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Lexus IS SALOON 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]

Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
*images for illustrative purposes only.
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]
Lexus IS 300h 4dr CVT Auto [Sport Pack]

Key Info Compare

  • FuelHybrid
  • TransmissionAutomatic
  • MPG0.00
  • 0-62mph8.4 secs
  • Top Speed124 mph
  • C02109 g/km
  • BHP223
  • Torque163 lbs/f
  • P11D25%

Review

The Lexus IS has a simple mission. It needs to be a car that you'd enjoy owning more than a Mercedes C Class, an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 series, the three leading choices in the compact executive saloon segment. Lexus used to simply try and copy these class leaders but with this third generation IS, they've been a bit cleverer, primarily through the offering of petrol/electric hybrid power rather than the kind of 2.0-litre diesel engine business buyers will be used to. It's a refreshing approach for people in search of something just that little bit different and its been lightly embellished since the introduction of this revised MK3 model.

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The third generation Lexus IS has its own take on compact executive saloon motoring. You might like it. Jonathan Crouch drives one.

Background

Here's an interesting car, the Lexus IS. For many potential buyers, its main appeal lies not in what it is but in what it isn't. Namely a BMW, an Audi or a Mercedes, these being the three Teutonic heavyweight brands who dominate the compact executive saloon sector in which this Japanese contender competes. As a result, our company carparks are overflowing with 3 Series, A4 and C-Class models, with the cars in question nearly all powered by clattery diesel engines and mainly driven via the kind of over-firm sporty set-ups that the magazines insist buyers should have. If though, you're fed with these predictable choices and want something that reinterprets what a car of this kind should be, then this, I'd suggest, is where you need to start your search. Almost everything about this IS is different from the norm in its chosen segment. The styling, the single saloon bodystyle, absence of manual transmission and, perhaps most notably, the fact that no, you can't have a diesel. Here instead, you get a unique four-door look, an auto gearbox and an overwhelming emphasis on petrol/electric hybrid power with its sensible running costs and limo-like silent start-up. The result should be a car to change your mind: about hybrid power, German brand domination - and Lexus itself. Let's try it.

Driving Experience

Back in 2018, Lexus made small changes to both the steering and the suspension of this improved model in an attempt to create a more dynamic feel. Under the bonnet, there's no longer a conventional petrol engine offering, so IS buyers are limited to the 2.5-litre IS 300h petrol/electric hybrid. Unlike the brand's slightly smaller CT 200h hybrid model, it's more than a smartened up Toyota Prius, instead based on a proper large Lexus, the BMW 5 Series-sized ES 300h. True, the 2.5-litre engine used may only offer four cylinders, but it does develop 178bhp, with a further slug of power contributed by an electric motor, resulting in a combined 223bhp output. That's enough to easily match the performance of the rival 2.0-litre diesel models at which this car is aimed, 0-62mph occupying 8.3s on the way to 124mph. You access that performance via a thrashy, rubber belt-driven CVT auto gearbox which doesn't help this car's sports saloon aspirations. On the plus side, the handling changes make the car feel sharper than before into corners, the steering's much better and you get a 'Drive Mode Select' system that allows you to tweak engine output, throttle response, gearshift times and even the air conditioning to suit four different driving modes. Plus there's an electric-only EV setting on the hybrid so that you can trickle along on battery power for short distances.

Design and Build

The changes made to this improved third generation IS back in 2018 were subtle but significant. Buyers get restyled headlamps, larger and deeper air intakes integrated in the bumper and a further evolution of the signature Lexus spindle grille. In profile, the character line along the side of the car has been made stronger and at the rear, chrome detailing has been added to the lower bumper panel. The rear lights have also been redesigned, with LED lamps and smarter light guides that create an L-shape motif. Inside, the high-resolution multi-information screen that accompanies the Lexus Premium Navigation system is now 10.25 inches, presenting larger, clearer images and providing a split-screen function so that different information displays can be presented at the same time. Changes have also been made to the steering wheel (matching the design of that in the Lexus RC coupe) and the driver and front passenger knee pads now run the full length of the centre console. There are also new cupholders, a satin finish for the gear lever, a larger, leather-wrapped and stitched palm rest for the Remote Touch Interface control, and classier dial markings on the analogue clock. Otherwise, things are much as they were before, which means a classy cabin with best-in-class standards of kneeroom at the back. And the boot? Well the batteries that must be housed beneath its floor in this hybrid IS 300h model rob you of 30-litres of space, but that still leaves a class-competitive 450-litres of room on offer. And, as long as you avoid entry-level trim, there's a 60/40 split-folding rear seat for those times when you want to avoid the home delivery charge after a trip to IKEA.

