2007 lexus is 250 headlight never struck me as a manufacturer of mean machines until the introduction of the IS F, the ultimate super-fast management motor.
But the legacy continues in the IS range with the F-Sport models which give healthy punch-in-the-back acceleration and a performance feel without going to the extremes of the fabulous F.
A key choice in the F-Sport range is 200d which sells for £28,890 and is a major competitor for oil-fuelled models from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
When you look at this model and its competition it is fair to say that the business and private driver who can attain such wheels have never had it so good.
Under the bonnet is a 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine with a particulate filter matched to six-speed manual transmission. A real bonus is 134g/km CO2 emissions which earn 18 per cent BiK company car tax rating and Band E Vehicle Excise Duty which works out at £115 per year for private buyers.
And for high mileage drivers a combined cycle fuel consumption of 55.4mpg has got to be a bonus.
In addition the F-Sport grade is enhanced for 2011 with new interior and exterior features all paying homage to the IS F.
This model is equipped with eight airbags, including driver and front passenger knee airbags and driver aids include ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist system and traction control.
Vehicle stability control is also standard as is vehicle dynamics integrated management. Standard equipment includes climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, smart keyless entry and start-up, sequenced LED interior lighting and electric folding and heated door mirrors.
So we are looking at a very well equipped and good looking car. On the road its 148bhp maximum power is transmitted through a smooth six-speed gearbox.
But it was this car’s sixth gear that made me wonder. It seemed just too high for the UK’s maximum of 70mph and the car never settled into it properly. Maybe Lexus knows something we don’t.
But other than that the 200d F-Sport is a classic performer that will not break the bank over fuel costs.
It is fast away from a standstill with a 0-62mph acceleration time of 10.2 seconds and a top speed of 127mph.
It imparts a definite performance feel enhanced by sports seats and steering wheel plus aluminium pedals and Alcantara and leather upholstery.
Lexus, the luxury arm of the Toyota organisation is very careful to preserve the customer loyalty of many who changed to the IS from established European executive expresses and this model is going to prove itself with established buyers and new customers of the company’s top selling model range.