Simply put, the Lexus IS series are the most effortless vehicles I’ve ever driven.
Personally I like the slightly smaller, more nimble footprint, as compared with its bigger brother, the ES series. Around town the IS is just a fluid and agile little athlete…able to weave through traffic with no more than a flick of the wrist.
And compared to it’s larger ES brother, the IS has a much more sharply creased, trim and tailored shape. It sports the new look of Lexus….and it’s a look that should wear well for years to come.
The IS is the “baby” of the Lexus line….their smallest 4-door sedan….available, tho’, in a variety of flavors.
The 250 is the entry-level….with a 2.5 liter V-6 putting out 206 HP, and good for 21 city / 30 hwy mpg….on premium. $37,475 list including destination charges.
The 350 is the one with muscle. 3.5 liter 306 HP with just a slight hit in the mpg department….19 city and 28 hwy…for a starting sticker a bit over 41K
Interestingly, both the 250 and the 350 are available with all-wheel-drive as well as in F-Sport versions. The AWD will run approximately $2,500 more….and will only set you back one or two MPGs.
The F-Sports are the “show-offs” of the family….with enhanced handling and braking and a few additional aero pieces…for, again, a few thousand more.
Now, as for pricing, figure on investing an additional 6-8K to get all the features that you actually expect in a Lexus….the LED lighting, heated and ventilated leather seating with wood trim, backup cams, blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alerts and more.
And I say “invest”, because Lexus continues to lead the pack in most reliability and customer satisfaction surveys. Most likely you’ll get tired of your Lexus before you wear it out….so you might as well invest in the options you really want…take care of the car….and enjoy for years to come.
And as for enjoying your IS, yes….everything about this vehicle is effortless, predictable, and comfortable. Decent acceleration with the 250….the 350 is a bullet Keep the 250 in the “Sport” setting to lively-it-up…at virtually no penalty in mileage. Brakes….suspension….steering….they’re all composed, quiet and capable. The IS 250 doesn’t do a dance in the end zone after scoring….it just flips the ball to the ref and goes back to work.
And kudos to Lexus on the IS’ attractive two-toned interior. Lexus continues to make some of Europe’s well-known luxury /sport sedans look dreary in comparison.
If you need the room, go for Lexus’ ES. It costs about the same, but it’s about 10” longer and will give your rear seat passengers some real stretch-out room.
But if you really don’t carry 4 or 5 people cross-country all that often…the recently-restyled Lexus IS series is a treat to drive, elicits positive comments even from jaded parking lot attendants, and should look “new” for several years to come.