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    Comparison: 2018 Lexus ES 300h vs 2018 BMW 530e

    Comparison: 2018 Lexus ES 300h vs 2018 BMW 530e

    In Silicon Valley, innovation is key to becoming the next big thing. This is why models with the Lexus Hybrid Drive are so popular among drivers in the greater San Jose area, as the unique system maximizes energy use with regenerative braking and eliminates lag with increased torque. But, how do Lexus models compare to the competition?

    In the battle between the 2018 Lexus ES 300h and the BMW 530e, one main difference is that the BMW is a plug-in and the Lexus is a regular hybrid. Below, we’ll cover what that means for car owners and how to choose the best model for you.

    Performance and Efficiency

    Lexus ES 300h

    The 2018 ES 300h has a 2.5-liter inline-4 combined with an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery module, making a net 200 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, it gets 40 MPG city and 39 MPG highway.

    The agency also reports that the ES 300h’s annual fuel cost is around $950 and that drivers save about $2,250 on fuel over five years, versus the average new car. Also, you can go 688 miles on a single tank, making this Lexus hybrid an ideal ride for trips up and down the California coast.

    BMW 530e

    The BMW 530e has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine combined with an AC synchronous electric motor. The plug-in makes a combined 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is more power than the Lexus, but that’s where the favorable numbers end for the Beemer.

    Unlike a regular hybrid that optimizes fuel and kinetic energy to power its motors, a plug-in relies on your electrical outlets to gives its battery pack a boost – and that can add up. The U.S. DOE reports that on gasoline only, the 530e gets 29 MPG, and combined with electric energy, it gets 72 MPGe. That last figure sounds impressive, but is it?

    According to the DOE, it costs $1,300 in fuel and electricity to drive the BMW 530e, which is a savings of $500 every five years when compared to a traditional new car. Not bad, but the numbers pale in comparison to the ES 300h. Plus, you’ll only go about 370 on a full tank, and the electric-only range is just 16 miles.

    Driver Assistance Tech

    Lexus ES 300h

    While both the 2018 Lexus ES and the 2018 BMW 5 Series earned top scores from both major safety organizations, only Lexus includes standard driver assistance technology on every model. The ES comes equipped with the Lexus Safety System+, including a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high beams. Additionally, it’s available with a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist.

    BMW 530e

    The BMW 5 Series comes standard with Dynamic Cruise Control, and that's about it for standard models. Adding a blind spot monitor, parking aids, automatic high beams, or side collision avoidance system to your BMW will cost extra – and that's in addition to the higher energy costs and substantially higher base price.


    Lexus ES 300h

    Starting at $41,820 MSRP

    BMW 530e

    Starting at $52,395 MSRP

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