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2013 Lexus ES Hybrid Review

The 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid ranks in the top half of the luxury midsize car class. It’s good on gas, has a good reliability rating, and costs less to own than its classmates. Still, some rivals are better equipped and don’t feel as timid when passing or merging.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Perfect reliability rating
  • Low ownership costs
  • Tepid highway power
  • Some rivals are better equipped
  • Distracting available Remote Touch system




Critics' Rating: 7.0
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Lexus ES Hybrid Overview

Is the 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid – also known as the Lexus ES 300h – is a great car to own. It has the highest fuel economy rating in the luxury midsize car class, as well as a perfect reliability rating. However, it’s not for everyone. Its higher-ranked rivals have stronger highway passing power and more standard features. Also, the ES Hybrid’s Remote Touch infotainment system can be distracting to use while driving. We review the nonhybrid Lexus ES separately.

Used 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid Performance and Interior

The ES 300h’s powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 200 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. While it’s not as quick as the nonhybrid ES 350, the 300h saves you about $650 in annual fuel costs over its V6-powered counterpart. According to the EPA, the ES Hybrid gets 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which is terrific fuel economy for the class. The electric motor helps the ES Hybrid stay peppy in low-speed city driving, but the car still prioritizes ride comfort over handling ability. Some luxury shoppers may wish for more power on the highway – especially when overtaking other cars. In addition to Normal and Eco modes, there’s a Sport mode that gives the ES 300h tighter steering and quicker throttle response.

Read more about ES Hybrid performance »

The ES Hybrid sedan has an elegant cabin with seating for five on standard NuLuxe leatherette upholstery. Power-adjustable front seats come standard. Well-equipped models have leather seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and heated and cooled front seats. There’s plenty of room up front. In the back seats, average-size adults will have no problem getting comfortable. The ES 300h has two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors.

All ES Hybrid models come with a moonroof, a proximity key, and push-button start. The standard eight-speaker audio system features satellite radio, auxiliary and USB ports, and a six-disc CD player. The available Remote Touch system employs a joystick-like controller that moves an on-screen cursor, which is just as distracting as it sounds. Other upgrades include a navigation system and Bluetooth for phone calls and streaming audio.

Read more about ES Hybrid interior »

Used 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid is about $17,800. The price fluctuates depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, and features.

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We Did the Research for You: 22 Reviews Analyzed

Instead of basing our reviews on our personal opinions, we analyze the findings of the automotive press alongside data like reliability ratings and safety scores to help you pick the right new car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid?

The 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid has a perfect reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

See ES Hybrid reliability scores »

How Safe Is the ES Hybrid?

All variants of the Lexus ES have good safety scores, including the highest rating of Good in all crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The ES Hybrid also received five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Available driver assistance features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system with automatic braking, and lane departure warning. Park assist and rain sensing windshield wipers are also available.

See ES Hybrid safety scores »

Is the 2013 ES Hybrid the Best Model Year to Buy?

Lexus launched the ES 300h for the 2013 model year. The 2014 ES Hybrid gained standard xenon headlights, and Siri Eyes Free became available. The 2015 ES Hybrid added a touch-screen infotainment system and a rearview camera to the list of standard features. If these amenities are important to you, get the newer and better-equipped 2015 model. Otherwise, save money by getting an older model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 ES Hybrid »

Which Used Lexus ES Hybrid Is Right for Me?

The 300h is the hybrid trim of the Lexus ES. There are several available packages. For tons of features, look for used models with the Ultra Luxury package. It adds bamboo trim, a power tilt-and-telescopic heated steering wheel, a power trunk, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated and cooled seats, genuine leather upholstery, and park assist.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned ES Hybrid. For its CPO vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to cover six years or unlimited mileage. Lexus puts its CPO vehicles through a 165-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Lexus certified pre-owned program »

2013 Lexus ES Hybrid and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in a hybrid trim called the E400. The ES Hybrid has better fuel economy, a lower average price, and more rear-seat legroom than the E400. However, the Mercedes has a much stronger engine, a larger trunk, and easier-to-use technology. In the end, both cars are solid choices.

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2013 Lexus GS Hybrid?

Although the Lexus GS Hybrid costs about $500 more in annual fuel costs, it’s the better Lexus. Both sedans have good reliability ratings, but the GS 450h has stronger acceleration and a little more room inside. The GS Hybrid has standard features that the ES Hybrid doesn’t, like an adaptive suspension, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth.

Which Is Better: 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

The Toyota Avalon Hybrid and the Lexus ES Hybrid have similar performance, fuel economy, and seating space. The Avalon has a lower average price and a longer list of standard features, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a rearview camera. You can’t go wrong with either car, but the ES Hybrid’s higher reliability rating and richer interior make it a slightly better pick.

Compare the ES Hybrid, GS Hybrid, and Avalon Hybrid »

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