My 5th car. This one has been by far the most reliable and pleasant to drive. Not one single issue. I wish the seats folded and that it had Bluetooth. Everything about this vehicle is solid. Tire issue but that can be avoided. Factory alignment will make the insides of your tires wear in half the time but there are shops out there that will align it so the wheels are not angled out as much. I average 27 mpg. Max has been 29mpg. If you really tone it down, 31 mpg hw. These figures are obtained by resetting the trip odometer and then dividing the number of gal it took to refill. I am not that tall so the car fits me great. 5 people in the car is a squeeze but not that bad.
I've been reading all these reviews complaining about the ride quality. That's due to the Potenzas from the factory. I replaced mine with Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires and the ride quality is 1000 times better. Also, buy a car with low profile tires, they WILL get damaged...on any car. This car is getting close to three years old and gets driven hard about 80 miles per day. It doesn't have a single rattle, squeak, or any other flaw. It has been perfect since day one. The engine definately needs more power. This car has decent power, but for the $42K that is costs, it should a lot more. The interior comfort and design are outstanding.
I've owned by IS 250 for 8 years now and I have literally only put gas and oil in it. Nothing has gone wrong. I do the various required maintenance (at 30K miles, and so on), but it's been a great car. The dealer just wrote me a letter asking if he could buy it back and I honestly can't come close to being able to replace the car with something half as nice for the same price. It's a keeper.
Very good torque throught the manual gears, especial 1 thru 4; holds turns very well; easy to handle/steer - good wheel feel; powerful breaking; and still quite, espec. when touring; AND signif. more power to the rear wheels than the automatic. But ... nothing like the MT in my 1994 Lexus ES300. I had many problems with IS manual trans. After buying IS250 as CPO with only 2k miles, all kinds of MT came up: the worst being the flywheel was warped and I could get the car to move away in 1st from a stop -smoothly and with no jerkiness. It was maddening; had to argue and convince Lexus to take it seriously. Finally, 13,000 mi later, they replaced flywheel, which showed hot spots throughout.
Full disclosure: I am an engineer with 20+ years of quality experience, so I am very picky. This car is the perfect marriage of luxury and sports car. The build quality is very apparent, both inside and out. It is extremely quiet and smooth, although the suspension is a tad stiff on rougher roads. The paint is absolutely beautiful. Picking a color is the toughest decision, once you decide to buy. The engine will not impress true sports car enthusiasts, but I think Lexus hit the nail on the head by combining "very good" performance with "great" gas mileage. I'm getting 28 MPG consistently.