Lexus IS 250 Review

This particular Lexus luxury sedan was dropped from the IS lineup in September of 2015, but, of course, we know that IS models are still very popular and we’ve already seen the 2020 versions for the IS 300 and 350. Moreover, the 2015 IS 250 model got a lot of praise from critics and consumers. The car actually made it to the top 5 lists in the Luxury small cars and Luxury convertibles lists. We really like this stylish sleek sedan with a distinctive Lexus look, excellent road performance, and well-crafted quality cabin. Now, let’s look at the 250 IS in detail.

The Pros

  • Exemplary cabin design and upscale materials 
  • Strong steering performance
  • Smooth ride quality
  • Distinct recognizable visually striking style
  • Above-average reliability
  • Siri Eyes feature 

The Cons

  • Unimpressive fuel economy  
  • F Sport trim is a letdown
  • Engine is inefficient    

Lexus IS 250 Overview

Lexus IS 250 Review

The IS model is one of those Lexus models that managed to win admiration and it does score high amongst customers: since the very successful 1999 launch of the IS Lexus has managed to sell an impressive million vehicles worldwide. As for 2015 IS 250 it ranks high and mostly tops the lists of the luxury small cars. The 250 IS has undergone a huge revamp in 2014, and, apart from a few minor things migrated into 2015 practically untouched. The IS’s cabin is surprisingly roomy for a small car with just enough head and legroom. The car can definitely be awarded a lot of extra points for the unique design, there is an abundance of standard features and you immediately notice the customer-focused approach: it is exceptionally well built and the quality of materials is unquestionable. Unfortunately, if you are also looking for a sporty ride with swift acceleration and monster of an engine – this is definitely not your car. The IS 250 falls short performance-wise with its inefficient V6 engine. 

2015 IS 250 comes in two trim levels: base and Crafted Line. 

Exterior

The IS 250 has a very unique and well-recognized appearance. Yes, not everybody can handle the raw fashionable trademark Lexus design supported by the outstanding Lexus spindle mesh grille, though everybody can definitely appreciate it. The grille really stands out and dominates the appearance. There are also a lot of sharp edges and angled panels – both add aggression to the look. The exterior has a futuristic sort of feel, IS’s exterior is one of the best things about this vehicle.   

Exterior of the Lexus IS 250

Interior

Moving on inside, even though luxury is expected of the Lexus, the design, craftsmanship and the quality of the materials is still very impressive. The cabin looks well-made and expensive with wood and metallic accents, and beautiful hard plastic parts. All of the controls are strategically placed within reach and are all easy to use. A major drawback – the mouse-like remote touch controller and infotainment, both are, by the way, still a problem in 2019 IS models. This particular sedan has an exceptionally comfortable seats and there is enough legroom in the front and back.

Performance

You’ll be hard-pressed finding fans of the IS’s performance: the 2.5-liter V6 is an unimpressive engine capable of generating up to 204 hp. Acceleration is fine, though it isn’t all that impressive and can reach 60 in 7,5 seconds. The same can be said about the suspension: subpar and drives a bit sloppy, especially around the corners. Just for reference: the rival 2015 BMW 4 Series comes standard with a 240 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter the four-cylinder engine and you can also opt for the two other trims that’ll offer you 300 hp or 425. 2015 Lexus IS 250 does offer AWD or RWD. 

Technology

This particular model has a strong and smart tech lineup. The IS 250 features include the absolutely necessary push-button start with keyless entry, Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary inputs and a great 8-speaker audio system. There are also:

  • Sunroof
  • HID headlights
  • LED running lights and fog lights
  • Lexus Personalized Settings system
  • Siri Eyes
  • Infotainment system with a 7-inch VGA screen 

Value

In 2015 you would have paid around 37K for the RWD standard, and the prices went up to way beyond 50K. Nowadays, the used 2015 IS 250 goes for around 26 000 USD and, depending on the features its equipped with you may spend up to 37 500. 

Seats

The 2019 Lexus IS 350 is a five-seater. The seats are wonderfully comfortable. They are spacious and are designed to offer maximum support to different body shapes. The seats are faux leather and the Premium package will offer you a genuine leather sublime heated/ventilated seating heaven that’ll remind you that you’re driving a Lexus.  

Climate control

The dual-zone automatic climate control is easy to use and adjust, you’ll have no problem creating maintaining the right temperature and even distribution of air. 

Infotainment System

Infotainment is a major drawback, unfortunately, and very surprisingly, Lexus still struggles with it to this day. The remote touch infotainment system is hard to use. Moreover, there is no compatibility with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay,  again, a problem that is still yet to be addressed. 

Storage and Space

It is not a big car, though, there is just enough storage space inside the cabin for personal items. The trunk space is ample and it even just surpasses the market average with its 13.8 cubic feet. The seats in the back fold if additional cargo space if needed. 

Comfort

Exterior Lexus IS 250

The car is not only comfortable – it is Lexus comfortable with plush lux seating, on-point climate control, exceptionally quiet cabin, and smooth ride. It is outstandingly comfortable in all regards 

Seat comfort

All of the seats are roomy and plush with good lumbar support. The seats are firm and supportive enough to provide an upscale level of comfort even on long rides. There is enough room in front and back and the back seat transformation offers the same awesome seating comfort as it does in the front.  

Ride comfort

Luxury cars do offer a very comfortable ride, and the IS 250 isn’t an exception. Among the defining attributes of the IS 250’s comfort is the ability to offer an overall safe and pleasant experience, a refined ride that isolates passengers from bumpy roads and noise while comfortably seating them. 

Quality

Though it isn’t the best performance out there, you can expect the kind of quality that’ll make the roads with bumps, ruts, and undulations as well as crazy noisy highways disappear. 

Safety & Reliability

The overall rating from the NHTSA is 5 out of 5. 

Should I Buy the Lexus IS 250?

Yes, it is a quality luxury sedan. 

How Much Does it cost?

The average price now:

22 705 USD – 33 918  USD

MSRP:

36 550 USD – 47 640 USD