There are very many compact executive cars on our roads today. The BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, Honda Accord (top of the range), Alfa Romeo 156, Vauxhall Vectra 2.5 V6 CDx. Don't get me wrong, these and other compact executive cars are wonderful, yet for me just one car stands out, the Lexus IS200 and the IS300. At the moment, only the IS200 is available in the UK but the IS300 should be out sooner or later. However, please forgive me if I my information is incorrect, I suspect that the only difference between the two cars is the engine size. The IS200 has a 2.0-litre 6-cylinder engine. The IS300 presumably has a 3.0-litre V6. Compact executive cars are known to be quite big. Take the Mercedes C-Class for example. You would expect a Lexus to be rather large and commanding. After all, the GS300 and the LS430 are huge. Unfortunately the IS200 does not continue this pattern and is rather small. The IS200 is about the same size as a Honda Civic. Despite being rather small, you can still impress people by simply saying "I own a Lexus." The Lexus badge always signifies quality. The IS has tidy looks, a nice interior, rear wheel drive and is very cheap for what you get. Among the standard fittings on the £20,000 basic model are climate-control, CD-player and driver and passenger airbags. The Lexus is not super quick but will do 0-60 in around 10.0 seconds. The six-speed gearbox ensures that you get the most out of your engine and the six cylinders mean a lovely smooth ride. The way that this Toyota-built car defeats its rivals is that it costs a lot less for a lot more. If time is what you have got, it would be a better bet to wait for the new 3.0-litre V6 IS300. Overall, the IS range is brilliant and the best compact executive car around today....even if it from Toyota. Do you agree that a Toyota-built Lexus is a disadvantage? Please leave a comment below (even a simple yes or no will do)!
I recently had the choice of my new company car. Other managers within my team had either opted for the BMW 323 or the Mercedes C200. I wanted to be different so I chose the Lexus IS200SE. Boy am I glad I did. The equipment spec is second to none. The build quality is superb. The handling is good on all roads. the 157BHP engine is sporty and responsive. I could go on all day about this car. But the really telling thing is when the other managers want to drive it. They can't believe that a Japanese car can more than equal the Germans for quality and spec. O.K, the car may look unusual from the rear with its' unique light cluster, but I get admiring looks and comments from many people (about the car!). If you have the opportunity, test drive one. You'll be surprised.