Lexus / IS / IS250 Sports Luxury sedan
IN top-line Sports Luxury guise, the IS250 is swimming in very dangerous waters amid killer German competition.
After all, $80K is a lot of money for a model that kicks off at under $54,000.
Yet spend a good deal of time behind the wheel and then tally up the standard features, and you’ll realise that Lexus is a deadly predator itself – not least because the Toyota luxury brand's latest baby exceeds in areas that the IS250’s rivals have been falling alarmingly short in of late.
Model release date: November 2005
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THE lesser of the last IS model’s dual offering despite having a bigger engine, the IS300 (launched here in 2001) lacked the IS200’s dynamic nimbleness and strong value-for-money appeal, even though it boasted 157kW of power and 288Nm of torque from a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine.
And while it outperformed the 114kW 2.0-litre IS200, the 300 was always going to be hamstrung here by a rather tardy five-speed automatic, high pricing and an unconvincing luxury car ambience.
It was still fun to drive though, and miles better in most areas bar cabin space than its larger, front-wheel drive Toyota Camry-derived ES300 cousin.
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