Hi: Slide Methods
Price as tested: 63,000 dollars
This month: 974 km @ 8.8 l / 100 km
Can you sum up why you bought your car in seven words? It’s like the ultimate elevator playground for car enthusiasts, but that’s the main thing. In order to make it truly persuasive, it must go beyond what is purely personal. “The best solution for my needs”? Get out. I am not concerned with your needs. Selling the benefits to me in a way that catches my eye.
with the Lexus IS300 LuxuryCreating this presentation is really easy. Best quality sedan for the money. This is. If you want to argue it, you will likely lose. Lexus has warranty claim data to back this up. So why not see thousands of these cars clogging Australian arteries in the same way you do, say, Merc C-Classes, BMW 3 Series or Audi A4s? Are we a nation that doesn’t put a premium on build quality and reliability? That’s a shocking accusation, and one that doesn’t stand much in the way of scrutiny. We’ve always appreciated solid dependability but somewhere along the way we’ve become a nation of robotic bowerbirds, drawn to all things new and shiny.
While the Lexus IS300 has enjoyed a very stylish makeover, jump inside and it’s not the last word on the latest in modern technology. No wireless phone charger or vertical display. You’ll be searching in vain for USB-C slots, voice-activated assistant, start/stop control, or matrix headlights.
Thankfully, the IS’s latest update saw the ditching of the foot-operated parking brake and a 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which means you’ll have to use the infernal touchpad less.
The new standard safety package includes Pre-Collision System with Day and Night Pedestrian Detection and Daytime Cyclist Detection, along with Adaptive Cruise Control for All Speeds, Lane Tracking Assist, Road Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitoring, Parking Assist Brake and Rear Cross Traffic alert (with braking).
Since this is the entry-level vehicle in the IS range and operates without any of the luxury upgrade packages many buyers choose, it’s good to see features like smart entry and start, heated, eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate control, and audio. 10 speakers, digital radio, satellite navigation with live traffic alerts, voice control, and LED headlights with auto high beam make the standard equipment sheet.
None of that helped me during my short ride in the IS300. What I needed was 4WD and/or winter tires after an ill-advised evening ride to catch an inappropriately early snowfall in Mt Baw Baw. The Bridgestone Turanza rubber waved the white flag two-thirds of the way up the hill, then I reversed the pedestrian path for a kilometer back to the flat, past the BMW 7 Series which managed to slide down the camber into a ditch. I might have gotten a few meters from the top of the hill to eventually disengage the traction control snow mode, but the flashing lights of the village café were still too far away.
First impressions after a few hundred kilometers? It’s extremely comfortable, completely rattle-free and squeak-free, and I think, personally at least, it’s the most elegant car in its class.
Not everything is perfect though. The not-so-glamorous 2.0-liter turbo still has a long way to go to my liking, and some of the interior’s ergonomics is a bit special to say the least. But the best quality sedan for the money gets off to a head start, even if it doesn’t make it to its first destination.
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Update 1: Rattle, minus the buzz
This month: 1295 km @ 8.2 l / 100 km
Total: 2271 km @ 8.4 l / 100 km
Here are some tips for you. Never enter a jet wash bay after a truck that looked like it served as an emergency rescue vehicle in a swamp diving competition. I made that mistake this week and will never do it again, shooting mud and more organic stuff all over the Lexus I was trying to clean. It’s gone everywhere too, and as a result, the IS300 has smelled a bit ‘earthy’ lately. Do you know that whiff when you’re driving through a huge cattle yard? which – which.
She also did something very unusual on her drive home, probably in response to having her forcibly re-leak the wheel in the upholstery. It developed a noisy atmosphere. It looked as if it was somewhere below the top of the dashboard, making the kind of rattle Darth Vader made as Luke Skywalker pulled on his helmet, shortly before he was set alight on a pile of euro pads.
A Lexus with a rattle like a VT Commo with a fuel filler flap. It didn’t and my world view of the car was so thoroughly undermined that I pulled into a servo and ate two bags of Allen’s Party Mix while dealing with the consequences. I was fed so much palm oil that I had made 0.2 orangutans homeless, the top of the dash gave a mighty shriek, and the crackling stopped.
other notes? I don’t really miss the Mark Levinson monster stereo that some Lexus models come with, as the standard 10-speaker unit is good enough for my needs. The automatic high-beam headlight setup is one of the best examples of its ilk and the heated seats are fierce enough to turn that faint buzz into something like parking behind a grease trap at your local Hungry Jack’s.
Despite the odd hiccup, life with the IS300 is fine, but I’ve become somewhat suspicious about slipping into the occasional partridge; Norfolk’s favorite radio announcer is a famous Lexus fan. However, if that’s my main concern, I’d probably take it as a win.
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Second update: Unwelcome intrusion
This month: 562 km at an average of 8.9 liters / 100 km
Total: 2833 km @ 8.5 l / 100 km
Vehicle Standard ADR 85/00 Side Pole Impact Performance It doesn’t sound anything out of the ordinary, but for the Lexus IS300, it’s the Grim Reaper. Drafted into legislation in December 2015, the countdown clock began which, when it hits zero on November 1st of this year, means the incompatible IS, combined with the exciting RC Coupe and the uncommon Potato Hybrid CT, can no longer be Selling it unmodified local importers think it’s too expensive. Factory orders stopped on June 30, which means if you want the IS 300 Luxury, you’ll need to start looking for dealer inventory.
This is my advice to you. Don’t buy one. As much as I have enjoyed operating this vehicle, my job is to provide solid advice to consumers and there is a better option available. It’s called the IS350 F Sport, and it’s powered by a 221 kW atmo V6 instead of a 180 kW turbocharged four-cylinder and brings an element of the mechanical appeal that this car so craves. Trim-for-trim, it’s also just $5,000 more expensive, which seems like a reasonable deal if only for the extra kilowatt. Who knows, you might also be able to strike a done deal if you’re a fiendish negotiator.
However, the rest of the IS300 package is quietly excellent. Instead of going straight to the next person in the long run with a reverse look, I felt like a real key when it came time to return the Lexus. There are some things that you gain in life that form a bond and enjoy an extended welcome, and I can see buying a Lexus IS facilitates that role. He’s a slow cooker, with qualities that are far from frank. There isn’t much about it which is alpha or push and I must admit I admire the calm confidence he has in his skin.
The day before IS was due to return, I got up late, got in a Lexus, loaded a long playlist and drove with no destination in mind. The fun thing about the IS300 is that it’s always there for you but rarely imposes its personality in the conversation. If he was a person, he would be a great listener. I still think there is room in the market for such cars. It is clear that the Poles have an alternative opinion.
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