By on December 31, 2013

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It’s happened, all in a neat confluence of threes. By my decree, the third generation of the Lexus IS has surpassed the BMW 3 Series. While BMW has been busying itself creating niches for increasingly grotesque vehicle-type-things, Lexus has turned out a pair of legitimately great sports sedans, first in the GS and now in the new 2014 IS. This from a company who’s top sellers are Camry cousins.

After spending a week with the 2014 Lexus IS250 AWD it took me another couple weeks to shut up about it. That rarely happens, and when it does, it means that the car is simply fantastic. You’re probably all incredulous now, especially since this isn’t even the F Sport version with its stiffened suspension tune. This IS should be the least exciting of all, except it’s not.

There’s something about the way this car is pieced together and highly burnished that transcends the tiny 2.5 liter V6 and its equally-tiny 204 hp, not to mention the even-tinier 184 lb-ft of torque. A base-model Chevrolet Malibu has 10 more lb-ft and nearly as much horsepower from a four cylinder. A six-speed automatic, even with paddle shifters, pales in comparison to the eight- and nine-speed proliferation, and the IS has always been known for its cozy dimensions. And yet, it all comes together to just feel right.

Let’s get real for a minute. A 204 hp V6 in this era is only noteworthy for what it lacks, but look past the cylinder count and you’ll find that the output numbers square with the displacement. That Malibu I cited earlier has a 2.5 liter four cylinder, which, when you think about it, explains why the torque is better and the horsepower is about the same. The Lexus uses Toyota’s 4GR-FSE V6, which has 77 mm of stroke, while the Ecotec in the Malibu has a 100 mm stroke. There’s your torque difference, right there, though the Chevy’s 88 mm bore is also larger than the 83 mm cylinder diameter of the Lexus V6, which means bigger pistons travelling a longer distance and fewer firing pulses to go around. So, while it rocks a small V6, the power level is right on the money for a 2.5 liter engine, and because it’s a 60-degree V6, it doesn’t rock like a four.

The BMW 3 Series, the clear benchmark for anyone making this kind of car, now uses a four cylinder as its standard engine, and back when it was still an “E” instead of an “F,” it was about the same size as the 2014 Lexus IS. The 3 Series has put on inches and pounds while the IS 250 has stayed tight. The new Lexus styling language, Spindle Grille and all, is at its most handsome here, with characterful taillights that blend seamlessly into the creased shoulder line that runs across the tops of the doors and the pointed outer edges of the lenses align cleverly with a feature line rising from the rocker panels. The new IS is a handsome car.

Because of its standard V6, the IS 250 has fewer bad vibrations to manage, and maybe that’s why so many good vibes are able to make their way to the palms of your hands and the seat of your pants. The IS used to feel tiny and old. It was tighter than a Corolla, kinda growly and didn’t reward the driver for putting up with any of its shortcomings. The 2014 Lexus IS is still about Corolla-sized. In fact, there’s significantly more rear legroom in the lowly Toyota, and other dimensions, like wheelbase, overall length and trunk size are within spitting distance of each other. Just looking at the numbers might give you the impression what the IS is just a Lexus Corolla, but that’s just not so.

Have you stopped dreaming about what a Lexed-up Corolla would be like? It’s not likely that you’ll confuse the workaday Toyota with the sufficiently premium 2014 IS. Getting into the IS 250 is a reminder of a time when cars didn’t trade visibility for crash test stars. The base of the windshield is nice and low, and from the driver’s seat it’s an easy lean to adjust the furthest passenger side HVAC vent. The IS is a cozy environment, with the A pillar topping out just above your forehead. And of course, there’s that back seat with a scant 32.2 inches of legroom. With just 101 cubic feet of passenger volume, claustrophobes need not apply.

The benefit of this dimensional tidiness is that it makes the tired, two-bit car writer phrases work. Controls really *do* “fall close at hand,” for example. The materials are high quality, from the supportive, comfortable, widely-adjustable seats to the plastics on the dash and door panels, right down to the knobs. The 2014 IS 250 feels good in your hands, even the secondary controls. The acorn-colored, handsomely-stitched seats with heat and ventilation were very agreeable, though the extra bolstering of the available sport seats would have been plenty welcome.

Control stalks feel precise, the steering wheel has nubbins to promote a proper grip for getting the most out of the chassis, and even the touch-sensitive cabin temperature adjustment is responsive and not infuriating like the button-free options in Cadillac or Lincoln models. It may be somewhat devoid of whimsy, but the interior of the 2014 Lexus IS is a den of quality. The Lexus mouse is right there, too, giving you control over the infotainment system that can link up with your phone and an online account and apps. The system can read text messages to you and there are also canned responses that you can send back through your paired phone while driving. You can add to the presets, as well, and that’s pretty slick, if not a whole lot less distracting than fumbling with a handset.

The IS is now highway bomber happy to strafe along in the fast lane at highly extra-legal speeds without being the least bit perturbed by it. It may be powered by a small engine, and the AWD version I drove has extra underbits to sponge up acceleration, but that tiny V6 is a heart of gold. In fact, while the IS 350 has 100 more horsepower that’s surely entertaining in its own right, the IS 250 doesn’t lack for grins. There’s fewer places where you can exercise the bigger stable, anyway, but you can enjoy the polished ride and handling balance that is a just-right blend of control and supple absorption. Someone at Lexus knows how to tune a suspension, and again, this isn’t even an F-Sport. Every corner becomes an opportunity to find the line, you get useful feedback through the steering wheel and it even loads up through corners just like it’s supposed to.

If you’re looking to be astounded in 2014, take a 2014 Lexus IS for a spin. Start with the 250. I promise it’s all I’ve cracked it up to be. To use another tired-ass hack autowriter phrase, the 2014 IS 250 AWD is truly a Goldilocks car. It’s always entertaining, it has AWD for crappy weather (probably only actually useful when paired with winter tires), it’s a high-quality car that’s very comfortable and highly composed, and even with the small V6, it’s confident and assertive on the road, if not outright speedy.

Here’s the highest praise I can give a car: I would buy this. That’s right. If I had $45K to spend on a car, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD would be a purchase I’d happily make. Now you know the secret of what the car pundit would drive if this industry paid as handsomely as we wish it did.

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174 Comments on “Capsule Review: Lexus IS250 AWD...”


  • avatar

    Oh dear, you had to put a pic of that tasteless mug to ruin the new year feeling. oh well!

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      I agree.

      There are no more sports sedans. The “sport sedan” of today amounts to nothing more than an electronic gizmo-laden, paddle-shifted luxury sedan with sporting pretensions.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        I agree. Let’s inject some “sport” back into sports sedans and by “sport” I mean driving feel and all that implies.

        And there’s no way I’d pay 45K for an IS250 AWD. Perhaps the author is off his meds.

        • 0 avatar

          I believe in the two sided coin view on sports sedans. There’s the traditional view that an organic connection with a car is the best way to “feel” the driving experience (I agree with that view, by the way). But I also feel that loading a vehicle with tech to enhance the ease of driving a vehicle well is also valid. As long as you can push the limits on a car and it responds with excellent performance, the way you feel the drive while executing that performance is basically a matter of preference. By its very nature a sports sedan is a compromise because it has to wear multiple hats. Each car will wear those hats differently.

        • 0 avatar
          Hemi

          Yea ummm no way I would pay 45k for that.. Probably not even $30k… There are so many nicer cars you can buy for 45K-50ish, including a base C7… Also I’d be sad to see some 17year old driving moms V6 Camry annihilate you….

          Surprisingly I still see a lot of older gen IS250 and G25s, they all scream one thing. I couldn’t afford a IS350 or G37…

  • avatar
    Morea

    Toyota, bring back the straight 6, if I want the V6 I’ll buy a Camry.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    What a tidy little dash. Love that center stack.

    it’s like the first-gen TSX went upmarket.

    Was it quiet?

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    Sorry…. not a handsome car

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Last year’s IS is gorgeous. They went the wrong direction with this one, which is a shame, because otherwise I’d consider it.

      I know the smaller engine can still be fun, but for that price, I would insist on more power.

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        Last years IS was universally panned for being bland. So they spiced it up and now everyone complains it’s ugly. My view is that you can’t see it from the drivers seat and if you don’t like looking at it, pull over and let me by and you can check out my rear end.

      • 0 avatar
        Therollingwreck

        I couldn’t agree more with redav and as far as fredtal is concerned, I did not pan that model for being bland, I actually enjoyed looking at them as I thought it was a clean and beautiful design. I wonder how this compares to the V6 in my 1990 Camry XLE, I loved that car!!

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          I have a ’91 Camry V6 and have driven several IS250s. The only thing they share is the same displacement. A 4GR will walk all over a 2VZ in power, torque, fuel economy, and refinement.

          Your ’90 Camry would’ve been an LE or DX.

          I like the old IS too but I like the new one as well, specifically the NON F-sport models or F-sport models in dark colors.

