1.27.2009

Lexus is250 Review




If your image of Lexus is one of a maker of perfect but boring luxury automobiles, then it's time for a test drive of an is250.

This has been Lexus' sport model for six or seven years now...and while it's been on the receiving end of the "relentless pursuit of perfection", it is still a different kind of Lexus.

The 250 (there's a 350 and the F version as well) looks a little underpowered on paper (204 horsepower from a 2.5 liter V6), but it's by no means slow.

The standard six-speed automatic transmission keeps the EPA mileage numbers up (21 city/29 highway), and it's a complete, well-equipped package at the base price of $32,325.


Lexus loaded up the tester I drove for a week, adding the Luxury Package (adaptive front lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, a perforated leather seat upgrade, wood interior trim, power tilt & telescoping steering wheel, driver and passenger memory seats, illuminated scuff plates, a power rear sunshade and rain-sensing wipers) which puts nearly $3500 worth of options together for $2380, upgrading the audio system to a 14-speaker Mark Levinson Premium rig and adding Lexus Pre-Collision Dynamic Radar Cruise (which senses when vehicles slow in front of you and applies the brakes.

Total price: $39,320. Whether you'd rather have a BMW 3-series (or a loaded 1-series) or a Mercedes C-Class is a personal choice...but I'd drive all three.

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