2006 Lexus IS 250 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Lexus IS 250 Sedan

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Lexus IS 250 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 204 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Lexus IS 250

  • The IS 250 is an advanced and refined entry-luxury sedan, but if you're looking for maximum sport sedan performance, test-drive the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G35 before making a buying decision.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable handling, highly refined, class-leading interior quality, advanced safety technology, optional all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Horsepower is adequate at best, lacks passion and performance of German alternatives, limited rear-seat space.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, Lexus debuts the all-new IS 250. Replacing the previous IS 300, the IS 250 brings forth new powertrains, more features and a higher-quality cabin.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Bmw 3 is better than

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

Cons: Frequent exhaust leaks, headers leak, 6spd transmission is garbage (Lexus dosnt make 6 spds no more), transmission sounds like marbles, rust is a very big problem on this car from top to bottom. People say BMWs cost more than Lexus to maintain NOT true. Lexus will drain your pockets. Pros: Performance for small V6 2.5L is impressive, excellent handling, interior quality is much better than BMW, looks better than a BMW and most cars in its class. Overall I would stick to a BMW 3 series, for some reason the Lexus rust very easy causing expensive exhaust leaks that occur frequently. GO GERMAN they don't rust like Japanese cars!!!!! AND BMW has better Transmissions than IS250

Shattered high hopes

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

The auto that I purchased was a nightmare. I had to buy tires after one year. The radiator had a leak, although I never saw where it was. I reported the problem to the Lexus dealership and I was told that there was a problem that was discovered with the radiator and that it would be replaced if I was still covered by my warranty. Well I wasnÂ’t and as a result I often drove without any heat, estimated cost $1,600. After a year I had to have the fuel injectors cleaned, cost $1,200. I complained repeatedly complained about a ticking noise coming from the engine. I was told that that was normal. After two years and 60.000 miles I was told that my valve springs were failing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

Great car overall, I am a huge fan of electronic bells and whistles and this has them all (keyless ignition, doors open on sensors, etc.).

My is 250

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

Gotta love this car! It was definitely a better choice than the Infiniti G35 which had more power but lacked the luxury I was looking for. My IS 250 has the perfect combination. It's a great standard car to drive.

Could not be happier

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

I had a RX 300 for 7 yrs 152k miles, never had a repair. My friend totaled it. I wanted a sports sedan w/manual tranny. I looked at the IS 250, BMW 325-330, Infiniti G35 & Acura TL. My earlier experience w/lexus was outstanding so I thought this would be a no brainer. It has less performance than the competing models, however it is a perfect car for me. Plenty of power, so quiet, wonderful seat and driving position. It handles really well and the 6 spd is a lot of fun.

I love it.

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus IS 250 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M)

My IS 300 was stolen and totaled so was not in the market for a new car. Test drove the IS 350 and hate that it was not manual. I was told good luck finding an IS 250 with manual trans. I found one and it's just a great car. So, much different than the IS 300.

Full 2006 Lexus IS 250 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, Lexus debuts the all-new IS 250. Replacing the previous IS 300, the IS 250 brings forth new powertrains, more features and a higher-quality cabin.


Since 2001, the Lexus IS 300 has taken on the BMW 3 Series with marginal success. Although it never really lit up the sales charts, the rear-wheel-drive IS 300 has earned a small but loyal -- and young -- following. When it came time to create the second generation of the IS, Lexus had to design a sedan with expanded appeal that wouldn't disenfranchise the kids. A tall order, but one the IS 250 meets with commendable success. The 2006 Lexus IS 250 sedan is bigger and more luxurious than the car it replaces. Buyers can choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic.

Since Lexus already had an excellent rear-drive platform in its recently redesigned GS, it became the starting point for the new IS. By carving out 4.7 inches of the GS's wheelbase and lopping off 4.4 inches of front and rear overhang, Lexus had the basic structure of the new IS. The GS's double-wishbone front and independent multilink rear suspension moves intact to the IS and is retuned for the new application. The IS 300's straight six has been replaced by a new 2.5-liter V6 engine that features VVT-i variable valve timing and makes 204 horsepower. Also coming from the GS is the suite of electronic technologies --traction control, stability control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist -- that Lexus groups together as the "Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management" (VDIM for acronym lovers). VDIM is optional on the IS 250.

Behind the wheel, the IS 250 is all about comfort and coddling, offering the sort of gentle driving experience Lexus is known for while trailing the 3 Series in terms of athleticism. For those more interested in a luxury car than a sport sedan, though, the capable Lexus represents a worthwhile choice, offering a plush interior, refined drivetrain and exquisite assembly quality.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The IS 250 comes in just one trim level. The standard features list includes keyless entry and ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power doors and windows, cruise control, leather seating, a moonroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 13-speaker premium audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Optional is a 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system that delivers 5.1 multichannel playback. Other notable options include 18-inch wheels, 10-way power seats, a navigation system, heated/ventilated seats, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (which allows drivers to set a preferred interval between the IS and traffic ahead), rear park assist, rain-sensing wipers, corner-adaptive headlamps, Bluetooth connectivity and bi-HID headlights.

Powertrains and Performance

Under the IS 250's hood is a 2.5-liter V6. Lexus rates it at 204 horsepower at 6,400 rpm with 185 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The IS 250 is rear-drive but Lexus also offers an all-wheel-drive version. The latter comes with the six-speed automatic only.


Safety equipment includes front and rear side curtain airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and BrakeAssist, and stability control. An optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) -- packaged with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control -- uses a millimeter-wave radar sensor to detect obstacles in front of the car. If the computer determines that a collision is unavoidable it preemptively stiffens the suspension, retracts the front seatbelts and pre-initializes BrakeAssist so increased braking is applied the instant the brake pedal is depressed. In crash tests, the IS earned a "Good" rating (the best possible) for its performance in IIHS frontal offset and side-impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The new IS 250 features impressive interior materials, an attractive cabin design and plenty of luxury amenities. Everything from the soft-touch dash and door panels to the supple leather seats exudes high quality. Rear seating isn't as comfortable as we'd like, which surprised us given the IS 250's growth from the old IS 300 days. The answer lies in the wheelbase, which is 1.2 inches shorter than the new BMW 3 Series and offers minimal rear legroom. If you regularly carry adults -- or even large children -- in the rear seat you might consider the Audi A4 or Infiniti G35.

Driving Impressions

The IS 250 cruises along freeways like the luxury car it is. Acceleration is adequate for this class of car. The manual transmission allows one to wring out a bit more speed but overall the automatic is a better choice. The ride is controlled but soft, and its silent cabin, devoid of any noise, harshness or vibration, is a portrait of tranquility. On twisting roads this smallest of Lexus sedans is comfortable, reassuring and competent.

Talk About The 2006 IS 250

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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