In the four months that the IS 300h has been with us I’ve done most of my driving in ‘eco mode’ but there are a number of other modes to choose from: EV, sport, snow and ‘normal’.
Thanks to the mild winter we’ve had in East Anglia I haven’t had chance to test the ‘snow’ setting but it is meant to deliver a more restrained throttle response to give the best possible traction and stability when pulling away on slippery surfaces.
I’ve discovered that ‘sport’ mode is less exciting than it sounds. The IS 300h is already pretty responsive in ‘normal’ mode so there isn’t a dramatic boost to performance. And while the engine becomes a tad noisier it could hardly be described as ‘sporty’. If the instruments’ lighting didn’t change to red I would struggle to realise I was using that mode.
The most interesting - and challenging - mode to drive in has been EV, which sees the IS 300h running on its electric motor alone.
As I live in a town centre I’ve tried a few times to start my journey in EV mode but I have yet to manage more than two minutes of electric driving. Either a hill, requiring too much power, gets in the way or I have to give way to other traffic and then make the mistake of hitting the accelerator too hard. If you do this EV mode is de-activated.
As this is a full hybrid, and not a plug-in hybrid, the maximum range on battery power is around two miles, and up to a maximum speed of 30mph, so it also doesn’t take long before it is de-activated because the battery is low.
For me, eco mode - which adapts throttle and gear selection to give the best fuel efficiency - delivers the best results.
Test MPG 47.1