Sprint Review: 2022 Lexus ES300h

Between the mad scramble for EV’s, hordes of new bakkies and a bizarre resurgence of MPV’s, this exquisitely elegant Lexus gifted us a week of peace and tranquillity.

You should know: OK, maybe elegant is a subjective term but I’ll defend my position about this car being exquisite. Lexuses (Lexi, Lexus’?) have always been luxuriously appointed but some of them – especially the previous ES range – just felt like a really posh Toyota.

This one, though. Oh boy. This one looks and feels amazing.

More info: I’ll also let you be the judge and jury on its crazy front grill or this daring colour combination but in my jaded journo eyes, they add even more flamboyance to a vehicle which desperately needed it. There are hints of Sonata, 7-Series or Lexus GS in its design details; but all of them in a subtle and pleasing way.

What else? So, enough about the looks. Besides a regular ES250, the Japanese manufacturer also sells this ES300h (mild hybrid) here in southern Africa. Your choice between two trim levels determines the final price of either R800,000 or R977,000. The non-hybrid ‘250 comes in at a slightly more affordable R742,000.

Why you shouldn’t: Some people may be intimidated by all the technology inside this vehicle, but that goes for all its rivals, too. This engine is “just a 4-cylinder” so it doesn’t sound particularly inspiring; which is exasperated by the one-gear-fits-all CVT gearbox.

Why you should: However, the power output of 160kW is commendable and that little electric helper bridges any low-rpm hesitation. There’s even a dedicated electric-only mode at very low speeds, provided the battery is sufficiently charged. Our best 0-100 sprint time was 8.33 seconds, almost half a second faster than the maker’s claim.  

In conclusion, with petrol prices reaching for the stars, it’s great to see that Lexus is matching the favourite Germans by offering highly-efficient drive trains in striking luxury vehicles.


Engine:2,494cc i-4 petrol/electric hybrid
Transmission:CVT, FWD
Max. Power:160kW
Max. Torque:221Nm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 4.6L/100km
0-100km/h:8.33 seconds (claimed 8.9)
Top Speed:180km/h
List Price:From R797,600

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