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About Solo44

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  1. Comments on the 2017 ES300H review, being the owner of a 2018 ES300H: Afraid I have to disagree with the comments on the ES300H handling and engine power. I live in the mountains where most roads are twisty and steep and I find the handling of the ES300H up to the task. My wife says it's better than my previous car, a 2012 Acura TSX in the handling department. For maximum enjoyment when driving the mountain roads, using the Sport mode gives you a much more responsive engine as the engine RPMs stay at a higher level and you're at a better place on the torque curve. I wouldn't buy a ES300H just for sport driving in the mountains ( I use a Miata for that), it's certainly as competent as every other roomy sedan on the market. But, it's not better in that respect than the new Toyota Camry. Contrary to what many review writes have said, the ES300H IS NOT A QUIET CAR. It's better than many, but there are several cars that are quieter for less money. When you put the pedal down, the 4 cylinder engine makes its presence known pretty well. My test for "quiet" is simple: can a backseat passenger converse with the driver and front passenger while the car is moving. At city speeds, the ES300H does quite well in that test. On an Interstate at 65+ mph, not so well. You'd think that they'd have done a better job at insulating the cabin from tire noise, but they didn't. My 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan is far better in that respect than the ES300H. I suspect things could be improved a bit by choosing a quieter tire, such as the Pirelli. If you doubt that, check out the noise rating of most Michelin models with the top of the line Pirellis. I went to Pirellis from Michelins on my Acura TSX and the difference was quite noticeable. My dislikes relating to the interior design are fairly minor, but can be irritating. For example, nearly all sedans offer a nice storage compartment for sunglasses (usually in the overhead light compartment area), but not the ES300H. There's plenty of room in the center console compartment, but you'll play hell accessing anything there while the car is in motion. My arm just doesn't bend that way. Another absurdity is the wood and leather steering wheel which is billed as a "luxury feature" and in our part of the country you can't buy an ES without it. Indeed, it's a finely crafted wooden wheel with a thick smooth finish that looks like plastic, but is actually wood. I've asked a number of friends/relatives to look at the steering wheen and describe it to me. The answer is always the same: Brown plastic and leather. A plastic steering wheel will never be seen as "luxury". And, that part of the wheel (where your hands always are) is not heated so if you live in a very cold climate as we do, you'll want to keep your hands on the fairly small leather area of the wheel. The heated and ventilated seats work well, but fall short in the ventilation area. In a hot humid climate, you'll wish that the ventilation function included cooling (as the Ford Fusion seats do). While most cars with heated seats offer an easy to reach high/low switch, the ES300H uses a hard to see recessed rotary control. Many reviews knock the "mouse control" used to control the navigation system, radio, etc. We feel that it's the best control of its type we've ever experienced. Instead of a touch screen that has to be close enough to touch (and therefore exposed to bright sunlight), the ES300H screen is recessed in the dash where it's never bothered by sunlight. The mouse is easily used to control all the navigation and entertainment functions without distracting the driver much. I wish all cars had that type of control. We routinely see 40 mpg on freeway trips and not less than 36.8 mpg in the city. Not bad considering our city driving is also mountainous. I do notice that the mpg drops off in the cold weather around town, when the mileage drops as low as 33-34.