Should I Buy the Lexus IS 300h?


Hi John,

Please give me your thoughts on the Lexus F300 h Sport - pro and cons. I like a car with a bit a oomph and a bit of economy. Novel isn't it? Are service fees and spare parts in a reasonable price range? ( In anyone's eyes!!). I drive a Toyota Avalon (pipe and slippers) and would like a bit of careful excitement in my life. A car with great aversion to garage visits is what I'm after. Maybe some alternative choices in car?

Love your Sunday motoring program on Radio 2UE.




G'day Hans,

Thanks for the kind words. I think you mean the IS 300h F Sport.

It's a very, very nice car. Right up there with BMW, Benz or Audi - except in terms of brand cachet, obviously.

Lexus has better warranty, better build quality and much better customer service than the three big German brands - so that's nice. And the price (just under $76k drive away) is very sharp, considering what you get. Lexus is obviously backed by Toyota, which builds very reliable cars. The engineering is rock-solid - so, a big tick for garage visits being few and far between.

The colour range is a bit bland - all monochromes plus world's most boring brown and blue...

This is a luxury car, and a complex machine, so compared with a Corolla it's going to be more expensive to service. Compared with an $80k German car it's going to be cheap.

The IS range has always been renowned for striking a great balance between handling (dynamics) and luxury. It's very good in the real world, where traffic and traffic lights mean a level of refinement is nice, complemented by a level of responsiveness when you get to let it off the chain.

Performance plus economy claims are overstated. You don't get both. If you drive hard, it's thirsty. If you drive like nanna you get economy. If you've got $80k to spend on a car you can afford the fuel. 

Lexus is the smartest premium brand to buy, in my opinion. Ze Chermans greatly overstate and over-leverage their badges. They're not that good. (As in: not as good as they claim. They are obviously nice cars.)

I would also consider a fully loaded Toyota 86 - practical and exciting, and $30k less. A great driver's car with all the build quality benefits just discussed. And you don't have to drive like a hoon to enjoy it.

Give me a shout via the web when you get close to purchasing. I have a contact in vehicle purchasing (a car broker) who is very good at securing low prices for 2UE listeners. No charge or obligation for this; although they do charge the dealership a commission for the sale, which I'm sure is built into the price. Several 2UE listeners have saved thousands in this way, at about this price-point. Up to you.

Once again thanks for listening on 2UE. If you feel like it, you could click on a few of the ads on this page, and help get me paid for offering this one-on-one consultative service,

Best regards Hans.


John Cadogan