Lexus is introducing a new version of its IS sports saloon that has been give numerous additional features but is offered at an exceptional value price. Aside from the regular SE specification, the new IS 250 and 200d Advance models will also be equipped with a hard disc drive (HDD) satellite navigation system, rear parking camera, heated electrically adjustable front seats, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
With these options, it can be assumed that the vehicle will be offered with a hefty price premium. But actually, the new Advance IS 250 is priced only £340 higher than its SE equivalent (£26,495 on-the-road) while the IS 200d is priced at only £130 (£24,995) more. Lexus sought to enhance the appeal by pointing out that the V6 petrol-powered IS 250 is more keenly priced than the BMW 320i and 325i SE.
The IS 200d diesel returns an official 134g/km CO2 emissions and 55.4mpg combined cycle fuel economy. These specifications are better than the BMW 318d SE and the Audi A4 2.0 TDI 140 Technik. The new IS Advance models are even more irresistible if you consider Lexus’s uncontested industry-leading customer service, and hallmark comfort, quality and refinement. The Lexus IS 250 and 200d Advance models are currently on sale.
Unlike other competitive vehicles that have an optional leather interior, this comes standard with the Lexus IS models. They include a leather-trimmed interior and a set of 10-way power front seats.
They have lots of standard amenities, including a dual-zone automatic climate control that has rear-seat vents as well as a pollen filter (along with a smog filter on the IS 350), all power windows that have automatic up/down plus HomeLink jam protection, power moonroof with single-touch open/close plus 7 open-position settings, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
In addition, the AWD models have standard heated seats. With the SmartAccess keyless entry plus push-button-start ignition, the driver can keep the access fob in his wallet or pocket. Each standard Lexus Premium Audio System includes a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth hands free phone and music streaming, iPod/USB connectivity, 13 speakers, and an incorporated satellite radio receiver plus 194 watts (maximum) total power.
The Automatic Sound Levelizer or ASL allows sound levels to remain consistent at different vehicle speeds. The Luxury Plus Package is offered as an option. This comes with perforated leather seating trim, wood trim, ventilated and heated front seats with 3-position memory for seats, auto-dimming outside mirrors, steering wheel plus outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, telescopic steering column and power tilt.
The IS, like every Lexus model, has its own rendition of Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio system. This is available with an optional DVD touch-screen navigation system. This audio system consists of 14 speakers and a 5.1 multi-channel playback plus 7.1 channel speaker architecture.
It has 10 amplifier channels that supply a total output of 300 watts at 0.1% total harmonic distortion or THD. This system plays the usual DVDs and CDs and MP3/WMA-formatted CDs. The optional navigation system has a 7-inch colored touch screen, where DVD movies can be watched while the car is parked.
In addition, the Lexus IS offers the Lexus Enform with Safety Connect, a telematics system accessible through subscription. Each purchase of a new Lexus vehicle with these features includes a free 1-year trial subscription.
All vehicles have Safety Connect whereas Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is only accessible on vehicles incorporated with the optional Navigation system. Both the Safety Connect and Lexus Enform operate 24/7 the whole year round.