Silverstone Fleet Management

LEXUS IS SALOON

300h F-Sport 4dr CVT Auto [Navigation]

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Google rating: 4.9 | 156 reviews

Review

The third generation Lexus IS has its own take on compact executive saloon motoring. You might like it. Jonathan Crouch drives one.

Background

Here's an interesting car, the Lexus IS. For many potential buyers, its main appeal lies not in what it is but in what it isn't. Namely a BMW, an Audi or a Mercedes, these being the three Teutonic heavyweight brands who dominate the compact executive saloon sector in which this Japanese contender competes. As a result, our company carparks are overflowing with 3 Series, A4 and C-Class models, with the cars in question nearly all powered by clattery diesel engines and mainly driven via the kind of over-firm sporty set-ups that the magazines insist buyers should have. If though, you're fed with these predictable choices and want something that reinterprets what a car of this kind should be, then this, I'd suggest, is where you need to start your search. Almost everything about this IS is different from the norm in its chosen segment. The styling, the single saloon bodystyle, absence of manual transmission and, perhaps most notably, the fact that no, you can't have a diesel. Here instead, you get a unique four-door look, an auto gearbox and an overwhelming emphasis on petrol/electric hybrid power with its sensible running costs and limo-like silent start-up. The result should be a car to change your mind: about hybrid power, German brand domination - and Lexus itself. Let's try it.

Driving Experience

Back in 2018, Lexus made small changes to both the steering and the suspension of this improved model in an attempt to create a more dynamic feel. Under the bonnet, there's no longer a conventional petrol engine offering, so IS buyers are limited to the 2.5-litre IS 300h petrol/electric hybrid. Unlike the brand's slightly smaller CT 200h hybrid model, it's more than a smartened up Toyota Prius, instead based on a proper large Lexus, the BMW 5 Series-sized ES 300h. True, the 2.5-litre engine used may only offer four cylinders, but it does develop 178bhp, with a further slug of power contributed by an electric motor, resulting in a combined 223bhp output. That's enough to easily match the performance of the rival 2.0-litre diesel models at which this car is aimed, 0-62mph occupying 8.3s on the way to 124mph. You access that performance via a thrashy, rubber belt-driven CVT auto gearbox which doesn't help this car's sports saloon aspirations. On the plus side, the handling changes make the car feel sharper than before into corners, the steering's much better and you get a 'Drive Mode Select' system that allows you to tweak engine output, throttle response, gearshift times and even the air conditioning to suit four different driving modes. Plus there's an electric-only EV setting on the hybrid so that you can trickle along on battery power for short distances.

Design and Build

The changes made to this improved third generation IS back in 2018 were subtle but significant. Buyers get restyled headlamps, larger and deeper air intakes integrated in the bumper and a further evolution of the signature Lexus spindle grille. In profile, the character line along the side of the car has been made stronger and at the rear, chrome detailing has been added to the lower bumper panel. The rear lights have also been redesigned, with LED lamps and smarter light guides that create an L-shape motif. Inside, the high-resolution multi-information screen that accompanies the Lexus Premium Navigation system is now 10.25 inches, presenting larger, clearer images and providing a split-screen function so that different information displays can be presented at the same time. Changes have also been made to the steering wheel (matching the design of that in the Lexus RC coupe) and the driver and front passenger knee pads now run the full length of the centre console. There are also new cupholders, a satin finish for the gear lever, a larger, leather-wrapped and stitched palm rest for the Remote Touch Interface control, and classier dial markings on the analogue clock. Otherwise, things are much as they were before, which means a classy cabin with best-in-class standards of kneeroom at the back. And the boot? Well the batteries that must be housed beneath its floor in this hybrid IS 300h model rob you of 30-litres of space, but that still leaves a class-competitive 450-litres of room on offer. And, as long as you avoid entry-level trim, there's a 60/40 split-folding rear seat for those times when you want to avoid the home delivery charge after a trip to IKEA.

Market and Model

As before, there's a single saloon bodystyle on offer and prices start at around £33,000. That gets you base 'IS' trim. There are also various 'Sport Pack', 'Comfort Pack', 'Premium Pack' and 'F SPORT' variants, plus the flagship 'Takumi' version. Avoid entry level trim and you're guaranteed to get the 'Lexus Safety System+' portfolio of advanced safety systems as standard. Its features make use of camera and radar sensors to support the driver with improved information, better forward vision and prompt warnings of hazards and collision risks. Plus there's an added layer of protection in the form of autonomous braking for emergency situations. The IS benefits from a Pre-Crash Safety system with pre-crash brake assist and pre-crash braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition. There's also a 'Sway Warning' system. This monitors the vehicle's lane position and driver steering inputs, detecting any sway (deviations) that might be due to the driver losing concentration through tiredness or distraction. In such circumstances, the set-up will sound a buzzer and trigger a warning light in the multi-information display.

