Back in 2001, the Lexus IS 300 debuted to give the Japanese automaker a competitor for the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. The IS 350 took its place in 2006 with a revised body and a new, 3.5-liter engine. The IS 350 received yet another redesign in 2014, giving it a more modern design to better handle the growing and changing luxury sedan realm. Markets other than the U.S. received a hybrid IS 300h for the 2013 model year (same as the U.S.-Spec 2014 model year) and at the tail end of 2014, the UK earns a new trim for the IS 300h dubbed the Executive Edition.
The Lexus IS 300h is the kind of car that already speaks for itself. It looks good, and it has an impressive and efficient powertrain. But every so often, a highly regarded car like the IS 300h is still subject to more improvements. Not that any of us are complaining because an even better equipped IS 300h means a more attractive model for customers. That’s what happened here after Lexus introduced a new Executive Edition model to the IS 300h range. The changes aren’t significant enough to completely change the model’s aesthetics, but it’s still significant enough to warrant our applause.
With all these add-ons, the IS 300h Executive Edition only costs £33,385, which is about $57,000 based on exchange rates (7/1/2014). That represents an increase of just £3,390 ($5,780), which is affordable enough for some new digs.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition.
Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition in detail
There are a number of changes done on the IS 300h to give it a more aggressive look, all at a price that won’t burn holes in your pocket. Consider these changes as minor touch ups that lead to significant styling gains. The dusk-sensing HID headlights are great additions to the model, as are the auto-dimming rearview mirror, the dual-zone climate control, and the rain-sensing wipers. Anytime you can get the car to do the work for you, you can call that huge improvement.
The IS 300h Executive Edition also has new leather upholstery and the company’s renowned navigation system, two new items that play huge roles in adding technological refinement to hybrid sedan.
The 2014 IS 300h represents an attractive compromise from Lexus. Using the sporty characteristics of its IS line, Lexus successfully combined it with a hybrid powertrain that screams efficiency. Thus, the IS 300h was born.
The model carries similar design characteristics with other Lexus models, namely the GS and LS, particularly the inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille. But the new IS also had some distinctive styling traits to call its own, including the new headlamp cluster design with L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
The IS 300h also comes with a hybrid engine that features a new Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine. All together, the model is capable of producing 220 horsepower, allowing it to hit 62 mph in 8.3 seconds to go with a top speed of 125 mph. The hybrid sedan is pretty efficient, too, thanks to combined fuel returns of 53.4 mpg.
Gallery Lexus IS
The Lexus IS 300h already represents a keenly cost effective proposition thanks to the low tax and running costs delivered by its highly efficient and refined hybrid powertrain. Now Lexus is helping customers save even more money by adding the new Executive Edition model to the range.
The Executive Edition comes complete with leather upholstery and Lexus Navigation system, in addition to the wealth of equipment, comfort and styling features provided by the existing Luxury grade model. With an on-the-road price of £29,995, the new Executive Edition represents £3,390 of “complimentary” value to the customer.
The specification takes in front and rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels, dusk-sensing HID headlights, cruise control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing wipers.
Displaying the distinctive, sharp contemporary styling that defines today’s Lexus models, the IS 300h has impressive street presence, yet offers the kind of comfort and luxury for which Lexus is renowned. The proven, reliable and supremely smooth Lexus Hybrid Drive system returns impressive official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures of 64.2mpg and 103g/km respectively, yet does not sacrifice performance – acceleration from nought to 62mph can be dispatched in 8.3 seconds.