Lexus IS sedans and convertibles are quick, stylish rear-wheel-drive cars that combine sharp handling with luxury performance features. Trim, sleek and relatively light, they offer paddle-shift transmissions, good brakes and, in the IS 350, 0-60 mph acceleration as quick as 5.3 seconds. They are designed to offer comparable style and performance features as the BMW 3 Series cars and Mercedes CLK 350, but at lower prices.
The Lexus IS models come in four-door sedan and two-door hardtop convertible versions and with a choice of engines ranging from sensible to sporty to almost raceworthy.
A broad range of engines, transmissions and drive systems are available in the IS line. The 306-horsepower IS 350 is the performance leader of the group, but the entry-level IS 250 offers all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and class-leading fuel mileage. For the most involved driver, there is the captivating IS F, which boasts a top speed of 170 mph and is powered by a 416-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. The IS F can compete with the BMW M3.
The Lexus IS 250 C and IS 350 C are true convertibles, converting from top-down roadster to hardtop coupe with the press of a button.
The Lexus IS sedan is comfortable for two and can seat five, but it's not a family car like the Lexus ES 300. The back seat is not commodious, with rear legroom at a premium, though there is a car seat anchor for the little ones.
Changes for 2010 are primarily in the area of technology updates. The standard Lexus Premium Sound System now includes iPod and USB connectivity, streaming audio via Bluetooth, and an integrated satellite radio receiver. The optional navigation system now has casual-language voice recognition and Bluetooth phonebook download capability, and also features integrated XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather, and XM Sports/Stocks. Safety Connect is standard on non-navigation equipped vehicles. Lexus Enform, which automatically comes with Safety Connect, is available only with navigation-equipped vehicles.
The optional Luxury Package for the IS 250 AWD now includes front ventilated seats, perforated aniline leather, and wood trim, in addition to many other features that were already part of the package.
The 2010 Lexus IS models come with leather upholstery; dual-zone climate control; SmartAccess keyless entry with pushbutton engine start; and a satellite-ready 194-watt, 13-speaker stereo with six-CD changer and MP3 auxiliary audio input jack.
The IS 250 is equipped with a 2.5-liter V6 engine and comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox ($31,845) or six-speed automatic transmission ($33,015).
The IS 250 AWD ($35,475) features all-wheel drive and comes standard with the automatic transmission. The AWD model also gets special perforated leather upholstery and Bird's-eye maple trim.
The IS 350 ($37,295) comes with a 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. More sophisticated braking and electronic stability systems augment its additional performance.
The IS 250 C ($39,440 with six-speed manual, $40,610 with automatic) and IS 350 C ($44,980) are the convertible hardtop models.
The IS F ($57,760) features a high-performance V8 engine, eight-speed transmission, speed-rated tires, and a sports suspension.