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The Top Gear car review:Lexus IS
For:Hybrid smoothness and quietness in town. Low tax, potential economy
Against:Hybrid's odd antics at full throttle, V6's thirst
What is it?
Lexus’s entry into that fierce bloodbath that almost defines whether a brand can succeed as premium: the compact sports saloon. For if you can make it against the 3-Series and C-Class and A4, you’ll get great visibility on the road, and a decent chance of drawing buyers into bigger cars later. Lexus has been conventional enough in many respects: the size and the chassis and the rear-drive layout are bang on the money. But the drivetrain choices are pretty eccentric: no diesel, but instead a 2.5-litre petrol with hybrid for the IS 300h giving fine economy and CO2, or a 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
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