Skip to main content

2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport Review: Elevating Style With New Changes

In a market segment deserted by many competitors, Lexus shines with a new model, introducing a new F Sport H package for ES350 and ES300h models along with a few new interior accouterments. This week I test-drove the 2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport and this is my review.

The 2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport hybrid is a mid-size luxury sedan that offers an exceptional level of comfort and a competitive starting price. Despite being based on the Toyota Camry, it boasts a more sophisticated and stylish appearance, along with an upscale interior. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, and the powertrain operates smoothly and quietly. The ride is incredibly smooth, making it an excellent option for those who prioritize comfort over sporty driving.

Furthermore, the 300h hybrid model offers exceptional fuel efficiency, with a 44 mpg rating on the highway. Overall, the 2023 Lexus ES 300h F Sport hybrid is an excellent option for buyers who value comfort, fuel efficiency, and a competitive price point. By the way, the ES300h is in the list of one of the most fuel efficient vehicles.

What's New in 2023: F Sport Handling

The 2023 Lexus ES has some exciting new features! First, there is a new F Sport Handling package available for the ES350 and ES300h models. This package includes an adaptive suspension with Sport+ and custom drive modes, as well as a heated steering wheel with the F Sport logo. Also, the F Sport Design package now has an option for a panoramic roof. Inside the car, there are new interior details like Ash Bamboo trim, a new Macadamia upholstery color, and an updated center console design with a sporty wireless charger pad.

The new Lexus Interface infotainment system is also included, which adds wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Hey Lexus intelligent assist software, and subscription-based Destination Assist service. This new system is a welcome change because it replaces the Remote Touch Interface, which was a difficult touch pad located on the center console.

What's Specific to F Sport

Do not expect cosmetic changes, the Lexus ES is content to enjoy a new multimedia system with a voice assistant that can be ordered by exclaiming "Hey Lexus." Another development is the arrival of wireless Apple CarPlay, as I mentioned above. But when it comes to Android Auto you will always have to connect via a wire to take advantage of Android Auto. The center console is changing slightly: it can accommodate two cup holders and the wireless charger for smartphones is easier to access than before.

Driver and front passenger also now benefit from a USB-C port. We also note that the cream upholstery has been replaced by another sand color. And note that the new F Sport Design places itself in the middle of the ES range. No mechanical changes are to be noted, the Lexus ES is always trust in a single hybrid engine combining a 2.5 L four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor delivering a cumulative 218 hp. Positioned at the heart of the range, it is distinguished by 19-inch black alloy wheels, a choice of 9 exterior colors and 4 interior colors, and an F SPORT Design badge on each front wing.

2023 Lexus ES 300h F SPORT Design Review, front grille

Speaking of trims the ES300h F Sport belongs to the family of ES models which range from ES 250 and start from somewhere in $42,590 to ES300h Ultra Luxury, that is offered at about $52,580 MSRP. Regarding ES300, there is the ES300h, ES300h F Sport, ES 300h Luxury and the ES300h Ultra Luxury. The 2023 Lexus ES300h F Sport, which we reviewed this week, comes at about $48,175 MSRP price tag.

Lexus ES's Engine and Performance

The 2023 Lexus ES offers three powertrain options for buyers to choose from. The ES250 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 203 horsepower and has all-wheel drive as standard. The ES350 models are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 302 horsepower, and it's connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission that powers the front wheels. The ES350h hybrid model combines an electric motor and a gas engine, providing a net output of 215 horsepower. The hybrid system is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and comes with front-wheel drive as standard.

According to Car and Driver's testing, the ES350 was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, while the ES250 and the hybrid ES300h took 8.1 and 8.3 seconds, respectively. This Lexus sedan provides a comfortable and composed ride, which is favored by many luxury car shoppers. The F Sport trim is available for those who want sportier handling, and it includes larger wheels and a performance-oriented suspension tuning. However, even with this upgrade, the ES is not as athletic as some of its competitors, such as the BMW 5-series.