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        Yeah, the previous generation IS always pushed my style buttons. I think it has great proportions. This new generation I haven’t seen in person so I can’t comment just yet.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Talk about living in a bubble. This car was loved by the author before he looked at anything else. A car that cruises nicely in a straight line such that acceleration and handling are not required is a pretty low bar to clear. I’ve always considered Lexus the brand for passengers who were stuck behind the wheel. This “review” confirms my belief: It offers only a mere theoretical comparison to BMW and no comparison at all to Audi, Mercedes, Cadillac or a real 3-series. Such writing is not a “The Truth About Cars” caliber review, but merely the posting of a Toyota fanboy in TTAC clothing.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      And to think some Toyota lovers we criticizing the ATS for being smaller than the new 3 series. When all along it was a great idea for the IS to be just like that too!

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      So, driven the car, have you?

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      Come on. The Mercedes has vinyl seats and while it has a handsome exterior, is unimpressive to drive. The A4 has all the reliability of a $10 Chinese Rolex and a jarring ride. It’s ancient 2.0T four can’t touch the one in the new BMW. The new 3 series is nice, but has poor visibility and driven back to back with my E90 328, I won’t be selling my car anytime soon to “upgrade”. The new IS is a darned good car. In the not distant past, the E46 3 series 2.5 straight six made 184HP, and it was beloved as a driver’s car.

      I think the author is suggesting that this IS is bit of a spiritual successor to that car and the original TSX. Cozy cockpit, good ergonomics, nice materials (Lexus is nicer) sweet little 2.5L six and just enough HP to make it fun to drive fast, while still providing pretty good MPG.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        The Mercedes has cloth standard, with about a dozen different options. Leather is $1200 (or the cost of a stereo upgrade to entry-level MB-buyers, not to mention that the sticker for the CLA is $5k less than the Lexus) and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a leased CLA yet that doesn’t have it. I also don’t think I would qualify it as ‘unimpressive’ – it’s the perfect gateway drive for a brand that has traditionally focused on ride and comfort, and left the performance up to the options and tuning teams.

        While I agree that the A4 feels a decade behind, I think the race is clearly between BMW and Mercedes, with Lexus offering a more expensive 3rd option banking on aspirational repeat customers trading up their Camry and preconceptions about durability beating brand snobbery.

        And I’m sorry, but MB-Tex != ‘Vinyl’. My GF and her dad both drive late 70′s Mercs with it, and it is significantly easier to maintain without cracking or tearing.

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        First if all, Audi reliability ain’t what it used to be. And their competitor for this car isn’t really the A4, it’s the new AWD A3 sedan, whose 2.0T directed-injected engine is anything but old and has both more horsepower and (30% more) torque than the IS’s V6. The A3 also wins on price, and my opinion at least, on looks. Given that my 4-year old A3 has yet to require a single repair of any kind, Lexus will have to do a lot better than this to get my attention.

        PS: One thing they did do right is the view of the instrument binnacle through the steering wheel–I had to look twice to tell it wasn’t my current car.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        The cockpit is a bit beyond cozy with 32.2″ of rear leg room. The E46 325i you mention is about 200 pounds lighter than the IS250 (either AWD or RWD) with a power-to-weight ratio barely worse. It also has a smaller footprint while having more passenger space.

        I haven’t seen the new IS yet, but if the 32.2″ of rear legroom isn’t as bad as it sounds, Lexus marketing needs a new way to measure that spec. If it is as bad as it sounds, then you are left with a sedan with rear seat space not much different than a Mustang.

        The ridiculously tight back seat is the biggest downside to me, more so than the power or pricing. Power and pricing are competitive with BMW’s offerings, but the current 3 series is a limo compared to the IS. To rub salt in the wound, the 3 series is the same width and overall length is shorter. Finally, the 328i, with 40 more hp and a 73 lb-ft of torque advantage is lighter than an IS250.

        I’m not one to shop by spreadsheet, but unless the numbers are wrong on the IS, the packaging leaves much to be desired.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @burgersandbeer – I regret my decision not to sit in the back seat of an IS at the recent local new car show, but the fact that I didn’t says how much of a concern that is for me. I seriously doubt that it’s as bad as a Mustang. I’m not tall, only 5’8, but I barely fit in the back of a Mustang. I guess a lot depends on the target buyers. If the buyers are single adults like myself without families, or families with multiple vehicles, I don’t see the concerns over the size of the backseat. 99% of the time I’m carrying stuff in the back, so it functions more as easily accessible cargo than for passenger space. I’m not gonna buy a less fun to drive but more spacious car (assuming that’s the choice between this Lexus and the BMW F30) just so my friends have a few inches more legroom. Their occasional comfort is a low priority vs driving fun in my decision making list.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            @tjh8402 – The thing that bothers me about the rear seat space is it’s a sedan. Sedans are supposed to carry people. On paper, the IS is a bit better than a Mustang, but 32.2″ is still kids only territory. It’s about 3″ less than most C-segment cars made in the last 15 years. For most shoppers the IS’s backseat is a competitive disadvantage in its segment.

            It’s too bad, because I’m OK with the exterior and really like the interior. Lexus’s reputation for quality and durability doesn’t hurt either. No manual is the real killer for me though. For the other 95% of car shoppers, I figure the backseat will hurt the IS the most.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        LOL, get your head out of the sand, bud. The A4 (and Audi in general) has risen toward the top of the reliability ratings. And that “ancient” 2.0T isn’t exactly ancient. If you knew anything about Audi engines, you’d know that the E888 version is the most current and is anything but ancient. In fact, despite the fact that is has a lower HP rating, it will still outperform BMW’s new 2.0T engine. How sad is that for BMW? And BTW, the 2.0T in the BMW ticks like a darn diesel, which is something no engine with spark plugs should ever do.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I thought ticking to some extent is common to all direct injected engines? Not that BMW wants to be compared to a focus, but the focus certainly ticks.

          Engines with hydraulic lifters also can tick as they age.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      A bit harsh, but in the reading of the IS250 from other reviews, this is definitely a minority position. I know Consumer Reports didn’t give it a recommend and said it fell flat.

      Yes I’ve in the IS250 – there is much that I love about it. Fit, finish, cockpit, controls. I found it hopeless cramped (OK I’m 6’1″) and I almost had a panic attack in the backseat, which borders on useless if you’re not an amputee. I bow at the altar of torque, and the small V6 does feel torquey for what it is – but the car still feels underpowered.

      Like others, the “looks” of the spindle grille, al a Predator or Darth Vader just doesn’t do it for me.

      I have not driven a 320i or the current gen 4-banger 3-series so I can’t comment on a 1:1 compare.

      This review does smack of “fanboism” – but I think it is more in writing style which comes across as not objective.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Lexus’ rep for over-isolated cars is well earned. Apparently they’ve begun to undo this, but I haven’t driven any Lexus model recently.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Holy run-on sentences, Batman!

    While I dislike the exterior design, and don’t think it will age gracefully at all (especially the droopy, sad rear end), the inside looks quite nice and tasteful. I especially like how it appears the HVAC controls have slid down out of the vent/clock area. But at $41k, it’s kind of a lot o expensive for this size of car. I have always found the IS too small, living in too similar a price realm to the GS.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I recently replaced my 3 series and looked at the IS 350 RWD as a contender. It’s a great car but it came in second place to the Cadillac ATS due to the following reasons:

    1. The option packages are odd. According to the dealer, 97-98% of US stock has Nav and cross traffic alert but not leather and, while its nice enough pleather, for this sort of money you’d want the real thing. The sames goes for omissions like driver side lumbar and auto-tilt drivers side mirror.

    2. The interior is better then the 3 series and C class but not as good as the Cadillac ATS. There are a number of faux metal trim pieces that spoil the otherwise upscale interior.

    I did also drive the 2.5 liter V6 and found it to provide nowhere near the thrust that this capable chassis deserves. If (when) Lexus gets a 2 liter turbo as the base engine that will make the entry level IS a much more compelling proposition (and probably make the 3.5 V6 redundant).

  • avatar
    mike978

    I can`t believe it has 101 cu ft of interior volume since that is midsize sedan territory (Accord, 6 etc). I thought the previous model was high 80′s like the Acura ILX. Just checked Edmunds and it has 101 cu ft quoted too, but nothing on the Lexus website.

    This website : http://lexusenthusiast.com/2013/03/25/2014-lexus-is-preview/

    quotes 90 cu ft which seems more reasonable. It is 101 when trunk space is included, but that is not normally included in the figure – the Accord would go over 110 on that calculation.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Even the boys at CR who have always had a special place in their hearts for Toyota/Lexus have over and over again blasted this car since its new version came out, one of them even calling it the worst new car this year, I’m beginning to think that you have to take all these reviews with a grain of salt before you either avoid a car altogether or run to your nearest dealer and put down a deposit based on any one review.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Yeah, CR’s review spit a lot of venom at this and the Infiniti Q. I usually understand the perspective that drives their hatred of BOF SUVs and such, but nothing obviously sticks out on these two that fits the “well, obviously CR will hate this car”.

