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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Lexus IS 250

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Expert's Rating


MPG 21 City / 29 Highway
  • Many standard safety features
  • Upscale interior
  • Great steering feel
  • Lazy manual mode on automatic models
  • Non-folding back seat
  • Back seat somewhat cramped
Automotive Editor -
The Lexus IS line of performance sedans was a direct swipe by Toyota's luxury lineup at the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It debuted in the 2001 model year, as the IS 300, and changed over to the IS 250 and IS 350 in 2006. The majority of the 2013 IS 250 is a carryover from the 2012 model year, but there are some minor changes for the 2013 model year.


The biggest change for the IS 250 in the 2013 model year is the deletion of a manual transmission option. Under the IS 250’s hood lays a 2.5-liter V-6 engine that pumps out 204 horsepower and 185 foot-pounds of torque, and links up to a six-speed automatic transmission.

At its base level, the IS 250 comes very well equipped and there are six optional packages that can beaded to the IS 250 to make it even more enjoyable, including: Navigation System/Mark Levinson Premium Audio System Package, Navigation System Package, Premium Package Value Edition, Luxury Plus Value Edition Package, Luxury Plus Value Edition Package with 18-inch Wheels, and F Sport Vehicle package.

See our picks for best luxury cars in the CarsDirect 2013 Luxury Car Buying Guide.

In terms of competition, the IS 250 has it coming from all directions. The first competitor is the 2013 BMW 328i and 328i xDrive. Another worthy competitor is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sport and C250 Luxury. The 2013 Acura TSX and its 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is another alternative to the IS 250. The last competitor to the party is the newly released 2013 Cadillac ATS, which features an acceptable 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a downright exciting optional 272-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine.

With the compact luxury car segment really picking up steam, Lexus will have to deliver a precise vehicle to keep from losing customers to its competition.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Lexus IS 250
Starting price

2013 Lexus IS 250 Base

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a premium sedan without getting a large car

The 2013 Lexus IS 250 Base comes standard 2.5-liter V-6 engine that gets it to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds while still maintaining 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. On the outside, the IS 250 features standard fog lamps, daytime running lights, LED taillights, intermittent wipers, stability control, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution and hill-start assist. Inside the IS 250 Base, it features: 13-speaker premium sound system with six-disc CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, leather interior, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, 10-way power driver and passenger seat with lumbar adjustments, steering-wheel-mounted controls, electroluminescent instruments, dual-zone air conditioning, and power windows and door locks.

Used Lexus IS in 20149