2023 Lexus ES 300h F SPORT Design Review, front interior

Overall, the Lexus ES offers a balanced combination of comfort and performance, and buyers can choose the powertrain that best suits their needs.

Exterior and Interior

Lexus has taken good care of its large hybrid sedan. The proof, after a first discreet restyling during 2021, it benefits from new and even more timid improvements.

Long "conservative," Lexus is gaining confidence. The design of the Lexus vehicles has gone a long way in terms of improvements. Compared to the past, now thanks in particular to its hypertrophied grille, the brand attracts more attention. This time, Toyota's luxury signature has forged a real visual identity in terms of exterior design.

The interior is pretty roomy. Pleasing to the eye, the dashboard is dressed in a dark coating that evokes stingray and sober veneers depending on the options checked. The instrumentation is well laid out and elegant.

2023 Lexus ES 300h F SPORT Design Review, front seats

The 2023 Lexus ES 300h's cabin is a highlight, with a stylish and modern asymmetrical dashboard and premium materials that create a plush and upscale atmosphere for all passengers.

The seats are well-cushioned, offering comfortable support for long journeys. What's particularly impressive is how the cabin remains incredibly quiet, even at higher speeds, creating a serene environment to relax in.

In terms of practicality, the ES provides 17.0 cubic feet of trunk space in both the gas-only and hybrid models, which is more than what its rivals, such as the Volvo S90 and Acura TLX, offer. However, it's important to note that the ES doesn't come with a folding rear seat, limiting its ability to carry larger or bulkier items.

2023 Lexus ES 300h F SPORT Design Review, back seat

The 2023 Lexus ES proves to be a technological powerhouse with its array of standard and optional infotainment and connectivity features. The central display touchscreen infotainment system comes standard with an impressive 8.0-inch display. I already mentioned about the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilitiy above. For those who desire an even larger display, a 12.3-inch touchscreen is available as an option. Regardless of the display size, the 10-speaker sound system will provide an immersive audio experience with its SiriusXM satellite radio feature.

The ES also boasts a range of standard tech amenities, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, Wi-Fi hotspot, and Scout GPS Link navigation. With such a suite of features, the Lexus ES is well-equipped to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding tech-savvy driver.

Overall, the 2023 Lexus ES 300h's interior and cargo space offer a perfect blend of luxury and functionality, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable and practical midsize sedan.

The Drive

The ES holds the road well, offers a wide choice of engines and is distinguished by its ride comfort. The ride comfort is really good. The hybrid engine has a great degree of sobriety and smoothness.

In town, its size isn't too much of a problem to carve out a niche (parallel parking, if you prefer) without worrying too much. The ES is driven at your fingertips.

Of the three engines offered, the hybrid appears to be the most popular of all. Given the nature and character of this sedan, the hybrid engine is without a shadow of a doubt the most interesting variation, if not the most exciting. Able to travel a few miles at low speed by only requesting its electric power unit, the ES300h puts forward a very efficient fuel economy and consumption mentioned above in this review.

Its fuel consumption (see Technical sheet) makes it possible to absorb a large part, if not all, of the additional cost imposed by its dual motorization. However, the motorist will have to do his part; to achieve real savings in consumption, it will have to keep its feet light. Easy, the ES encourages peaceful driving.

Note to readers about Lexus ES vs IS

Please, don't confuse the Lexus ES to IS line. The latter targets another clientele. More narrow, more financially accessible and above all sportier, the IS is based on a rear-wheel-drive architecture. It raises its hood to four, six and eight cylinder engines.

2023 Lexus ES 300h F SPORT Design Review, exterior design

Lexus started its operations in 1989 with just two cars in its catalog: the LS luxury sedan and the more compact ES (shown in our photo). Initially, the ES was criticized, and rightly so, for being simply a fancier version of the Toyota Camry. However, over the years and generations, the ES has established its unique identity, even though it still shares many components with the midsize sedan from Toyota.

Please let me know your thoughts about the Lexus ES or this vehicle in the comments section below, thus adding your opinion and say to this review of the 2023 Lexus ES300h F Sport.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: L'Automobile Magazine, La Presse.