I drove this car whilst looking for a car in the £30,000 class. I compared every usual suspect - a BMW, Audi A4, Volkswagen Passat and a Honda Accord.
The Lexus experience was one that I will buy into and the optional Mark Levinson multimedia pack is worth the £2700 (it's more than just satellite-navigation). The Honda came a close second - not bad for a car £6000 cheaper.
The first thing to say about this car is that it is a beautiful thing to behold close up;much better than in photos.This also goes for the quality of materials and build.
Having test drove the 3-series (ugly,plasticky),the A4 (glorified VW)and C-Class (dull),I tried the IS and was amazed at the difference in quality and amount of kit when compared to the Germans.
Reviewers also fail to elaborate on the difference in standard equipment levels when comparing pricing.Not just toys,but essentials that drivers expect in this sector.Even trying to spec up a german model to the IS level would cost around £5-6k more.
The other advantages of the Lexus are user-friendly features such as touch screen sat-nav/control,keyless entry and bluetooth phone. A reversing camera, Levinson CD/DVD surround system,heated AND ventilated seats etc. all add to this.
Also adding to the Lexus'appeal are its exclusivity,retained value and reliability. The driving experience I found,apart from being quieter,to be similar to the others under a normal mix of driving.
Any deficiences compared to the germans is negligable when judging the cars overall. Fuel consumption averages 30-31 mpg,which is not bad for a 2.5 V6 auto.
I suggest adding the IS to your list when considering a car in this sector.See it and try it before you decide.
I've done 3000 miles in this car and I'm wondering if buying it was such a good idea. The build quality is supreme; but for handling, think rear-wheel-drive Peugeot 406/407.
There is a major thing wrong with this car - the fuel economy. I am only achieving between 30 and 37 miles per gallon. I have a weekly commute of roughly 600 miles, with two 250-mile trips on the motorway. I am stunned at these figures for a diesel. Fuel figures around town are even worse: 26-32 mpg. If you are buying this car for frugal motoring, don't – it's that simple.
Someone should put the claims of Lexus to the advertising standards authority, as in no way does this car achieve anything like the claimed figures. To find the magic 50mpg the driver is required to perform a near-impossible balancing act of achieving exactly 1689.97rpm in sixth gear.
If you manage this trick, you may discover (momentarily) the magic figure of 50mpg - but if you stray to 1689.99 rpm by stupidly choosing to go up a slight incline, the economy meter plummets.
This car probably will do its claimed 'extra urban' figure, but only in a lab. My world has 30,000 miles to do in a year and this car is costing me £600 a year more than it was meant to. That may not sound much, but when combined with the fact that it's no quicker than my colleague's 130bhp Volkswagen Passat, it all adds up to a rather large (but well built) disappointment.
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