Hybrid Unassailability: The 2017 Lexus ES 300h

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Lexus ES 300h
The 2017 Lexus ES 300h.
Less than a month ago, I wrote that the 2017 Lexus ES350 was "the unassailable choice"...one of a handful of cars that there is no plausible downside to buying.  The hybrid version of the ES350, the ES 300h---yes, there is a space between "ES" and "300h", where there is none in the "ES350"---is the same car with the added benefits of lower emissions and higher fuel economy estimates, without the financial penalty that often comes with hybrid ownership.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Lexus ES 300h
2017 Lexus ES 300h.
I have written about this before---in last year's review of the 2016 ES 300h.  The difference in price between the ES350 and the ES 300h is so small---$2,920---and the difference in fuel economy so great---an EPA-estimated 40 city/39 highway for the ES 300h versus 21 city/30 highway for the gasoline-powered ES350---that, according to the fueleconomy.gov hybrid savings calculator,  the fuel savings will pay for the difference in 5.4 years.

A seven-year break-even is more typical.  Some, like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, will take more than 11 years to pay for the extra cost of the hybrid.

Interior view of 2017 Lexus ES 300h
2017 Lexus ES 300h interior.
Apart from the expected Lexus list of standard features, our test vehicle had optional equipment:

  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert ($500)
  • LED low/bi-LED headlamps ($515)
  • Navigation with upgraded Mark Levinson premium audio and Lexus Enform app suite ($2,500)
  • One-touch power trunk ($400)
  • Intuitive parking assist ($500)
  • Ultra Luxury Package with wood trim interior, driver and passenger memory seats, heated and ventilated front seats, power rear and manual door sunshades, driver seat power cushion extender, ambient lighting, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, panorama glass roof and power moonroof ($3,000)
  • Heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel ($450)
With $975 delivery, processing and handling fee, the as-tested price came to $50,750.  Less than many luxury cars in its class that don't have the Lexus reputation for quality or the hybrid fuel efficiency of the ES 300h.  

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