Lexus IS200 SportCross | Part Two

Interior Architecture Combines Passion With Practicality

The Lexus IS saloon and SportCross interior styling reflects the distinctive style of the exterior. It is sporty but spacious. The aim of the development concept, known as ‘Heat in Cool’ was to ensure the fun-to-drive feel, but driver and passengers alike will equally appreciate the seats’ comfort and the light and roomy cabin.

Sports seats and a three-spoke grey and black leather steering wheel are fitted as standard. The leather/‘Escaine’ (suede-like material) seats are designed to offer maximum driver and passenger comfort for long distance touring yet provide plenty of support during performance driving.

The fully integrated on-board DVD-based navigation system, which is available as an option, features a seven-inch pop-up display fitted to the top of the centre console. The large screen is easy to see and read from any seat so either driver or passenger can navigate. When the navigation system is not being used the display folds back into the console for neatness. The navigation controls are positioned at the bottom of the centre-console.

A full climate control air conditioning system is standard equipment that provides temperature regulated airflow to all areas of the cabin and also houses the display of outside temperature and digital clock. An additional foot/demist mode is also fitted.

Remote control central locking, electric windows all round, with one-touch control and jam-protection for the driver's side are fitted as standard equipment. So are heated, electrically folding exterior mirrors, front and rear fog lamps, illuminated vanity mirrors and passenger seat belt warning.

The nine-speaker audio system is fully integrated into the sweeping centre console and includes an in-dash six-disc CD changer. As a safety and convenience measure, the audio equipment controls are simplified for ease of operation, despite the technical sophistication of the system. Additionally providing a luxury feel to the interior are chrome-plate bezel rings surrounding each of the front door-mounted speakers.

With all seats in place, the SportCross can accommodate 340 litres of luggage under its load area cover. A further 36 litres of space is available in additional covered storage boxes. The 880mm-long load space in the rear is large enough to allow four golf bags or three suitcases to be carried without interrupting rear visibility.

The rear seats are designed to fold in a 60/40 per cent split to further enhance flexibility. This allows up to three people to be carried while extending the length of the available load space to 1670mm. The front passenger seat back can also be folded forward, allowing it to be used as a table when parked and extending the available load length to 2600mm.

A flat loading area that creates a level across the rear load compartment, luggage box and rear deck space is fitted as standard equipment. The board, made of lightweight resin, can be aligned at two levels. At the upper level, the deck becomes fully flat; at the lower, larger luggage can be stowed. A DC 12V-power outlet is provided on the inner right shoulder of the luggage compartment.

To allow three passengers to be safely carried in the back of the SportCross, full lap and diagonal seat belts are provided for all passengers, with the centre seat belt retractor built into the roof, to allow for optimum convenience. Both the left and right side rear seats, like the saloon, comply with ISO-FIX child seat requirements.

The aluminium rear door of the SportCross, in addition to aiding optimum weight distribution, also enhances the ‘feel’ of a true luxury car. Weighing 5.6kg less than an equivalent steel hatch, the aluminium door contributes to significantly lower opening forces and a better feeling on closing.

continues... | Part Three
Published 10 November 2002 Melanie Carter
 

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