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2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Review

The 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid has an upscale and spacious interior, a smooth ride, and great fuel economy. Along with these attributes, excellent safety and reliability ratings help make the ES Hybrid a top choice in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • Roomy interior
  • Excellent reliability rating
  • Distracting navigation controls

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Luxury Midsize Cars category. It was a finalist for our 2016 Best Upscale Midsize Car for the Money award. Currently the Lexus ES Hybrid has a score of 8.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Overview

Is the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid is a great option if you want a used luxury midsize sedan that’s as fuel-efficient as it is comfortable. The ES Hybrid – also referred to as the ES 300h – earns an excellent 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. It pleases with its soft ride, roomy cabin, and plush seats. The ES also scores highly for reliability and crash safety, and it offers a large suite of advanced safety features.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 27 Lexus ES Hybrid reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid?

You can expect to pay between $26,900 and $37,000 for a used 2016 ES Hybrid. These figures are based on over 500 listings for the 2016 Lexus ES on our site. The average price is $32,100. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Cost to Own?

The ES Hybrid’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $20,400 – or about $4,100 per year. Those are the lowest five-year cost estimates in the luxury midsize car class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New ES Hybrid?

The 2018 Lexus ES 300h starts at $41,820. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used ES Hybrid over a new 2018 model, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, there is one major benefit to buying new. Beginning in 2017, Lexus began equipping all ES models with its Safety System+ package. This means all 2017-and-newer models come standard with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with brake assist. If these are must-have items, you may find that it’s cheaper to buy a newer model than to find a used model with these features equipped.

Read about the new Lexus ES Hybrid »

On the other hand, you can save money while still buying new. The redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid starts at just $27,800. Though it doesn’t carry the same luxury cachet as the ES, the Camry does have far more standard safety features, an easier-to-use infotainment system, higher fuel economy estimates, and comparable seating space.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid?

The ES has a perfect reliability score of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about ES Hybrid reliability »

2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Recalls

As of this writing, there are no recalls for the 2016 ES Hybrid.

See more information on Lexus ES Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Lexus ES Hybrid Is Best?

The Lexus ES Hybrid’s first generation spans the 2013 through 2018 model years. These models offer roughly the same features and performance, so they’re all good used car picks. The big differences come down to styling and standard features. The 2013 to 2015 models have more sedate exterior styling when compared to the later 2016 to 2018 models. More importantly, a number of safety features became standard in all 2017 and 2018 models (previously optional), including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. If you like the newer design and don’t want the additional safety features, then a 2016 model is your best bet. If not, then you can get a similarly equipped model with different styling for less money.

An all-new ES Hybrid arrives for the 2019 model year, and it adds Apple CarPlay functionality, sportier exterior styling, and a much larger infotainment screen. If those are important to you, you may want to wait for the newest model. Otherwise, you can save money by shopping for a used ES Hybrid.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 ES Hybrid »

Which Used Lexus ES Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the 2016 ES Hybrid in one trim: the ES 300h. Standard features include a 7-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, satellite radio, eight speakers, dual-zone climate control, NuLuxe leatherette upholstery, a moonroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, cruise control, and alloy wheels.

Available features include a navigation system, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, and a suite of active safety features.

See 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

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How Safe Is the ES Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 Lexus ES a Top Safety Pick+ and gave it the highest safety rating of Good in all five areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the ES 300h five out of five stars in overall and side impact safety, as well as four stars in front and rollover crash testing.

All 2016 Lexus ES 300h sedans come standard with a rearview camera. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and Intuitive Park Assist (front and rear parking sensors). The available Lexus Safety System+ package adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision System (forward collision warning with brake assist).

See ES Hybrid safety scores »

2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2016 Lexus GS Hybrid?

The Lexus GS Hybrid and ES Hybrid are both great luxury sedans with solid reliability scores, premium interiors, and the same advanced safety features. Regrettably, both also share the distracting Remote Touch infotainment system controller. The major difference between these cars is how they drive. The performance-minded GS Hybrid provides sharper handling and considerably quicker acceleration, but it offers lower fuel economy (29/34 mpg city/highway). As long as you aren’t looking for sporty driving dynamics, the used ES Hybrid will likely be a better fit – and it’s often much more affordable.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid?

The 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES Hybrid are built on the same vehicle platform. Both are similar in size, comfortable to drive, offer comparable safety and convenience features, and share the same hybrid system (40/39 mpg). The ES is apt to turn more heads with its sleek exterior styling. It also rates slightly higher in reliability. However, the Avalon is the better buy; used Avalon Hybrids are often much less expensive. The Avalon’s infotainment system is also easier to use, and there’s minimal difference in material quality between both of these luxurious sedans.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid or 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a better buy for most used car shoppers as well. The Camry has the same efficient hybrid system, similar interior space, a smooth ride, and an easier-to-use infotainment system; used Camry Hybrids are also often thousands of dollars less. That said, if you’re looking for luxury, the Lexus ES is surely the better car. It offers higher-quality interior materials, a more elegant cabin design, and a few extra safety features, like lane keep assist.

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

2016 ES Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Drive?

The 2016 Lexus ES 300h has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that yield a combined 200 horsepower. A CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. The ES 300h’s hybrid powertrain returns excellent fuel economy and provides respectable pick-up as well. The ES Hybrid can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just over 8 seconds, and it has adequate pep at highway speeds. The ES Hybrid impresses most, however, with its smooth and composed ride, which expertly muffles bumps and dips in the road. Its steering is precise, and operating the brakes feels natural, which isn’t always the case in hybrid cars.

Does the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Lexus ES 300h gets 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which is terrific for a luxury midsize car. By comparison, the nonhybrid Lexus ES 350 gets up to 21/31 mpg city/highway.

Read more about ES Hybrid performance »

2016 ES Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 ES Hybrid Seat?

The Lexus ES Hybrid seats five and rewards with a quiet, upscale cabin. The dashboard benefits from a clean appearance, and most interior materials have a quality look and feel, especially the available bamboo trim. The ES Hybrid’s front seats are plush and supportive, offering excellent comfort over long driving distances. The rear seats are cozy as well, and there’s ample headroom and legroom for adults in the front and back. Leatherette upholstery is standard; leather upholstery is available, as are heated and ventilated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid?

The ES has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. Some of the anchors are hard to access and require too much force to attach.

2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Features

The 2016 Lexus ES 300h comes standard with an infotainment screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, satellite radio, and Siri Eyes Free connectivity. Available features include a navigation system and an excellent Mark Levinson stereo. The standard audio and climate controls are conveniently located on the dashboard, and they’re paired with Lexus’ simple Display Audio infotainment system. This 7-inch screen is controlled using a dial on the center console. Opting for the navigation system adds Lexus’ Remote Touch interface, which isn’t so user-friendly. It replaces the dial with a mouselike controller, which feels overly sensitive and can be distracting to use when driving.

See 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid specs »

Read more about ES Hybrid interior »

2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Dimensions

Lexus ES Hybrid Cargo Space

The ES Hybrid offers a rather slim 12.1 cubic feet of trunk space.

2016 ES Hybrid Length and Weight

The Lexus ES 300h is 16.1 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,660 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid Built?

The Lexus ES 300h was built in Kyushu, Japan.

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