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Petrol only for Lexus IS200 Sport

 
Created on 20/04/2016 @ 08:58
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Test Report by Graham Breeze

Variety is the spice of life they say, so it’s no real surprise that Lexus has delivered the IS 200t in petrol format – moving away from the company’s obsession with hybrids.

Replacing the IS250 the 200t gets an elegant new look, a stunning and bigger interior, increased wheelbase and more technology than you will ever need in a bid to win sales from BMW and Audi.

Success will depend on how many people Lexus can convince to take a test drive, because once you get behind the wheel of this latest arrival you really don’t want to be anywhere else.

Depending on taste you’ll either be won over or lost with the new look. There’s a sculptured body shell with sharp creases but it’s the aggressive F-Sport mesh grille, 18” F-Sport alloys and stylish bumpers that you will either love or hate. I don’t think there’s any middle ground. For me it’s a winning look.

The one thing I am sure of is that you will be wowed by the stunning interior. There’s a mixture of leather and soft touch fabrics with the F Sport on test getting front and rear armrests, electric and heated seats, sports steering wheel and sports pedals.

There’s also a very stylish dashboard, housing all the latest technology via a 7” multimedia screen with remote touch control, Sat Nav and Bluetooth connectivity.

The four cylinder turbocharged, two-litre engine was supported by an eight-speed automatic gear box which seemed to be constantly searching for the right gear. I found using the steering wheel mounted paddles a lot more convenient, though many will not like that.

There’s enough power though to please everyone with 0-62mph in just seven seconds and a top speed of 143mph, just under 40mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 figures of 167g/km could be judged as a little on the high side, meaning benefit in kind of 28% for the company car driver.

The test model sells at £31,495 though leather upholstery, a premium navigation system and metallic paint pushed that to £36,100 -  but you do get a lot for your money.

For instance the model comes with drive mode select, cruise control, auto-dimming rear mirror, smart entry and start, aluminium trim, rear view camera, dusk sensing headlights, rain sensing wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

There’s plenty of safety equipment on board too. You get driver and passenger front, side and knee airbags, curtain airbags, ABS and EBS, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist and tyre pressure warnings.

There’s also a pop-up hood meaning that if the front bumper collides with an object or personnthe bonnet rises slightly to reduce the impact.

This new Lexus has a lot going for it but whether it is strong enough to win sales from the big rivals in the sector will remain to be seen. Watch this space.

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