      I agree, though. Every review should be taken with a grain of salt. I use Alex and CR reviews for understanding how a car is to live with on a day to day basic (also expected fuel economy). The buff books are usually pretty good at filling out the performance perspective, especially when considering a sport sedan/hatch or sports car.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I don’t know what Infiniti messed with the Q50 for. Its predecessor was a great naturally-aspirated recipe that just needed some updating. I even enjoyed the G35 and G37, and I really don’t appreciate sport sedans and coupes all that much. Why didn’t Nissan put that steer-by-wire system on the Murano-based (which is itself Altima-based) QX60 or something…

        • 0 avatar
          piggybox

          What Infiniti gives to journalists to test drive are all with the optional steer-by-wire system and that’s a big mistake. Yet the standard system is the same as in G37 and is as good as it was.

          Another mistake is the decision to switch to run-flat tires, which only help Q50 lose points in handling tests on tracks, though in real world normal driving conditions, these tires are fine and quiet.

          I seriously considered Lexus IS 250 early this month before buying the Q50. IS definitely has its merits, but for the same amount of money, I get more room, power and tech from Q50.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Oh, it’s optional? See, I didn’t know that. I thought it was standard. It’s probably lumped in with other stuff, like the navigation system….which is something I would definitely want. If not, I’d delete the steer-by-wire. I do think that the IS is absolutely hideous, and that the Q50 is beautiful. Even with steer-by-wire, I would pick a Q50 over an IS. And even steer-by-wire on a sport sedan isn’t as big of a fail as sound-by-speaker, as is the case with the M5 and probably the M6.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      Realistically, you should take ALL reviews with a grain of salt. Mostly I read them for specific details on features that aren’t on the mfr’s website (like whether the stability control can be completely defeated or whether it’s possible to special order LSD without 19″ wheels).

  • avatar
    Dweller on the Threshold

    Too boring to really read all the way through, but I think the author states that he’d happily spend 45k for the immensely pleasurable knowledge that he acquired the smallest displacement V6 in the history of the world (that can currently be bought new).

    But wait, there’s more: AWD!

    This is one of the weirder drivetrains out there from any objective viewpoint.

    The world’s tallest midget is a thing of wonder as well.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Interesting marketing and engineering question:

    Given only two options, would you prefer a 2.0L turbo 4 with 300bhp/300ft/lb and the spectacular ZF 8-speed. Or, would you prefer a 2.5L 205bhp v-6 with a 6-speed auto?

    Personally, I’d go with the 4. But, I could see how someone would prefer the small 6.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      2.0T with 6MT is the correct answer. :)

      It really depends on the driver. I think your A to B type drivers will like the NA V6. Sportier drivers will prefer the turbo 4.

    • 0 avatar
      Dweller on the Threshold

      This car will be sold strictly as a piece of jewelry.

      Which makes it all the more odd that the reviewer finds the drivetrain to be a marvel. This drivetrain is really just about the most cynical thing that Lexus could have possibly done. And as a business case, it is brilliant. But how the review misses this is stupefying.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan Roth

        I had a very positive experience with the IS250 AWD, as well.

        It’s not the drivetrain so much as it’s the chassis tuning. The drivetrain is smoother than a four cylinder would be, but the real impressive part was how well-sorted the chassis is.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Dweller,

        It seems the 2014 Chrysler 300 V-8 is around 40k and I had one as a rental and I can tell you it’s an amazing car. But, can you understand why someone would prefer something a little smaller, more finely crafted, more jewel like than the 300?

        It’s sort of like a Miata vs. a Corvette. Both are great cars, both appeal to enthusiasts, but they have a different nature and reward the driver in a different way.

        • 0 avatar
          Dweller on the Threshold

          Yes, but my 1996 Miata is a perfect rendition of miata-ness. Its nature and its reward are in harmony. In fact, perfect harmony. Which is all the difference.

          This thing is a cynical car because it makes some sort of claim to “sports sedan”, which I will grant you is a bastardized category to begin with, and raises the ante with a 6-cylinder and AWD.

          The facts are, though, that this finely crapted accomplishment does 0-60 in forever, has barely the torque to spin its AWD differentials, and is in the nature of pure lease bait. None of this makes even a counterpoint in the review even though the “world’s smallest v6″ in this manifestation basically begs for condemnation. Cynicism is triumphant all the moreso because “V6″ and “AWD” have penetrated the consciousness of some buyers as sporty, which is precisely what this thing is trying to capitalize on.

          None of these things will signify they way they should for the target market: those who want a cool new Lexus. The enthusiast aspect of this car is DOA. If ever there were an anti-sports sedan, this is it. Which will probably do quite well in the marketplace.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            ” 0-60 in forever”

            7.7 seconds is hardly forever. It’s faster than a 96 Miata – do you consider the Miata to take forever to get to 60?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            A V6 Camry will smoke it.

            A V6 Accord will smoke it. Doubly so if a manual.

            Hell, a V6 Caravan will probably smoke it, as will just about 85% of all cars now made.

            It has less interior room than many COMPACT cars, it has a V6 that manages to make the sort of horsepower associated with 1991 era vehicles, it offers nothing in the way of class leading let alone superior handling or plushness or anything else, it’s as ugly as can be…

            …and it’s 45k.

            And yet some claim it fulfills its mission as a BMW/Caddy ATS/Audi contender.

            This car is a sick joke.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Deadweight, you know that you can option a 2.5L 4cyl ATS or a BMW 320i up to $50k, right? The one optioned like he had was $45k, but the base model is decently equipped for $35k. HIDs, touchscreen, and push button start are standard. Clearly, this isn’t the car for those that live their life a quarter mile at a time, but even Baruth has said the chassis is excellent. A Camry or Accord can’t give you RWD dynamics regardless of how big the V6 under the hood is.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            I’m not sure if it’s cynical, or just sort of lazy but effective. As a minor anecdote, my in-laws have a late-model Elantra and a V6 Rondo. On paper, the Elantra is just a little bit quicker (but within several tenths of a second on most metrics), but they’re convinced it’s the gutless one, because the Kia feels stronger. Likewise, around town, the Lexus will likely feel competitive to its small displacement and turbos brethren, by virtue of not having to work as hard (even if it would lose a drag race to all of them).

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            ” it offers nothing in the way of class leading let alone superior handling or plushness or anything else, it’s as ugly as can be…

            …and it’s 45k.”

            Seeing how it’s won multiple comparos and has been praised for its handling and has beaten the vaunted 3-series, that statement carries no water or at very least is not universally shared and is a very vocal minority. As for your opinion on how it looks, no matter what you say about it, it will never be fact.

            $45K is absolutely nothing compared to the outrageous price BMW will try to pawn off a 320i on some unsuspecting victim. $45K will easily get you a very well-equipped IS350, which will easily blow the doors off all the of the Camrys, Accords, and Grand Caravans you can throw at it.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          When you mentioned the Chrysler 300, I thought you were having to respond to another one of bigtruck’s comments about how the Chrysler 300 is “The supreme answer to everything.”

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    I’m one of those people who know the prices of everything and the value of nothing. That said – 45k$ for a small vehicle with unexceptional horse-power and torque?

    One more thing: why bother with AWD? I can see if you have massive torque to lay down, but what does the extra weight and complexity really buy you? (OK would be nice in winter).

    For styling I cry “hideous”. It simply apes the current “gaping maw” trend that Audi started.

    Finally that front valence-panel air-dam(n) thing gives it approach angle of about 1 degree. Any trip from polished concrete will crack that thing and result in repair cost in Doc Evil territory.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Air dam(n)! May I borrow that? AWD isn’t just for snow. It helps with all types of low traction, whether it’s oily rain puddles, quarter inch deep fast flowing poorly drained highway, wet leaf mulch in a shady corner, moss/algae in the NW where it never dries out in some ravines (thinking Olympic Peninsula here) or even just gravel spread over asphalt by construction traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        xtoyota

        4 wheel drive is so good why is it that when I see an over turned car or truck it’s 4 wheel drive ????

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          Rollover accidents have little to do with AWD vs RWD but are usually about the center of gravity and the lack of electronic stability control. Trucks (particularly lifted ones) and SUVs have a higher center of gravity and thus more prone to rollover during sudden direction changes. Stability control can help this by applying the breaks at the appropriate wheel.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          It’s called selection bias and it’s in your brain. Ok, not fair. Center of gravity height correlate much to rate of 4wd? Which is causal? There. That’s the patronizing vibe I was aiming for.

  • avatar
    rhears

    Gotta say this review confirms the downward spiral of TTAC; I pretty much come here for the Dyke’s reviews and I just found out he has his own web site.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I wouldn’t visit TTAC if it weren’t for Jack Baruth, Steve Lang, Murilee, C. Christian “Mental” Ward, and Derek (at least Derek keeps it real, and can be critical when warranted and just speak truth to power).

      Oh, and Ronnie smacks one out of the park frequently with a gem like the article last week with 1960s era documents that accompanied the “birth of the Corvette” feature that was technically and historically fascinating.

      In other words, I read TTAC despite, not because of, the New Vehicle Reviews, which more often than not end in a grade of a B or better being handed out, no matter the vehicle being reviewed, and rarely go into any detailed information about ride quality, NVH or other critical information that a new car buyer would desire, and end up ebbing close to promotional material and puff pieces for the manufacturer (unlike you, I think of Alex’s reviews as the consistently worst offenders in this regard).

