2022 Lexus ES300h vs 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid: Is the $15,000 Upgrade Worth it?

We have spent the past week driving the 2022 Lexus ES300h F Sport around and have enjoyed every minute of it. the ES300h is smooth, quiet, comfortable, and best of all, very fuel-efficient. There are also plenty of tech features to be found around the cabin and the materials that Lexus used are quite posh.

However, we couldn’t help but think that the 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid has the same engine, the same type of fuel economy, and the same features, but costs $15,000 less. This begs the question, is it really worth it to upgrade to the Lexus?

2022 Lexus ES300h versus 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid: Same powertrains, but a little different

2022 Lexus ES300h in silver
2022 Lexus ES300h in silver | Lexus

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Starting out this little comparison, let’s take a look at the powertrains for each car. The 2022 Lexus ES300h is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s connected to a high-output electric drive motor. The setup makes a combined 215 hp, which it transmits to the front wheels via an electronic CVT. According to Lexus, this hybrid combination is good for 43 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway as well as a 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds.

The 2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid is also powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s connected to an electric motor, but this car puts out 208 hp. The Camry hybrid also uses a CVT transmission to send the power to the front wheels. And as for fuel economy, the EPA estimates that it can achieve up to 44 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway.

It’s obvious that the powertrains in both of these cars are similar and we can only attribute the difference in fuel economy to the 200-pound weight difference between the two. Otherwise, the Camry Hybrid seems to be the better value here.

The Lexus ES300h’s interior is more plush and elegant

2022 Lexus ES interior
2022 Lexus ES interior | Lexus

Sitting inside each car, it’s clear that the Lexus ES300h has a nicer interior. The ES300h is available with perforated leather seats, heated/ventilated front seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen navigation system, and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system. Of course, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity are also present, but unfortunately, it’s not wireless.

All of these features are available on the Camry Hybrid as well, however, they mainly come in the form of packages. If you want everything mentioned above, then you will have to spend about $3,200 more to get them. Also, while the top-trim Camry XSE Hybrid comes with a leather interior, it’s not as nice as the perforated and softer material found in the Lexus.

Both cars are spacious and safe

2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid black interior
2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid black interior | Toyota

When it comes to interior room, both the Lexus ES300h and Toyota Camry Hybrid share similar dimensions. The front-seat passengers have 42 inches of legroom and around 38 inches of headroom, but the Lexus has one more inch of legroom in the rear. Also, both cars come standard with an array of driver-assist aids like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a pre-collision warning system. So they’re dead even in that regard.

Which hybrid sedan is the better buy?

2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid in silver driving down a road.
2022 Toyota Camry XSE Hybrid in silver | Toyota

When it comes to value, there’s no denying that the 2022 Toyota Camry provides a better proposition with a starting MSRP of $27,980. The 2022 Lexus ES300h starts at $43,225, so the question remains, is it really worth the extra money? Technically, no. You’ll get the same equipment, fuel economy, space, and safety features in the Camry Hybrid for a lot less.

However, if you like the luxurious amenities like the premium audio system, large infotainment screen, and softer leather, then the Lexus could be worth the extra money. Let’s not forget that the Lexus dealership experience is typically better as well.

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