The Sustainable and Sleek 2013 Lexus ES

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Eco Chick was invited by Lexus to attend the ESPN Women and Sport’s Summit in Tucson, Ariz. earlier this month. (Read about our experience at the Summit here.) Over three days, some of the most influential women and men in sports led thought-provoking and inspiring discussions on ways to improve the role of sports in the lives of women and girls around the world.

Lexus — the presenting sponsor of the summit —  gave me the opportunity to test drive the new 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid around the open roads of Tucson (which enabled me to take it for a true spin!).

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The Lexus ES app available on iTunes.

Before stepping into the driver’s seat, I familiarized myself with the car using the free Lexus ES app for iPad from iTunes. It’s the first app of its kind to allow the user to explore the sedan as though you’re in the showroom viewing the car in person.

Lexus was the first carmaker to introduce a luxury hybrid to the market back in 2005, so it’s no surprise that they hit a home run with the new ES Hybrid. I was really impressed with all of the sustainable features in the model including the sustainable bamboo interior, LED headlights, and the Nu-Luxe seat upholstery — a leather-like material that weighs half as much as leather and generates far fewer CO2 and VOC emissions than other synthetic leather.

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The ES’ steering wheel and dashboard are hand-stitched by Takumi masters in Japan. These highly-skilled craftsmen must pass an origami test before they are able to work on the Lexus stitching. The Takumi masters are required to fold an origami cat within 90 seconds using their non-dominant hand. The Lexus team handed me an oragami cat to illustrate how complex a task it is.

Driving through Tucson, I kept the car in “eco” mode which maximizes the car’s fuel efficiency. There’s also an option to drive in “normal” and “sport,” which maximizes the car’s power (but is less fuel efficient). The“EV” mode keeps the gas-powered engine off at low speeds for short distances.

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I absolutely loved the way the car drove and had a blast experiencing its many features including inform technology (that utilizes apps from a smartphone), dynamic radar cruise control, and park assist.

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Taking the 2013 Lexus ES for a spin wearing a vagabond vest by Afia and shades by Sundippers.

Other features of the Lexus ES include:

  • Pre-collision that will sense when a collision is imminent and will slow down and cinch seat belts to protect the driver and passengers
  • Key presets for each driver on seat adjustments
  • Hands-free options like Bluetooth
  • SMS, text-to-speech
  • Remote touch
  • Heated and ventilated seats and steering wheel

For such a sleek-looking luxury car, I was surprised by how affordable the Lexus ES is. The ES gets 31 miles per gallon (MPG) and retails for $36,100, while the ES hybrid gets 40 MPG and retails for $38,850.

If I have you in the mood to take the 2013 Lexus ES for a spin yourself, simply download the app from iTunes.

About Lindsay E. Brown
Lindsay is the Director of Communications at CBS EcoMedia and is a co-owner of Eco-Chick along with Starre Vartan. Previously, she was the managing editor at Eco-Chick, and created the acclaimed interview series “Heroines for the Planet." She has written for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, Huffington Post, EarthHour.org, Livia Firth's Eco-Age.com, Ecover US, Laura Turner Seydel's blog, and Gather Green. Lindsay was featured on the Veria Living Network as a “voice for the planet’s health” and was named in Ecover’s “30 Under 30″ contest which recognized those who are making a sustainable difference in their local or global communities. Lindsay holds a B.S. in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award for Top Student in RW1 at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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