2019 Lexus ES Series vs. 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The ES Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the ES Series and the Accord Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the ES Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Accord Hybrid is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

The ES Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the ES Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Accord Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Accord Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The ES Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Accord Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 3 more horsepower (215 vs. 212) than the Accord Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The ES Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Accord Hybrid (15.9 vs. 12.8 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the ES Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Accord Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17).

The ES Series’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord Hybrid’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ES Series offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Accord Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ES Series’ wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Accord Hybrid (113 inches vs. 111.4 inches).

Passenger Space

The ES Series has .1 inches more front legroom and .5 inches more rear headroom than the Accord Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the ES Series’ available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The ES Series uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

The ES Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord Hybrid’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The ES Series’ headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Accord Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ES Series offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the ES Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The ES Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring.

On extremely cold winter days, the ES Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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