A bevy of 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h models were made availble in Dallas ©DRB

Picking your Lexus from two new 2013 ES models

Occasionally as auto writers, we have the opportunity to drive both traditional internal combustion engine and hybrid electric variants of the same model, allowing a comparison of the virtues and vices of either mode as it applies to driver’s needs.

One such opportunity occurred recently during the media introductions of the sixth generation of the gas-powered 2013 Lexus ES 350 and the initial debut of the hybrid variant, the 2013 Lexus ES 300h.

Interestingly, in the case of the entry-level luxury sedan, the gas and hybrid versions are equivalent in many aspects, so the subtleties that distinguish them are clues to which best suits your values and lifestyle.

Personal values
Much of the choice between a gas and hybrid version of the same model will spring from the potential owner’s view of global warming as a reality, the value placed on reducing imports of foreign oil and to what degree they feel a need to contribute to a more sustainable world. However, this is not what the entire decision process should be based on as there is much more to consider.

You might pick the Lexus ES 350 out of brand loyalty as there are already one million ES models on the road from the five previous generations. Or, if you place a heightened value on trunk storage capacity, the gas model has 3 cubic feet more room for your luggage or gear. If fuel economy is important, you’ll certainly want the hybrid, but if sheer power is what you value then the Lexus ES 350 would again be your choice.

Driving modes and lifestyle
The hybrid Lexus ES 300h is ideal for the medium to long commute from the ex-burbs or suburbs in or out of the city daily to a driver who still wants a luxurious ride. Those with shorter commutes may prefer the gasoline model as efficiency is not necessarily as much of an issue, without denying themselves a finely appointed vehicle.

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