Read the complete 2014 Lexus IS300h Review at AutoGuide.comYou can't buy it here, but would you want to?
by Craig Cole
The Lexus IS has always been respectable. While perhaps not quite as driver-focused as competing cars like the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, it’s at least given these segment leaders a run for their money, a sprint for their Euros if you will.
Redesigned for model year 2014, the IS has gained a striking new body and an impressive cockpit. The car is offered in a variety of different flavors from the base model that comes with a 204 horsepower V6 engine to an all-wheel-drive IS 350 F SPORT with 306 ponies.
But there is one model, though it’s not on the menu for American customers. In true Toyota fashion Lexus also offers a hybrid version of the car in certain global markets like Japan and Europe. The IS 300h features an electrified drivetrain centered on a four-cylinder engine.
BURNING AND TURNING
It’s unusual seeing such a tall, narrow powerplant in the IS. We’re accustomed to gazing at wider, lower V-type engines in the car’s forward compartment. Equally strange is the pair of bright orange electrical cables snaking their way along the firewall. They’re firmly attached to the vehicle’s hybrid system like lampreys on the side of a lake trout.