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.
The DVD-based system includes a neat seven-inch pop-up screen located on top of the dashboard, with controls positioned 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 an 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.
The SE’s other standard features remain, 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.
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 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 IS200 is powered by a 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.
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.