2005 model year revisions deliver class-leading value for money
The Lexus IS200 series has consistently offered motorists a first class driving experience and exceptional value for money, with a comprehensive array of luxury and performance features provided as standard. Now that advantage has increased still further with changes for the 2005 model year that leave the competition standing.
Lexus has introduced a series of enhancements for the IS200 SE model, the most significant of which is the provision of the Lexus Navigator satellite navigation system as standard equipment. This advanced and fast-responding DVD-based system includes a neat seven-inch pop-up screen located on top of the dashboard, with controls positioned conveniently in the centre console, alongside the handbrake.
It provides full colour mapping as well as turn-by-turn voice guidance to destinations across western Europe. There is no need to install new discs or reprogramme your route at national borders, thanks to the DVD’s great information capacity.
The IS200 SE also now features a rear spoiler, like that on the IS200 Sport and IS300 models, and the manual gearbox version is fitted with a neat arm rest that provides a cover for the centre console.
The combined value of the new features is £2,500, but the on-the-road price of the IS200 SE has risen by only £850. This gives the model an even greater price advantage over its key premium brand rivals than before, as all of them charge upwards of £1,700 for a satellite navigation package.
Taking other high quality standard features of the Lexus SE into account as well, such as leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-disc CD autochanger, electric sunroof, headlamp washers, heated electrically adjustable front seats and headlight washers, the outstanding pricing cannot be ignored.
Similarly specified, the Jaguar X-TYPE 2.0 V6 SE costs £6,955 more than the IS200 SE (manual) and the Mercedes-Benz C200 K Elegance a shade less than £7,000 extra, even though it only has a four-cylinder engine under the bonnet compared to the Lexus’s lusty straight-six. The price differential is even greater with the four-cylinder BMW 318i SE, costing an additional £7,600 to specify to the Lexus’s standards, while the figure for the Audi A4 2.0 FSI SE is higher by £6,105. The automatic IS200 SE enjoys a similar price advantage.
The excellent specification is only part of the IS200’s appeal, as it also demonstrates Lexus’s engineering excellence with its near-perfectly balanced front-engine, rear-wheel drive chassis, superb handling and powerful performance from its 153bhp 2.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine. With the close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, the IS200 can move from rest to 62mph in 9.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 134mph; with the four-speed automatic transmission the figures are 11.2 seconds and 127mph.
In common with all Lexus models, the IS200 is backed by a full customer support package with a three-year, 60,000 miles mechanical warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and three-year paint warranty. Owners can also expect levels of customer service that remain second to none.
On-the-road prices for the 2005 model year Lexus IS200 SE are £21,620 for the manual version and £22,850 for the automatic.
Note to editors: competitor price comparisons use data correct in December 2004.