Good news America, high quality, smooth, refined and plush luxury sedans are very much alive and available.
Lexus sent this week a top-of-the-line hybrid 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux for our drive and evaluation.
While most everyone else is ditching higher end quality sedans in favor of SUV’s, crossovers and small trucks, Lexus continues to believe in and deliver high quality sedans.
The 2022 ES300h Ultra Lux is particularly notable in that – at the high end and full featured – it is delivered for just $56,000.
A great value. Let’s take a look starting under the hood.
Powertrain / Mechanical
On paper you might think this FWD ES300h sedan is a bit underpowered. True it is not a drag racer, but still a very capable road machine.
The ES300h is powered by the Lexus Hybrid Drive Powertrain delivering a peppy 215 combined horsepower w/163 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) w/Paddle Shifters and augmented with driver selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT Drive Modes – it is peppy enough to run an estimated 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds
And, as a hybrid, it delivers 44 mpg combined using 87 octane fuel.
On the road components include MacPherson Strut/Multilink (F/R) Independent Suspension, Front and Rear Performance Dampers, Electric Rack and Pinion Steering and 18-inch Split-V-Spoke Alloy Wheels mounted with 253/45R18 Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires.
Lexus did a minor refresh of the exterior styling of the 2022 ES300h.
In particular is a new grille pattern that emphasizes its elegant design with a series of concentric “L” shapes – finished in a new Graphite paint – radiating from the front Lexus emblem.
Notable elements on our ES300h Ultra Lux were: Triple Beam LED Headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lamps, Power Folding Side Mirrors w/Puddle Lamp illumination, Rain Sensing Wipers plus the premium 18-inch Split-V-Spoke Alloy Wheels with high gloss finish.
The cabin of the 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux is very comfortable and refined in both styling and use of upscale materials with excellent fit and finish.
The Palomino Semi Aniline Leather interior features quilted 14-way/10-way Power Driver/Passenger seats that are both heated and ventilated for luxurious comfort.
For the taller or larger driver, their seat is equipped with a power cushion extender providing added comfort on long drives.
Interior trim was in lush Open-Pore Matte Walnut with Piano Black accents.
Notable other elements were: One Touch Power Tilt-and-Slide Moonroof, Power Rear Sunshade w/Manual Rear Door Sunshades, Head-up Display, Passenger Assist Grips both front and rear (we really like these), Illuminated Sills for Doors and Trunk plus the Hands Free (kick sensor) Power (open-close) Trunk.
NOTE: The exceptionally quiet cabin made the ride even more ‘lux’. In addition to the usual sound reduction baffles and seals found in upscale vehicles today, Lexus also utilized Sound Dampening Paint, Asphalt Sheets in the floor and 5-spoke Alloy Noise Reduction Wheels to reduce noise in the cabin.
Infotainment / Technology
For us a highlight was the Mark Levinson Audio / Navigation Package w/Pure Play 17-speaker, 1,800-watt Premium Surround Sound System. Key features were the Dynamic Voice Command, 12.3-inch Color Multi-Media Touch-screen Display and Enform Dynamic Navigation w/Destination Assist.
Other features included compatibility w/Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Smartphone and Smart Watch plus devices enabled w/Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Also included were: WiFi, SiriusXM, HD Radio, CD Player, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone and Streaming Audio – all managed by the console mounted Remote Touch Interface (RTI) Touchpad Controller.
A word about the RTI. Though many have panned the device, Lexus has continued to improve its function (now with touch-screen) and integration with the 12.3-inch display.
NOTE: Regarding the 12.3-inch Color Multi-Media Touch-screen Display. It has been repositioned slightly more than 4-inches closer to the driver to enable the new touch-screen for selected functions.
The Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 is standard on all trims. Elements include All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision w/Pedestrian Detection, Low Light Detection, Daytime Bicycle Detection, Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Intersection Turning Assist, and Intelligent High Beam.
Other elements standard are: Blind Spot Monitor w/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Direct Tire Pressure Monitoring, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, Intuitive Parking Assist w/Auto Braking and Rear Pedestrian Detection, Panoramic View Monitor and Lexus Enform Safety Connection.
2022 Lexus ES300h Line-up
The Lexus ES300h is available in four trim levels. They are:
- 300h MSRP $43,300
- 300h F Sport MSRP $46,850
- 300h Luxury MSRP $48,700
- 300h Ultra Lux MSRP $52,840
Explore them all and build one for yourself by going here: https://www.lexus.com/models/ES-hybrid.
INVOICE DETAIL as Tested
- Ultra Lux Trim Level $51,080
- Triple Beam Headlights $1,215
- NAV/Mark Levinson Audio Package $1,080
- Premium Paint $500
- Illuminated Door/Trunk Sills $850
- Trunk Mats / Wheel Locks $205
- Handling and Delivery $1,075
- TOTAL in our Garage $56,005
KEY DATA: 2022 Lexus ES300h Ultra Lux
- Model: ES 300h
- Trim: Ultra Lux
- Class: Mid-Size Luxury Sedan
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $51,080
- As Tested: $56,005
- Powertrain: Hybrid
- Horsepower: 215 Combined (176 gas / 39 battery)
- Torque: 163 lb.-ft.
- Transmission: ECVT w/Paddle Shifters
- Drive Modes: ECO / NORMAL / SPORT
- Drive System: FWD
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph 8.1 Seconds
- Top Speed: 112 mph (electronically limited)
- Suspension: MacPherson Strut / Multi-link (F/R)
- Steering: Rack & Pinion Electric Power Assisted
- Brakes Ventilated Disc/Solid Disc (F/R)
- Wheels: 18-inch Split 5-spoke Alloy
- Tires: 253/45R18 Michelin Energy Saver A/S
- EPA Fuel Economy: 43/44/44mpg – city/highway/combined
- Fuel Tank: 13.2 gallons
- Range: 580 miles highway