Cost of Ownership

On to consider the WLTP-rated running costs of the petrol/electric IS 300h hybrid - which make very impressive reading indeed, even against the best of this car's 2.0-litre diesel-powered compact executive saloon rivals. The CO2 return (up to 133g/km) means a VED band 'H' BiK rating, plus this car won't suffer from the 3% Benefit-in-Kind surcharge that's applied to all diesels. Independent experts KwikCarCost reckon that a 40% tax payer who opts for an IS 300h will save around £907 a year in tax over the cost of running a comparable Mercedes C220 diesel. As for fuel consumption, the official figures suggest that the IS 300h is capable of up to 48.7mpg on the combined cycle, which is pretty close to what you'd get in a rival diesel Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class, while running on cheaper fuel. It'll also help that Lexus residuals are amongst the strongest in the sector: independent specialists CAP reckon that after 3 years and/or 60,000 miles, this IS 300h should still be worth around 37% of what you originally paid for it. Its insurance groupings range between 32 and 34.

Summary

If you thought that Lexus was the company that tried to copy the Germans and always turned up a day late and a dollar short, you need to try this car. It looks right, it feels good and it makes eminent sense on the balance sheet. Lexus didn't do diesel that well but it's hard to argue with the fact that it does hybrid brilliantly with a car that many will feel makes its German rivals look old, noisy and dirty. True, the vague response from the thrashy CVT auto gearbox undermines the driving experience somewhat but if you can live with that, there's plenty else to like. Affordable running costs and plenty of equipment for example, plus recent tax law changes mean that the pendulum is swinging back towards petrol power once again. Add in the arresting looks and a dealer network routinely steeped in praise by every survey going and I think there's room for this Japanese brand to be optimistic about its prospects with this car. It's the best small Lexus yet made. And that makes it a very desirable thing indeed.

Key Information

Transmission Type
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Fuel Type
Fuel TypeHybrid
Fuel Efficiency
Fuel Efficiency61.40mpg
Emissions
Emissions143.00g/km
Top Speed
Top Speed124mph

Full Details

Standard Equipment

Driver Convenience

  • 4 driving modes EV/Eco/Normal/Sport
  • 4 x front and 4 x rear parking sensors
  • Analogue clock
  • Bluetooth telephone connectivity
  • Lane change flasher function
  • Lexus navigation system
  • Lexus safety systems+ consisting Dynamic radar cruise control (DRCC), Pre collision system (PCS), Lane keep assist (LKA), Road sign assist (RSA)
  • LFA style instrument meters
  • Push button starter
  • Speed sensitive power steering
  • Trip computer

Entertainment

  • 2 USB sockets
  • Aux-in socket
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Lexus media display with 6 speakers, 7" display screen, CD and rotary dial controller
  • Radio/CD

Exterior Features

  • Auto dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Automatic headlights
  • Body adhesive, laser screw welding and laser brazed roof structure
  • Electric front/rear windows
  • F Sport exterior styling consisting of mesh front grille, front bumper and exterior badging
  • F Sport logo
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated and electrically folding outside mirrors with turn indicators and puddle light
  • LED brake lights and rear lights with emergency brake signal
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED headlights with automatic high beam
  • Pop up hood
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Rear fog lights

Interior Features

  • 2 cup holders in the centre console
  • 2 map pockets in the rear
  • 2 way electrical driver lumbar adjustment
  • 2 x coat hooks in the rear
  • 2 x sun visors with vanity mirror and lamp
  • 3 spoke leather steering wheel with paddle shift
  • 4 x tie down hooks in the boot
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat with lock
  • 8 way driver/passenger electrically adjustable front seats
  • Active sound control
  • Card holder installed in driver and passengers sun visors
  • Driver and passenger door pockets with bottle holders
  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning system with S flow and electrostatic temperature control switch
  • F Sport aluminium sports pedals
  • F Sport front aluminium scuff plates and rear black scuff plates
  • F SPORT leather gearlever
  • Fabric/Tahara synthetic leather upholstery
  • Front and rear LED interior lighting
  • Front centre armrest with storage
  • Front headrests
  • Heated front seats
  • Manual adjustable steering column with lock protect
  • Rear armrest with 2 cup holders and storage
  • Rear headrests
  • Self charging hybrid
  • Soft console knee pads
  • Textile carpet mats

Safety

  • 2 x Isofix child rear seat restraints
  • 3 point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) front seat belt with pretensioners
  • 3 point rear seatbelts
  • ABS+EBD+Brake assist
  • Active bonnet
  • Driver and front passenger 2 stage airbag
  • Driver and front passenger knee airbag
  • Driver and passenger side airbags
  • Electronically controlled braking
  • Emergency braking
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Hill start assist control (HAC)
  • Passenger airbag deactivate switch
  • Traction control
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

Security

  • Anti-theft system with siren, intrusion sensor, tilt sensor and immobiliser
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Two motion door lock with double lock
  • VIN Window etching

Technical

  • E-CVT with 6 stage sequential shift and kick down switch
  • Sports suspension
  • VDIM
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

