Our cars: Lexus IS300h - June

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  • 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

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Lexus IS F Sport

Read the full Lexus IS review

Week ending June 29
Mileage 9250
Driven this week 500 miles

A colleague from Practical Motorhome borrowed the Lexus last weekend because she had a lot of miles she wanted to cover in reasonable comfort. It was interesting to hear how the hybrid IS fared. 

For a start, Bryony found switching on the voice guidance on the sat-nav system far more complicated than it needed to be to switch the voice guidance on.

Reinstating the voice guidance involves going into many menus but this means that you have to use the infuriating mouse controller all the more. Luckily, Bryony was able to use the steering wheel controls to change radio stations, saving her having to delve into the myriad menus again. 

The cupholders also felt her wrath, because her driving position is set farther forward than mine and this meant the recesses at the rear of the centre console were difficult to reach. Even with the seat set most of the way back for me, I still find them less than ideal, meaning you have to contort your left arm to reach your tasty beverage. 

However, the reasonably spacious boot passed the test and she was impressed with how well the IS switched between petrol and electric power.

By Will Williams

Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

Lexus IS F Sport

Read the full Lexus IS review

Week ending June 23
Mileage 8750
Driven this week 310 miles

On climbing into the Lexus of a morning, my phone usually automatically connects to the car without me having to lift a finger. This is crucial, I find, first thing on a Monday.

However, this time my phone (an iPhone 4) rang and the car wasn't having any of it, so I tried manually connecting it to the car and then via the car to the phone, with no luck.

I suspect that the car won't let you do this unless it is stationary, but my colleague Vicky has also had problems streaming music via Bluetooth because the Lexus has struggled to connect to her phone.

The car has only just recently had a software update so it's unlikely to be that. I'll have to see how I get on in the future; I suspect it might be one of those impossible-to-trace electronic gremlins deep at work in the IS's circuit boards.

Speaking of gremlins, the mystery rattle that I mentioned last week seems to have stopped as quickly as it started, so I'll just keep an ear open to check if it returns.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

Week ending June 16
Mileage 8440
Driven this week 906

Ahhh, the hush and serenity of the Lexus cabin...well, no actually, not at the moment at least. There seems to be a rattle that is growing in volume and it's emanating from the driver's side door pillar.

It sounds like it's coming from a piece of the trim near the pillar or armrest; either way it's reasonably close to your ear so it is noticeable. I'll need to get it looked at with a trip to the dealer soon. Thankfully, the excellent stereo helps to drown out the squeak in the meantime and keep my sanity intact.

By Will Williams
Neil.Williams@whatcar.com

Week ending June 2

Mileage 7534
Driven this week 147

Parking is a thorny issue for anyone living in a big city. For me that means when I work from home I need to stash my car in a very tight multi-storey to save money over on-street parking.

With narrow ramps, low ceilings and small spaces, its's not something I would attempt in our Range Rover, but luckily the Lexus has one of the best reversing cameras on the market. The picture is really sharp, with guide lines that allow you to place the IS with total accuracy.

It's a shame then that equipment isn't standard; instead it comes as part of the premium navigation pack, which is a costly £1995 extra. Without the camera the thick C-pillars and narrow rear screen make parking much trickier, so you need to be careful not to catch the 18-inch alloys.

Given the firm ride though, I'd rather have smaller wheels and a standard parking camera.

By Paul Bond
Paul.Bond@whatcar.com

Our cars: Lexus IS300h - May

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