2019 Lexus ES Series vs. 2019 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The ES Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Prius 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 Prius 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.

The Lexus ES Series weighs 429 to 694 pounds more than the Toyota Prius. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 Prius has not been fully tested, yet.


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 Prius’ 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 Toyota covers the Prius. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Prius ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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


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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

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


The ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (215 vs. 121) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the ES 300h hybrid is faster than the Toyota Prius:


ES Series


Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.6 MPH

78 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The ES Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius AWD-e’s standard fuel tank (13.2 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The ES Series’ standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius FWD’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 11.3 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the ES Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:


ES Series


Front Rotors

12 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.2 inches

The ES Series stops shorter than the Prius:


ES Series



60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the ES Series has larger standard tires than the Prius (215/55R17 vs. 195/65R15). The ES Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (235/45R18 vs. 215/45R17).

The ES Series’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius’ standard 65 series tires. The ES Series’ optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Prius XLE/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the ES Series has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius. The ES Series’ optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Prius XLE/Limited.

Suspension and Handling

The ES Series offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Prius’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ES Series’ wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the Prius (113 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the ES Series is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The ES 300h executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Prius L Eco (28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).


The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Prius doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The ES Series has 6.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (99.9 vs. 93.1).

The ES Series has .1 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the ES Series. The Prius doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Prius doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, 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 Prius 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 Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.


When three different drivers share the ES Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Prius doesn’t offer a memory system.

The ES Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Prius doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Prius’ headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

The ES Series has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.

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

When the ES Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Prius’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the ES Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Prius doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The ES Series’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.


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

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

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