Fleet News

Lexus IS300 SportCross



ALTHOUGH in a recent test report on the Lexus IS300 SportCross, I agreed with a colleague who said he didn't 'get' the car, I will be sad to give it up.

I can't think that I would ever part with upwards of £30,000 of my own money for the car (our test vehicle includes an optional £2,340 satellite navigation system) but I've enjoyed every minute of driving it. From the leather seats, which are heated and electric, to cruise control, CD autochanger and electric windows, in-car comfort and gadgetry is spot on.

As Lexus will tell you, the car does come as standard with a list of features and luxuries that its rivals charge for.

Although our automatic test car offers steering wheel mounted E-shift gear buttons (two at the front for downshifts and two at the back of the steering wheel for upshifts) it is not something I have really used, nor am I likely to do so.

Maybe on hilly roads it's a real benefit having that extra 'go', but living in one of the flattest parts of the country, near the Fens, renders it redundant for me. The conventional, fully automatic mode is quick enough and the gearchanges are smooth and seamless. I'm a big fan of the Lexus interior - the 'sporty' aluminium-look pedals, shiny gearknob and 3D dials on the SportCross never fail to impress.

As I mentioned in last week's report, my main gripe about the car is the satellite navigation system. I could not figure out how to start the navigation despite studiously studying the manual when lost in London recently.

I had hoped to give the system another try, but I'm afraid I've been put off trying it again. I'll let a colleague work it out!

The IS300 is a comfortable car which does command admiring glances but, as has been previously highlighted in these pages, under the new CO2-based benefit-in-kind taxation system being introduced this April, fleet drivers will pay the maximum 35% of list price from the first year. For a 40% taxpayer that's £359 a month.

It seems the general opinion among the car nuts in Fleet Towers is choose a Lexus GS300. It's the same money but is regarded among some colleagues as more stylish and roomier than the SportCross.

  • Do you have a Lexus IS300 SportCross on your fleet? We would like to hear your views. Email them to fleetnews@emap.com.
  • CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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