Car Reviews Lexus IS 300h Luxury 4dr The AA

22 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Car Reviews Lexus IS 300h Luxury 4dr The AA отключены
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

Car safety

Likes

Bold looks elevate status of 3 Series rival Hybrid variant is refined High level of standard specification Cabin ambience easily justifies price tag

Gripes

No diesel option, only petrol and hybrid Some minor controls could be more intuitive Rear seat space is acceptable but not overly generous Brand still struggles in face of more established German opposition

With the compact executive saloon market a fiercely competitive one, Lexus’ third attempt at making the IS a viable alternative centres on boosting its visual appeal and further refining its now trademark petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

At one level the IS follows in the same tyre tracks as its European rival, promising high levels of refinement and comfort. Lexus is well known for focusing on the detail, and this IS boasts build quality to rival anything in this market sector.

Lexus also likes to do things differently, which in the case of the IS has resulted in a radical overhaul of the exterior and the pursuit of the petrol-electric powertrain option. And this time Lexus is … big by dropping its sole diesel alternative, making the range petrol only if you include the straight 2.5-litre variant.

If you’re in the mood for a change from the usual diet of executive saloons, Lexus can offer you an IS bursting with standard equipment and capable of delivering one of the most refined experience on the market. Make no mistake, this is a top notch effort.

It’s not all plain sailing, however. What you gain in terms of the refinement you lose a little in terms of the car’s dynamic range. All the pieces are there but Lexus doesn’t quite make the car gel in the way BMW has with its 3 Series.

In hybrid guise the IS still demonstrates that a continuously variable auto gearbox doesn’t quite have the skills to match a conventional auto, and keen drivers will notice the slightly detached feel of the car’s steering.

Our verdict on the Lexus IS 300h Luxury 4dr

For most buyers keen to try something different, the Lexus IS will prove to be a pleasingly satisfying experience. Exceptionally well built and appointed, refinement and comfort levels are exemplary. The hybrid variant presents a genuine chance to reduce your fuel and tax bills, while visually the car makes a bold statement.

Keen drivers might not feel fully satisfied but, as an illustration of the brand’s recent progress, this is good effort from the Japanese firm.

Costs

Opting for the hybrid IS will ensure you benefit from low fuel consumption rates and qualification for one of the lowest CO2 bands available. This last detail is likely more of an attraction for business users keen to minimize their tax exposure. Elsewhere, with the IS very well equipped, there’s little need to dip into the admittedly modest cost options list.

Space and practicality

A little bigger in all the key areas, this IS proves comfortable accommodating for both front and now rear seat occupants. There’s also a useful amount of oddment storage space, along with a good size boot that in hybrid 300h guise is no longer compromised by the intrusion of the hybrid hardware.

Controls and display

Comfort

Car security

Car safety

Although the firm doesn’t really shout about it, Lexus has just a good a safety record as its European rivals. A high standard of specification is included right across the IS range, with numerous airbags plus a sophisticated traction and stability system.

Driver appeal

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

As the IS brand has evolved, so has the driving experience. Ever closer to that of its German rivals, this IS retains rear-wheel drive and shows promises in terms of engaging the ken driver. While the straight petrol variant is not rocketship, the hybrid variant promises enhanced acceleration and, crucially, quiet running in EV mode at low speeds.

You don’t feel as engaged as you would in, say, a BMW but the overall experience is no much more enjoyable.

Family car appeal

First car appeal

Quality and image

Drawing level with the German opposition when it comes to cabin materials and build quality, there’s no question that Lexus is worthy of praise. In image terms the Lexus does lag behind the opposition, although sportier version like the F-Sport and previous generation ISF do help boost the brand image.

Accessibility

With this latest generation IS comes an expanded cabin and easier access fore and aft for occupants. Doors open wide and even rear seat access is much improved. There’s little trouble a gaining access to the car’s boot, which opens without fuss or the need for much physical effort.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

Like many cars, the main focus here is the car’s infotainment system located centrally in the fascia. It’s the hub for the majority of the car’s functions, and after a modest learning period is reasonably intuitive. The usual outputs and sources are present, from radio and CD to Bluetooth and MP3 player connectivity, while a Mark Levinsion branded upgrade promises a higher quality output.

Radical exterior design sets IS apart from European rivals


Colours and trim

The car’s bold looks work best when accompanied by a bright exterior colour. In contrast, dark colours do little to flatter the car’s complex lines and angles. The same is true inside the cabin, with lighter trim shades doing much to lift the otherwise somber cabin ambience.

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

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