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New ES 300h carries lowest hybrid premium in Lexus line-up: $2,750

Lexus announced Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) for the 2013 ES 350 and first-ever ES 300h (earlier post) which will arrive at US dealerships in August. The 2013 ES 350 luxury sedan carries a base MSRP of $36,100, reflecting a decrease of 1.7% versus the previous generation’s MSRP. The ES 300h luxury hybrid sedan will have a MSRP of $38,850, representing a difference of $2,750 over the ES 350—the lowest hybrid premium in the Lexus line-up. The MSRP does not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $895.

Featuring the Lexus Hybrid Drive with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine (2AR-FXE), the ES 300h is now expected to earn EPA fuel economy ratings of approximately 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 40 mpg combined (5.88, 6.03 and 5.88 L/100km, respectively).

Engine-only power output is 156 hp (116 kW) @ 5,700 rpm, with 156 lb-ft (212 N·m) @ 4,500 rpm. The ES 300h generates 200 total system horsepower (149 kW).

The ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i that delivers 268 hp (200 kW) at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb-ft (336 N·m) of peak torque at 4,700. The six-speed sequential-shift automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides enhanced driving performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency and help with the ES 350’s EPA-fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined (11.2, 7.59 and 9.80 L/100km, respectively).

Both the ES 350 and ES 300h feature a Drive Mode selector. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain and steering responsiveness. The ES 300h adds an EV mode which allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack.



This ES 300h is the same size and does about the same as the Camry XLE hybrid for $10,000+ more.

The Camry XLE hybrid should be the best buy.

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