      This “review” is so over-the-top bad/ridiculous, though, that it may be an official TTAC jump the shark moment in car review history, even as judged against Alex’s powder puff standards.

      And yes, I’ve driven this specific car being reviewed. It’s a turd of a vehicle in general, and especially in consideration of what it’s supposed to be.

      • 0 avatar
        Dweller on the Threshold

        This review is bad in concept, to which I object, as well as bad in execution, which seems to be your main point.

        As a point of TTAC degeneration, this car didn’t deserve any review at all.

        Mockery perhaps. Mocking is almost always good internet content. Mock mockers after that.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Please quit flogging the dead horse of your serial accusations that Alex Dykes gives the gentleman’s B to everything.

        I learn more about a car by reading a considered and nuanced evaluation of its various aspects than watching a Dan Neil try to out-cute himself. And beyond that, this isn’t even one of Alex’s reviews.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Just because you don’t want to admit or can’t believe Alex nearly always concludes any vehicle he reviews is the equivalent of at least “very good,” or assigns it at least a B grade if we’re speaking of grades, doesn’t negate the objective reality.

          There are literally TWO vehicles Alex has reviewed whereby a rational reader would conclude, based on the totality of his comments, that they weren’t worth buying.

          Powder Puff Reviews.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I’ll agree that Alex puts most every car in a B range, but have you considered that maybe it is difficult to find a truly terrible car these days?

            Cars balance different priorities, and they might not align with yours. For example, not everyone cares if a V6 Camry is faster. They have other priorities, so being smoked by a V6 Camry doesn’t make a car suck.

            Part of being an objective reviewer is recognizing that even if a car isn’t your thing, it likely appeals to many others.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            DeadWeight, last time you said this, you claimed there were none until other readers pointed out two specific exceptions.

            And once again, this wasn’t even one of his reviews, so I don’t know why we’re even talking about this.

            What’s the problem here, really? Did Alex do your mother or something?

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      “I pretty much come here for the Dyke’s reviews [...]”

      That apostrophe was unfortunate.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    I am 100% OK with this subjective review. The author makes no compunctions about his preference, and backs up each point with images and specifics. He argues why each characteristic is differentiated or better. He makes a strong case for his PREFERENCE for the drivetrain, not its superiority over the small-sedan world. He begins and ends the article with explicit appreciation for the entire package of the car and tells us why.

    It’s an opinion piece, not necessarily a comparison piece. He makes no bones about that.

    We can gush all day about the 1998 Riviera, but it flopped in comparison pieces. Does that make it any less worthwhile of someone’s love? Further, isn’t TTAC more about love letters to cars and less about a 360-degree perfectly balanced and inclusive review of an entire segment?

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I test drove a 250 RWD and liked it. I’ve read other reviews that said the AWD is underpowered. The only AWD the dealer had is the 350 and it’s over my budget. Personally this car is begging for a manual box. Without it I’m not inclined to pay this kind of money.

  • avatar
    Hezz

    I enjoyed the review, someone taking an other than mainstream point-of-view on a car is refreshing. I find the IS350 much more compelling, but there are lots of people in the world who can appreciate a nice car with a small engine.

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    I considered the last generation of the IS as a replacement for my 6 speed ’04 TSX. The deal breaker for me then was no folding rear seat. Now the new model comes out and has a folding rear seat, but no manual trans available. Oh well, not sure I liked the styling anyway…

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I think the IS250 makes more sense as an ATS 2.5L or 320i competitor than an ATS 2.0T or 328i. Just looking at base models, it appears you get a lower starting price with the ATS or 3, but the IS seems to be better equipped (HIDs standard, 8 way power for both front seats, folding rear seats, etc) and, depending on the buyer, the extra 2 cylinders and inherent smoothness that comes with them might be worth the extra money. You also get a double wishbone up front compared to the struts suspension on the ATS and 3. Where this car makes a lot less sense is for the straight line performance buyer. You can get some really great turbo 4s from the competition. Lexus needs to remedy that quickly.

    Anyway, good review… especially going into the bore and stroke of the IS and the competition. It wasn’t something I thought to look at before, but what you wrote makes sense. Considering the displacement and the lack of a turbo, the power numbers make sense. You’d think that it would be a little more revvy with that stroke:bore ratio. I don’t think the IS250 is on my list, but it does make a little more sense why it exists and the customer it appeals to.

  • avatar
    dts187

    I agree with others, this review sounds like it was written by a person who owns an IS250 and is trying to rationalize his purchase to everyone who asks him why he didn’t get a BMW.

    That said, the IS250 is an odd car to peg. It has a well-assembled, handsome (to my eye, anyway) interior that feels a half-size too small. The chassis and handling (I’ve driven he RWD) are pretty decent. This came as a surprise as the older IS250 I drove felt overly soft. So even though it was decent, I certainly wasn’t astounded.

    Then there is the look of the thing. I don’t mind the front end. It’s interesting and attractive but will likely not age well. The tail lights are awful. The rocker is overdone and a distraction to the rest of the design.

    The engine is extremely underwhelming for a vehicle that starts at $36k.

    Here’s my thought: If the IS250 started about $8k less it would be an interesting competitor for the sub-$30k sportyish sedan. I’m talking Verano turbo, Regal turbo, ILX, GLI. It simply doesn’t compare to the similarly priced competition.

  • avatar
    cheeky.monkey

    Reading this poorly-written review gave me a headache and zero useful information –pretty much the complete opposite of the author’s previous very thoughtful review of the Santa Fe.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Here are the objective cliff notes to spare those who’d otherwise be wounded in reading the subjective (and incredibly vague but glowing) review:

      1. About the size of a Corolla but with less rear seat room.

      2. Way uglier than a Corolla.

      3. Not much more powerful than a Corolla, managing to get early 1990s era horsepower level out of a V6.

      4. 3x more costly than a Corolla.

      All in all, a bad joke of an overpriced and lazily engineered compact car, that one pays an approximate extra 25k for due to a set of Lexus badges.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        @DW: The IS is much larger then a Corolla and is not a bad car. The problem is the 2.5 V6 which is not cutting it in this segment but resale has been good for the last model so clearly someone loves it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          It’s not larger than a Corolla on the INSIDE. FWD does have huge space efficiency advantages.

          Based on who I see driving them, it is a nice sedan for ladies of a certain age who find the ES too big to park.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy

            Not according to the specs. Anyway, they are totally different types of cars. I’m sure that the Corolla also has more interior room than the Audi R8 but that doesn’t make them equivalent.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            The Land Cruiser is larger than the IS too. What a failure.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        DeadWeight, you have just described a Mercedes B class. Which drives the same front wheels, just as a corolla.

        The IS, in case you didn’t read, drives rear wheels and is not as comparable.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yep. The sentences were long and run-on. Too many references to this and that, varying subjects within single sentences.

  • avatar
    Drewlssix

    I have to call you out on your comment about the Chevys extra stroke being the source of its extra torque. It is a common misconception that has no place on ttac. Try running the numbers and you will see that what you stated would require enough twisting of physical laws to set Einstein spinning in his grave.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Couldn’t agree more.

      Speaking as a mechanical engineer, I’d say two hoary old chestnuts refuse to die in the enthusiast automotive world:

      1. Hemi heads are the best.
      2. Long stroke engines have more torque.

      Forgetting the first which any designer using four valve heads did 50 years ago, we come to the second.

      Torque production depends primarily on displacement. Bore and stroke go together to define volume (displacement). Stroke length does not figure anywhere in calculations of torque except at zero rpm (like you tightening a nut with a wrench).

      The instant you have continuous rotation with internal combustion, the amount of ignited gas determines the force on the piston. For a given displacement, if the stroke is longer, the bore is smaller – and vice versa. The amount of ignited gas determines torque and depends on displacement, not stroke alone.

      Virtually all Honda car engines have long strokes, as a glance at the appropriate Wikipedia page will attest. Are they known for “torque”? The Honda magic has always been how they get their long stroke chuffers to rev like the blazes and still be smooth – and that’s detailed mechanical design.

      Trying to change common misperceptions of the herd is about as thankless a job as there is.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Am I the only person who thought this was a good review? I just read Winston’s Santa Fe one a couple days ago, and I was impressed, not just with the review, but with the author himself. He isn’t over-the-top dry, reviews vehicles I actually care about, and rarely posts, making me wait for his next review.

    However, that 52 score in Consumer Reports is concerning, considering the editors probably have a daily worshiping session for the Prius and the LS (and, lately, the Tesla).

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Nope, I liked it too. If it was the only review of Winstons I’d ever read I might not like it as much, but having read his other stuff here I’m able to weight his enthusiastic response to the test. If I’d spent my childs future on a roundel I might get my knickers all in a bunch.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Winston likes the car. I can dig it — there are subjective qualities that simple numbers don’t convey. To me, the issue is price. There are an awful lot of good AWD cars out there in the mid 40k range.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      To be fair, the base model stickers for closer to $37k with AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        Well, Lexus’ website shows a base AWD IS 250 is $38,485 plus a $910 destination charge. Even with a dealer discount, sales taxes would put you in the low $40s. And dealers don’t order too many base cars, with almost every one having the premium and navigation packages.

