First Drive – Lexus IS 300h

050313-1-lex-aJust launched in the UK we drive Lexus’s new Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series rival the IS 300h

 What is it? Lexus are taking on established rivals such as the BMW 3 series with their IS 3000h.  Powering this new model is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor.  There is also an IS 250, with a 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine available.

First impressions of the new Lexus IS 300h?  Inspired by the LF-CC concept, the IS 300h is radically styled inside and out. Far more muscular than before, the exterior won’t be to everyone’s taste but it is certainly striking.

What about the interior? Inside it is both spacious and scrumptious in equal measure. The seats are beautifully comfortable and the driving position is good. The dash is modern and everything feels solid and durable.

And on the road?
Lexus IS 300h and the city:
  It is light and nimble to manoeuvre and around corners it’s surprisingly sporty. There are three main driving modes to choose from, Eco, the best for fuel efficiency; Normal, and Sport, for sharper throttle response and a sportier steering setting. Be warned the Eco Mode, in its drive for efficiency also modifies the climate control settings so it may not be very suitable for our current continental climate. At very low speeds there is also the option of running the car in complete electric mode.
Lexus IS 300h and the open road: At speed the IS 300h feels very assured, the steering is nicely weighted. Switch it to Sport mode and the suspension is firm but not harsh and overall it is very engaging to drive.

IS-300h-INT-01-DPL-2013 (1)

How Much? Prices for the new IS start from starts at £26,495, rising to £38,495 for the highest level Premier. Full prices listed below.

How Safe? The IS 300h interior is home to ten airbags and features  a number of advanced, new active safety features, including automatic headlamp high beam operation, Lane Departure Alert, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. There is also greater protection for pedestrians, the bonnet has a new pop-up design to help prevent serious injury in a collision.

 What about my options? The IS 300h is available in four grades, SE, Luxury, F SPORT & Premier and boasts CO2 emissions as low as 99 grams.

3 words to describe the Lexus IS 300h: Silent; Sporty; Stylish


IS 250 SE 2.5 V6 petrol 6AT £26,495
IS 300h SE 2.5 Lexus Hybrid Drive E-CVT £29,495
IS 250 Luxury 2.5 V6 petrol 6AT £27,995
IS 300h Luxury 2.5 Lexus Hybrid Drive E-CVT £30,995
IS 250 F Sport 2.5 V6 petrol 6AT £30,495
IS 300h F Sport 2.5 Lexus Hybrid Drive E-CVT £33,495
IS 250 Premier 2.5 V6 petrol 6AT £35,495
IS 300h Premier 2.5 Lexus Hybrid Drive E-CVT £38,495

For more information check out or the Lexus UK Facebook page.


 Geraldine Herbert

 16th  July, 2013

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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