Lex appeal

Like Gabourey Sidibe’s trips to the salad bar, it’s a rare occasion having a Lexus adorn this column. Therefore, stand on ceremony as we take a look at the IS300

By David Light

Published: Sat 11 Dec 2010, 8:21 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 12:14 PM

It’s customary for anyone writing or talking about a Lexus to go on about how Alan Partridge from the eponymous BBC hit sitcom labelled the brand the, ‘Japanese Mercedes.’

This moniker has stuck throughout the years and when I’m Alan Partridge was first broadcast, was rather apt. These days, however, the term appears as outdated as a Vanilla Ice fan club membership card or a local DJ’s sense of humour.

Lexus, or to use the plural, Lexi (okay I had to let one Partridge reference slide), are no longer carbon copies of their German counterparts, but to continue with the celebrity analogies, like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj they are beautiful and innovative in their own special way.

And whilst the IS300 may not seem much from the outside at first glance, judging it too quickly would be to do so at your peril.

Upon approaching the car, at first you could be a little underwhelmed. Lexus have set such a high standard for themselves in terms of design that the IS300 may appear just a little bit ordinary. However, it is after your first drive and when you get out of the car for the first time, that its good looks strike you. Unlike some of the outwardly flamboyant tarts of cars, this sport sedan is a lean, nimble minx that - once you appreciate its subtleness – will fulfil all your motoring desires.

The top of the range IS300 comes equipped with a 3-litre V6 engine that delivers 228 horsepower and reaches 100 kph in 7.7 seconds. That time is not the fastest around, but it is impressive when you’re behind the wheel. The vehicle is also a master class in how a car should handle. Planted on the road as if the tyres were coated in adhesive, the IS300 is a dream in the corners and can turn on a sixpence. There is not a single vibration or roll to be had on any journey, which leaves you free to enjoy the splendour of the interior.

Unlike any other car, the inside of a Lexus strangely reminds me of a luxury yacht. Having been fortunate enough to become acquainted with some of the finer boats around, the carpets, leather used for the seats, walnut effect on the steering wheel and panels and intricate navigation system are uncannily like a brand new 40 ft Sunseeker. Not dissimilar to a luxury yacht is the amount of you room you get as well. For a sport sedan the IS300 offers a decent amount of space for four, possibly five if you are really determined, and a decent chunk of a boot too. Combined with some of the toys, which include a six-disc, in-dash CD changer with 13 speakers to deliver excellent sound quality and an auxiliary port, located in the front armrest, through which the audio system can be connected to portable music systems, such as an iPod or MP3 player, you’re in for an enjoyable ride.


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