Jaco Van Der Merwe
Head of Motoring
5 minute read
27 Jul 2021
8:38 am

New Lexus IS: Japanese luxury enough to rival German duo?

Jaco Van Der Merwe

Updated sports sedan’s hybrid powertrain hampers its bold quest to threaten traditional segment leaders BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The new Lexus IS 300h F Sport in Poseidon Blue.

Bittersweet. That is the best way to describe the facelifted Lexus IS. Sweet because the sports sedan is simply stunning from the outside, plush and technology-laden inside, safe as a house and excellent value for money. Bitter because its only available in hybrid configuration, which is not going to help it lure buyers away from its more meaty internal combustion engine rivals. The flagship Lexus IS 300h F Sport we recently had on test features a four-cylinder, 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which produces 133 kW of power and 221 Nm of torque. Combined with its electric contribution, there is...