I’ll admit it. I’ve just walked past the rear of the IS300h thinking it was a BMW 3 Series. I was on the mobile and distracted but I suddenly found myself down the wrong end of the car park looking for a Lexus.
Have a peep at the boot in our photo above – is there a BMW designer moonlighting in Japan I wonder? No mistaking the front end though, with those bug-eyed headlights on the IS.
There are also more welcome similarities with the BMW when it comes to handling. This latest IS is incredibly precise around corners and feels every inch a driver’s car, although it’s not as fast to 60mph as the diesel Beemer.
And then there’s the artificial noise generator! The Lexus delivery driver told me our SE had a system that sent sound into the cabin to simulate the sound of the engine, sometimes missing in a hybrid. As of today, I’m not entirely sure when the SE has it or not.
To be honest, I don’t want to know if it is fitted because it’s much more fun trying to work out whether it is there or not! I’ll get to the bottom of it, once I’ve had time to open the manual….