2017 Lexus ES300h
2.5-liter DOHC inline-four (156 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm; 156 lb-ft @ four,500 rpm)
Battery: 1.6 kWh nickel-metal hydride
Mixed system horsepower: 200
Repeatedly variable automated, front-wheel drive
40 metropolis / 39 freeway / 40 mixed (EPA Ranking, MPG)
5.eight metropolis / 6.1 freeway / 5.9 mixed (NRCan Ranking, L/100km)
28.7 mpg [8.2 L/100 km] (Noticed)
Base Value: $42,815 (U.S) / $48,345 (Canada)
As Examined: $46,510 (U.S.) / $52,445 (Canada)
Costs embrace $995 vacation spot cost in the US and $2,145 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border gear variations, can’t be immediately in contrast.
This isn’t a correct overview, not the sort of tome offered to TTAC’s viewers after a significant automobile spends a full week with one of many web site’s editors. I didn’t drive the 2017 Lexus ES300h throughout a number of states. I didn’t resolve to land on as many seashores as doable on EV energy. I didn’t get a correct probability to take photos. I hardly drove the Lexus ES300h in any respect.
Ah, however the one journey undertaken by the midsize luxurious hybrid and your humble TTAC Prince Edward Island bureau chief was fairly a journey certainly.
What occurs when the least sporting Lexus automobile is instantly tasked with arriving at a vacation spot on the opposite facet of the Island with a purpose to be faraway from Island obligation? What occurs while you rush a automobile that was by no means supposed to be one in every of Lexus’ rushable automobiles?
Decidedly un-hybrid-like mileage, for one factor.
There was no lack of communication; no misunderstanding. However the gentleman who routinely drops off and picks up manufacturer-supplied check automobiles and I have been on totally different wavelengths, actually. On Sunday morning, I used to be half an hour from dwelling, on the south facet of Prince Edward Island, when Mr. Sowerby emailed, known as, and texted to say he was coming to PEI within the afternoon.
An information useless zone, an iPhone hiccup? No matter it was, the entire notifications poured in at 12:57 PM, hours after contact was first initiated. I shovelled down lunch, grabbed a number of objects out of the Lexus for the children, forgot in regards to the birthday cake that was about to be served in honor of my brother’s 50th, and bolted for the north facet of PEI.
Preliminary acceleration is, to be frank, unimpressive. Zero to 60 mph in eight seconds is inadequate while you’re in want of Bugatti Chironesque country-crossing capacity. By the ES300h’s remaining day with me, I ought to’ve identified this. However due to scheduling quirks (by the way introduced on by a Toyota Canada media launch of the brand new Camry in PEI) the Lexus solely arrived right here Thursday and couldn’t be used when my brother’s household and mine wanted a single automobile for Island touring on the weekend. Minivans all the time win.However sure, leaping into the ES300h for an pressing solo journey by way of the center of PEI revealed a repeatedly variable transmission you simply need to seize by the scruff of the neck and shift, a throttle pedal you’re determined to pin even farther into the mat, and a speedometer that’s climbing all too slowly.
The ES wanted gas, a wash, and a vacuum earlier than its pickup artist arrived in Margate. I already knew that unlatching the front-facing Diono from its rear-parcel-shelf anchor was going to be a nightmare. I wasn’t going to keep away from soiled roadside puddles. I wanted to be dwelling half an hour in the past.
By the point all of those ideas had pinged round in my thoughts, the Lexus ES300h and I have been in control. And by velocity, I’m speaking a few number-which-shall-not-be-named sort of velocity. Credit score taut suspensions for backroad barnstorming all you need — Inkerman Street is a tough stretch of asphalt. The ES300h’s capacity to take in brutal pavement is a boon to nine-tenths driving when the street is extra prone to embrace high-speed sweepers quite than tight, lowering radius switchbacks. There’s an apparent requirement within the pillowy ES300h to brake early and infrequently — brake really feel and power are main ES300h weak factors, by the by — however the Lexus copes effectively for a automobile with no sporting intentions.
I cross Kinkora Street and look over on the Mk7 Golf GTI crossing the damaging intersection within the different route. I’m not craving his energy, as I’m largely carrying velocity that’s (slowly) created by the ES’s 200-horsepower hybrid powertrain. I’m not involved with the ES’s lack of a fast-shifting DSG; the ECVT-i just isn’t an obtrusive associate as soon as we’ve settled in at velocity. I’m not terribly troubled by the ES300h’s hilariously mild and uncommunicative steering rack both. I do know an arrow-straight, oft-patrolled span of Route 2 is approaching and I’ll be quickly ensconced in a closely geared up luxurious cruiser with cooled seats, finger-light steering, and lane-keeping help apart from.
Nah, I simply need the GTI’s superior efficiency tires. The 215/55R17 Michelin Primacy MXV4s on the 2017 Lexus ES300h are undoubtedly suited to the ES’s mission. They’re simply not suited to my mission, not at the moment. I’m eager for the sort of grip that might engender a stage of mid-corner safety, with out which I discover myself saying time and time once more, “Whoa now, regular ol’ woman.”
Very quickly, I’m traversing the brutally pockmarked County Line Street in Norboro and doing so at a velocity that might loosen tooth in 95 p.c of 2017’s efficiency automobiles. The ES300h dips into an EV cruise as we veer downhill on Kerrytown Street into Clinton. Then an uphill wrestle on Route 6 as soon as once more clarifies how ill-suited this automobile was to my Sunday afternoon drive.
Too many minutes later I’m struggling to unhook the Diono’s tether from its anchor, chuckling on the 27-mpg lead to a 40-mpg automobile, vacuuming the sand left behind by two youngster seats, and dusting the middle stack. An exterior wipedown has the Matador Pink ES300h glimmering within the slowly-appearing solar we hadn’t seen since Friday. I took a seat on the doorstep for a number of seconds, able to take an image of the incoming 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan and the outgoing 2017 Lexus ES300h. Sowerby seems not a second too quickly.
In what is probably going the ultimate full yr for the sixth-generation Lexus ES, I bonded yesterday extra with the wonders of the trendy vehicle business than the Lexus itself. That is an eco-focused, visually awkward, comfort-oriented midsize luxurious sedan within the driveway of an fanatic who usually traverses these identical roads in a Miata.
But the ES300h, as if representing the leaps ahead by an business that not way back constructed comfort-oriented sedans that would solely deal with straight strains, acquitted itself with aplomb, deftly performing a balancing act between complete consolation and a modicum of dealing with prowess.
Would the 2018 Lexus IS350 AWD that’s supposed to go to PEI later this month have been the preferable candidate for Sunday’s unanticipated cross-island drive? Presumably, although the amount of gas consumed would have certainly elevated and the fitment of the opposite youngster seat, a rear-facing Diono, would have been not possible behind the motive force.
Maybe massive conventional sedans aren’t all that unhealthy, in spite of everything.
[Images: © Timothy Cain]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Vehicles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars.