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300h from IS250 owners - opinions please!


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Hi all

I had a 2010 IS250 SE-I with all the good stuff for approximately 3 years and it was probably the best ‘all round’ car I’ve owned. 
 

I sold if a few years back and was pretty sure I’d regret it ( I got an Range Rover Velar on a crazy deal at work) so now I’m looking at 300h cars, preferably (?) in F Sport spec.

The big worry I have is performance. The IS was quick enough for its job and the delivery/noise/gear changes all felt spot on for that type of car.

I’m worried that the 300h might lack the same enjoyment. Can any owners of both who had big love for the IS250 give their opinion?

I should add that initially I was looking at GS450h but my sensible, but can be reasoned with, side says 300h.

 

Thanks in advance. 

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Bought my 2017 IS330h Premier and sold my 2007 IS250 SE-L in December last year.  2 totally different cars but both very enjoyable for different reasons.  The silky smooth V6 and slick gear changes we

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I had both, drove the 250 for 4 years and the 300 for 3. I loved the 250 and liked the 300. Or the other way around.. Both great cars in their own right but both have shortcomings. 250 feels special, buildquality excellent lovely smooth refined sixpot but no torque al low revs. cramped in the back and now really showing its age. 300H different drivetrain. Emotor gives instant torque from standstill and 4pot takes over after that. Not a lot between them in speed but it is s different experience also caused by the CVT. In town or B-roads a great silent motor with enough torque and speed. Better fuel economy and more interior space. Chassis much better. In short a much newer design you will not regret it.

However, if the choice is 450 H or 300H it will be a no brainer for me. The GS is the perfect sleeper and it definately feels several steps up to the 300!

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Dutchie. Much appreciated and I agree about the GS. Hard to find though and strong prices are making it tricky.

 

Thanks again 

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I’ve driven a few GS300h and they always felt quicker than an IS300h (I’ve owned two). Might be worth checking one of these out.

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I'd not go for the F Sport spec again, and would look for something with 17" wheels. The ride on 18" is a little too harsh for me. Performance wise, I think the 300h feels faster above 65. It's very difficult to tell as it has a digital speedo and you don't get the same impression of acceleration (if you see what I mean - I can never explain this properly). Noisewise, the 300h cannot hold a candle to the gorgeous V6 howl from the 250. Some say that the build quality of the 300h is inferior to the 250. I'm in two minds - my 250 was an '07 model and I always thought that some of the interior trim as a bit suspect (the pockets on the seat backs for starters). 

Some on here have questioned the get up and go of the 300h. Stick it in Sport mode and you'll take off from junctions/roundabouts extremely well. My wife has a Hyundai Ioniq and the sales rep recommended that she stick that in Sport for a bit more oomph at roundabouts, so it could be a hybrid thing. In the 300h, if the right foot has a swift and firm connection with the floor mat, it does go. It's the sound which is disappointing, but that's CVTs. You get used to it. It is easy to get into licence-losing territory without noticing it very easily.

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On 4/28/2021 at 4:22 PM, CPeep said:

Can any owners of both who had big love for the IS250 give their opinion?

Bought my 2017 IS330h Premier and sold my 2007 IS250 SE-L in December last year.  2 totally different cars but both very enjoyable for different reasons.  The silky smooth V6 and slick gear changes were a pleasure as were the luxury, refinement and solid feel in the 250.  The 300h just feels so much more modern and once you get used to the hybrid driving technique you enjoy increased mpg and a feeling of driving along in an elegant automobile with power on tap in sport mode if you want it.  It's not blisteringly quick but I'd say on par with the 250.  If you plant your right foot in sport mode, it will more likely make you grin than yawn.  I loved my IS250 but if I could wind back the clock I'd do exactly the same again which is always a good indicator.

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We owned two IS250s over a 10 year period and had multiple IS300h as loan cars over the years. 
 

The IS250 was a great car. It was fast enough for everyday driving and sounded silky smooth. I still have access to one now and still enjoy driving it. 
 

I liked the IS300h. It had a better chassis than the 250 but didn’t sound as nice. On paper it was supposed to be a bit quicker to 60 but this was negligible in real life. 

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On 4/28/2021 at 4:22 PM, CPeep said:

Hi all

I had a 2010 IS250 SE-I with all the good stuff for approximately 3 years and it was probably the best ‘all round’ car I’ve owned. 
 

I sold if a few years back and was pretty sure I’d regret it ( I got an Range Rover Velar on a crazy deal at work) so now I’m looking at 300h cars, preferably (?) in F Sport spec.

The big worry I have is performance. The IS was quick enough for its job and the delivery/noise/gear changes all felt spot on for that type of car.

I’m worried that the 300h might lack the same enjoyment. Can any owners of both who had big love for the IS250 give their opinion?

I should add that initially I was looking at GS450h but my sensible, but can be reasoned with, side says 300h.

 

Thanks in advance. 

If you worried about performance then then IS300h is absolutely not the car for you. I had 3 IS250s over the years and I would agree it was best "all around" car I have ever owned, it was very difficult to find an upgrade for it and I have owned my last one for far longer than I used to own cars. In the end it was written off in small accident which sort of helped morally to say "it is time".

Obviously, best thing to do would for you be to test drive one and see how it feels. I was looking at IS mk3 from the day it launched and I really wanted to like that car, but as far as performance is concerned IS300h has nothing in comparison with IS250. I hated how sluggish the car is from the first second I got into it on my first test drive and I just wanted to go back to IS250. IS250 is very smooth and the harder you push it the better it drives, and it actually sounds good if you rev it out. IS300h has massive hesitation form the start, then electric motor kicks in with instant torque and hits you over the head for maybe 0.5s, then there is huge dip and petrol engine kicks in, but then again due to how CVT works, it just stays droning at 3000RPM. Overall, I would describe the sensation which I get when launching IS300h same as if I wanted to throw-up!.

Now to be fair mk3 IS300h never meant to replace IS250, it was replacement of mk2 IS220d and that is does well. IS250 was mean to be replaced by IS200t, but it turned out to be awful all around - much worse fuel economy for minor improvement in performance and even then only on paper.

Overall, after trying various Lexus cars (IS and RC, 200t and 300h) I came to conclusion that the only feasible and true upgrade for IS250 is GS450h. It is build even better, materials are even better, it has about the same economy (slightly better) and it has serious performance. Nothing crazy, but it is sufficient for everyday driving situations and it is comfortable enough for relaxed driving without ever feeling like you killing it under acceleration. 

 

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26 minutes ago, F.A. said:

I liked the IS300h. It had a better chassis than the 250 but didn’t sound as nice. On paper it was supposed to be a bit quicker to 60 but this was negligible in real life. 

IS300h never meant to be quicker than IS250, not even on paper and in real life it is significantly slower.

Official time for IS250 was 8.4s 0-62 or 8.2s 0-60 (same as for 300h), but the real times are closer to ~7.5s, whereas IS300h actually does what it says it does ~8.4-8.6s.

https://accelerationtimes.com/models/lexus-is-250

 

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Ah OK. For some reason I remember the 0-60 for the IS 300h being quoted at 7.9 seconds when it first came out, but probably incorrect literature at the time. I didn’t realise the IS250 was as quick as that. 

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If worried about going from a 3nd generation IS250 to an IS300H then why not move to a 3rd generation IS250 instead?

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To me, outright performance is a load of bullocks. very rarely can it be used to it's full extent without getting points. I've had many fast cars over the years, many of them before the cameras were about, and even then I was not too silly.

My last 3 cars in the last 5 years have been a Prius, an ISF, and now an RC300h. A bit of a mix!

My regular trips take me the same time in which ever car I've been in. I still drive briskly most of the time, always at the GPS limit on rural roads, and a little faster on motorways, but not enough to draw attention. Sure, the ISF got me to cruising speed quicker, but I don't really miss it, and I don't have any points.

Heck, if I really want to enjoymyself, I take the wifes Aygo down favourite country lanes. Keeping a little engine on the limit and carrying speed through the corners is so much fun!

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I thought the 0-62 of the IS300h was 8.1 secs, plenty quick enough for most I would have thought?

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1 hour ago, Bounce75 said:

I thought the 0-62 of the IS300h was 8.1 secs, plenty quick enough for most I would have thought?

I agree. It's only 0.8 seconds slower than a Ferrari 308. I can live with that.

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1 hour ago, Bounce75 said:

I thought the 0-62 of the IS300h was 8.1 secs, plenty quick enough for most I would have thought?

no... it is 0-60 which isn't really even correct, because it was calculated from 8.4s 0-62, which in itself little bit optimistic. 

The outright 0-60 is just a benchmark, it does not tell much about how car does it... but that is exactly the point. Not only IS300h is much slower on paper and in reality, but as well it delivers that power in much worse way.

Now I agree that different people will have different needs and for some 8s to 60 will be plenty, for some other it may not be enough. I always look into acceleration as a safety margin - I would rather have car which can do 0-60 in 5s and never use it, than have car which is much slower and have no option to use it when needed.

I think the key point here is the what OP is focusing on... IS300h has plenty advantages over IS250 - it is more modern, it is more fuel efficient, it think it probably handles better and has better chassis (especially F-sport), BUT performance is certainly and significantly worse. So if somebody comes and say - "look guys I don't care about performance, I just want comfortable, reliable and dependable car"... absolutely IS300h is good choice. But if person comes and say "I am not sure I will be happy with performance"... then right away IS300h is not good option. 

Now fair to say this "line" will be different for different people, for me IS250 was already borderline slow, the smoothness and the sound of the engine made it feel faster than it is and I was able to live with it... but any slower and I would have called it sluggish. Given I choice I would have had IS350, because at ~300hp and 6s 0-60 that would be perfect for me. So my perspective is that IS250 was already just acceptable.

3 hours ago, paulrnx said:

If worried about going from a 3nd generation IS250 to an IS300H then why not move to a 3rd generation IS250 instead?

I think the key is that mk3 IS250 are very rare and thus much more expensive, mush higher road tax and in effect same car as mk2 IS250 as far as performance is concerned. Actually, IS250 mk3is slightly slower because it is heavier. So I guess the answer is - why pay 4 times the price if you could have 90% of the same car for 25% of the cost? 

Other big consideration - for nearly the same price as mk3 IS250, you can get mk4 GS450h.... and that is all around much better car, better build, better equipped, better performance, lower tax...

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1 hour ago, Linas.P said:

no... it is 0-60 which isn't really even correct, because it was calculated from 8.4s 0-62, which in itself little bit optimistic. 

The outright 0-60 is just a benchmark, it does not tell much about how car does it... but that is exactly the point. Not only IS300h is much slower on paper and in reality, but as well it delivers that power in much worse way.

Now I agree that different people will have different needs and for some 8s to 60 will be plenty, for some other it may not be enough. I always look into acceleration as a safety margin - I would rather have car which can do 0-60 in 5s and never use it, than have car which is much slower and have no option to use it when needed.

I think the key point here is the what OP is focusing on... IS300h has plenty advantages over IS250 - it is more modern, it is more fuel efficient, it think it probably handles better and has better chassis (especially F-sport), BUT performance is certainly and significantly worse. So if somebody comes and say - "look guys I don't care about performance, I just want comfortable, reliable and dependable car"... absolutely IS300h is good choice. But if person comes and say "I am not sure I will be happy with performance"... then right away IS300h is not good option. 

Now fair to say this "line" will be different for different people, for me IS250 was already borderline slow, the smoothness and the sound of the engine made it feel faster than it is and I was able to live with it... but any slower and I would have called it sluggish. Given I choice I would have had IS350, because at ~300hp and 6s 0-60 that would be perfect for me. So my perspective is that IS250 was already just acceptable.

I think the key is that mk3 IS250 are very rare and thus much more expensive, mush higher road tax and in effect same car as mk2 IS250 as far as performance is concerned. Actually, IS250 mk3is slightly slower because it is heavier. So I guess the answer is - why pay 4 times the price if you could have 90% of the same car for 25% of the cost? 

Other big consideration - for nearly the same price as mk3 IS250, you can get mk4 GS450h.... and that is all around much better car, better build, better equipped, better performance, lower tax...

