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Lexus has returned to the competitive compact executive sector with the new IS, featuring a 2.5-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor to offer a 99g/km hybrid upper medium model. For efficiency, it beats anything the German brands have to offer at this stage.
Performance is also good from the combined powertrains, but it can't match the likes of the BMW 3-series for acceleration and certainly for driving enjoyment.
The interior is of top quality, but carries over usability frustrations from sibling Lexus models in terms of the navigation, climate and audio controls, primarily those controlled by the computer mouse-type device in the centre. The sensitivity takes some getting used to.
However, the car is certainly more competitive than Lexus's previous attempt in this sector, and emissions below anything the German brands can muster is impressive.
Lexus IS300h SE
Model price range
BIK 20/40% per month
Makes sense on financial grounds, and a big step up from the last IS.