As far as luxury cars go, the Lexus IS 250C is decidedly compact. But compared to other convertibles, it's a rather practical choice with legitimate rear seats and adequate trunk space with the top up. Most impressive is its sumptuous cabin, which is just as quiet and soothing as any fixed-roof luxury coupe of similar size.
What's New for 2015
The IS 250C receives additional iPhone apps and digital music choices.
Choosing your Lexus IS 250C
As the junior model in the rear-drive IS convertible family, the 250C runs with a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 204 horsepower, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. The smallish V6 trails some competitors in output, but it does deliver 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving. With the standard power hardtop in place, the 250C is as quiet and smooth as you would expect a Lexus to be, and the trunk can easily handle a weekend's worth of luggage for two. However, with top tucked neatly away, you're limited to one golf bag.
Inside, the IS 250 is outfitted with leather seating for four, power front seats, Bluetooth phone and audio, and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio. Other standard features include keyless ignition, a telematics system and 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Luxury package comes with higher grade of leather upholstery, wood interior trim, and heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory. The Navigation package features a navigation system with voice controls, plus a rearview camera, HD radio and numerous smartphone apps. Models so equipped can also get a 12-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system.
For a sportier feel, Lexus offers the F Sport package with an upgraded suspension, summer performance tire on unique 18-inch wheels, and more aggressive styling inside and out. Heated and ventilated front seats are also part of the S Sport treatment.
All IS 250C models are eligible for a small but choice selection of individual options, including adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation, adaptive xenon headlamps and parking sensors.
Despite its taut and purposeful looks, the IS 250C is really about luxurious open-air motoring, not performance. If your taste runs toward the sporty, we heartily recommend on the F Sport package, which is a very reasonable $2,550.