The Lexus IS has always been in the shadow of its German counterparts - the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. In this video review, we decided to test whether this is still the case, in pitting a Lexus IS 300h against a BMW 320d EfficientDynamics and an Audi A4 TDI tronic.
The Lexus gets a 2.5-litre petrol engine that manages 65.7mpg and it's the only car in this test to emit less than 100g/km. It beats the Audi A4 in terms of fuel economy, but the BMW 3 Series edges it slightly with 68.9mpg.
In terms of performance, the three cars are quite closely matched. The BMW and the Lexus are both quick off the line due to being rear-wheel drive, and both can reach 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds. The Audi, however, took 8.4 seconds. The Audi is the cheapest though, at £28,900. The BMW and Lexus are both £29,810 and £29,495 respectively.
The BMW really is the benchmark in the class, though, with great handling, really good steering and narrow tyres that helps the ride and really gives you a feeling of what's going on the whole time.
So, has the Lexus IS finally emerged from the shadow of its German rivals? Well, it's a good car, and definitely better than before. But it still isn't as good as an Audi A4, which in turn, isn't as good as the BMW 3 Series.