Interior and Tech
Like its drivetrains Lexus is different in its approach to interior design. If you’re used to Germanic soft-touch materials, clarity and over-riding lack of flair then the IS’s cabin might initially shock. There’s space in there, certainly enough to rival its intended rivals, though the boot in the 300h isn’t quite as accommodating as its competition. Not by much though, as its batteries rob just 30 litres of space in comparison to a BMW 3 Series - the IS 250 matching its key German foe.
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In the IS 300h you’re never in any doubt you’re driving a hybrid, with the unusual power meter replacing a conventional rev counter, and the option of watching what the drivetrain’s doing via either of the two screens inside. On more expensive models the input for the various info and entertainment functions is an odd, needlessly fiddly, computer mouse type device. Lesser models get a more conventional means of controlling the various functions. It all feels nicely built and the unusual tiered dash is interesting to look at, if not as intuitive as some to operate. Lexus offers numerous options, like an Advanced Safety Pack, Adaptive Variable Suspension (on F Sport only) and that excellent Mark Levinson sound system, though they’re only available on specific models - either F Sport or Premium, making them even more expensive.