        Winston’s own words:

        “If I had $45K to spend on a car, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 AWD would be a purchase I’d happily make.”

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I went on truedelta and built a 328i x drive and an IS250 AWD. My basic requirements were things like nav, HIDs, proximity unlock/push button start, and sunroof. The IS250 AWD that met those requirements was $44k. The 328i that truedelta configured was $51k. The BMW had an additional $2600 of content value over the IS250 based on the packages to meet those requirements at the top, but you are still looking at a $4k premium for the BMW after adjusting for content value. Doing the same comparison with a 320i, the prices are $20 different ($44,1xx). Adjusting for feature content and the BMW comes out above $900 ahead.

          My basic point is that if you really want any options, you are pushing $45k on the IS, 3, ATS, etc in their base engines. The A4 doesn’t have a “base” engine in the way the IS, 3, and ATS does, but the pricing is very much along the line of a 328i x drive ($51k when equipped with what I call the basic luxuries.) His claim isn’t as outrageous as it seems.

    • 0 avatar
      toomanycrayons

      “Winston likes the car. I can dig it — there are subjective qualities that simple numbers don’t convey. To me, the issue is price. There are an awful lot of good AWD cars out there in the mid 40k range.”-LeeK

      The issue is price? So, you can get your subjective (lot of good [?] AWD cars out there) standards satisfied for less money or the same money? How does finding cars that don’t satisfy your subjectives at the same price change the equation? Just mentioning money doesn’t make a discussion objective.

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        Let’s not be too pedantic here. Winston likes the car. I’m cool with that. Winston might like other AWD drive cars that cost roughly the same $45K that his loaded-up IS 250 (sunroof, nav, technology package, HIDs) might be compared to. Or not, I just don’t know — I haven’t researched it but off the top of my head I would suspect an Evo X, STI, Passat CC VR6, or A4 (all in their AWD variants) might offer similar sporting driving pleasure while some of them might be cheaper.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    If the darn thing handles and drives as well as this and other publications say ( such as C/D), then this car would be an ideal replacement for my e46…except for the lack of a proper gearbox. No stickie, no likey. Too bad Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Your E46 is 3x the car this is in every way possible, except for price.

      The E46 is a keeper car. It’s absolutely sublime, especially compared with this hideous Lexus that’s a metaphor for all that’s wrong with marketing & conspicuous consumption of disposable waste of the most mindless sort.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Meh, the e9X (non-turbo anyway) is a better car than the e46 was. Fewer built-in dilemmas, just enough more space to be useful, nicer interior. Doesn’t drive much differently, once you ditch the runflats. And the latest runflats aren’t terrible anymore, they just cost too much.

        I wouldn’t call the Lexus hideous, it just looks very Japanese to me, inside and out. Bound to be beautifully put together and pretty reliable. I just find them soulless, and the lack of both hatch AND stick means I would never even consider one. I don’t do sedans.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          Having owned both an E46 and E92 coupe I would disagree. The e9X on run-flats had a much more nervous disposition than the E46 which seemed unflappable and had a much better ride and less noise.

          The only thing that comes close to an E46 is a Cadillac ATS.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          What makes you say the e9x has a better interior?

          I’ll admit I haven’t been for a ride in one, but seeing it up close was certainly disappointing.

          Based on look and feel, I would take my e46 interior over it. Mine is a bit of a rattle factory though, so if the e9x fixed that, it would make a difference.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “The E46 is a keeper car.” Hilarious. It was more disposable than the self-recycling E36 it replaced. Being better looking and better handling than subsequent BMWs doesn’t make it durable. Calling a car with a proven drivetrain and Lexus quality disposable in this day of German lease specials is pure ignorance. Your use of mindless may be a new epitome of irony.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @deadweight – I do intend to keep the 330. I am absolutely smitten by that car. While this Lexus isn’t attractive, if one wants a small sedan with a smooth NA six cylinder and RWD, there aren’t a lot of choices. I have not driven this Lexus, so I can’t comment on how it drives, but most reviewers have had positive things to say – even BMW fanboy C&D rated the IS350 ahead of the 335i. Ultimately, I could’ve learned to live with the styling if it delivered the drive of the BMW. This is all hypothetical, as the manual is a non negotiable.

        @krhodes – I test drove e90s of all strips (except the M3), and I liked the E46 better. the E90 felt bigger (too big really), and while admittedly they had the runflats, they were simply not as fun to drive as the E46.

        @carguy – the ATS does not meet my requiremens – six cylinder, stick shift, RWD, so it will not ever be considered unfortunately. A shame too, as everything I’ve read says it has a good chassis (again, haven’t had the chance to drive one so can’t speak from experience)

        @CJinSD – my e46 hasn’t been bulletproof, but it hasn’t been bank account killing either when it comes to repairs, and it still feels extremely tight and solid despite its 130k miles. I rent a lot of cars and borrow family cars as well, and every time I get back in my car, I know I made the right choice. I’m still amazed I can say this, but when I’m driving, I rarely see another car I would rather be in. I’m in a BMW club and there are guys there that have driven e46s to over 300k miles.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    You MUST have been blindfolded and have had ear plugs in the whole week! I’ve driven this exact IS and the GS in F-Sport config. Terrible and not competitive with even a 4 year old Infiniti G35. The IS standard suspension feels about as sophisticated as a Kia Sportage which is to say NOT. This isn’t just my opinion but also my cohort who drove it too…Feels very ‘non-luxury’ and in the real world, not remotely competitive for day-to-day driving with say a Audi A4 2.0T. I know it is YOUR OPINION but YOU are confused…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      How could that be?

      Winston wrote that, and I quote:

      “If you’re looking to be ASTOUNDED in 2014, take a 2014 Lexus IS for a spin. Start with the 250. I promise it’s all I’ve cracked it up to be. To use another tired-ass hack autowriter phrase, the 2014 IS 250 AWD is truly a Goldilocks car.”

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        DeadWeight – You don’t believe everything you read do you? I’m sure you’d have your own opinions after driving it…Winston has his opinions…Others have been less kind to the new IS…

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Wow. So his opinion doesn’t matter but yours does? Blowhard.

      • 0 avatar
        klossfam

        Again – my opinion…If you’ve actually driven this car like I have and the competition, then you TOO have the right to an opinion…Otherwise, you need not ‘Reply’

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    Let’s see… About $1k less that my ’12 Audi Q5 2.0T PP+, one sec. slower to 60, less room, butt-ugly front end… I could go on but it would be a waste. There is a reason why the German brands far outsell Lexus. Saw a new Audi S4 in black today and it was simply stunning. This thing doesn’t come close.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Audi sold 127,412 cars in the US through October. Lexus sold 213,479. I rather doubt things have changed that much in the past two months. I drive a 2012 A6 3.0T, but even I’ll concede that we should have waited for the new GS. After a ride in a previous generation IS250, I would have bought one had it been big enough to serve as a real 4-seater. I had no such ambiguity after trying a 2012 S4. No interest whatsoever. It was similarly cramped, but there was none of the depth of quality of the Lexus. The A6 worked for me on the test drive because of its big back seat, conservative styling, and POWERFUL engine, but the lease can’t end soon enough now. German car superiority died with German reunification. Now they make cars for the sort of people that bought Coupe DeVilles and Montecarlos in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        “the sort of people that bought Coupe DeVilles and Montecarlos in the past.”

        Haa haa haa…. Oh sweet mercy. That’s rich. Had not thought of it in that light.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        He said German brands – note the plural and both BMW and Mercedes outsell Lexus.

        “I drive a 2012 A6 3.0T, but even I’ll concede that we should have waited for the new GS” – you aren`t conceding much since you have bitched about the Audi since nearly day 1, which would indicate your purchasing and test drive decision making are flawed.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          And American brands outsell German ones a few fold in the US market, so a rebadged Daewoo must make an S-class look like a Fiat 500. Toyota outsells all of them worldwide, so what do you think your dissembling point is exactly?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Don`t judge everyone by your own standards. Where was I dissembling. TybeeJim was talking about Audi and Lexus, so clearly premium (or Luxury however you want to term it). So I made the factually correct point that the German brands outsell the luxury Japanese brands. Just a factual counterpoint to your selective use of data.

            I noticed you didn`t actually dispute anything I wrote, because it was factually correct. Just choose your next car more carefully so we don`t have to hear you bitch and moan too much in the future!

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Until 2011, when they production problems due to the tsunami and Thailand floods, Lexus outsold every single luxury brand since 2000. Now when the Germans do it, it’s because of merit. But when Lexus was Number 1, those same people tried to take the victory away by making up all these excuses.

          So apparently, when the Germans are #1, it’s because of merit and people making right choices.

          When Lexus is #1, it’s because of stupid people and #1 in a luxury field is shallow because luxury cars are supposed to be exclusive.