Wheels

  • 18" F Sport alloy wheels
  • Run flat tyres

Technical Data

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2 (g/km)
    143
  • HC+NOx
    Not Available
  • Noise Level dB(A)
    74
  • NOx
    0.009
  • Particles
    0.0001
  • Standard Euro Emissions
    EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb
    143
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max
    145
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min
    143
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High
    166
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max
    167
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min
    166
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High
    126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max
    127
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min
    126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low
    150
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max
    152
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min
    150
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium
    125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max
    126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min
    125

Engine and Drive Train

  • Camshaft
    DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor
    Yes
  • CC
    2494
  • Compression Ratio
    13.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout
    IN-LINE
  • Cylinders
    4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm)
    90
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
    98
  • Engine Code
    2AR-FSE
  • Fuel Delivery
    MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Gears
    1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves
    16
  • Transmission
    AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Combined (mpg)
    58.9
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
    No
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg)
    62.8
  • EC Urban (mpg)
    55.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb
    6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max
    6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min
    6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High
    7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max
    7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min
    7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High
    5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max
    5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min
    5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low
    6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max
    6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min
    6.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium
    5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max
    5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min
    5.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb
    44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max
    44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min
    44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High
    38.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max
    38.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min
    38.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High
    50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max
    50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min
    50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low
    42.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max
    42.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min
    42.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium
    51.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max
    50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min
    51.3

General

  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying
    Yes
  • Badge Engine CC
    2.5
  • Badge Power
    223
  • Based On ID
    Not Available
  • Coin Description
    h
  • Coin Series
    F-Sport [Nav]
  • Generation Mark
    3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
    30E
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years
    12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years
    3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
    91
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
    85
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
    5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
    80
  • NCAP Safety Assist %
    66
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?
    No
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months
    12
  • Service Interval Mileage
    10000
  • Special Edition
    No
  • Special Order
    No
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
    60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
    3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class
    M1

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs)
    8.4
  • Engine Power - BHP
    223
  • Engine Power - KW
    164
  • Engine Power - RPM
    6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT
    163
  • Engine Torque - MKG
    22.5
  • Engine Torque - NM
    221
  • Engine Torque - RPM
    4200
  • Top Speed
    124

Test Cycles

  • Emissions Test Cycle
    WLTP

Tyres

  • Alloys?
    Yes
  • Space Saver?
    No
  • Tyre Size Front
    225/40 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear
    255/35 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare
    RUN FLAT TYRES
  • Wheel Style
    Not Available
  • Wheel Type
    18" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Height
    1430
  • Height (including roof rails)
    Not Available
  • Length
    4680
  • Wheelbase
    2800
  • Width
    1810
  • Width (including mirrors)
    2027

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
    66
  • Gross Vehicle Weight
    2145
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)
    Not Available
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
    450
  • Max. Loading Weight
    525
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked
    750
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
    750
  • Minimum Kerbweight
    1620
  • No. of Seats
    5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb
    10.4
  • FREE Delivery
  • Hassle-free Process
  • Expert Advice
  • Competitive Prices
  • Full Warranties
  • Price Match Promise

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Customer Reviews

   
Madeline Biggs

Madeline Biggs

"Received my car this week and I cannot recommend this company enough!! They helped me find my perfect car and then helped every step of the way till it's delivery. Even after that they checked to see if I was happy. They went above and beyond and I have already been recommending them to my family and friends. Thanks to all the the team at Silverstone Fleet Management - car leasing in Northampton"

"a month ago"

Dan Jones

Dan Jones

"Superb service. After having been really let down by another leasing company, Silverstone saved the day. Really professional, quick and pleasant staff. Clear communication and quality service from start to finish. I was so pleased with the service I leased another car from them! Thanks especially to Aby, who was a superstar. I leased a Tesla Model 3 (and now a Fiat 500 too!)"

"2 weeks ago"

Emily Evans

Emily Evans

"I'm so impressed with the level of service that I have been provided with by both Ryan and Holly. All of my questions were answered quickly and clearly, my new car is absolutely beautiful and I can't believe how quick delivery was! Thank you so much guys! :)"

"a month ago"

Matthew Bearman

Matthew Bearman

"Can’t rate Silverstone Fleet Management Highly enough. Everyone I have spoken to has been very efficient and exceptionally helpful in finding me a great car at an fantastic price! I’ve had 2 cars from them and will be coming back in the future for more."

"2 months ago"

Paul Broomham

Paul Broomham

"The team at Silverstone have been brilliant, my journey started with Ryan who looked after me initially and provided all the quotes on different vehicles, lease lengths & mileage options he never lost interest and was always there to tweak as I needed, nothing was too much trouble. The order process was simple and I was kept up to date all the way through. Holly then picked up my account and was nothing short of amazing! She has the patience of a saint, keeping me updated on the phone, email and through the vehicle tracker all the while dealing with me and my constant questions! A few teething issues on delivery but all down to Tesla and as soon as I asked for help Holly stepped up to help get them all sorted! I would highly recommend to anyone!"

"6 months ago"

Google reviews
Google rating: 4.9 | 156 reviews