The Lexus entry in the compact luxury-sport segment, the rear-drive IS 250C offers the brand’s trademark interior plushness in a head-turning convertible body. It might be more at home on the boulevard than the track, but that suits the target market just fine.
What's New for 2014
While the IS sedan wears a fresh redesign this year, the C remains unchanged for the time being, except for some new integrated smartphone apps.
Choosing Your Lexus IS 250C
As its name implies, the IS 250C carries a 2.5-liter V6 with 204 horsepower, the base engine in the IS stable. In a nod to purists, Lexus offers the option of a six-speed manual transmission in place of the six-speed automatic selected by most buyers. The standard retractable hardtop insulates occupants from noise and weather just as well as a fixed roof, although it gobbles trunk space when stowed.
All the expected standard features are here, including leather seating with power in front, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-CD changer, and Bluetooth phone and audio. The 250 C gets more interesting as you ponder the available option packages:
- Luxury: Includes upgraded leather upholstery with driver memory and heated and ventilated front seats, wood interior trim, bi-xenon headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
- Navigation: Bundles a navigation system with a rearview camera, Bluetooth phonebook downloading, HD radio and (optional) 12-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound.
- F Sport: Enhances the 250 C’s performance with braking and suspension upgrades, 18- or 19-inch dark graphite wheels and sportier styling touches.
Parking sensors and adaptive cruise control are offered separately or as part of the Luxury Package.
If you’re in the market for a convertible and have always admired Lexus for its luxury and quality, the IS 250 C is an ideal fit—so long as you don’t expect to fit anything bigger than a briefcase in the trunk with the top down.