When Lexus Philippines launched the redesigned IS in the country, we were surprised they also brought in the hybrid version. Dubbed the IS 300h Premier, it currently retails for PHP 3,328,000. It's a substantial price jump from the previous entry-level IS that started a little under PHP 3,000,000.
A few months after its debut, Lexus Philippines brings in a new variant of the IS, and it's much more affordable than the IS 300h Premier. It's the standard version of the IS 300h, and it starts at PHP 2,978,000. So, what are the differences between this and the Premier version?
The standard IS 300h wears a different set of alloy wheels. While it's still 18-inches, it features a split five-spoke design whereas the Premier has a multi-spoke set. Don't try to look for more differences, as the IS 300h still gets most of the Premier's exterior goodies. These include a honeycomb grille, LED illumination at the front and rear, dual exhaust pipes, and subtle Hybrid badges by the rocker panels.
You won't see many changes inside, either. It still has the same wide floating infotainment screen, touchpad, climate-controlled front seats, and dashboard layout. However, the IS 300h has different interior color options from the IS 300h Premier. It's worth noting that the regular IS 300h does not come with Lexus Safety Sense, but it still comes with cruise control, park-assist monitor, hill-start assist, traction control, and stability control.
Also unchanged is the engine. The IS 300h uses a 2.5-liter engine paired to an electric motor. The result is a combined output of 220 PS, and Lexus also says it can get up to 19.2 kilometers per liter. Shifting is handled by a continuously variable transmission.
With that, there are now three variants of the Lexus IS in the country. It consists of two hybrid models and the 3.5-liter V6-powered model, the IS 350. Of course, we'd love to have a fourth variant here soon, the fire-breathing IS 500 F Sport Performance with its 5.0-liter V8 packing over 470 PS. If Lexus Philippines brings that in, the IS will have a line-up that ranges from eco-friendly to super sedan performance.