Market and Model

As before, there's a single saloon bodystyle on offer and prices start at around £33,000. That gets you base 'IS' trim. There are also various 'Sport Pack', 'Comfort Pack', 'Premium Pack' and 'F SPORT' variants, plus the flagship 'Takumi' version. Avoid entry level trim and you're guaranteed to get the 'Lexus Safety System+' portfolio of advanced safety systems as standard. Its features make use of camera and radar sensors to support the driver with improved information, better forward vision and prompt warnings of hazards and collision risks. Plus there's an added layer of protection in the form of autonomous braking for emergency situations. The IS benefits from a Pre-Crash Safety system with pre-crash brake assist and pre-crash braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition. There's also a 'Sway Warning' system. This monitors the vehicle's lane position and driver steering inputs, detecting any sway (deviations) that might be due to the driver losing concentration through tiredness or distraction. In such circumstances, the set-up will sound a buzzer and trigger a warning light in the multi-information display.

Cost of Ownership

On to consider the WLTP-rated running costs of the petrol/electric IS 300h hybrid - which make very impressive reading indeed, even against the best of this car's 2.0-litre diesel-powered compact executive saloon rivals. The CO2 return (up to 133g/km) means a VED band 'H' BiK rating, plus this car won't suffer from the 3% Benefit-in-Kind surcharge that's applied to all diesels. Independent experts KwikCarCost reckon that a 40% tax payer who opts for an IS 300h will save around £907 a year in tax over the cost of running a comparable Mercedes C220 diesel. As for fuel consumption, the official figures suggest that the IS 300h is capable of up to 48.7mpg on the combined cycle, which is pretty close to what you'd get in a rival diesel Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class, while running on cheaper fuel. It'll also help that Lexus residuals are amongst the strongest in the sector: independent specialists CAP reckon that after 3 years and/or 60,000 miles, this IS 300h should still be worth around 37% of what you originally paid for it. Its insurance groupings range between 32 and 34.

Summary

If you thought that Lexus was the company that tried to copy the Germans and always turned up a day late and a dollar short, you need to try this car. It looks right, it feels good and it makes eminent sense on the balance sheet. Lexus didn't do diesel that well but it's hard to argue with the fact that it does hybrid brilliantly with a car that many will feel makes its German rivals look old, noisy and dirty. True, the vague response from the thrashy CVT auto gearbox undermines the driving experience somewhat but if you can live with that, there's plenty else to like. Affordable running costs and plenty of equipment for example, plus recent tax law changes mean that the pendulum is swinging back towards petrol power once again. Add in the arresting looks and a dealer network routinely steeped in praise by every survey going and I think there's room for this Japanese brand to be optimistic about its prospects with this car. It's the best small Lexus yet made. And that makes it a very desirable thing indeed.