          Riiiighttt.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Can you pint out where I or others have been inconsistent on the #1 position. You won`t find anything written by me on it. I don`t think people were stupid when Lexus was #1. The tsunami reason is now old hat, they have had plenty of time to regain #1 if they could. They are #3. Doesn`t really matter to me, but seems to to you.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I actually like the IS250, though I do feel its pricing could use some help.

    What kind of output do you folks expect from a naturally aspirated 2.5L engine?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The whiners want the car to cost $50 per horsepower. Currency exchange rates and quantitative easing figure into the list price.

      The drivetrain is very much a Japanese aesthetic thing: the mid-level executives who would buy this car wants a quiet, smooth, unintrusive engine, and would buy some other car if they wanted garish, rorty kaijupowers under the hood.

      Infiniti offered the analogopus G25 here for a year or two, but their sporty rep clashed with the small displacement refinement.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Again, a comment on the comments

    1. Just because Toyota makes both the IS and the Corolla that does not make them equivalent just like a Mercedes B class is not to be compared to the E class or that a 7 series is not “just a bigger Isetta”

    2. Another interesting theme is the “for $45 I can get a 3 series” (which by inference is a real luxury car and not a jumped up Corolla). Judge cars by their merits not their badge – for which you need to drive them both. That is not a judgement you can make from your keyboard.

    3. So what if Winston liked the car? If he does, should he not say so just as if he didn’t like it? It’s a point of view folks – you may not share it but that’s life.

    Also, for what’s its worth, I recently did extensive shopping to replace my 4th consecutive 3 series and out of the Mercedes C, Audi A4, BMW 3, ATS and IS350, I found the ATS and IS350 were by far the most capable cars. The rest seemed to have fallen victim to cost cutting and were less engaging to drive.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Sorry, it still looks like a slammed Corolla.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    It seems like most would rather have people just shamelessly trash any product Toyota makes, simply because it’s Toyota. I mean, those idiots over in Japan could never build a good car. They never have. They just rely on sheeple and consumer distorts, weee.

    Oh yeah, and FYI, I’d never buy an IS250. I’d buy an IS350 all day long, though.

    • 0 avatar
      ravenchris

      Stop making a sheepperson out of yourself and read The Consumer Reports review of this exact car.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Stop making a sheepperson out of yourself and read The Consumer Reports review of this exact car.”

        Because relying on what Consumer Reports and Autoblog tell you in their reviews makes you less of a “sheepperson”?

        Maybe a person could drive the car themselves and decide on their own if the IS250 has merit?

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        It’s funny, when Consumer Reports rates a Toyota product highly, many here and around the internet blast them to high hell for being biased, paid-off by Toyota, and not being relevant.

        But suddenly they’re gospel if they do not like a Toyota product.

        I’ve driven the IS250 and IS350. Both 2IS and 3IS. Have you???

        The IS250, she ain’t fast, and the 2.0 turbo can’t get here soon enough, but it’s not the lethargic turd you people make it out to be either. The IS350 has all the great handling and other characteristics of the 250, but with much more engine.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          You have, rightly, noted an inconsistency that when Toyota/Lexus were highly rated in CR then people would say they were wrong, only to switch there view of CR now Toyota/Lexus is less highly rated.
          But this argument can be flipped, if people like you supported Cr when they highly rated Toyota and now treat CR with less respect. That is also inconsistent.

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    Sorry. Drove the IS250 AWD, 328i AWD, ATS 2.0T AWD. The Lexus has the best interior but its underpowered engine puts it immediately out of the running for me. The ATS is very, very close to the BMW in terms of driving dynamics and the interior looks richer than the BMW. But…I still enjoyed driving the BMW the most and the engine sound is beautiful at WOT. I’d buy the Beemer.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I enjoyed the review. I do admit though I was sort of waiting for a punchline or some rather serious qualifications placed on the opinions written. I do appreciate a different view every now and then. I understand how one can appreciate a car unloved by critics and/or the market. But the review takes place in a vacuum. I do feel that when put side by side with primary competitors the IS loses a lot of luster. I happen to like the styling and might consider it at a lower price. Not a chance though when I could get an ATS, A4 or 3 for similar money.

  • avatar
    spyked

    The problem with this car is that it’s too much money. If you insist on a V6 and AWD, who wouldn’t go right over to MB and buy a C300? 250 easy HP, RWD based AWD, quality interior, and less expensive. Not to mention better pedigree and residual/resale values.

    And if you don’t require a V6, well, Audi and BMW can help you out. The Asian brands (with their U.S. offerings) offer some enticing cars, but not in premium segments. They are no longer value players – who would pay Euro car money for a non-Euro car??

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      The C-class has a quality interior, is less expensive, has more pedigree and higher residuals?

      What planet is this car sold on?

      The person wanting to spend “Euro money” on a non-Euro car is the person that doesn’t want to continue to spend “Euro money” fixing said “Euro car” ever 3 months.

      • 0 avatar
        spyked

        What IS250 competitor from Europe requires more repairs than the IS? You realize the IS is from the company with the most recalls year after year, right?

        I think the sales numbers say it all. The IS has never been a consideration for MB/BMW/Audi. This new one is even less of a threat. If Lexus would price it at a more realistic level, they would sell more to those looking for a good deal. The IS is currently the worst deal. Sad considering it’s competing against old cars (C and A4).

        • 0 avatar
          84Cressida

          Recalls mean absolutely nothing to reliability. Sorry to burst your bubble but saying the Germans have anywhere near comparable reliability to Lexus makes you lose any credibility. Saying the C-class, the single worst car in the class, is better than the IS or a tricycle just adds to it.

          As for sales, the Germans have more variants than the IS does and have been in the market longer. And the fact that the Germans will lease anything to anybody with a pulse. Oh but I do love how sales numbers now matter to how good a car is but when the Camry and Corolla top the sales charts, it has nothing to do with how good they are and it’s because of sheeple buying them.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    For $45k without the 3.5L V6, it should have the Hybrid drivetrain, not the 2.5L V6. An IS300h would be pretty damn awesome for $45k with 40 MPG.

  • avatar
    krayzie

    Have they fixed the direct injection problem with this engine?

    Actually the F-Sport package for this car looks really good in person, however the Infiniti Q50S is the better looking car.

  • avatar
    Power6

    WOW, never has so much that is wrong with journalism and the Internet been rolled into one article and comments.

    Journalists must toe the line. Lexus must be declared boring, BMW has the best suspension tuning on the planet. Lexus cannot possibly turn out a nice interior, or pick a nice suspension tuning for sporty driving. If such a thing is suggested, the author must clearly be some sort of fanboi.

    Commenters have their conclusions already and are not open minded. I guess you learn from our political climate. Facts are cherry picked to support assumed conclusions.

    This stuff is not really TTACs fault, just too bad this was a nicer commenting place before the religious pro-euro, anti-euro, anti-asian, etc factions formed. Some of you make the same comments all the time, you really have that much time? you know your repetitive drivel will just be forgotten tomorrow under the pile of new posts and you will still suck at critical thinking, rinse repeat etc.

    Some of my friends have been privately trading rental car “reviews” since we drove the Maserati and a Camaro SS out of LAX and another one of us rented the GT-R out of Dulles among many others. Guess what, to us regular guys the GT-R is not “fast but clinical” or “like a video game” it’s just freaking bad-ass mechanical stuff that whoops a Ferrari motor C Sport Maser in just about every way though they are both awesome. But you can’t publish that on the Internet. The Journalists have decided the conclusions already and the lemming bench racers must follow else lose credibility.

    I have owned a lot of comparison test “losers” and “boring” cars and “wrong wheel drive” ones, many of them very nice cars but the journalist wanna-be’s would never know it.

    Anyways, interesting in the time of extra flabbiness being designed into the BMW and Audi, Lexus has tightened up the IS and the euro-boys can’t handle it. Looks like the enthusiasts choice these days is the Caddy or the Lex, whoulda thunk it? Matt Farah called the F-sport IS350 the best under 60k sport sedan he drove last year. Huge Lexus fanboi that Farah fella!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I find it interesting how nearly everyone jumped on BMW for trading in their NA I6 for a turbo four, but when Lexus sticks to an NA V6, it is criticized as not enough power.

    If you were in the camp criticizing BMW, you should be grateful to Lexus for keeping a smooth NA 6 with entry-level power around. Especially when you consider what they gave up in fuel economy compared to the turbo competition to get you a smooth engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      You’re not wrong to point out the irony. Some people will whine about anything.

      That being said, the IS 250 really is slow compared to its direct competition, particularly with AWD. While it doesn’t have to be a Ferrari, it should be able to keep up with the class benchmark, i.e. the 3-series, and it doesn’t. The 0-60 times do matter, and the 250′s are about a decade behind.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        There’s a couple of ways to look at the IS250′s power regarding the 3 series. It’s much slower than the 328. But the entry level 3 series engine is now the 320, which provides very similar 0-60 times as the RWD IS250. The IS350 is a good match for the 328. Lexus doesn’t have an answer for the 335.

        I haven’t spent the time researching prices of these cars to know if the IS250 should be compared to the 320 or 328.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          No, the 320i is much quicker than the IS250, with a 0-60 time in the mid-6s, despite having less horsepower. The A4 is similar.

