Following our earlier first encounter with the new 2013 Lexus ES Series, the final pieces of the puzzle have now fallen into place with the release of pricing for both the Lexus ES 350 and its new ES 300h Hybrid sibling as well as final EPA figures. Despite gaining style, space, features and a more dynamic – albeit still comfort-centric -- on-road personality, the sixth and latest iteration of this mid-size/front-drive entry-lux sedan offers an even more attractive bottom line along with significantly better fuel economy.
Arriving in dealers next month, the standard 2013 Lexus ES 300 will open at $36,995, a figure that represents a 1.7-percent decrease over the price of the outgoing 2012 model. While the 268 horsepower/3.5-liter V6 under its hood carries over unchanged, friction-reducing improvements to the 6-speed autoshifter that backs it help bump the official EPA stats on the 2013 model from 19/28 city/highway mpg up to 21/31 mpg, respectively.
The first-ever hybrid member of the ES family, 2013 Lexus ES 350h will start at $39,745, a modest $2,750 bump that represents the lowest "hybrid premium" of any model in the entire Lexus lineup. Motivated by a 200-horsepower Lexus Hybrid Drive system that matches a 2.5-liter/4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with pair of electric motors fed by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a CVT automatic that sends power to the front tires, the new Lexus ES 300h earns 40-mpg city/39-mpg highway EPA ratings.