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Exterior Features
Solid paint
Auto dimming interior rear view mirror
Automatic headlights
Black mirror caps
Black rear bumpers
Black scuff plates
Black spindle front grille
Body adhesive, laser screw welding and laser brazed roof structure
Electric front/rear windows
Headlight washers
Heated and electrically folding outside mirrors with turn indicators and puddle light
LED brake lights and rear lights with emergency brake signal
LED daytime running lights
LED headlights with automatic high beam
Pop up hood
Rain sensing wipers
Rear fog lights
Sport exterior styling consisting of Lexus signature front grille, mirror covers, wheels and rear lower bumper in black
Driver Convenience
4 driving modes EV/Eco/Normal/Sport
4 x front and 4 x rear parking sensors
Analogue clock
Bluetooth telephone connectivity
Lane change flasher function
Lexus navigation system
Lexus safety systems+ consisting Dynamic radar cruise control (DRCC), Pre collision system (PCS), Lane keep assist (LKA), Road sign assist (RSA)
Push button starter
Reversing camera
Speed sensitive power steering
Trip computer
Entertainment
2 USB sockets
Aux-in socket
DAB Digital radio
Lexus media display with 6 speakers, 7" display screen, CD and rotary dial controller
Radio/CD
Interior Features
2 cup holders in the front and rear centre console
2 map pockets in the rear
2 x coat hooks in the rear
2 x sun visors with vanity mirror and lamp
3 spoke leather steering wheel with paddle shift
4 x tie down hooks in the boot
6 way manually adjustable front seats
60/40 split folding rear seat with lock
Active sound control
Card holder installed in driver and passengers sun visors
Driver and passenger door pockets with bottle holders
Dual zone climate control air conditioning system with S flow and electrostatic temperature control switch
Fabric/Tahara leather upholstery
Front and rear LED interior lighting
Front centre armrest with storage
Front headrests
Heated front seats
Leather gear lever
Manual adjustable steering column with lock protect
Rear armrest with 2 cup holders and storage
Rear headrests
Self charging hybrid
Soft console knee pads
Textile carpet mats
Safety
2 x Isofix child rear seat restraints
3 point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) front seat belt with pretensioners
3 point rear seatbelts
ABS+EBD+Brake assist
Active bonnet
Driver and front passenger 2 stage airbag
Driver and front passenger knee airbag
Driver and passenger side airbags
Electronically controlled braking
Front and rear curtain airbags
Hill start assist control (HAC)
Passenger airbag deactivate switch
Traction control
Tyre pressure monitoring system
Security
Anti-theft system with siren, intrusion sensor, tilt sensor and immobiliser
Locking wheel nuts
Smart entry
Two motion door lock with double lock
VIN Window etching
Technical
E-CVT with 6 stage sequential shift and kick down switch
VDIM
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
Wheels
18" Black Alloy Wheels
Run flat tyres
Emissions - ICE
CO2 (g/km) 142
Noise Level dB(A) 74
NOx 0.009
Particles 0.0001
Standard Euro Emissions EURO 6
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb 142
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max 145
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min 142
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High 164
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max 167
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min 164
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High 125
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max 127
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min 125
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low 149
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max 152
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min 149
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium 124
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max 126
WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min 124
Engine and Drive Train
Camshaft DOHC
Catalytic Convertor Yes
CC 2494
Compression Ratio 13.0:1
Cylinder Layout IN-LINE
Cylinders 4
Cylinders - Bore (mm) 90
Cylinders - Stroke (mm) 98
Engine Code 2AR-FSE
Fuel Delivery MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
Gears 1 SPEED
Number of Valves 16
Transmission AUTO
Fuel Consumption - ICE
EC Combined (mpg) 61.4
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies No
EC Extra Urban (mpg) 65.7
EC Urban (mpg) 56.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb 6.2
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max 6.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min 6.2
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High 7.2
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max 7.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min 7.2
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High 5.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max 5.6
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min 5.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low 6.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max 6.7
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min 6.5
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium 5.4
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max 5.6
WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min 5.4
WLTP - MPG - Comb 45.5
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max 44.1
WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min 45.5
WLTP - MPG - Extra High 39.2
WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max 38.1
WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min 39.2
WLTP - MPG - High 51.3
WLTP - MPG - High - Max 50.4
WLTP - MPG - High - Min 51.3
WLTP - MPG - Low 43.4
WLTP - MPG - Low - Max 42.1
WLTP - MPG - Low - Min 43.4
WLTP - MPG - Medium 52.3
WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max 50.4
WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min 52.3
General
Alternative Fuel Qualifying Yes
Badge Engine CC 2.5
Badge Power 223
Coin Description h
Coin Series Sport Pack
Generation Mark 3
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07 28E
Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years 12
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years 3
NCAP Adult Occupant Protection % 91
NCAP Child Occupant Protection % 85
NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09 5
NCAP Pedestrian Protection % 80
NCAP Safety Assist % 66
Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern? No
Service Interval Frequency - Months 12
Service Interval Mileage 10000
Special Edition No
Special Order No
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage 60000
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years 3
Vehicle Homologation Class M1
Performance
0 to 62 mph (secs) 8.4
Engine Power - BHP 223
Engine Power - KW 164
Engine Power - RPM 6000
Engine Torque - LBS.FT 163
Engine Torque - MKG 22.5
Engine Torque - NM 221
Engine Torque - RPM 4200
Top Speed 124
Test Cycles
Emissions Test Cycle WLTP
Tyres
Alloys? Yes
Space Saver? No
Tyre Size Front 225/40R18
Tyre Size Rear 255/35R18
Tyre Size Spare RUN FLAT TYRES
Wheel Type 18" ALLOY
Vehicle Dimensions
Height 1430
Length 4680
Wheelbase 2800
Width 1810
Width (including mirrors) 2027
Weight and Capacities
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres) 66
Gross Vehicle Weight 2145
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up) 450
Max. Loading Weight 525
Minimum Kerbweight 1620
No. of Seats 5
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb 10.4

