The performance isn’t remarkable, but it is plenty quick enough for most people. Zero to 62mph takes 8.4-seconds, and there is a top speed of 125mph. Statistics aren’t everything, and we think the new Lexus IS feels faster than it actually is.
The petrol-hybrid power provides a particularly quiet drive, and it is attached to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The transmission is electronically controlled and doesn’t shift like a traditional ‘box, meaning you get a very slick experience from behind the wheel.
With a quiet engine and smooth gearbox, all you need mechanically after that is exceptional ride comfort, and the new Lexus IS delivers exactly that. We drove it on some very bumpy and rough Italian road surfaces, but we didn’t feel too upset because the suspension and ride quality are fantastic. The feel of refinement and well-being is the new Lexus IS’s biggest strength, but the gearbox doesn’t really lend itself to athletic driving.
Lexus is different to almost all motor manufacturers as it has turned its back on diesel engines. There are no oil-burner offerings for the new Lexus IS, and this is because the Japanese automaker believes that hybrid technology is the way forward. We certainly can’t argue that the company has created an efficient saloon. Our test car gives out only 101g/km of CO2, and is capable of over 60mpg, though you’ll have to drive like a saint to get it. Over short distances, the new Lexus IS is even capable of running on electric power only.