Hybrid Lexus IS offers real-world benefits, but not much go
And it’s a little pricier than its rivals
Lexus launched the first-generation IS model in riposte to the BMW 3-Series. Of course, it was a delayed one: that Bavarian car had a few decades of existence under its belt already by the time the edgy Japanese newcomer arrived. The IS persevered with its sleek styling, rear-wheel drive chassis and range of straight-six engines, this being a hallmark of the Teutonic rival.`
Over its evolution the IS has matured, seemingly straying away from the mandate of aping the BMW. It grew into its own personality, placing a greater emphasis on refinement, plushness and a generous standard features list, including items that German rivals would charge extra for. Sure, you might not sight an IS as frequently as a 3-Series, Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but those who own them are a satisfied bunch indeed...