FOR the motorist looking for something different from the likes of the BMW 3 Series I have just found the answer - the recently revised Lexus IS range which is now a sleek looking car with matching performance and handling, writes Bryan Longworth.
In its earlier days the IS was a nice car in this class but with rather bland styling however the revised model has eye catching styling that provides the potential purchaser with something really different from the Beemer and its German rivals.
I would even go as far as to state that the IS is now a stylish and very well made car that is quite different from its rivals and should be seriously considered in this sector of the market.
From a performance, handling and interior quality aspect the Lexus is now a car that must be considered with the best of the competition.
My test car was the Lexus IS 250 SE-L Automatic costing £31,145 on the road which was also fitted with the Full Mapp navigation system that bumped up the price by £2,400.
This is a top system that will please sat nav lovers because it incorporates all that is best in satellite navigation although I noticed it did not give the correct house number when it was parked outside Longworth Towers and it did not have a speed camera warning system!
The 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine was a real smoothy linked with the six speed automatic transmission and provided a top speed of 140mph, a zero to 62mph time of 8.5 seconds with a combined fuel consumption of 33.6mpg.
What I really liked about the test car was the nice taut feel about the steering with its excellent lock and the capable way it went round corners in particular on my favourite Pennine roads.
There is a top quality interior that is better than the German rivals in particular with well designed and easy to see instruments and very user friendy switchgear.
Standard kit includes maple wood trim, LED daytime running lights, illuminated front scuff plates, auto dimming rear view and door mirrors and even an electric rear window sunshade!
The IS is a very refined and competent car in this sector of the market and is an ideal alternative for those motorists seeking a classy set of wheels that is quite different from the competition.
My Verdict: IS now is a real classy contender in this sector.