Lexus is250

Driving in Style: The Lexus IS250 Review

Why did I buy a Lexus is 250?

After owning 3 X-types jaguars one after the other I have finally moved away from them and bought a Lexus.

In this article I’ll explain my thinking on why I chose it and my early thoughts on the Lexus five weeks into owning it.

Background on the Lexus is250

Introduction and brief overview

The IS250 is considered a great compact executive car manufactured by Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese automaker Toyota. It was introduced in 2005 as part of the second-generation IS line-up and was in production until 2015.

The IS250 is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produces 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. You can have either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The car is rear-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive was an available option.

I think that the IS250 has a sleek and stylish exterior design with what at the time was a modern and luxurious interior.

It has a reasonably comfortable ride, not as good as my old jaguar X-type but the payoff for that is it has better handling and balanced performance.

The model I bought has a premium sound system, a sat nav, and adaptive cruise control. Though my favourite bit is the rear-view camera that comes on when you are reversing. I don’t mind admitting I’ve hit the odd bollard over the years!

Overall, from the research I did before buying one, the Lexus IS250 was a well-regarded car that offered a great balance of performance, comfort, and style.

However, some drivers found its engine to be underpowered compared to its competitors, and its fuel economy was also criticized as being relatively poor for its class.

From my perspective it has a top speed of 141 mph which is at least 41 mph more than I am ever going to drive it. Fuel economy is of little concern to me these days since I work from home and probably won’t do more than 3,000 miles per year in it.

The other slight bonus is that petrol is currently 20p a litre cheaper than the diesel I was putting in the X-Type Jag.

Lexus is250 Review

Why do this Lexus is250 review?

Most reviews in car mags by motoring journalists are written by people that have the car for a few hours, maybe a day or the weekend. I’ve owned my Lexus for 5 weeks already (as of 10th March 2023) and I plan to update this article throughout the period I own the car.

Lexus is250 Design and Style

I really liked the look of the is250 has an understated sportiness. Which may be a bit of a contradiction but doesn’t look like some crazy boy racer type car and yet it isn’t a boring looking old man’s car either.

I like the look of the rear end and its wedge-shaped lines.

Inside it offers a lot of features, some of which I’ve already mentioned. The interior generally is very good, and the leather seats are very comfortable.

Lexus Performance and Handling

Since owning it I’ve only put it in sport mode (mines an automatic) about 5 times. This is invariably when I’m in the wrong lane waiting at lights, or a traffic island and I want to nip out quickly. It is very good for that.

Once when on the Evesham by-pass I had a slow lorry and 2 cars behind it when I switched it into sport mode and flew past them in no time. It really is quick enough for any normal motoring.

As for cornering I haven’t had the need or opportunity to really test the Lexus yet. What does surprise me though is for this article I looked at the length of the Lexus versus the x-type and the jag is only about 10 cm longer than the Lexus.

My impression when driving the Lexus though is it feels a lot shorter. I guess that’s just because the car does feel “tighter” and less likely to have the back end slip out when cornering which the jag was likely to do.

Overview of the engine and transmission options

Lexus is250 Engine Options:

2.5-liter V6 engine producing 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque (2005-2013 models)

2.5-liter V6 engine producing 204 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque (2014-2015 models)

Lexus is250 Transmission Options:

6-speed manual transmission (2005-2014 models)

6-speed automatic transmission (2006-2015 models)

It’s worth noting that the all-wheel-drive (AWD) models were only offered with the automatic transmission. Additionally, the 2014-2015 models were only available with the automatic transmission.

Lexus IS 250 Interior

Comfort and Convenience

I find the driver’s seat very comfortable. The longest drive I’ve been on so far was about a 120-mile round trip and I was very pleased with it. Annoyingly I didn’t brim the tank before I went but I will do it next time so I can give accurate mpg on a run.

My old Jag (read the article here) didn’t have a factory fitted Bluetooth phone kit fitted so having one in the Lexus is good.

It has not just a cigarette lighter to charge stuff but also a phone jack and media connectivity.

Being a lazy bugger, I like the automatic lights.

Lexus Reliability

This is one of the main reasons I bought the Lexus. I really wanted an automatic but a lot of makes/model of cars have great auto boxes when they are working but are exceptionally expensive when they go wrong.

Read my article, Is Lexus Car Maintenance expensive?

I was reluctant to have any sort of “Tiptronic” and after speaking to a mechanic friend of mind he said of the cars I was interested in the Lexus is250 was probably going to be the one that would give me less cause for concern.

I was thinking of an Audi or Jaguar XF as the 2 other options.

Pros and Cons for me

Doesn’t have the luxury status that a Jaguar has or the badge kudos of an Audi but on the positive side there are not many of them about.

I never tend to go for a car that is very common, and when searching on Autotrader for the Lexus there were no more than 20 in the entire country for sale that matched my criteria. Whereas there were literally hundreds of Audis and Jags.

I have a private plate on the car and the average person would have no idea how old the car is.


So far so good. I’m pleased with the car thus far and I’m still getting pleasure from it every time I get in it.

I’m in that period where I’m still looking for excuses to drive it!

I will of course update this post as time goes by.

Read my Jaguar x-type review here.