This current-gen of Lexus IS300 ability be accepting a bit continued in the tooth, but it’s still a able and value-packed affluence sedan.
Comfortable, conservative, solid – three words that call the 2020 Lexus IS300 Affluence mid-size sedan. It’s been about a while, the IS, and now in its third bearing (XE30) that fabricated its admission way aback in 2013. An all-new archetypal can’t be too far away.
For now, though, those absent a affluence mid-size auto after European roots and who like ample arbor grilles, afresh this is it.
There are aloof three IS300s in the ambit – Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury. Pricing starts at $59,340 additional on-road costs for the Affluence cast we accept on analysis here, all-overs to $66,707 for the F Sport, afore topping out at $77,022 for the Sports Luxury. All are powered by a 2.0-litre turbo four with outputs of 180kW (5800rpm) and 350Nm (1650–4000rpm). An eight-speed accepted automated transmits those outputs to the rear auto for a atramentous birr to 100km/h in seven abnormal flat. Middling.
And that’s the best way to sum up the IS300. It’s a middling car – neither outrageously fast nor glacially slow. It’s about in the middle.
Lexus’s key differentiator in a articulation area buyers are besmirched for best – anticipate BMW 3 Series, Merc’ C-Class, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and the Johnny-come-lately Genesis G70 – has been its account of accepted inclusions and a audibly abbreviate options list. Our tester came with a $2500 across-the-board roof and $1500 exceptional acrylic for an as-tested amount of $63,340 additional on-roads.
You get affluence of IS300 for that money, with key highlights including acrimonious and cooled covering seats, 17-inch alloys, dual-zone altitude control, a 10.3-inch infotainment awning with accessory navigation, Bluetooth, DAB radio, CD and DVD player, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights and daytime active lights, LED tail-lights, and push-button start.
Slide central the cabin, and it’s accessible to see why Lexus has congenital a acceptability for quality. On the surface, the berth exudes a plushness befitting its cachet as a affluence mid-sizer. The seats are able and supportive, with acceptable bolstering.
The multi-function leather-wrapped council caster is appropriately chunky, as is the accessory selector. Analogue dials anatomy a 4.2-inch disciplinarian affectation alms bound apery functionality from the capital infotainment screen, but infuriatingly, no agenda speedo. There’s no head-up affectation either. Another accessory ache is Lexus’s chain with application a foot-operated esplanade anchor – bulky and aged tech in a avant-garde car.
It’s not all doom and anguish and accessory gripes, though. The abstracts central the berth are top-notch. Yielding surfaces abound with softer touchpoints everywhere you’d expect, costly carpeting mats that feel as nice under-foot as your grandma’s lounge room, and aloof a accepted faculty of affection throughout.
On the downside – and yes, we’re harping on about it yet afresh – the infotainment arrangement is controlled by a brainless mouse-like pad that is ever sensitive, acceptation you skip over card items again aggravating to acreage on the appropriate one. And, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet, admitting Lexus rolling them out in added models. Grrr.
The awning resolution, too, is able at best. It’s a ache that translates to the rear-view camera, which doesn’t action the accuracy and accurateness of some battling brands.
Hop into the additional row, and it’s anon credible this is an casual five-seater. The manual adit that divides the rear berth is amidst the better we’ve seen, authoritative the average pew a accommodation at best. That said, the outboard seats are comfortable, although amplitude is a bit on the bound ancillary in all areas – toe, knee, leg and arch room.
There’s a fold-down armrest with a brace of cupholders, and there are air vents aback there, too, although no abstracted controls for temperature or fan speed. You’re at the benevolence of the front-row cartage for your heating and cooling requirements.
The cossack is on par for the articulation at 480L with the aback row in play. Those aback seats bend in 60:40 appearance to chargeless up space. There are some accessible tie-down hooks aback there, too, while a space-saver additional lives beneath the cossack floor.
Where the IS300 starts to flash is out on the road. Not in agreement of complete achievement (it’s no sports car), but absolutely with attention to accord and solidity. Make no mistake, it’s quiet central the IS300’s cabin. It’s a costly and cossetting experience, which has become a cast for Lexus over the years.
The ride is beautifully damped and cloistral – alike some of Sydney’s affliction stretches of alley declining in their advance on the berth and its occupants.
The 2.0-litre turbo four does an admirable, if uninspiring, job. There’s abundant blow from its 180kW and 350Nm to ensure you’re not apathetic off the line, while the eight-speed auto makes a appropriate anchor of alteration ratios for you. It can be bent out occasionally, though, award itself either a accessory too aerial or too low, but those moments are rare.
On the highway, the IS300 almost purrs forth at 110km/h. It charcoal quiet in the cabin, which is all the added acumen to adore that 10-speaker Pioneer complete arrangement that is appealing appropriate for clarity.
Around town, the IS300 feels ablaze on its feet, and that translates through the council caster that errs on the ablaze side. But then, this ain’t no clue carver, so acknowledgment through the caster isn’t so paramount. Still, some weight in the agriculturalist wouldn’t go astray. Makes for a ablaze and accessible parking experience, though.
There are three drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport – that adapt the IS300’s characteristics. A little. Eco dulls bottomward burke acknowledgment and is, frankly, a bit sluggish. Abundance is as abundance does, while Sport, allegedly a added agitative option, does little to punch up the IS300’s sportiness. Unlike the jump from Eco to Comfort, the footfall from Abundance to Sport is almost noticeable. Leave it in Abundance is our tip.
ANCAP awarded the IS ambit a best appraisement aback in 2016. As able-bodied as a accompaniment of eight airbags to assure all occupants, there’s AEB with banal detection, lane-departure admonishing and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, additional the binding acronyms (ABS, TRC etc). The Affluence cast misses out on blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic alert, though, with those alone accessible from the F Sport cast up.
Lexus claims the IS300 will get by on 7.5L/100km of 95RON unleaded on the accumulated cycle. Frankly, that’s laughable, as our anniversary of alloyed active altitude with the mid-sizer alternate an adumbrated amount of 12.8L.
Unusually, the Japanese cast warranties the IS300 for four years/unlimited kilometres, an added 12 months over its Euro rivals. There’s additionally four years of roadside assistance, while application intervals are 12 months/15,000km. Lexus’s capped-price application affairs asks for $495 for anniversary of the aboriginal three visits to the workshop. And acknowledgment to the brand’s Encore program, Lexus will appear and aces your car up for its appointed service, accommodate a accommodation car, and afresh acknowledgment your IS300 all done and vacuumed, too.
If your exceptional motoring tastes run to costly accord and an unruffled drive experience, the Lexus IS300 could be the one for you. It’s solid, dependable, able and a bit conservative. Sure, it has its flaws, but they are mostly accessory (although we couldn’t alive with the fiddly toggle for the infotainment arrangement long-term).
What Lexus has done, and continues to do, so able-bodied is body comfortable, exceptional cars that appetite for little in agreement of accessories and prestige. It ability not be the best agitative affluence mid-size auto on the market, but it fills the abrupt aloof fine.
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