I've had the IS250 for 2 months now and it's everything I'd hoped. Great looks, terrific fit and finish on the interior--which sold me over the BMW 3 and even the Audi A4. As others have noted, the ride's not as sporty as some others but I'm not on twisting turning road all that much anyway, whereas the comfort and style are always noted and appreciated. This is my 3rd Lexus (RX & GS) and have loved them all.
Comfort, fit, finish. Nav and blue tooth are excellent. Gas mileage also a pleasant surprise at 27+ overall.
Rear seat is tight. Rear visibility a little sub par
My first year leasing the IS AWD has been "fine." It is a sporty looking pre-luxury all wheel drive vehicle, top notch reliability and a spectacular dealership experience. Beyond that it's an expensive AWD Corolla with added bells/whistles. It does do a great job in the harsh Midwest winters, but is not nearly as fun to drive as the Audi/VW cars I have owned in past. Its handling is okay but not sporty; the ride is generally compliant but at times punishing. It never "goes" when you need it to and then whines like a four cylinder. I am generally not as excited to drive this Lexus as I was my previous autos, and sadly look forward to returning to a German AWD car when my lease is up.
The AWD/ESC works as well as a Quattro. Okay handling. Gas mileage(for an AWD) in town 24. Interior appointments. Comfortable, heated seats. Feels safe to drive. Emergency handling. Sexy looking. Back up camera. Front cup holders. Crash ratings. Trunk/storage generous for car's size. Quiet cabin.
Rear leg room; expect complaints from your rear passengers. Fold down rear seats to the trunk. Rain gutters on doors; you get soaked when entering/exiting. Stiff ride over rough roads. More horse power; the V6 feels like a 4. Google Maps should handle the GPS system. Ugly "sport" wood grain.
Ownership experience has been positive. The car draws favorable reviews for its styling. The fit and finish are excellent. It is quiet and very solid feeling on the road. Only complaint is getting used to a limitation on driver visibility to the rear.
Favorite features are the solid ride, quiet interior, handling and the styling. The keyless entry system is also a plus as is the sensible layout of the interior.
I traded in a Audi A4 for the IS250 and have been quite disappointed. The transmission is rough when shifting, it has no get up and go, and the blind spots are huge. I find myself having to look around a lot more in this car and am way more cautious after several near collisions because of the blind spots. The Audi was fun to drive. The IS250 is a chore. I'm getting rid of it after only 1 year.
This car is my third Lexus. It has typical Lexus build quality, good exterior looks, and great brakes and handling. The car is a much more engaging drive than my ES, but not as demanding as a BMW 3. I'm averaging 27 MPG in mixed driving and thoroughly enjoy my commute now. It's quiet and comfortable, though the rear seats are just for show... no one over 12 will want to sit back there.
Spritely handling, Build quality, Lexus customer service, and dealer experience
Driver footwell is too cramped by the transmission tunnel. The rear seat needs a few more inches. ECT button should be relocated to a visible position.