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Car reviews - Lexus - IS - IS250 Sports Luxury sedan

Overview

In Sports Luxury guise, Lexus' IS250 has the credentials to take on BMW's 3 Series

Lexus logo17 Mar 2006

By MARTON PETTENDY

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: 1 November 2005 to 1 June 2013

Previous model

Lexus IS200/300

Released: March 1999
Ended: November 2005
Family Tree: IS

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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