For years, we've known the Lexus IS as a fun-to-drive compact executive saloon. With six-cylinder power under the hood and rear-wheel drive, it offers everything we want in a sport sedan. We can even forgive its thirst for fuel because it has a lot of thrills for a four-door.
But say you want a sport sedan that doesn't guzzle that much gas. Can you have a fuel-efficient car that can still be fun to drive? Well, Lexus aims to deliver on that with the 2021 IS 300h, and based on the spec sheet, it looks promising.
It may not have a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood, but its 2.5-liter engine and electric motor aren't what we'd call weak. From its 2.5-liter mill alone, the IS 300h makes 178 PS and 221 Nm of torque. That puts it on par with cars like the BMW 320i and Mercedes-Benz C200. As for the electric motor, it's good for 143 PS and 300 Nm of torque. That gives this hybrid sports sedan a combined output of 220 PS, which is about what old 3.0-liter V6 engines typically made back in the day.
Since it's a hybrid, it promises good fuel economy as well. According to Lexus, the IS 300h can do up to 15.6 kilometers per liter in city traffic. Out on the highway, they claim it can go as high as 18.8 kilometers per liter. There's also an EV mode that lets you drive the car with the engine off to extend your range.
We're curious if Lexus Philippines will offer the hybrid IS in the country. The Japanese luxury automaker already has an established hybrid line-up in the country with the NX 300h, RX 450h, and LS 500h. The IS 300h would be a welcome addition to the local Lexus range. Then again, we're still waiting for the new IS to land here, so it's still early to tell what Lexus has in store for that model.