Lexus has always been a big name within executive saloons. There’s been a lot of competition in this niche, with the Jaguar XE and Audi A4. This hasn’t made a dent in the popularity of the Lexus IS. This is a great-looking saloon which offers drivers some fantastic reliability and performance.
If you’re considering buying one of these cars, you should know that there’s no diesel version of the IS. I understand how this would be a deal breaker for some people. However, it is available with a hybrid or four-cylinder petrol engine. The choices you have here could be a breath of fresh air for people who love executive saloons but have qualms about the fuel economy. If this sounds like you, then the hybrid is the version to go with. This is one of the few executives that can drop below 100g per km in its CO2 emissions. If you’re not too concerned about the environment, then you might be interested to know it makes the model exempt from UK road tax! The one technical issue some drivers will have with the IS is its CVT automatic transmission. This, unfortunately, means that the engine will make a lot of noise, especially on those long motorway stretches. If you take away this little inconvenience, the IS is an exceptionally enjoyable drive. When stacked up against the Mercedes C-class, this is an exceptionally more comfortable cruiser. The relative affordability and high performance has made it the star of dealerships like Inchcape Lexus. However, if you want an executive saloon with a real touch of luxury, you’ll need to look at something like the BMW 3 Series.
The interior of the IS is almost impossible to criticise. Everything is set out in a clean and accessible manner. Having said that, there’s a little too much emphasis on the functionality. All the buttons, knobs, bells and whistles work a charm. There’s simply too much of them! When you first sit down in this car, you might get the feeling of being in a commercial jet rather than a saloon. Despite the oversaturation of controls, the interior of the IS is very easy to get comfortable in. You’re now able to adjust the steering wheel reach by around 20cm. This may not sound like much, but when you’re in the driver’s seat you’ll be able to feel how much more space you have. The boot is also a lot more spacious with the IS. In the hybrid version, the spare tyre has been replaced by some nickel batteries. This means that there’s plenty of space back there, and you’ll have no problems packing up for a day out. The sound system is pretty much what you’d expect for a Lexus saloon. However, some dealerships will offer the option of a Mark Levinson Stereo.
There are a few drawbacks to the IS, true. Still, all available versions are both functional and well-equipped. The popularity of the models speaks for their reliability. The combination of professional looks and functional design makes this a fantastically versatile saloon.