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Lexus IS (1999–2005)

Last updated 5 May 2015

Driving

The driving doesn't disappoint. It isn't overgeared, so 6th corresponds to about 22 mph per 1,000rpm and makes the most of the power and torque. No complaints about the radio signal, which held Magic further up the M40 than any other car I've taken there. Handling and roadholding is fine, well controlled, traditional, rear drive with no dodgy quirks and traction control you can switch off if you really want to. The steering is a bit lighter than a 3-Series, but far from over-light and still gives decent ‘feel'. Seats are excellent with a full range of adjustment. Even the back is a nice place to be, though centre rear is strictly for children. The only downside is fuel consumption of around 30mpg.

Finally, the JD Power survey results. No car has ever done as well as consistently as the Lexus IS200. It carries the status of a 3-Series and a C-Class. But it has proven to be more satisfying to its owners than either.

List Price from £31,900
Buy new from £28,802
Contract hire from £298.57 per month
 

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