TMR Team | Mar 7, 2013

Lexus says its all-new IS 300h hybrid will enter the Australian Government's Green Vehicle Guide ahead of its rivals in the midsized prestige sedan market.

Powered by a petrol-electric hybrid system, the IS 300h offers 164kW of power, with fuel consumption listed at 4.9 l/100km (Australian combined cycle) and emissions at 113g/km.

Models more miserly can be found among the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class lines, but Lexus stresses that none quite match its hybrid's combination of power and low fuel consumption.

BMW's 318d lists a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.5 l/100km, with power rated at 105kW. The more powerful ActiveHybrid 3 offers a hefty 225kW of power, with fuel use rated at a still impressive 5.9 l/100km.

Emissions for the two Bimmers are listed at 118g/km and 139g/km respectively.

The Audi A4 TDI 2.0 (114g/km) also offers lower fuel figures at 4.8 l/100km, and power is listed at 130kW. Moving up to the TDI 3.0 (149g/km) will get you 180kW of power, but fuel use climbs to a still-reasonable 5.7 l/100km.

In the Mercedes C-Class range, nearest rivals include the 150kW C 200 CDI (134g/km) with 5.1 l/100km figures, and the more powerful 195kW C 350 CDI (160g/km) listing fuel use at 6.1 l/100km.

Strong options also exist in the Jaguar XF range, with the XF 2.2 diesel (139g/km) listing 147kW of power and fuel figures of 5.2 l/100km. The bigger-engined XF 3.0 petrol (159g/km) offers 177kW and fuel figures of 6.0 l/100km.

"The highly advanced drivetrain of the new IS 300h will reward drivers with excellent performance without penalising them with high fuel consumption and emissions figures," Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said.

"No other vehicle in the class delivers a CO2 figure as low as 113 grams."

And while its rivals rely on diesel powertrains to save fuel, Lexus' petrol-electric approach produces less particulate emissions than a diesel of similar power and fuel efficiency - not to mention greater driveline refinement.

Playing the figures is a tight game, but with the IS as the only range in its segment to not offer a diesel option, it's a game that Lexus is happy to play.

MORE: Click here for more details on the new IS range.

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