Lexus IS 300h (2013-2020) interior & comfort
The Lexus IS 300h is superbly built and supremely comfortable, but the infotainment system is fiddly
The Lexus IS is one of the more eye-catching cars in the compact executive class, and it’s pretty nice inside, too. There are fabulously comfortable and highly adjustable seats, the interior ambience is one of restrained quality.
The switchgear operates with the slick precision of a high-end stereo system, there are high-quality and tactile materials in abundance and satin-finish embellishers add subtle lustre. With decent standard equipment, too, the only real gripe is an infotainment system that’s less user-friendly than German rivals.
Lexus IS 300h dashboard
The dashboard design is interesting and a little unusual, thanks to a stepped fascia that runs behind the instruments and across the full width of the car. A seven-inch or 10.3-inch infotainment system is set into its centre, with a ledge beneath containing traditional slotted vents and an analogue clock.
Lower down the console are controls for the climate control and stereo, while there’s a rotary dial or touchpad for the infotainment screen depending on trim level. There’s a grippy three-spoke steering wheel with the usual controls, and a view through to attractive twin-dial instruments with a configurable info panel between the dials.
Equipment, options and accessories
You can order your IS 300h in a variety of trim levels, starting with the entry-level IS, then running through F Sport and the range-topping Takumi. All are comparatively well equipped as you’d expect from Lexus, and a variety of option packs are available, so you can get just the equipment you need.
A full safety package is standard across the board, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and traffic-sign recognition, as well as 17-inch alloys, front and rear parking sensors, seven-inch sat nav, a six-speaker stereo and dual-zone air-conditioning.
The F Sport model adds sportier styling, sports-tuned suspension, eight-way power-adjustable seats, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror The Takumi features an upgraded navigation system with a 10.3-inch screen and 15-speaker audio, as well as 18-inch alloys, blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
All IS 300h models have sat nav, with top-spec cars getting a flashy 10.3-inch screen and touchpad operation. We’re not big fans of the set-up, as it’s not as intuitive or easy to use as we’ve come to expect from rivals such as BMW or Mercedes.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Lexus IS 300h is a compact executive saloon that was available exclusively with petrol-electric hybrid power
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe Lexus IS 300h looks clean compared to diesels, but plug-in rivals are better still
- 3Running costsGood-value pricing makes the Lexus IS 300h a solid choice, although plug-in hybrid alternatives will be much cheaper to run
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe CVT gearbox in the Lexus IS 300h frustrates an otherwise well-rounded performance
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingThe Lexus IS 300h is superbly built and supremely comfortable, but the infotainment system is fiddly
- 6Practicality & boot spacePassengers are well catered for in the Lexus IS 300h; luggage, not so much
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Lexus IS 300h boasts a superb safety package and top marks for reliability