Because of its low emissions and claimed high economy, its likely the hybrid Lexus IS300h will prove most appealing to buyers.
The petrol-only IS200t may be cheaper than the IS300h, but its turbocharged 242bhp 2.0-litre engine has allowed the Japanese luxury brand to close the gap on its closest downsized four-cylinder turbo petrols that now populate this class.
It’s smooth in operation, although lacking mid-range torque, and reassuringly familiar in some ways – but it would cost you almost twice as much on road tax than some rivals, and will probably consume a good 25 per cent more fuel than it should. Emissions are rated at 167g/km of CO2, while its average combined economy is an unimpressive 32.8mpg.
On paper, the IS300h couldn’t be more different. Powered by a 2.5-litre, 178bhp four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 141bhp rear-mounted electric motor, it has a maximum ‘system output’ of 220bhp.
It emits half as much CO2 as its range-mate: as little as 99g/km in the case of the entry-level IS300h SE. And the hybrid's claimed combined economy figure of 65.7mpg is more than twice as good as that of the V6-engined alternative.