Buying Guide

2011 Lexus IS250

Fair Market Price $16,126 Base AWD Sedan
Motor Trend Rating

0-60 MPH:

7.2 SECS


21 City / 30 Hwy

Horse Power:

204 @ 6400

The IS 250 is Lexus’ smaller sedan. It is on par with the BMW 3 Series or an Audi A4. It has been in production since 2000, with a major update in 2005. The IS 250 is a 5 passenger sedan with 4 wheel disc brakes mounted on 17″ wheels. Rear wheel drive is standard with an option to have the engine drive all four wheels. The 250 is available in a retractable hardtop version, called the 250c, but the option for all wheel drive is not available with the convertible.

Power for this platform comes in the form a 2.5 liter V-6 which produces 204 HP and 185 Ft-Lbs. of torque. The engine is Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEVII) certified. Power is routed out of the engine via a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic transmission.

While the standard feature list is impressive, so are the options: Bi-Xenon headlights, Birdseye Maple interior, Navigation with rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control with Bluetooth. A performance package is also available which serves up larger wheels and tires along with some other sportier options.

Body styles: Sedan, convertible
Engines: 2.5L V-6, 3.5L V-6, 5.0L V-8
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 8-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic
Models: IS 250, IS 250C, IS 350, IS 350C, IS F

IS 250/350 receives a new grille and front bumper, as well as a new exhaust tip. All-wheel drive is now available on the IS 350. Interior trim has changed; it’s now a black metallic finish. Convertibles add a new Luxury Package with new interior colors, while sedans are available with the F Sport Package (18-inch wheels, sport suspension, sport seats). Adaptive Front Lighting has been discontinued.

A new front grille and bumper, plus revisions to the rear end help refresh the looks of the IS lineup. There are new 17- and 18-inch wheels, too. Style is modern and sporty, and the IS F looks lower and meaner.

Leather and wood touches abound throughout the interior of the IS. Heated and ventilated front seats, driver seat memory, 14-speaker surround sound audio, Bluetooth, and navigation are available. The IS F receives new optional orange and black leather seats.

The IS has an excellent chassis and provides a fun drive on twisty roads. Ride is a little rough in the standard IS, which is worse in the IS F. Having said that, the IS F is immensely entertaining on the road — it scoots to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Braking from 60 mph only takes 108 feet.

Dual front airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags are standard. The IS line also comes with four-wheel disc brakes, four-channel ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, and brake assist; traction control; and stability control.

IS 250, 250C: 18-21 mpg city/ 26-29mpg highway
IS 350, 350C: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
IS F: 16 mpg city/23mpg highway

  • Fire-breathing IS F
  • High-quality interior
  • Excellent chassis
  • Stiff suspension
  • Intrusive stability/traction control

Good balance of luxury and performance


  • Infiniti G37
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Audi A4
  • Acura TSX
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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