Our cars: Lexus IS300h - May

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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 IS300h F Sport

Read the full Lexus IS review

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
Victoria.Parrott@whatcar.com

Our cars: Lexus IS300h - April

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