2020 Lexus ES Series vs. 2019 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus ES Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota Prius doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The ES Series has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Prius doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

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 side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lexus ES Series is safer than the Toyota Prius:

ES Series

Prius

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

120

244

Neck Injury Risk

24%

30%

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

344 lbs.

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

42 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

33%

53%

Neck Stress

159 lbs.

173 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus ES Series is safer than the Toyota Prius:

ES Series

Prius

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked second.

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.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (215 vs. 121) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 181 more horsepower (302 vs. 121) and 161 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 106) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

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

ES Series

Prius

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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

ES Series

Prius

Front Rotors

12 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.2 inches

The ES Series stops shorter than the Prius:

ES Series

Prius

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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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

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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 average track (width between the wheels) on the ES Series is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.9 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).

Chassis

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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

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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

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With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the ES Series offers cargo security. The Prius’ hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the ES Series. The Prius doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the ES Series’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Prius doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

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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 second in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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The ES Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 ES Series’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Prius’ parking brake has to released manually.

If the windows are left open on the ES Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Prius can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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.

The ES Series has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Prius offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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.

Both the ES Series and the Prius offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the ES Series has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Insurance will cost less for the ES Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the ES Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the Prius is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The ES Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the ES Series will retain 48.23% to 49.19% of its original price after five years, while the Prius only retains 44.07% to 45.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ES Series is less expensive to operate than the Prius because typical repairs cost much less on the ES Series than the Prius, including $230 less for fuel injection and $26 less for a fuel pump.

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

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