Entry-level luxury never looked so good. But, does Lexus’ 2012 IS 250 have enough class to keep up with its more powerful 350 sibling? Check it out.
Lexus IS 250 Trims and Feature Highlights
The IS 250 is a small luxury sedan available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations; Lexus also offers a rear-wheel drive convertible called the IS 250 C- you can guess what the ‘C’ stands for. Starting at just under $35,000, the IS 250 gives shoppers a toned down entry into the world of Lexus by offering a modest 204 HP V6 that’s paired with the looks and interior swag you’d expect from the brand. By keeping horsepower at a soft stride, Lexus is able to shed a couple thousands of 250’s price tag as compared to the more potent IS 350 and IS F, allowing more economic conscious luxury consumers a chance to join the party.
Aside from the engine, the IS 250 features standard niceties like dual-zone climate control, leather and aluminum interior trim, Bluetooth, and Safety Connect infotainment features.
Packaged options include perforated leather heated seats & wood trim, navigation combined with all the infotainment apps you can’t drive without, and HID headlights.
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Lexus IS 250 Performance
The IS 250 mirrors its moniker with a 2.5 liter V6 worth 204 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. Shoppers have the option of pairing the V6 with rear- or all-wheel drive setups; rear-wheel drive comes with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, and the all-wheel drive IS 250 gets with the 6-speed auto only.
F-Sport accessories- though they can get pricey- add some, well, sport touches to the IS in sound, wheel, and feel.
Lexus IS 250 Fuel Economy
EPA estimates tag the all-wheel drive IS 250 at 20/27/22 (city/highway/combined) MPG. Rear wheel drive estimates 19/28/22 with the 6-speed manual; automatics improve to 21/30/25. All numbers are gauged using premium fuel.
Lexus IS 250 Interior Highlights
Inside IS 250 you’ll find plenty of luxury but not a whole lot of space. Soft features and leather seats make what is there comfortable enough, and adding maple trim is a nice option, though backseat passengers may suffer from especially cramped conditions; IS offers just 30.6” of rear legroom, which makes knees ache just thinking about it. A good solution is to call shotgun, because up front things are more generous. Besides an extra foot of legroom, you have a nice looking dash with easy controls at your fingertips, along with the option for heated & ventilated seats.
Cargo space is an average 13 cubic feet for the sedan, or 10.8 cubes with the convertible.
Lexus IS 250 Safety
Standard on every 2012 250 are 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability/traction control, eight airbags (six for IS 250 C)- including both driver and front passenger knee airbags, and Safety Connect- offering various emergency/roadside services. Rain sensing wipers are also available.
The NHTSA gives 2012 IS models 5/5 stars for rollover collisions, and IIHS ratings give both frontal and side strength top scores of ‘good’.
Lexus IS 250 Summary
What the 2012 IS 250 lacks under the hood it makes up for in style, graceful handling, and cabin luxuries. If extra power is worth the added cash, check out the IS 350- for a small escalation in price, or the IS F- which is a large escalation. There are more popular picks in the entry-level luxury category, but the IS 250 certainly has the looks to hang with the best of them. Is it love at first sight? It just takes a few clicks to grab the 2012 Lexus IS 250.