AS I APPROACHED the gleaming Lexus GS300, all I could think of was John Betjeman's poem Executive and, in particular, a couple of lines; 'I am a young executive. No cuffs than mine are cleaner; I have a slimline briefcase and I use the firm's Cortina.' Substitute 'Lexus' for 'Cortina' and, bingo, an instant poetry update - albeit with a dodgy rhyme. Nothing says 'executive' like a Lexus. From the soft leather seats (spongy as an expense account cream cake) to the whisper of the closing doors (as discrete as a hushed 'thank you' as you hand over your corporate platinum credit card to pay the bill), everything about this car exudes comfort and service quality normally encountered in hotel dining rooms and members' clubs. Even the brochure reinforces the corporate theme. It's full of those terrifying motivational phrases so beloved of compulsory training sessions. 'The stronger the base, the higher you climb' is a particular favourite. The Lexus is imposing from the outside and the last word in comfort from the inside. The new body is more curved and a lot sportier. The roof slopes to the rear of the boot and the windscreen is steep - which makes for more of a sports car than a family saloon. I like the way the doors are sculpted to reflect the light. Having said all that, there's nothing terribly distinctive about the exterior, it seems to be a hybrid of a couple of cars. But as the salesmen say, it's the exterior that catches the eye and the interior that makes the sale - and the Lexus designers have made sure they're fully covered. The doors hiss closed behind me and I'm in executive heaven. My body is embraced and cosseted by the leather seats. The burnished maple is a reminder to me, top executive, that I have a corner office with an imposing wooden desk, while the leather and wooden steering wheel makes a satisfying 'clunk' as my rings make contact. Lexus has even squeezed patches of wood onto the doors and the gear stick. The temperature is perfectly managed by driver and passenger controls. I'm in a mobile version of the Hong Kong Club. Lexus and BMW have both embraced the electronic key. Nothing as unseemly as scrabbling around in handmade European briefcases for Lexus drivers. You can be within three metres of the car and it will sense the presence of the key and open the door for you. Even better, the RS300 will also illuminate the ground as you approach, giving you your own version of a red carpet. In a very Aston Martin-style experience, you start the car by pressing the switch on the dashboard. This is where Lexus is clever. It combines the parts of other cars that most impress and packages them together. I push the button to start the car, but the engine is so quiet I don't realise it's fired up. It's like being in a soundproof booth. This is because the engine is insulated by a cover that dulls the sound. This is something of a shame because there's nothing better than listening to the roar of an engine, but then it would interfere with any high-powered business talk taking place inside. To fill the vacuum, I fiddle with the stereo. There are 14 speakers and the sound quality is superlative. Even Twins would sound good on this - and that's saying something. You can connect your Bluetooth-enabled phone to the car and make and receive calls from the display panel in the centre consol. I have mixed feelings about this. A study by the University of Utah showed that drivers on mobile phones missed twice as many simulated traffic signals as drivers not making calls. In any case, I don't have Bluetooth and I'm unlikely to choose one simply because my car prefers it. The screen has a more practical use, which is to act as a rear view monitor when you're parking. This is a real bonus. No longer will pillars and bollards be able to leap out behind me when I'm parking. The screen works only when you're in reverse, but may be useful for TV policemen, who seem to spend a lot of time in cars watching suspects in their wing mirrors. The Lexus is filled with intelligent devices to make the driver's life easier. Many of these are also found in other premium cars (the Aston DB9 or the old Citroen DS, for instance, have adaptive front lighting, which moves the headlights left or right in response to the turning of the tyres) and leave me with the distinct impression that the Lexus engineers have second-guessed all of my driving lunacies. It's as though the car has met me before and knows that I'll oversteer wherever I can. The vehicle stability control kicks in and slices off the worst of my excesses. I came across a similar system in a BMW as I tried to drive myself and an Apple Daily reporter off the edge of a Spanish cliff. But whereas the BMW system is breathtakingly sudden, the Lexus experience is far gentler. Having a car that's brighter than the driver is all well and good, but it does become like a bossy nanny. You can't get away with anything. In acceleration and straight-line driving, the traction control takes over the drive wheel to prevent slippage. Now, I found this irritating. I want to take the direction I've chosen, but then even I have to admit that the car chose the far smoother course. I have to get used to the gearstick. The car drives in permanent sports mode, which makes the most of the engine. Although there's a manual option, the gear knob is cumbersome and too much effort. The parking sensors are so highly tuned they kick in when a mere pedestrian walks in front of me at a zebra crossing. There's smooth power delivery. The three-litre V6 engine has enough to allow you to zip through traffic or really make progress on motorways. There's no chance of you missing a meeting and, more to the point, you'll arrive sleekly unruffled and excessively pleased with life. In Hong Kong, I'm guessing that a healthy proportion of Lexuses are driven by chauffeurs. I'm in a position to share the happy news that the rear seats are just as comfortable as the front although they don't have the ventilation available to the driver and passenger. Seriously, the seats have air blowing through them, preventing 'the humid feeling associated with leather seats', to quote the brochure. No warm bums for Lexus drivers then. The boot is vast. You could hold a board meeting in it. I'm thrilled to see a real spare tyre and what looks like a very dinky toolset. Not that I'd have any idea what to do with either, but it's always comforting to know they're there. Lexus has taken the minimum safety standards in a group of countries and exceeded them. The result is more airbags than a conference room full of strippers. I enjoy this car. I'm a top executive and this is my reward. OK, maybe the Jaguar looks better. And maybe the BMW is more fun to drive. But the Lexus cherry picks the best of driving aids and gadgets from other cars and makes it all available in one package to make my day better. It panders to my every whim and gives me a luxurious haven that's not available to mere mortals. And isn't that what being powerful is all about?