Lexus IS300h F Sport
Week ending May 13
Total mileage 7387
Driven this week 253
There are lots of things I like about the IS. The padded armrests on both side of the driver, the gearbox paddles that are great for introducing some engine-braking on the motorway, the cool-looking sliding dials, and the dual-USB inputs are some of my favourite things that I use regularly.
However, the joystick-controlled infotainment system that you have to have if you want sat-nav (£1995) has never done anything but fill me with fury. I’ve spent a lot of time in the IS now, and I still find myself taking my eyes off the road for uncomfortably long moments as I try and position the mouse on the correct icon.
The problem isn’t just that the icons are quite small, but it takes way too much precision than it should to highlight the button you’re after, despite the system’s ability to lock onto icons. Once you have highlighted the icon you want, it’s infuriatingly easy to dislodge it accidentally as you depress the joystick to select the action. Basically, the sooner Lexus can offer the standard rotary-controller that the IS normally gets when you spec nav, the better.
To make matters worse, the system has started freezing occasionally. On a trip back from Gatwick last week, I got so frustrated with trying to get the system to recognise my USB-connected phone (which it usually does instantly) that I gave up, only for it to cut in unexpectedly at mega-decibels a few minutes later. The Bluetooth connection also often freezes the system if you try browsing the linked music device, sometimes cutting out and refusing to recognise my iPhone 4 at all.
By Vicky Parrott