Lexus is certainly onto a winner with the popular IS range, but the Japanese luxury car line recently increased the offerings by adding in the Lexus IS 300h. This takes the already popular IS 300 and adds an extra twist: a hybrid engine that manages to combine fuel efficiency with smooth performance and luxury.
Upon hearing that the Lexus IS 300h is a hybrid car, some people start looking elsewhere on the grounds that a hybrid vehicle is perceived to be (a) boring and (b) short on boot space because the battery takes up too much room. But don’t go clicking that button just yet. The Lexus IS 300h has solved both of these problems – even the problem of batteries reducing boot space.
And if you haven’t already been impressed by modern hybrid vehicles, you’ll be amazed by what the Lexus IS 300h has under the bonnet. You’d hardly believe that this is a hybrid car – until you look at what you’ve spent on fuel after a month of urban driving. Or should that be what you haven’t spent on fuel? Can the Lexus IS 300h really have fuel economy figures of 4.9 L/100 km (combined)? And can it really have 133 kW of power on tap when you need it? You bet it can! And coupled up to the continuous variable transmission (6 speeds with paddle shifters), acceleration in the Lexus IS 300h is very smooth indeed.
Above all, the Lexus IS 300h is a luxury vehicle. There aren’t many hybrid vehicles that manage to be as plush as this… apart from a few others put out by Lexus. Just what have you got to enjoy when you slip into the driver’s seat of the Lexus IS 300h? Well, here’s just a few things to whet your appetite: sat-nav, leather seats that are adjustable every which way for the driver and passenger, a fancy dual-zone air-con system, bi-xenon dusk sensing headlights, an 8-speaker sound system and more. The range of things that can be displayed on the 7-inch screen could be confusing, but you can control what’s on there with steering wheel-mounted controls so there’s no wild prodding of buttons at the wrong moment. However, the cockpit is extremely well laid out with the buttons exactly where you can get at them. There’s plenty of room on the bench seat in the rear. If you’ve got a chauffeur to drive you around, you’ll be comfy enough in the back – but do you really want to let the chauffeur have all the fun?
Now, one thing that Lexus has prided itself on is taking features that have been developed on the racetrack and adding them into production cars. The Lexus IS 300h isn’t a limited edition car like the sportiest of sporty Lexuses (Lexi?) but the F-sport variant of the Lexus IS 300h has a few very nice racing touches. It’s got the same engine as the regular Lexus IS 300h but the handling has a few nice surprises in store for the driver: the sport suspension option, sports pedals, rear parking sensors and camera (the regular Lexus IS 300h just has the camera), front parking sensors, a blind spot monitor, F-sport trim in the interior and (drool!) sports seating. It’s the suspension that makes the real difference: you just have to feel the handling of the adaptive variable suspension with the ruggedness sensing control to believe it. Sport mode in the F-Sport adds a new level of fun into the Lexus IS 300h, especially on corners. Of course, Eco mode and Normal mode can be selected, too, depending on where you’re driving your Lexus IS 300h. The Lexus IS 300h F-Sport has also nicked another feature from the very exclusive LFA: the fully customisable display screen.
The styling on the Lexus IS 300h is definitely sporty and has that mmm factor. This styling doesn’t just look stunning and help the car perform effortlessly: the reduction in drag means that the already frugal hybrid is even more frugal. Even if you go for the moon roof styling option, the looks and the aerodynamics aren’t compromised. However, the Lexus design team hasn’t gone out-and-out with the sporty touches, and the Lexus IS 300h doesn’t have the cop-magnet looks of some “boy racer” vehicles out there. It looks fast, fun and powerful, but it manages to do this in a tasteful way. And is it my imagination, or are some of those angles in around the daytime running lights and in the rear headlights supposed to echo the Lexus logo on purpose?
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Lexus IS 300h, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Lexus dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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