Deals

Term Annual Mileage Monthly Payment Maintenance
24 months 5,000 miles p/a £669.48 p/m £13.14 p/m
24 months 8,000 miles p/a £641.86 p/m £22.92 p/m
24 months 10,000 miles p/a £654.16 p/m £25.27 p/m
24 months 15,000 miles p/a £684.01 p/m £28.73 p/m
24 months 20,000 miles p/a £709.26 p/m £43.34 p/m
24 months 25,000 miles p/a £752.37 p/m £57.97 p/m
24 months 30,000 miles p/a £770.34 p/m £87.69 p/m
36 months 5,000 miles p/a £495.96 p/m £12.48 p/m
36 months 8,000 miles p/a £510.06 p/m £20.59 p/m
36 months 10,000 miles p/a £519.47 p/m £26.00 p/m
36 months 15,000 miles p/a £541.06 p/m £37.27 p/m
36 months 20,000 miles p/a £562.19 p/m £62.00 p/m
36 months 25,000 miles p/a £579.94 p/m £73.17 p/m
36 months 30,000 miles p/a £597.70 p/m £103.09 p/m
48 months 5,000 miles p/a £433.68 p/m £16.79 p/m
48 months 8,000 miles p/a £446.13 p/m £25.21 p/m
48 months 10,000 miles p/a £454.44 p/m £30.81 p/m
48 months 15,000 miles p/a £473.39 p/m £50.08 p/m
48 months 20,000 miles p/a £490.51 p/m £67.09 p/m
48 months 25,000 miles p/a £505.08 p/m £92.21 p/m
48 months 30,000 miles p/a £522.92 p/m £112.77 p/m
24 months 8,000 miles p/a £770.23 p/m £27.51 p/m
36 months 10,000 miles p/a £429.76 p/m £41.16 p/m
36 months 20,000 miles p/a £488.45 p/m £71.58 p/m
* Prices shown based on 6 month initial payment.
+VAT
Lease Type
Contract Length
Initial Rental
Annual Mileage
Include Maintenance

An excess mileage charge will apply if you exceed the contracted mileage. The exact charge will be confirmed on the official quotation prior to your acceptance to proceed

Selected Options
Optional Extras
Exterior Features
Metallic paint £670.00
Pearlescent paint £670.00
Special Metallic paint £920.00
Packs
Protection pack - IS £399.00
Paintwork
Metallic - Graphite black £670.00
Metallic - Manganese lustre £670.00
Metallic - Mercury grey £670.00
Pearl - Mesa red £670.00
Solid - Velvet black FOC
Special metallic - Sonic titanium £920.00
Special metallic - Sonic white £920.00
Trim
Fabric/tahara leather - Black/noble brown with black metal inlay FOC
* option prices shown are estimated