As for me, I enjoyed my time in the rear-drive version of the IS 250. It’s the least-expensive version of all the IS trim levels, starting at $36,550.
Let me repeat that: You get a LEXUS for under 37-grand. You’re feeling better already, right?
My ride was dressed up with some $4,000 in extra goodies that, naturally, I was in no position to refuse. Most of the coin was taken up by a sophisticated navigation system, and I was also happy to have a back-up camera, parking assist and fierce-looking 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
On the fly, this Lexus packs more than enough punch with the 2.5-liter V-6 rated at a max 204 horsepower. Fuel mileage is OK at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Fun can be had snapping those steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on a sunny day on the open road.
This being a Lexus, even at the relatively bargain-basement price, the IS 250 is loaded up with lots of smile-prompting features.
The dual chrome exhausts and big-mouth grille add just the right touch of sportiness to a generally classy-looking chassis.
On-board safety systems promise to do everything up to cradling you in giant arms in the event of an accident.
You get a choice of operating modes. Take your pick of Eco,
Sport and Snow. Normal
The driver is spoiled the most with a 10-way power, two-way lumbar, heated seat. Vision from that seat is excellent. Easy-to-use controls, although I struggled a bit with audio settings, are within easy reach.
Back seat room was just fine, thank you. Ditto on the cargo space.
The ride is silky smooth, even at high revs, which is something I absolutely expect from a piece of hardware wearing a Lexus badge. The steering fee was just right. Balance and road feel were rock-solid.
Overall, I experienced no surprises and felt general automotive happiness in my time with the IS 250. No IS 350 envy from me.