          The issue seems to be one of gearing. BMW and Audi are offering 8-speed automatics, while Lexus has a carryover 6-speed automatic. Lexus really needs to update the transmission and program it accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Both the 320i and the A4 have much broader torque curves than the IS250. It makes a difference …

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I think you both have 1/2 the story. It is a combination of that turbo low-down torque plus the extra cogs.

            Don’t forget too – the 320i engine and the 328i engine are identical, but for the software in the ECU. Having driven both, it is VERY obvious that BMW is getting the lower peak hp and torque figures by pulling the boost at high revs. At low revs the 320i pulls just as hard as the 328i, it just runs out of breath sooner. It’s the lack of low end torque that makes the Lexus feel slower than it really is – sure, if you rev the hell out of it, it goes pretty good – *I* certainly don’t think 7.5 seconds to 60 is slow – it just isn’t quick. I have not driven the latest one, but I have driven the previous one. It’s a dog unless you use all the revs. Which frankly is kind of true of my six-cylinder BMW as well!

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            I thought I had read the 320i engine had some differences, turbo smaller or something? Regardless, are the aftermarket programs out yet to give that 328i power to the 320? That would make it quite a tuner bargain, if you are willing to skirt the warranty issues. Plus BMW is the only one that lets you base model with stick and sport package only, even if the base model is spartan.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “No, the 320i is much quicker than the IS250″

            You’re overstating it. 0-60 times:

            Edmunds–7.3 sec (320) 7.5 sec (IS250)
            Motortrend–6.7 sec (320) 7.2 sec (IS250)
            Car and Driver–6.5 sec (320) 7.1 sec (2006 IS250; don’t think they’ve clocked the new one). The gaps tend to hold constant through the 1/4 mile. If I’ve missed a credible test source, point it out.

            As others just wrote, the nature of the power delivery will be different. But I don’t think it is accurate to say “much quicker” from looking at a 0.2-0.6 second gap in 0-60 times alone.

            And looking at some pricing for each of these cars, I think a strong argument can be made that the 320 competes with the IS250 on price, the 328 with the IS350. In which case the powertrains are better matched than most have claimed on this article.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @burgersandbeer – (ha didn’t realize I was gonna be replying to you twice): I can’t speak for others but I’ve been consistent in what I consider an adequate replacement for my e46 – RWD, a manual transmission, at least 4 doors, and a six cylinder powerplant (preferably NA). The only thing keeping the IS250 off my shopping list is the lack of a manual. As I’ve said in other discussions, the lead position of the 335i in this segment in my mind is that it’s the only choice, and essentially the lesser of evils. Sad times for a class of cars that was once an enthusiast’s wet dream.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        @tjh8402 – Indeed sad considering Infiniti dropped the manual from the Q50 (formerly G35/37).

        BMW has long excelled at offering RWD, manual transmission, and six or eight cylinder engines in a practical package. It doesn’t surprise me that they are the last company still offering this, even if the car surrounding these attributes is allegedly getting softer.

        Have you considered checking out the new Mustang when it arrives? You obviously have to give up on four doors, but that can’t be too much of a sacrifice if you aren’t worried about the space behind those doors anyway. Another poster pointed out in a different thread that American muscle is now the closest thing to what BMW and Infinity used to offer. I think he might have been on to something.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @burgersandbeer – I have considered the new Mustang. If I’m willing to compromise on two doors, I have more choices. The aforementioned Mustang, the Toyobaru, the Genesis Coupe, and I think Infiniti still offers the G37/Q60(?) coupe with a stick. Having ridden in all (obviously not the new Mustang, speaking of the old), I found the Mustang had the worse back seat for me. The Genesis was seriously lacking head room, but at least my legs fit. The Mustang had enough head room, but I could barely fit my legs in between the two seats. I don’t remember the G37 making an impression one way or the other, so it was probably the best compromise. The 2 series also becomes an option. Obviously no one has been able to give a driving impression, but I saw one article quoting a sub 3000 lb curb weight for the 228i, and I’ve got a weakness for a car that light. The 4 cylinder becomes more tolerable both with the lower price and the fact that I’m assuming the car will have a more sporting mission.

          I still would prefer 4 doors though (actually 5 would be idea, wagons and hatchbacks FTW), because it makes it a lot easier to load stuff into the back seat. I really hope that Toyota follows through with the rumored FR-S sedan. Although I still wish they’d add two more cylinder and go with a 3.0 F-6, I can live with the 4 cylinder if I keep the price under $30k and with a car that has a more sporting mission like the FR-S. I made that comment in a discussion of the review of the Fiesta ST on here a few months (another vehicle under consideration). A lot of people said they wish Ford had brought over the 3 door since the back seat is so small that it’s not really practical for people. I said I liked that it was the 5 door because those back doors made it much easier to load and unload cargo.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            actually, after thinking about it, assuming it fits and didn’t mess up the handling, this 2.5 v6 might be a great engine for the FR-S

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That would be a great point…IF the 328 were underpowered, but it isn’t. Every instrumented test I’ve seen shows the 328 would literally destroy the IS in a race.

      I’m sorry, 204 hp isn’t enough for this class of car.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Winston makes the pricing sound worse than it is by casually tossing out the $45k number with no discussion on equipment level or what a comparably equipped competition would cost.

    As mentioned, the 250 AWD starts at $38k. This is more than a 320i xDrive and slightly less than a 328i xDrive. The power output is also in between the two Bimmers. I didn’t bother to compare equipment, but I would bet on a base Lexus having a couple more features than a base BMW. It would be difficult for any luxury car to have fewer features than a base BMW.

    I thought the value equation was mandatory for a car review. The tone and writing were already unprofessional, but it is especially disappointing to have to do that fact checking on my own.

  • avatar

    No kidding. I find MT reviews more relevant that ones at this site lately. It is a painful read, sorry, had to skip most it. Have to subscribe to MT and stop reading this nonsense here. At least MT reviews are based on real tests and comparisons and not amateur fantasies like at TTAC.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    For 45 grand, you can just buy Acura TL AWD with 6MT. The 3.5L Honda engine in it is a lot better than the small 2.5L V6.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @jacob – yea the only thing is that the Acura’s handling isn’t as good as the Lexus. The Acura is bigger, heavier, and very forward weight bias thanks to it’s FWD origins.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I don’t think the review deserves the steaming pile that has been dumped on it.

    Whether you like the car’s exterior is not a matter of argument; it’s a matter of taste. Personally, with one or two exceptions, I don’t think the Japanese have really found their sense of exterior styling that is congruent with most American (and perhaps Western) tastes. I found the previous version of this car attractive in an understated way. As with the BMW 1-series (which has a similar lack of room in the back), or the MINI COOPER, I’m not attracted to a car with a backseat suitable only for 10-year olds. I’d rather have a sportscar and skip the pretense.

    The author does make a good point that smoking acceleration is not essential for a car to be enjoyable to drive. Perhaps, like some of us, he appreciates the qualities of a smooth, normally aspirated engine whose torque builds with engine speed. Not long ago, Honda was known for these kinds of engines . . . both 4s and V-6s. In a prior era, so was BMW, although BMW’s engines were all inline.

    I agree that the price is a little stunning and, unlike the reviewer and a lot of commenters, I don’t see the point of AWD on this car. It adds weight and mechanical drag that this engine call ill afford to carry. For normal driving outside of really snowy areas (like, say, update New York), in my opinion, AWD is vastly oversold. It does not contribute to vehicle control to any greater degree than any number of stability control systems out there. And, with modest power, there’s no need for AWD to get the maximum of the car’s acceleration potential.

    Sadly, this car used to be available with a manual. Now THAT could have been fun.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed, this would have been a much nicer car with a manual.

      And I see your point about “smoking” acceleration, but then again, who wants to spend this much on a car and get “smoked” by all its competitors, and maybe even the kid delivering pizzas in Mom’s Sonata Turbo.

  • avatar
    toomanycrayons

    “The new IS is a handsome car.”

    I agree, and then some: Instantly one of the best new styling efforts on the road. I actually enjoy seeing them. I’m predicting, a classic is born.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The only instrumented test I could find for this vehicle tells me all I need to know: 0-60 in 7.8 seconds. Ouch.

    Yes, straight-line acceleration isn’t everything, but when you drop $45,000 on a car with sporting aspirations, you don’t want something that would get humiliated by the competition.

    And what happened to all the great Lexus interiors? This one looks downmarket to me. Did this author drive any of the other cars in this class?

    I spent some time with the last-gen IS, and the impression I got, in a nutshell, was: nice commuter car, well built, but dull. This review doesn’t convince me much has changed.

    Sorry…no sale.

    By the way, did anyone who crapped all over the ATS’ “unspeakably downscale” instruments look at the ones in this car? What Corolla did these come from? Perhaps we should have some “vellum venom” on this.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “… you don’t want something that would get humiliated by the competition.”

      Under what circumstances would this humiliation occur? Where I live I can leave people in the dust just by flooring a 4.1L Deville because people generally don’t aggressively accelerate on the street.

