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Car Review

Lexus IS review

£33,005 - £44,305
Published: 19 Jan 2017


What is it like on the inside?

Talk about your love it/hate it cabin design. The inside of the IS is festooned with details that will delight and frustrate in equal measure. The touch-sensitive metal strips you stroke to adjust the temperature require a careful touch, but that’s okay because you’ll need to have the hand control discipline of a brain surgeon to fathom the mouse-operated infotainment system, despite the fact that for the facelift, the screen itself has swelled from around seven inches in diameter to over ten inches.

Build quality is beyond reproach in the IS – every surface tightly measures up to its mate with precision, and the movement of even minor control is slick and thoughtful. Though some surface materials aren’t of the dense quality Audi uses in the A4, you’d struggle to describe the IS as anything other than premium inside. It’s cosseting, contemporary, and with its LA-style instrumentation in the F Sport models and ceramic volume and track seek knobs, an environment of delightful details.

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Headroom is pinched in the back seats for adults, and the wide centre console and high scuttle may make larger front seat passengers feel claustrophobic too. Meanwhile, the slim windows enhance the cooped-up sensation, and there’s no estate model to open out the cabin. The boot’s a decent size for the class, though hybrid models lack under-floor stowage due to the battery packaging. Overall, the IS is a lovely place to be, but don’t go anywhere near signing on the dotted line until you’re quite sure you have the patience and dexterity to master its maddening media controls. A mouse in a car? What were they thinking of?

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