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Lexus IS250 2013 review: snap shot

The new Lexus IS250 Luxury is super quiet and smooth.
EXPERT RATING
7
It's been the best looking Lexus for a long time and the new model IS continues that trend with its sporty, sexy lines and striking front and rear styling.

It's been the best looking Lexus for a long time and the new model IS continues that trend with its sporty, sexy lines and striking front and rear styling. It's longer than before, wider and lower and offers more room inside particularly for rear seat passengers as well as boot space.

This is generation three of the IS and they've continued with rear wheel drive but added a four pot hybrid (Camry engine) as well as the F-Sport spec' this time around.

Price

We drove the IS250 Luxury entry level model selling for $55,900 -- right on the money against the competition but with a V6 donk instead of a four banger. Lexus IS competes with some red hot Euros in the Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. But it has an advantage right now in that the Japanese luxury compact sedan is the newest kid on the block though there's some carry over stuff from the previous model.

They've loaded the new IS with kit including a brilliant ‘Enform’ system that networks internet information and communications through a large info screen. The base car scores satnav with camera, crash danger and school zone audible warnings. It works a treat as a “conscience” tapping you on the shoulder.

You also get smart entry and engine start, leather, electric heated and ventilated seats, reverse camera, a mouse-like multi controller and impressive audio. Ride is by double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension in this case with 17-inch wheels. The steering is electric with variable ratio.

Engine

It's the same 2.5-litre petrol V6 as before that achieves an adequate 156kW/252Nm output to push some 1645kg of car around. The engine has dual variable valve timing (VVT-i) and is a smooth, sweet runner capable of using as little as 7.3-litres/100km using premium.

But it isn't what you'd call quick clocking a 0-100kmh sprint in 8.1 seconds. More torque low in the rev range would be handy but the deficit is masked by the auto box. Drive goes to the rear wheels via a six speed auto with paddle shift and multiple drive modes.

Driving

The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say, and in the IS250 Luxury's case, it's pretty good. Super quiet and smooth, new IS250 has sporty dynamics and the steering is good in terms of feel and response coupled with a small turning circle that's great for parking.

You can ‘have a go’ in the IS250 and it will reward you but more punch would be handy and really capitalise on the new, stronger chassis. We tried the drive select mode and settled for Normal as it covers all bases and gives a relaxed drive experience. The boot is a decent size expandable with 60/40 rear seats.

Love the look, the front LEDs, the stunning rear treatment, the side profile, heck, we love the entire look of the new IS inside and out. The interior is new and super stylish as well as being functional. Safety kit includes all the necessaries for a five star crash rating but the base model could do with more driver assistance systems.

Verdict

You really only need the car we drove for everyday driving and it stacks up well against the competition when comparing apples with apples on price. But a bit more grunt would be good.

Pricing Guides

$32,345
Based on 80 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$17,990
Highest Price
$39,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
IS250c F-Sport 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $39,270 – 46,200 2013 Lexus IS 2013 IS250c F-Sport Pricing and Specs
IS250c Prestige 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $33,220 – 39,490 2013 Lexus IS 2013 IS250c Prestige Pricing and Specs
IS250c Sports 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $38,830 – 45,650 2013 Lexus IS 2013 IS250c Sports Pricing and Specs
IS250c Sports Luxury 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $45,540 – 52,910 2013 Lexus IS 2013 IS250c Sports Luxury Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$23,997

Lowest price, based on 14 car listings in the last 6 months

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