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First Look at the Lexus IS300H


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Been tempted by the IS300H for a while reading many forum topics on here learning as I go. Have a Toyota Auris Estate 1.8 hybrid '15 and for the most enjoy the relaxed driving just hoping the IS300 2.5 hybrid copes better accelerating uphill. Have tested the 2.0 Corolla Estate which impressed but they are just too expensive being a new model.

Finally sat in a IS300 and first impressions was how cramped and claustrophobic the driving seat was mainly down to the large centre console, not a deal breaker just surprising. Anybody else feel the same and does it grow on you?

Lining up a test drive next week and if it goes well looking to buy a 3 to 4 year old car.  Will probably buy from a main dealer and won't consider anything without a FLSH.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

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Here you go as promised please excuse the crude erasing of no. plates I'm not great on computers.  

Good to hear Stuart, just agreed to buy one today and would love to keep it for the next 5 years. Had another test drive this time in a 2015 IS300 Advance 50,000 in Mercury Grey loved it and boug

i like the feeling of the interior being around you for me it makes you feel like your part of the car and not just sitting in there like a spare part.  

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23 minutes ago, Joe43 said:

Been tempted by the IS300H for a while reading many forum topics on here learning as I go. Have a Toyota Auris Estate 1.8 hybrid '15 and for the most enjoy the relaxed driving just hoping the IS300 2.5 hybrid copes better accelerating uphill. Have tested the 2.0 Corolla Estate which impressed but they are just too expensive being a new model.

Finally sat in a IS300 and first impressions was how cramped and claustrophobic the driving seat was mainly down to the large centre console, not a deal breaker just surprising. Anybody else feel the same and does it grow on you?

Lining up a test drive next week and if it goes well looking to buy a 3 to 4 year old car.  Will probably buy from a main dealer and won't consider anything without a FLSH.

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Welcome Paul.Good to have you on board. Mine is a GS, so can`t advise you but the lads will respond shortly and give you chapter and verse.

My only advice is DO buy from a Lexus Dealer.

Good luck.

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Thank you John.

Considered the GS but need the flexibility of folding rear seats. I think the major problem will be finding the right car at a local dealer, they just don't have a wide choice but i guess that's part of the appeal pf a Lexus.

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4 minutes ago, Joe43 said:

Thank you John.

Considered the GS but need the flexibility of folding rear seats. I think the major problem will be finding the right car at a local dealer, they just don't have a wide choice but i guess that's part of the appeal pf a Lexus.

If you convince your local Dealer Pual,that you are a serious buyer,he may well arrange for the car you want to be delivered to you via the Dealer network ?

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Morning Joe. I went from a Gen1 IS to the Gen3 IS and while the centre console is big, it does not detract nor distract from the visibility and driving experience. Most of the controls become easy to remember without the need to look, the EV button by the gear stick to help keep you in electric at low speeds, the control on the steering wheels etc. Even the LCD display, you can configure it for the least level of distraction. Some go fir a full map, I prefer split screen with half map and the radio and Battery usage in the other half. 

 

The IS was designed to fit 4 adults comfortably, so the roof design/headspace might be slightly smaller than that of an Auris (especially as you're coming in from an estate too) 

 

I use mine daily (only car) and the folding seats are great. Easy to use and I've done tip runs and helped people move, there is a lot of space when needed. 

 

Let us know how the test drive goes. I think you'll be impressed. 

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I've had all 3 Gens of IS and feel more "wrapped around" in the Gen 3 than either of the other two. I'm a fairly large chuffer but don't feel at all claustrophobic in mine. The Gen 3 cockpit is to me anyway, a nice place to be. A Stuart says, all the controls come to hand easily. The mouse for the sat nav/infotainment can take a bit of getting used to but it soon becomes second nature.

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I came to my IS300H from a FWD Honda Accord. They occupy the same road space but the interior space in the IS300H is tiny, by comparison. That centre console is massive because of the IS300H's RWD layout. This also means a large transmission tunnel and combined with the batteries being under the rear seats, it means that the middle rear seat will not accommodate a medium sized adult with any comfort. I also observed a rather large friend of mine appearing wedged in the front passenger's seat on one trip - although he didn't complain!

My wife has a Prius Plus (7 seater) which I guess would be roughly the same size as your Auris. The difference in space between it and the IS300H is night and day.

Now, none of this bothers me because I don't need the room. If you don't, I would strongly recommend the IS300H - it's streets ahead of the Auris in terms of feeling special (You'll know what this means when you sit in it) and its also super reliable and very comfortable. The 2.5 litre engine also has lots more power than the 1.8 you are used to in the Auris, although you won't get the same economy: mine has averaged 40MPG over the last 3 years with a maximum of 62MPG seen once on a gentle 50 mile on mostly motorway with some urban driving. 50 MPG is possible with some restraint on longer motorway trips and my worst-ever was 32MPG on a tank where all journeys were short, stop/start and in the winter months. I would guess your Auris will be at least 10% better than the IS300H. (All my figures were calculated, and not from the readout, which on my car reports its consumption about 7-8% better than actual).

I purchased mine from a reputable Car Supermarket - it was a typical X-Ronnie Rep, lots of motorway use, coming off its 3-year lease, car. It had a full service history and checked out ok. I wouldn't restrict your search to just Lexus Dealers but I always like only 1 previous owner, which mine was.