      I can’t imagine that the type of people that buy the IS250 are the type that hang out at the drag strip, and F&F style illegal street racing is the domain of SRT/Corvette owners and 19 year olds in Mustangs.

      • 0 avatar
        fredtal

        I agree, unless I’m cruising Westheimer (Houston) at night no one ever challenges me and my little A3. And please no one cares how “fast” a Camry is.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You don’t have to be Don Garlits to appreciate solid acceleration, particularly when you’re laying out $45,000 sport sedan. This car is badly underpowered compared to most of its competition.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Then buy the IS350.

          Most “sports sedans” in this class are not being driven by people who want a sub-6 second 0-60. They probably don’t even know the displacement, hp, or even the number of cylinders under the hood. BMW just introduced the 320 here, which has the same ~7.5 second 0-60 time as a RWD IS250.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I disagree completely. These are SPORTS sedans, not family haulers, and performance is one of the big selling points. As far as the 320 is concerned, it’s clearly a loss leader, and the base IS stickers about $4000 higher than the BMW. The IS compares more naturally to the 328, which will put the Lexus on the trailer in any measurable performance category.

            That’s probably why the BMW sells over three times as many variants of its 3-series than Lexus does with the IS line.

            I haven’t driven the new IS, but this is a carryover drivetrain from the last-gen model, which I did spend a lot of time with. It wasn’t a slug, but when you compared it back to back with a 335 (or even the old 6-cylinder 328) the difference in performance is pretty glaring.

            My only point is that if Lexus intends to shed its’ somewhat stodgy image, it needs to beef up the performance of its meat-and-potatoes models. Right now, their big sellers are the RX CUV and the ES, which is a geriatric-mobile of the first order. They have a fine basic platform with the IS; it just needs more power, which is puzzling given the engineering prowess we all know Toyota has at its disposal.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Revisit your pricing. If you want simple stuff like the power seats and moonroof that the IS250 has standard, you need to add a $3K+ option package to the strippo base 320i. That brings it to ~$38K. The IS250 RWD starts at $37K. The 328i starts at $37K and the IS350 at $39K. Not sure why you think the 320 and IS250 don’t compare very naturally on price.

            Your argument that these are SPORTS sedans doesn’t seem to hold in the market place. They may have started that way, but one needs only look at how BMW softened the 3 series, numbed its steering, and gave it a big backseat to infer where the bulk of sales are. Like many who visit online car blogs, I’m not sure your priorities match those who purchase most of these cars.

            The new IS and GS have been very well received by some large enthusiast auto outlets. Even driver-focused and universally anti-toyota Car and Driver rated the IS350 Fsport over the BMW 335 and Cadillac ATS in a comparo, and motortrend seems to adore the GS350. Steering feel and chassis tuning are compared favorably to the 3 series. This is WAY more praise than Lexus is accustomed to receiving from such media outlets. Not sure what more you want Lexus to do to shed its stodgy image. Like I wrote before, if 0-60 is your real hangup, buy the IS350. It’s priced very similarly to a 328.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I just loaded both cars up to the gunwales and the Lexus still came in considerably higher price-wise. Clearly the 320 is the cheaper car.

            As far as your argument that the market doesn’t really require sport from sport sedans is concerned, the sales figures show the best selling model is the 3-series, which happens to the the one with the most performance cred. Clearly some people who want a car like this don’t necessarily want the hottest setup, but they want something with some balls. Otherwise, this segment would be made up of cars like the Lexus ES, Buick Lacrosse, or Lincoln MKZ.

            And, yes, the IS F-sport does perform extremely well. But it’s not the model being tested here. If Lexus really wants to make a dent in this segment, then it needs to beef up the performance envelope of the basic IS considerably. Then they’d have a car with BMW-like performance, with the reliability of a Lexus. That would close the sales gap considerably. As is, they just seem content to carry over the old tech.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            1) You are being willfully selective and narrow regarding pricing. Are the fully loaded versions equally equipped or does the Lexus have more features? How about cars not loaded to the gunwales? How about cars sold at a more typical transaction price? The $37K IS250 I mentioned in my last comment is similarly equipped to the $38K 320i. So how is it “clearly” the more expensive car? The TrueDelta and Edmunds cost comparison tools will provide better answers if either of us has the time or inclination to look.

            2) Unless you can provide some market research showing that the BMW is being purchased for specific performance reasons and not for other equally plausible reasons (badge, brand affinity, reputation, snob appeal, styling), your argument about sales volume is completely hypothetical. It’s also undermined by BMW watering down the driving experience in the current 3 series. Do you believe they made it softer, bigger, number and sacrificed their legendary inline 6 for a rougher but more efficient turbo because “performance” is the top selling point? That doesn’t make any sense.

            Despite it’s loss of performance cred, the 3 series is still the king of sales for the segment. So it’s likely most who bought one didn’t notice that it has numb steering and sloppy suspension relative to its predecessors. Why wouldn’t they notice that? Probably because performance isn’t the top priority for core buyers.

            The Cadillac ATS is pretty much the driver’s car in this class and the BMW outsells that by a large margin as well. Again, I think you may be confusing what you want from this class of car with what others want from it. And again, if the IS250′s acceleration is your primary sore spot, you can buy a $39K base IS350 for very similar money as a $38K base 328i.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “And what happened to all the great Lexus interiors? This one looks downmarket to me. Did this author drive any of the other cars in this class?”

      The wording in this comment suggests that you haven’t seen the interior in person. I haven’t read a review that didn’t compliment the interior quality of this car. And they have driven the other cars in the class.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    An enthusiastic Lexus review by someone without name recognition of enthusiast credibility? No wonder there are so many comments. The review is a bit too fawning and exuberant for my tastes, but you should read the recent Edmunds review of the 320i if you want an example of a high-profile automotive media outlet doing the same thing.

    How people love to bash on this car. I haven’t driven any of these cars, but from what I’ve read the IS and ATS are the best choices in the segment if you care about handling. Most professional reviews suggest the IS has a superior chassis and steering to the BMW, so we target the weak engine instead, forgetting that BMW and Cadillac also offer low-power base engines (320i and ATS 2.5) which are just as slow as this Lexus. Forgetting that BMW willfully abandoned tactile steering and the inline 6 to chase mpg ratings and attract more clients. We accuse Lexus of insulting all that is holy to auto enthusiasts but somehow forget that nearly every 328i on the road is driven by someone with zero interest in speed, handling, steering feel, yada yada. They are chick cars, have been for awhile, and it appears that BMW is now caving to that market pressure and actually making them drive more like chick cars.

    Most people I see driving anything in this class are driving as if there is only 150hp under the hood and appear to be more concerned about their wardrobe than the tangible qualities of their car.

    I don’t get it. What horrible scourge do you believe Lexus is inflicting us with? They made a small entry level luxury sedan with more driver involvement than a comparable BMW, Audi, or Mercedes, kept an outdated but refined V6 that seems to please the customer base just fine, gave it great seats and a unique interior built of quality materials, and let people who want winter traction have the option of AWD. The IS350 exists for those who want the 5.5 sec 0-60 time.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I don’t get all the hate for this car’s “slow” 0-60 time. Yes, my 330i is quicker than most other cars out there, but it’s upper 5 second 0-60 time still means I’ll have to be quick on my launch if the old lady in the V-6 Camry decides to race and I’ll lose to the sorority girl putting on makeup while driving the 335 her daddy bought her, much less a Corvette, Mustang GT 5.0, M3, or any number of faster cars. So what? Unless you’ve got a Veyron, there will always be faster cars than you. I know I’m enjoying myself more than the first two (the Camry or the 335). Although I certainly find the power of my car addicting I don’t need this much power to have fun, and had I ended up with a 325i with it’s measly pathetic 185 hp, I would have been perfectly content. The IS250 has sufficient power to get out of its own way and keep pace with traffic. It’s got just as much power as a Mercedes C250 and more horsepower than a BMW 320i or Cadillac ATS 2.5. Probably about the same 0-60 as well.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    for those asking about price, the 320i and IS250 are priced right on top of each other. True Delta has the BMW as $125 less when you let the site “equivalently equip” them, and that turns into a $450 advantage for the Lexus when you take into account its additional equipment.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I like the new Lexus IS, but the 250 is simply far too weak/underpowered. Yes, it is severely underpowered for a modern “sports” sedan, or even if you compare it to a run-of-the-mill sedan like a Camry or Accord. That might be okay in an econobox, but not a sport sedan or even a sedan with sporting pretensions.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I was fascinated with the screen map of North America featuring Hudson’s Bay to the left (West) and the Gulf Of Mexico to the right (East). I had to pull out a National Geographic Atlas to find out North America really was oriented that way, with the equator running right through the middle of the continent – 600 million years ago. The car may be fantastic, but the maps need updating.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    45 large for a car with nearly the same plain exterior styling from the A-pillar back, that horrible predator grille, little more power than a Chevy Malibu and a cramped seat smaller than a Corolla. No thanks. I would much rather buy a Fusion or Accord Sport V6 that will spank this thing in any race and save the other 15 grand for a really clean older classic. To call this a Sport Sedan is an oxymoron.


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