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6/10
Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Lexus IS

£29,935£41,940
6/10
Overall verdict
Hard to recommend unless you crave being different. Drivetrain at odds with sporty chassis.
 

For: 

Hybrid smoothness and quietness in town. Low tax, potential economy

Against: 

Hybrid's odd antics at full throttle, V6's thirst

Overview

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. 

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
200t F-Sport 4dr Auto [Premier Pack/Sunroof]
7.0s 167g/km 39.2 245 £39,640
The cheapest
300h SE 4dr CVT Auto [Business Nav]
8.3s 97g/km 67.3 223 £29,935
The greenest
300h SE 4dr CVT Auto
8.3s 97g/km 67.3 223 £29,940
Continue: Driving

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