Yes I think the newer one was slower. I had a brand new 2014 IS300H which I didn’t get on with and so I replaced it with a 2014 IS250 F-Sport which I had high hopes for. It always felt slower than the 2nd generation IS250 I’d had before. As you say I’m sure weight was a part of it. I’m not sure the engine was as good either. Could have also been partly due to later more stringent emissions control and strangling of the engine. It turned out to be slower than the Hybrid it replaced ☹️

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21 minutes ago, paulrnx said:

Yes I think the newer one was slower. I had a brand new 2014 IS300H which I didn’t get on with and so I replaced it with a 2014 IS250 F-Sport which I had high hopes for. It always felt slower than the 2nd generation IS250 I’d had before. As you say I’m sure weight was a part of it. I’m not sure the engine was as good either. Could have also been partly due to later more stringent emissions control and strangling of the engine. It turned out to be slower than the Hybrid it replaced ☹️

On paper it was identical 4GR-FSE making same 204 or 205hp, same gearbox, extra 150kg weight.

But I think you are right, it must be something to do with emissions, when I tired mk3 it just didn't feel as fast or responsive - it shows less CO2, so maybe some emission equipment was changed and despite it making same peak power, it is entirely possible that power curve was different e.g. maybe it was same at ~ 3800RPM, but maybe it was 20-30hp down at say ~2000RPM which would result in it feeling slower. 

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6 hours ago, PRT68 said:

Heck, if I really want to enjoymyself, I take the wifes Aygo down favourite country lanes

As a driver, I get that. But Paul, I do hope you are mindful that country lanes are also enjoyed by cyclists (and walkers, and horse-riders) who, with reason, do not enjoy sharing the road space with over-enthusiastic recreational motorists.

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I think you meant to say ... any motorists.

Cyclists and walkers, and horse-riders... all think that motorists who pays dearly for driving on those roads are as well the the ones who least deserve to use them 🤐

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Ha, yes very aware! I'm a cyclist and walker myself. I was taught to drive by my father 50 years ago. He was a class 1 police driving instructor. 

Always told to be aware, looking at telegraph poles and hedges to give an idea of where the road goes etc. Me giving commentary, with him covering the rear view mirror and asking me what was behind. 

He also taught me to overtake, an art that has been forgotten. So many people are taught to pass a test, not to actually drive properly.

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14 minutes ago, PRT68 said:

So many people are taught to pass a test, not to actually drive properly.

I remember my instructor telling me "well done, you've passed your test. Now go and learn how to drive."

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He also taught me to overtake

I am gratified to hear that! As to overtaking, as a club cyclist I often read (on Twitter etc) how vexing some car drivers find a group of cyclists in double file. This practice is actually safer for all, assuming the group is tight and organized, because it presents the driver with a shorter, hence safer overtaking manoeuvre. Ten bike riders in a double file are no more than the equivalent of a medium-sized commercial or agricultural vehicle, where there can be no argument about overtaking.

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Yes Martin totally agree. Even more frustrating is when cycling alone, you can 'feel' a vehicle behind. Some seem to be so hesitant to overtake, even when there's bags of room. And when they do decide they're in the wrong gear to make a swift pass.

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4 hours ago, Linas.P said:

On paper it was identical 4GR-FSE making same 204 or 205hp, same gearbox, extra 150kg weight.

But I think you are right, it must be something to do with emissions, when I tired mk3 it just didn't feel as fast or responsive - it shows less CO2, so maybe some emission equipment was changed and despite it making same peak power, it is entirely possible that power curve was different e.g. maybe it was same at ~ 3800RPM, but maybe it was 20-30hp down at say ~2000RPM which would result in it feeling slower. 

+1 👍

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2 hours ago, MartinH said:

As a driver, I get that. But Paul, I do hope you are mindful that country lanes are also enjoyed by cyclists (and walkers, and horse-riders) who, with reason, do not enjoy sharing the road space with over-enthusiastic recreational motorists.

I regularly meet the local cycling club on country lanes when they are riding 4-5 deep and taking up slightly more than half the road. Very dangerous. They hold their formation and the outer riders furiously wave their arm and force cars over to the edge and to a virtual stop. The Police have been informed. Reckless idiots in my book I’m afraid.

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