Hybrid driving tips in Lexus IS for Auto Express

AutoExpress Lexus IS 300h

A Lexus IS 300h is currently on a long-term test with Auto Express and to maximise fuel economy deputy road test editor editor Dean Gibson receives some hybrid driver training

How do you squeeze maximum efficiency from your Lexus hybrid? Auto Express has an IS 300h on its long-term test fleet and recently deputy road test editor Dean Gibson received some extra help to eke more fuel economy out from the car.

The help came in the form of Steve Croughan from DriveSense, one of the UK’s leading driver training organisations. Dean reported three main recommendations to alter the way he’d been driving the IS after a session with Steve.

The first was to ensure the car was in Eco mode, rather than Normal, which offers around a 5% fuel economy improvement. The second was to keep a greater distance to the car in front. This gives the hybrid system plenty of opportunity to plough energy back into the battery as you coast to a halt, reported Dean.

And lastly, Dean was advised to keep his foot on the brake when waiting in traffic and not move the car into Park, as this uses more energy.

After this initial training, Dean recorded an 5mpg improvement in the IS 300h’s fuel economy. You can read more about the IS long-term test on Autoexpress.co.uk.

To arrange find out more about the Lexus IS, or to arrange a test drive, visit the dedicated section of the Lexus UK website.

See also:
Hybrid driving – Lexus top tips for best fuel economy
Lexus Hybrid Health Check
How does Lexus Hybrid Drive work?

By Iain Reid


  1. Squeezing the maximum fuel economy is hardly a real long term road test, drive it normally and see how good it is. The 300’s noisy CVT and rough 4 cylinder is disappointing! The real Lexus Experience is still the V6 with proper auto gear box!!!!

  2. I have the 300h & don’t have a clue what you’re on about Alexander.
    I love everything about it, it’s really quiet, the engine is smooth, very responsive & powerful.
    The Hybrid is a totally different way of driving, driving it properly as you say is something you learn to adapt with a Hybrid!
    I am totally blown away with my 300h, it’s so very quiet, so very smooth & so very powerful when I need it to be. And as for fuel economy, I easily regularly get 60+ from mine with the best being 78.2mpg over a 17mile trip home from work the other day.
    I love my Lexus & wouldn’t change it for an Audi or BMW. Well done Lexus!!!

    1. I agree with Paul, except I wish I could get 60+ mpg with mine but then I do like to drive it in S mode some of the time. I really do not know where some people form their opinions from. I have given several people rides in my 300h F sport and everyone’s initial comment was “how quiet” and “how smooth”. Everything else Paul says is spot on.

      Alexander, my previous Lexus was an IS250. I did really like the V6 and the gear box but it was a slow changer.The 300h is a far better car overall but I do wish I had a bit more power perhaps.

      Maybe the announcement of the IS200T will be my perfect car. I am hoping this will build on the quality of the 300h and will be pure petrol (not hybrid) with about 250+ bhp and stop start technology, together with a much improved 6 gear auto.

      If the IS300 is so noisy and rough why is it that when I am coasting through Sainsburys car park I could run over anyone who’s walking away from me in front, ‘cos they don’t know I’m there? It’s quite amusing actually, not in an intimidating way, you understand. I’d quite like to get behind Alexander one day.

    2. I’m struggling to keep in 40mpg zone. I drive in economic pretty much all the time,however stop start traffic makes up a lot of my driving also some runs are only 10 miles long in cold weather

  3. To be fair, switching to economy mode to improve mpg is a no-brainer with any auto-box, and keeping a good distance behind the car in front so as to smooth out the speed fluctuations is advisable in any car. Keeping out of Park is unexpected, however.

  4. I am buying IS 300 which will be delivered next week most of my journey to work is town driving and about 5 miles dual carriageway about 50 mph. what is the mode to drive my hybrid normal or economy please advise

    1. Hi Hashem,

      Congratulations on your new car.

      Eco mode will reduce the sensitivity of the throttle, which will contribute to less acceleration and more time in EV mode. If you want to maximise your economy, we’d suggest this mode.


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