Good luck with your search (mildly jealous ☺️ )

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Thanks for the input and advice, really want the test drive to be positive and yes I will be reporting back.

Back seats are down 95% of the time in the Auris mainly due to golf clubs not fitting across the back without possible damage. Rest of the time I fill the space with antiques etc. so rear passenger space is not critical but always nice when needed. Though about the RC but they are still too new and expensive right now.

Good to know you can simplify the display Stuart definitely on the list. The only problem I've had with the Auris in 3 years is losing DAB radio so just keep it on fm. Really enjoy playing the mpg game and average just under 60mpg since ownership, my figures not car and yes I occasionally slip into power mode, always mindful not to annoy others.

Quite surprisingly some main dealers appear to be very competitively priced, if I've got it right these are the newer model and just fall into the £20 road tax;

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/used-lexus/Lexus/IS/300h-Advance-Navigation-Leather-ULEZ-Approved-u3cec54

https://usedcars.lexus.co.uk/en/used-lexus/Lexus/Is-Saloon/300h-Sport-4dr-CVT-Auto-mqce8s9

But it pays to be open minded.

 

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i dont think all model have folding rear seats so if this is important to you

double check to see if this feature is fitted, i think the executive

trim is the one that doesnt have the folding rear seats.

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If it is of any help, my is300H is described as an "excutive edition cvt"  and it does have folding rear seats.   Bear in mind the parcel shelf is rigid and the clearance from boot floor is not huge but golf clubs are fine, as are skis. 

And in the front seat it does feel a little cramped - snug ? - and that feeling persists after 5 years. But the seats are very comfortable. The car is quite low and perhaps that contributes to the closed in feeling. In fact next to my daughter's huge Nissan it is like a racing car! 

 

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Small boot opening is a compromise I can live with but will double check re folding rear seats, I thought all IS300's had them. Hoping driving one will remove any doubt around the snug "like that" front seat.

 

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Coming from a IS Fsport. I find the cabin quite snug and dashboard is laid out well with controls in reach. Mind you, It only grew on me after a few test runs. 

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i like the feeling of the interior being around you

for me it makes you feel like your part of the car

and not just sitting in there like a spare part.

 

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3 minutes ago, 200h said:

i like the feeling of the interior being around you

for me it makes you feel like your part of the car

and not just sitting in there like a spare part.

 

Agreed, the driving seat does feel much more 'cockpit' and you do feel 'at one with the car' 

 

I remember my old Corsa and that was very much a seat placed in front of a steering wheel. Very... sparse

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Well gave it a go today and happy, I will easily get used to the snug feeling and it's just as easy to drive as the Auris. Searched out some hills where I know the Auris struggles to accelerate and the Lexus coasted up.  I'm used to how hybrids work now, the Lexus just gives more and should be less frustrating.

Ultimately didn't buy this one today the figures were too far away but keen on another they had just got in, will be going back later this week.

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Good to hear Stuart, just agreed to buy one today and would love to keep it for the next 5 years.

Had another test drive this time in a 2015 IS300 Advance 50,000 in Mercury Grey loved it and bought it. Will be collecting on Monday.

Early Christmas pressie from me to me hoping to enjoy a few years motoring in it.

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since october 2013 i have owned an

61 plate luxury CT200h , a 63 plate luxury IS300h , a 17 plate IS300h F Sport and my current 66 plate GS300h executive

in all this time the cars have been faultless not even an advisory at Mot time

you've made a good choice enjoy the car.

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2 hours ago, 200h said:

since october 2013 i have owned an

61 plate luxury CT200h , a 63 plate luxury IS300h , a 17 plate IS300h F Sport and my current 66 plate GS300h executive

in all this time the cars have been faultless not even an advisory at Mot time

you've made a good choice enjoy the car.

How does the is300h compare with the gs300h just out of interest. Is it like the difference between the ct200h and is300h? My wife has the ct200h and the difference between the two is very noticeable... 

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the GS does feel different to the IS

the seating position is so much higher

when driving its like sitting in your favourite arm chair

its so comfy,but i find the seats dont hold you as well as the IS's

the other day i gave a work mate a lift he's 6'6" he said

he had plenty of room and didnt feel squashed 

and the ride is well damped and smooth.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Inazone said:

How does the is300h compare with the gs300h just out of interest. Is it like the difference between the ct200h and is300h? My wife has the ct200h and the difference between the two is very noticeable... 

I was originally looking for an is300h to replace my is 220d. Took a gs300h for a test drive after trying the is300h. Bought the GS! Is so much better in many ways except maybe 'sporty driving'. The gs is not a barge by any means. It is a comfortable luxury saloon. However, if you can get a premier with adaptive suspension it is certainly no slouch on winding b roads. My boy racer days are well and truly over and I appreciate comfort and relaxation whilst driving which the GS gives in spades. It all depends on what you want out of your driving experience as to whether the is or gs is preferable. The GS is more of a downgraded LS wheares the IS is an upgraded CT!

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When I had a brand new IS300h Executive in 2014 my brother in law had a brand new GS300h Luxury. I thought his GS was better than my IS. Quieter, more comfortable, quicker and more refined.

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12 hours ago, paulrnx said:

When I had a brand new IS300h Executive in 2014 my brother in law had a brand new GS300h Luxury. I thought his GS was better than my IS. Quieter, more comfortable, quicker and more refined.

I wouldn't have thought it would have been quicker: Same engine & powertrain but more weight?

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