2009 Lexus IS250 AWD

A suit for every occasion

2009 Lexus IS250 AWD

Imagine there was a suit that was versatile enough for you to wear it anywhere and everywhere you wanted. Whether you were attending a first date or funeral, keg party or charity function, you would feel confident that your attire suited your surroundings while offering all of the comfort and versatility you crave. This is precisely how I felt while driving the Lexus IS250.

FAST FACTS

1. The IS250 is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 with 204 hp and 185 ft-lbs of torque.

2. Fuel economy is rated at 21/29 mpg (city/highway)

3. Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) come standard with an optional all-wheel drive system.

Whether pulling up to the office or the opera, onlookers will be suitable impressed by the sleek, sophisticated lines of the IS and acknowledge that you have indeed arrived. No one will comment about your lack of environmental concern or apparent need to overcompensate for being poorly endowed. No matter what environment you may enter, the IS can assimilate seamlessly by looking suave, sporty and stylish without being pretentious.

MODEST 2.5-LITER V6 DELIVERS 204 HORSEPOWER

Boasting a fuel-efficient 2.5-liter V6 mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic Super ECT gearbox, output is rated at 204 hp and 185 ft-lbs of torque, which should amply meet the needs of most drivers. Engaging Sport mode quickens the pace, but those wishing for more aggressive performance should look towards the IS350 or IS-F. Be warned, however, as doing so will be at the cost of both fuel efficiency and affordability, as the 250 is the least expensive avenue into the Lexus lineup.

Fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway with the automatic, which compensates for the fact that the 250 can feel underpowered at times. (AWD manual transmission models get 18/26 mpg). The IS250 is also available in all-wheel-drive (as on our tester), but that option is only offered in conjunction with the automatic transmission, which takes an extra half a second or so to hit 60 mph. Fuel economy for AWD models is 20/26 mpg (city/hwy).

IMPRESSIVE HANDLING, BRAKING AND INTERIOR

While acceleration may not be as potent as other options in the entry-level sport sedan market, the 250 more than makes up for this shortcoming by offering impeccable braking and handling, in addition to one of the finest interiors I have experienced in this segment. The fine ivory-colored leather seating and black door panels and dash along with brushed aluminum accents complimented the Smoky Granite Mica exterior incredibly well.

My lone grievance with the interior is that the foot wells are narrowed by the transmission tunnel, which is inconvenient and annoying for the driver.

The Lexus IS250 may be an entry-level sport sedan, but does not skimp on the luxury. The front bucket seats offer excellent support while the brushed aluminum pedals provide exceptional feel to what the car is doing.

The IS walks a fine tightrope, successfully finding a critical balance that will please those who crave something sporty and luxurious at the same time. Somehow it manages to offer an impressive amount of everything while compromising very little.

The options list offers such upgrades as adaptive bi-xenon HID headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, a Mark Levinson sound system with a CD/DVD changer, navigation with an integrated backup camera, cruise control and Bluetooth capabilities. An X package is also available exclusively on RWD models, which also includes the addition of bigger wheels, high-performance tires, a firmer suspension, aluminum pedals and a front lip spoiler.

AWD AND ELECTRONIC AIDS MAKE FOR SURE-FOOTED PERFORMANCE

The combination of AWD, Traction Control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) mean that the IS is sure-footed and confident throughout the various weather and road conditions I managed to experience over the course of the week. Additional safety features include dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags.

With all of the safety initiatives in place, there isn’t really an option for funny business in the 250. When push comes to shove, it places luxury over performance, but this shouldn’t concern the majority of the buying public. Having the potential to spin the rear tires off the line or experience the exhilaration of stepping out the rear-end around corners may be priorities for some prospective buyers of their next sport sedan, but that isn’t what the entry-level IS is all about. Those seeking such a stirring experience will likely stray towards sportier German options like the new Mercedes-Benz C300 or BMW 328i rather than the Japanese luxury brand known for being somewhat conservative.

And if you’re looking for an AWD model like my tester, then getting the rear-end loose is quite the opposite of what you’re after in a car.

THE VERDICT

The IS250 and 350 were launched in time for the 2006 model year in order to phase out the original IS. Launched in 2001, the IS300 was a departure from the traditionally stuffy models available from Lexus at that time by offering sportier more dynamic driving capabilities, rear-wheel-drive and an optional manual transmission. The 250 and 350 have evolved to become more sophisticated, luxurious sedans, which still keep the driver in mind.

The IS250 demonstrates that entry-level luxury doesn’t have to be a compromise and at a base price of $34,785 it really is a suit for all occasions.

PLUS

Interior and exterior fit and finish Affordable entry-level luxury Impeccable handling

MINUS

Narrow foot well Not-overly peppy No option of manual transmission AND all-wheel-drive

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked