The third-generation Lexus IS range more than matches its European contemporaries for performance, build quality, interior comfort, and driving dynamics.
Available with either a 2.5 litre petrol engine or an extraordinarily powerful petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, the IS is a powerful statement of the manufacturer’s desire to be at the forefront of luxury car design.
The third-generation Lexus IS can be viewed and test driven today at the Jardine Lexus dealerships in Cambridge, Ipswich and Newcastle.
The IS boasts the latest passive and active safety measures. The occupants receive excellent all-round protection from eight airbags, whilst whiplash-reducing front seats and active headrests also do their part to prevent physical injury in case of a collision.
A host of stability-enhancing functions, meanwhile, are aimed at avoiding such a situation. Standard active safety features include ABS, active brake lights, Brake Assist, Hill Start Control, Traction Control, and Vehicle Stability Control. Optional extras, such as a Blind Spot Monitor or Rear Cross Traffic Alert, may also prove useful for drivers who frequently deal with hectic situations on the roads.
A number of alterations to the bodywork has given the newest version of the IS an even bolder and more energetic appearance than its predecessor.
The flared wheel arches, prominent bonnet and gaping grille, accentuated by the LED daytime running lights, give the vehicle an imposing profile.
At 4665mm long and 1810mm wide, this IS is slightly larger than the previous model – and the wheelbase has also been extended to 2800mm, allowing extra legroom to passengers in the rear.
A refined and sumptuous interior ensures that the vehicle's occupants will remain comfortable and refreshed even on very long journeys.
The manufacturer's consistent focus on a high-quality yet simple layout is evident in the clear and accessible controls and dials, as well as a supportive driving position and easily adjustable steering column to give you maximum comfort behind the wheel.
Along with the aforementioned improved legroom, the new IS offers increased storage space of 480 litres (450 litres in the hybrid model).
Equally smooth and swift during urban journeys or lengthy motorway trips, the IS range offers a choice between the IS 250's 2.5 litre, 205bhp V6 petrol unit and the hybrid unit on the IS 300h, which yokes a four-cylinder 178bhp petrol engine to a rear-mounted electric motor supplying 141bhp.
The former's capacity to reach 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, along with its top speed of 140mph, makes it an impressive performer.
Nevertheless, the hybrid engine is just incrementally less powerful (achieving 0-62mph acceleration in 8.3, rather than 8.1 seconds) while returning combined fuel consumption of 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
As well as sheer performance, the third-generation IS has had its driving dynamics improved by the use of higher-tensile and lighter steel in the chassis, in addition to a new multi-link rear suspension to increase ride quality.
|Vehicle length||4665 mm / 183.7 in|
|Vehicle width||1810 mm / 71.3 in|
|Vehicle height||(unladen) 1430 mm / 56.3 in|
|Wheelbase||2800 mm / 110.2 in|
|Unladen weight (DIN)||1645 kg / 3627 lb|
|Engine / Cylinders||2.5-litre/V6|
|Engine Capacity||2500 cc|
|Max Torque||252 nm @ 4800 rpm|
|Max Power||153 kW @ 6400 rpm|
|Top Speed||140 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 8.1 sec|
|Combined cycle||32.8 mpg|
|Urban cycle||23.7 mpg|