Lexus IS 300h F

Sport

Lexus IS 300h, side
Lexus IS 300h, front
Lexus IS 300h, front
Lexus IS 300h, front
Lexus IS 300h, rear
Lexus IS 300h, rear
Lexus IS 300h, rear
Lexus IS 300h, rear
Lexus IS 300h, interior

IT is a beautifully crafted, low off the ground executive motor with a muscular, swooping profile and the latest hybrid technology,

The Lexus IS, revamped and re-engineered last year, is the first with full hybrid capacity.

And its sleek styling with its slightly flared wheel arches and slim light clusters, makes it a real alternative in the executive market.

There are five models, Executive Edition, Sport, Advance, F Sport and Premier.

This F Sport also features a spindle grille that's wider and set lower than on any other Lexus model and finished with F-pattern mesh.

As you would expect from an executive car, with an executive price, there is a high level of standard kit including LED headlights, cruise control, parking sensors, smart entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control amd leather upholstery.

On this model, the package includes six-speaker audio with Bluetooth, DAB, CD player and reversing camera, heated and cooled front seats.

The full hybrid set up mates a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a lithium ion battery. This gives the ability to run on electric power alone around town, but you won't get that far before the engine has to take over again. Otherwise it self selects which combination of combustion or electric power is required.

The CVT transmission delivers a comfortable drive, but push it and it does whine a bit. However different drive modes can be selected, Eco, Snow, Normal, Sport/Sport S and Sport S+.

The latter offers adaptive variable suspension to sharpen everything up and deliver more than decent acceleration and hitting 60mph from a standing start.

The steering wheel paddles also offer a more sporty experience.

For economy switch to EV mode and the motor will run on electric power only.

Combined economy was better than I expected with the 61mpg official figure appearing to be not far off the mark.

On the road, the car is both comfortable and composed with dynamics benefitting from tuned electric power steering and adaptive suspension maximising ride comfort and handling agility. It handles well enough, really well in fact, while the ride is firm, but comfortable.

The interior is both stunning and a little confusing at times.

The trim, upholstery and fixtures and fitting scream quality while the centre piece is a full-colour 10-inch multimedia screen together with 4.2-inch multi-information display in the binnacle with real time information. The parking navigation service displays price information so you can find the cheapest parking

The slightly confusing bit is the joystick on the central console which controls major functions. It can be fiddly and a facility to customise/slow it down would be useful.

The interior has soft finish trim throughout the cabin together with bright metal detailing and ambient lighting. The seats are firm and comfortable while head and legroom are decent, but the swooping styling makes it more restrictive in the rear.

Boot space is compromised by 30 litres to accommodate the battery, but is still decent with the 60/40 split rear folding seats adding to practicality

Safety kit is comprehensive to deliver a Euro NCAP five star rating and includes a full set of airbags, stability and traction programmes, pre collision system and adaptive cruise control and on this model blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning.

FAST FACTS

Lexus IS 300h F Sport

Price: £36,995

Mechanical: 223bhp, 2,494cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 125mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.7

Insurance Group: 30

C02 emissions: 107g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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