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Lexus IS (2013–)

Last updated 17 October 2018

Sharp and modern styling. Well built and upmarket cabin. Low emission on hybrid model.
Ride quality much better on smaller wheels. Not as good to drive as a BMW 3 Series.
Updated 18 October 2018

Report from a reader that there is a service requirement to change the rear differential fluid in a Lexus IS300h every 20k miles and to change the CVT fluid every 40k miles. Yet his Lexus dealer told...

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Introduction

With a petrol-only engine range, the Lexus IS is only going to be an outside choice for many company car buyers – but with an easy-to-drive character, distinctive styling and a comfortable, high-tech interior, there are plenty of reasons to give it a look. And being a Lexus you're guaranteed impeccable build quality and reliability.

The entry point into the range is the IS 250, but with emissions of almost 200g/km and unremarkable fuel economy it’s not going to be on the radar of many executive car buyers. Instead, it's the IS 300h that makes more sense.

This hybrid version manages low emissions of 99g/km and because it runs on petrol rather than diesel, it falls into a low Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) band, which makes it more affordable to run for company car drivers than a comparable diesel.

From the driver’s seat the IS is impressive. Build quality is very good, but while the choice of materials is excellent it’s not quite as neat or as pristinely trimmed as an Audi. That said, the IS is a very refined, comfortable and well made car. The design is interesting though with a much more modern and upmarket design than the previous IS. Thankfully there are no obvious Toyota switches or buttons either.

It isn’t, however, the most dynamic vehicle in its class – if you’re a keen driver then you might want to look at the BMW 3 Series. However the IS is comfortable on most roads and has a relaxed, effortless way of covering ground, albeit in a manner that isn’t particularly engaging.

All things considered, there is a lot to like about the IS, particularly the 300h. Fuel economy and emissions are tremendously impressive and the styling and interior give a real feel-good factor. Add to that a strong reputation for dealer service and reliability and the Lexus makes a strong case for itself.

Road Test Lexus IS250 and IS300h

Owners' reviews

5
Always a pleasure to drive
4
Unique, well built smooth and quiet. Only slightly let down by lexus liverpool customer service
3
Very smooth comfortable car marred by poor reliability
5
A hidden Gem
5
A thoroughly delightful drive!
5
Number 1 for a reason
 

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