Our cars: Lexus IS300h - December

Article 11 of 13 See all
  • The driver's seat hasn't been kind to us on long journeys

    The driver's seat hasn't been kind to us on long journeys

  • The IS feels most at home around town.

    The IS feels most at home around town.

  • Lexus cupholders aren't well situated if you sit further forward than most

    Lexus cupholders aren't well situated if you sit further forward than most

  • Bluetooth pairing has caused a few issues in the IS recently

    Bluetooth pairing has caused a few issues in the IS recently

  • Visibility in the Lexus is tricky, so Paul wishes the camera was standard

    Visibility in the Lexus is tricky, so Paul wishes the camera was standard

  • Infotainment controller is more hinderance than help - but it's standard if you want sat-nav

    Infotainment controller is more hinderance than help - but it's standard if you want sat-nav

  • Lexus 'leather' and white stitching in F Sport trim looks the part and feels top quality

    Lexus 'leather' and white stitching in F Sport trim looks the part and feels top quality

  • Vicky found it surprisingly easy to slot a lot of rubbish into the boot of the Lexus IS

    Vicky found it surprisingly easy to slot a lot of rubbish into the boot of the Lexus IS

  • Following some basic advice and instruction, we boosted indicated fuel economy to 56.8mpg

    Following some basic advice and instruction, we boosted indicated fuel economy to 56.8mpg

  • Our first run with the hybrid trainer was without advice or instruction - we managed 45.6mpg

    Our first run with the hybrid trainer was without advice or instruction - we managed 45.6mpg

  • Dashboard looks suitably modern, but the heater controls are far too sensitive

    Dashboard looks suitably modern, but the heater controls are far too sensitive

  • Some say the IS's headlights are over-styled; everyone agrees the ride is overly firm, though

    Some say the IS's headlights are over-styled; everyone agrees the ride is overly firm, though

  • AA Autowindshields came to the rescue to replace a badly cracked windscreen

    AA Autowindshields came to the rescue to replace a badly cracked windscreen

  • EV mode is useful for extending range, plus the dashboard readout looks great and is easy to read

    EV mode is useful for extending range, plus the dashboard readout looks great and is easy to read

  • We're not seeing anywhere near the official 60.1mpg, but we're getting a hybrid 'trainer' in to see if we can improve

    We're not seeing anywhere near the official 60.1mpg, but we're getting a hybrid 'trainer' in to see if we can improve

  • Plenty of rear legroom meant our road test manager's little passenger couldn't get the back of the front seats mucky

    Plenty of rear legroom meant our road test manager's little passenger couldn't get the back of the front seats mucky

  • Snazzy instrument cluster has impressed Steve

    Snazzy instrument cluster has impressed Steve

  • F Sport trim comes with harsh sports suspension

    F Sport trim comes with harsh sports suspension

/

Lexus IS300h F Sport

Week ending December 20
Mileage 2800
Driven this week 480 miles

Read the full Lexus IS review

Our Lexus IS is an F Sport-spec car, which means it features smoked alloys, LED front fog lights and a mesh front grille design. Together, they help it look more striking than other models in the IS range – at least to my eyes.

Unfortunately, F Sport cars also come with sports suspension, which makes the ride rather unforgiving, particularly at low speed.

I can’t help thinking that Lexus is missing a trick by not offering standard suspension as a no-cost option. This would basically give you the best of both worlds, and is something Audi does with its sporty-looking S line cars and BMW with its M Sport models.

By Steve Huntingford
Steven.Huntingford@whatcar.com



Week ending December 13
Mileage 2320
Driven this week 111 miles

Our Lexus IS300h is a relaxing car to drive. I’ve bagged it twice this week and both times they’ve been the sort of trips where being soothed is advantageous: a trip into central London for a work dinner and a foggy 5am drive to Heathrow airport.

In fact, I think that the IS is probably most at home in cities and suburbs. It’s where you really see the benefits that the power and silence of the electric motor provides. Light dabs of the accelerator really suit the CVT gearbox, too.

It’s not just about the petrol-electric drivetrain, though; I’m also a fan of the IS’s interior. The instrument dials seem eccentric compared with those in German rivals, but they are admirably clear, especially in the dark. And while I’ve yet to completely feel at home with the mouse-operated infotainment system, the display is first class.

Next I’m going to have to venture outside the M25 to see if I can cope with the IS on a longer journey.

By Chas Hallett

Chas.Hallett@whatcar.com



Week ending December 6
Mileage 2209
Driven this week 194 miles

Read the full Lexus IS review

Our long-term Lexus IS300h has the full infotainment package. This features a Mark Levinson stereo, optional sat-nav and a seven-inch screen at the top of the dashboard. The features are great and the amount of information about the powertrain is impressive, too.

Annoyingly though, the system is controlled by a 'mouse' on the centre console. Not only was it too sensitive for me to use easily while driving, but it also 'bongs' constantly. A colleague said it reminded him of the noise of the old 'Pong' video game.

I imagine I can change both settings; I'll just have to make sure that I'm parked up when I do so.

By Matthew Burrow
Matthew.Burrow@whatcar.com

Our cars: Lexus IS300h - November

advertisement

Free car valuations

advertisement