details such as Ash Bamboo trim, a new Macadamia upholstery color and an updated center console design with a sporty wireless charging pad.

The new Lexus Interface infotainment system is also included, which adds wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Hey Lexus intelligent assistance software and the subscription-based Destination Assist service. This new system is a welcome change as it replaces the Remote Touch Interface, which was a difficult touchpad on the center console.

What is specific to F Sport

Don’t expect cosmetic changes, the Lexus ES welcomes a new multimedia system with a voice assistant that can be ordered by shouting “Hey Lexus”. Another development is the arrival of wireless Apple CarPlay, as I mentioned above. But when it comes to Android Auto, you’ll always need to connect via a cable to take advantage of Android Auto. The center console has changed slightly: it offers space for two cup holders and the wireless charger for smartphones is more easily accessible than before.

The driver and front passenger now also benefit from a USB-C connection. We also note that the cream colored upholstery has been replaced with a different sand color. And note that the new F Sport design sits in the middle of the ES range. There are no mechanical changes to be noted, the Lexus ES always relies on a single hybrid engine combining a 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor that together produce 218 hp. As the heart of the range, it features 19-inch black alloy wheels, a choice of 9 exterior colors and 4 interior colors and an F SPORT Design badging on each front wing.

Speaking of features, the ES300h F Sport is part of the family of ES models that range from the ES 250, which starts somewhere around $42,590, through to the ES300h Ultra Luxury, which is priced at around $52,580 MSRP. The ES300 has the ES300h, ES300h F Sport, ES 300h Luxury and ES300h Ultra Luxury. The 2023 Lexus ES300h F Sport we tested this week retails for around $48,175 MSRP.

Lexus ES engine and performance

The 2023 Lexus ES offers buyers three powertrain options to choose from. The ES250 is equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 203 hp and has four-wheel drive as standard. The ES350 models are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine developing 302 hp and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. The ES350h hybrid model combines an electric motor and a petrol engine and offers a net output of 215 hp. The hybrid system is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and comes standard with front-wheel drive.

According to car and driver tests, the ES350 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, while the ES250 and hybrid ES300h took 8.1 and 8.3 seconds, respectively. This Lexus sedan offers a comfortable and confident ride that is preferred by many luxury car buyers. For those who want sportier handling, F Sport trim is available, which includes larger wheels and a performance-oriented chassis tune. But even with this upgrade, the ES isn’t as sporty as some of its rivals, such as the BMW 5 Series.

Overall, the Lexus ES offers a balanced combination of comfort and performance, and buyers can choose the powertrain that best suits their needs.

exterior and interior

Lexus has taken good care of its large hybrid sedan. The Proof, after a first discreet redesign in 2021, benefits from new and even timid improvements.

Long “conservative”, Lexus is gaining confidence. The design of Lexus vehicles has come a long way in terms of improvement. Compared to before, the brand now attracts more attention thanks in particular to its hypertrophied grille. This time, Toyota’s luxury signature has forged a real visual identity in terms of exterior design.

The interior is pretty spacious. Pleasing to the eye, the dashboard is clad in a dark coating reminiscent of stingrays and sober veneers, depending on the options enabled. The instrumentation is well laid out and elegant.

The cabin of the Lexus ES 300h 2023 is a highlight, with a stylish and modern asymmetric dashboard and high-quality materials that create a distinguished and upscale atmosphere for all passengers.

The seats are well padded and offer comfortable support for long journeys. Most impressively, the cabin remains incredibly quiet even at higher speeds, creating a tranquil environment in which to relax.

In terms of practicality, the ES offers 17.0 cubic feet of trunk space in both the gas-only and hybrid models, which is more than what its rivals like the Volvo S90 and Acura TLX offer. However, it’s important to note that the ES doesn’t come with a folding rear seat, which limits its ability to carry larger or bulkier items.

The 2023 Lexus ES proves to be a technological powerhouse with its array of standard and optional infotainment and connectivity features. The center display touchscreen infotainment system comes standard with an impressive 8.0-inch display. I already talked about the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability above. A 12.3-inch touchscreen is available as an option for those who want an even larger display. Regardless of display size, the 10-speaker sound system offers an immersive audio experience with its SiriusXM satellite radio capability.

The ES also has a number of standard tech amenities, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, Wi-Fi hotspot and Scout GPS Link navigation. With such an array of features, the Lexus ES is well-equipped to meet the needs of even the most demanding tech-savvy driver.

Overall, the 2023 Lexus ES 300h’s interior and cargo space offer a perfect blend of luxury and functionality, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a comfortable and practical mid-size sedan.

The ride

The ES handles well on the road, offers a wide range of engines and is characterized by its driving comfort. Ride comfort is really good. The hybrid engine has a high level of sobriety and smoothness.

In the city its size isn’t too much of an issue for carving out a niche (parallel parking if you prefer) without worrying too much. The ES is driven at your fingertips.

Of the three engines on offer, the hybrid seems to be the most popular. Given the nature and character of this sedan, the hybrid engine is undoubtedly the most interesting option, if not the most exciting. The ES300h is capable of driving a few kilometers at low speed just by calling on its electric power unit and offers very efficient fuel economy and consumption, which was mentioned at the top of this test.

Its fuel consumption (see technical sheet) allows it to absorb a large part, if not all, of the extra costs caused by its twin engines. However, the driver must do his part; To achieve real fuel savings, it has to be light on its feet. Simply, the ES promotes smooth driving.

Note to readers on Lexus ES vs. IS

Please do not confuse the Lexus ES line with IS. The latter is aimed at a different clientele. Narrower, more affordable and above all sportier, the IS is based on a rear-wheel drive architecture. He raises his hood to four, six and eight-cylinder engines.

Lexus started 1989 with just two cars in its catalogue: the luxury LS sedan and the more compact ES (see photo). Initially, the ES was rightly criticized for simply being a fancier version of the Toyota Camry. However, over the years and generations, the ES has developed its unique identity, even if it still shares many components with Toyota’s mid-size sedan.

Please let me know what you think about the Lexus ES or this vehicle in the comments below, adding your opinion and saying on this 2023 Lexus ES300h F Sport review.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Torque News. In 2010 he founded TorqueNews.com, which has published automotive industry news and analysis ever since. He can be reached at Torque News TwitterFacebook, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: L’Automobile Magazine, La Presse.

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