I am a long term BMW owner (325i, 325is and M3) but have grown tired of the electrical problems that seem to plague recent 3 series models. My Lexus IS 250 provides a firm yet comfortable ride. While perhaps not quite as athletic as the 3 series BMW, the handling and braking are outstanding. Add in the exterior and interior appearance, overall fit and finish and unbeatable quality of Lexus and you have a winner. The 250 provides enough power for most applications, but if you have to have five second 0-60 times, opt for the 350 which hits 60 mph in just over 5 seconds. On the other hand if you want highway mileage that exceeds 30 mpg, buy the 250 version. Either way you can't go wrong.
This is my first Lexus and while it's the bottom of the range, the attention to detail is clearly evident in the design of this vehicle. The Black Sapphire is a beautiful color, the fit and function is wonderful and the drive is tight and responsive, without being dangerously fast (like the IS 350). Chose the IS 250 over the IS 350 because I couldn't afford the speeding tickets and for the gas mileage. I'm getting about 18 mpg in SF city driving.
My IS250 is an awesome vehicle. I traded a Sentra to get a car that was fun to drive. Mine is gray, tinted windows, chrome 18" Lexus wheels. The car drives smooth and the HP will surprise you. There is more than a few times I have left what i thought to be faster cars behind me at red lights. The car has an amazing stereo system that makes my wife's Bose system sound like a crappy pair of headphones. The only issue I had was the speedometer and tachometer dash lights started going out and needed to be replaced. I was over the mileage warranty by 500 miles but Tom Williams Lexus replaced it for me anyways. Bottom line this car is amazing and I will buy another one when this dies.
This car is great for 2 people, back seat space is tight, but I'LL never be in the back seat. I got it for my wife who had the ES 300. We love the IS because of the smaller size, sharper look and the car handles better than the ES 300. The ride is not as smooth as a smaller wheel base, but it's so much more of a sports car its a keeper!