The Lexus ES is one of those below-the-radar cars. The brand's entry-level sedan in a time when sedans are somewhat out of favor (at least on the sales chart), it doesn't get a lot of ink, or pixels, or even thought.
Until you actually drive one. Close examination, the kind that doesn't get done in traffic, shows that Lexus has put some effort into subtle clues to aggression---the grille that echoes the fabulous LC 500 coupe, the spoiler built into the trunk lid on F SPORT models---and the "L" formed by the emergency flasher/turn signals.
Lexus has been spreading its F SPORT variant across its lineup, and now you can get the hybrid Lexus ES 300h in F SPORT trim. That may seem counter-intuitive, since when you say yes to the ES 300h, you give up 77 horsepower compared to the pure-gasoline 3.5-ilter V6 (215 vs 302). And that'll send your 0-60 times below seven seconds. None of the F SPORT models have ever boosted power. They're handling and appearance packages, and that's what the F SPORT delivers here---suspension and tire upgrades, 19-inch alloy wheels, 10-way F SPORT bolstered heated and ventilated front seats, rain sensing wipers, and unique trim pieces.
Base price for the 2022 Lexus ES 300h is $45,450. The standard equipment list is so long, I'm just going to send you to Lexus itself for the rundown.
As well-equipped as the ES 300h is, there are extra-cost options, and our test vehicle had several---including, and this is a surprise given how comprehensive active safety features usually are in Lexus vehicles---$565 for a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and intuitive parking assist with auto braking. This car also had a head up-display, triple-beam LED headlamps, a power rear sunshade, smart access card key, navigation, a power trunklid, premium paint, a heated steering wheel, door edge guards and a trunk mat, all of which brought the total, with $1,075 delivery, processing and handling fee to $52,695.
Every time I drive the Lexus ES, I'm reminded of how much I like it. And, if I were buying, I'd go for the hybrid (an EPA fuel economy average of 43 city/44 highway is nothing to sneeze at). The added handling benefits of the F SPORT package just make the whole package sweeter.