One of the main competitors to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class is loaded with equipment to enhance its vintage appeal.
1. Numbers are limited
When sales are slow, car companies often load up a model with a set of items that are usually options, give it a custom paint palette, and a schmick-alloy set and promote this thing as a “special edition.” Of course the numbers are “very limited”, so hurry to your dealer now and get a deposit, otherwise you will miss it and live the rest of your life in deep regret. Well, maybe not, but the special editions can be a good value sometimes.
2. More costs
The IS300 Black Line costs $69,707 on the road — $1,500 more than the standard F Sport it’s based on. It’s a glossy look, back in Special Black, with four specific paint colors, 18-inch gloss black metallic alloy, black grille and mirror caps, black/gray upholstery with blue/grey stitching, “indigo” wood on the top of the steering wheel and instrument cluster lights. Display that illuminates the Lexus logo on the ground when one of the front doors is opened. The goal, says Lexus, is to “elevate mood sophistication and introduce a new cabin touch.”
3. Add SUMS
Arguably the outpatient treatment is worth the extra $1,500 alone. Lexus makes great paint, and our test car’s shiny Cobalt Mica is hypnotic to the eye, like staring into a deep blue sea. The extra black trim, especially the wheels, makes it work properly. Inside, black trim and upgraded trims add pukka notes but it can’t be hidden from the fact that compared to newer German competitors like BMW’s 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, the Lexus dash, in design and efficiency, is about 10 years old. from history. Let’s be kind and call it an unintentional reactionary. The same goes for information and entertainment. You get a nice sports steering wheel and a comfortable, heated and cooled driver’s seat.
4. It’s cool old school
As a drive, the IS is a bit of a throwback, too. The hardware is unchanged from the benefactor IS300 F Sport: a 180-kilowatt 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, matched with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. There’s enough power to keep things interesting, and although the Lexus boasts a coarse curb weight at 1,680kg (220kg heavier than the BMW 330i), it’s well-balanced at sane speeds and a very enjoyable drive. Think of it as a sporty GT rather than a quick tool and it makes good shape. The only smudge is excessive tire noise on blue bitumen.
5. She is Japanese. That’s ok.
This will probably turn off a few snoozers, but ask an owner and chances are they will be very happy. Lexus usually beats Audi, BMW and Mercedes in owner satisfaction surveys. Reliability and quality are made in Japan at levels German brands can only dream of, and because Lexus has to work harder to win business, the Encore Owner Benefits Program – which includes the pick-up and delivery of your car for service, plus a loan – has been recognized as market leader.