2014 Lexus ES Hybrid

Starting MSRP: $39,500

Estimated MPG: 40 city / 39 hwy

2014 Lexus ES Hybrid Review

The 2014 Lexus ES 300h is updated with new xenon headlights as well as slight package changes.

By Tim Esterdahl
Last Updated 04/18/2017

The 2014 Lexus ES 300h has a large, luxurious interior, pleasant ride and great fuel economy for its size. It comes standard with a sunroof, push-button start, proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port. Available features include smartphone app integration, navigation, a Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a power rear sunshade, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

For this review, our test model came fully optioned out including the Ultra Luxury package. Driving around with this many luxurious options and features, it is hard to find anything negative to say.

Exterior

Exterior
6

The exterior design of the Lexus ES 300h is straightforward and contemporary looking. There simply isn’t a lot of visual interest, yet this is OK for the luxury offering.

On the front end, Lexus has integrated its hourglass grille design which adds a bit of a visual appeal with LED trimmed headlights creating a great nighttime look. The sides have just a touch of character added to the wheel wells. For the rear, the Lexus design is linear with straight lines connecting the taillamps and logo. This simplistic rear allows for a large trunk, yet doesn’t help with visual appeal.

Interior

Interior
9

Where the exterior lacks visual appeal, the interior surrounds you with luxurious materials, a large and open cabin and comfortable seats. Whatever hesitation the exterior presents buyers, the interior makes up for it in spades.

Lexus really went all out with this cabin. The optional bamboo wood interior trim feels great and is extremely attractive. Every body type and size will find a comfortable driving position, and all the controls are well within reach. In the back, the rear seats provide ample room for entry and exit and long trips. In fact, if you were picking a road trip car, this ES 300h would be a top choice.

Performance

Performance
9

The 2014 Lexus ES 300h comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce 200 horsepower combined. All models are front-wheel-drive and have a continuously variable transmission (CVT). EPA-estimated fuel economy is 40/39 mpg city/highway.

In our week of driving, we didn’t notice any difference between the hybrid powertrain and the V6 that comes with the gas-only Lexus ES 350. The transmission and power output were smooth, and there was plenty of power for all driving situations.

For most of the week, it was easy to forget the ES 300h was a hybrid. The only time we were reminded of it was during the many times we passed gas stations.

Technology

Technology
6

Lexus provides a full suite of technology offerings in the ES 300h, including Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a USB port. 

You can’t, though, talk about technology without mentioning the Lexus Remote Touch system. Designed to work like a mouse, Remote Touch looks like an armrest with a sliding remote control. Using this system, you can navigate through the menus on the display.

Reviews on this system seem mixed, with some finding it clunky. In our experience, it does take time to adapt to it and once you do, Remote Touch actually cuts down on driver distractions. 

With the standard assortment of features, the ES 300h is a great pick. However, Remote Touch takes some time to get used to.

Safety

Safety
9

Every Lexus ES 300h comes with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Plus, there's the Lexus Safety Connect system with automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location and an emergency assist button.

In government crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the ES 300h received a top score of five stars overall. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the comparable Lexus ES 350 top scores of Good in moderate overlap front, side impact and roof strength tests.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
9

When talking about a cost-effectiveness in a hybrid, it is important to compare the model against its non-hybrid version. In this case, Lexus offers a ES 350.

For the Lexus ES 350, the starting price is $37,550 with 21/31 mpg city/highway. In comparison, the ES Hybrid starts at $40,430 with 40/39 mpg.

Often, the price difference between the two models, or the lack of real fuel economy benefits makes the hybrid a harder choice. In this case, it is not. The fuel economy difference is quite substantial with just a slight price difference.

Overall

Overall
8

For a luxurious sedan capable of seating five with great fuel economy, the 2014 Lexus ES 300h is a great option. Not only does the base model provide an ample amount of luxury, the higher trim levels are particularly impressive.