Long-term update: 2012 Lexus IS 300C feels good inside

Long-term update: 2012 Lexus IS 300C feels good inside

No matter what one might say about the exterior of our Lexus IS 300C, you can be sure that we’d never give up this car as the one to pick for our daily routine. Because, you see, that interior, it is an awesome place to be in.

The dash and upper doors are made up of very firm “soft-touch” materials. These black bits contrast directly with the creamy orange-brown leather on the seats and black stitched leatherette on the doors, the latter padded enough to double as pillows. Not even the armrests on a Porsche Cayenne are padded as nicely.

The perforated leather seats are power-adjustable as well as ventilated at 3 selectable levels, and also heated if you swing that way. And the real wood trim is dark and shiny, exactly the colour we prefer, rather than the light-coloured wood trim in our BMW 535i Gran Turismo long-termer. Chrome trim is kept to a tasteful minimum, so it doesn’t shine in your eyes like it does in the over-blinged Cadillac CTS.

Amazingly, the rear seats can house full-sized adults very comfortably, as long as they are under six feet tall. Access to the rear is tight, as it is with most coupes, but you can open up the roof to let people jump in with standing ease. That’s how I put my aging parents back there. They even get two of their own cup-holders as well as padded surroundings back there.

Tech features are more than adequate. It has all our favourites, such as touchscreen navigation, powerful stereo with USB port, Bluetooth that actually works, a Toyota-strength dual-zone auto a/c, smart keyless entry and start, dual one-touch up-down windows, auto-folding mirrors, and even adaptive cruise control. Of course, nowadays these features have trickled down to cheaper cars too, though it is still nice to have them all in one car.

And of course, there is that roof. Generally, we hate convertibles because they are noisier, but the hard top insulates the car well enough from outside noises. It isn’t as quiet as, say, the new Lexus GS 350, but it is quieter than more pedestrian cars. We’d even say it is about equal to the Lexus ES 350 on that front.

Boot space is pathetic when that tray is out to make space for the roof to fold in. But if you can live without topless driving, that tray can be moved away to make enough space for one big suitcase at least.

Next week, we’ll be going on a short road-trip from Dubai to Hatta soon (for yet another automotive event, no less), and we’re taking this car, not the Honda S2000.

Original Mileage When Borrowed: 4,640 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 7,400 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 9.0 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0

Read all 2012 Lexus IS 300C long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. The review biased and over hyping the car to the degree that its been online for over a day without a single comment

  2. I have an IS300C and I love it. It is stylish and refined, drives very smoothly and despite the extra weight has sufficient power to get ahead. Best of all, it atracts a lot of attends from girls and guys. I drive it open as much as I can although with the heat during the day now that is mostly at night. No negative responses from anyone and if I could change one thing, it would be an upgrade to the 350 direct injected engine for that extra power for the extra weight.

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