Through rigorous development and testing, the new IS was born and bred at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama Test Track—where the toughest and most challenging roads in the world have been recreated. The outcome was an IS lineup that is agile and provocative. First to be introduced locally were the pulse-pounding IS 350 F Sport (P3,808,000) and the IS 300h Premier (P3,328,000). Now, Lexus introduces the IS 300h which is priced at P2,978,000. Both IS 300h variants—while boasting hybrid technology—thoroughly espouse Lexus’s DNA.
Under the IS 300h is a powerful-yet-efficient hybrid drivetrain. It is powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder mated to a Lexus E-CVT intelligent transmission for optimum efficiency in every driving condition. The 16-valve DOHC dual VVTi petrol engine is paired with an equally powerful electric motor. When in tandem, power delivered to the rear wheels is a combined 220hp. Zero to 100kph happens in a swift 8.7 seconds. Maximum torque is an impressive 221Nm. Even more noteworthy is the kind of fuel efficiency the IS 300h delivers. The EV Drive Mode lets you use the electric motor at slow speeds. This in turn reduces emissions and saves on fuel.
Keeping drivers engaged and in full control is a suspension system that was tuned and refined in the Shimoyama Test Track. The double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear is complemented by ABS; Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA); and a Traction Control System. The IS 300h will bring out the sporty driver in you—if you so desire.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Front and center on the dashboard is an 8-inch touch display for the audio system. Connectivity is of utmost priority these days, therefore Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Miracast come standard in the IS 300h. A ten-speaker audio system will please even the most discerning audiophiles.
A power tilt and telescoping tiller and leather-wrapped wheel with paddle shifters nestled behind them offer an even more satisfying driver and car interface. Voice recognition adds ease of use as well. There is also a multi-information TFT display where drivers can monitor their fuel economy through the Eco-Driving Indicator Light and Zone Display.
The luxuriously crafted interior can be had in black synthetic leather. Driver and front passenger are treated to 8-way power- adjustable seats, so finding the best driving position can be done with ease.
A Parking Assist Monitor accurately guides your parking attempts by superimposing guide lines on the back camera’s video screen. This is very helpful, especially in crowded parking spaces. Adding to this is a clearance and back sonar to make sure that drivers are aware of what is behind them when in reverse. Passenger safety is of course very important, so eight sensor-controlled airbags line the cabin giving enhanced protection.
The IS 300h is also one of the most attractive compact luxury sedans available in the market. Considering it is equipped with sophisticated hybrid technology and is built with a Takumi-level of craftsmanship, its price of P2,978,000 undercuts its closest German rival—a model not offered with a hybrid drivetrain locally.
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