Fitting with its tagline, Lexus is in pursuit of perfection with the newest version of the IS 250 as it guns for competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. While known for its refinement, Lexus has boosted the aggressiveness of the IS 250's style and demeanor to appeal to buyers who want driving excitement in this segment.
The 2014 IS 250 carries over with the last model's 204-horsepower 2.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The previously available manual transmission is gone.
The list of standard equipment is more comprehensive than most competitors, and includes: 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite and HD radio. Lexus' Safety Connect telematics system is also standard.
Options include a navigation system with backup camera and Lexus Enform telematics, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, LED headlamps, heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control and a collision warning system. The F Sport package adds 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension, along with unique front and rear styling.
The Audi A4 has a nicer interior and more upscale styling, along with a more powerful 2-liter turbocharged engine, but its standard front-wheel drive layout won't please purists and its controls aren't the simplest. The BMW 328i beats the IS 250's performance credentials, is more fuel efficient and has a roomy interior -- but its interior isn't anything special and common options are very expensive. The Cadillac ATS boasts impressive driving dynamics for the class and is very good looking, but the controls are frustrating and space in the rear is tight. The Volvo S60 comes with a very powerful base engine on T5 models, is stylish, well-priced and well-equipped, but loses out on handling, and its infotainment system isn't the best.
The IS250 comes comprehensively equipped, but there are several packages that add even more features. The sole engine choice is a 2.5-liter V6 with 204 horsepower mated to a six-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an option. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, xenon headlamps, front fog lamps, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, a satellite radio, an eight-speaker audio system with HD radio and iPod/USB connectors, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Lexus' Safety Connect telematics system is also standard. Cars with all-wheel drive also include heated front seats.
Options include a Navigation Package with a navigation system in a 7-inch color screen, a backup camera and Lexus Enform telematics that includes apps such as Bing and Pandora. A 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with surround sound is available with the Navigation Package. The Premium Package adds LED headlamps with heated and cooled front seats. The Luxury Package bundles leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control and a collision warning system. The Luxury Technology Package, available only with navigation, goes further with lane departure warning and intelligent high beams.
The F Sport package adds 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension, along with unique front and rear styling.
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|Build & Price|
Stylish, well-priced and has a strong engine, but front-wheel drive layout on base models won't appeal to purists and the controls aren't easy to use
Good driving dynamics with relatively roomy interior and great fuel efficiency, but has bland styling and expensive options
Sharp handling and nice to look at, but controls are frustrating and the rear seat is tight
Stylish with a well-built interior, low base price and strong engine, but handling is not sporty and infotainment systems aren't the most advanced