Lexus IS 250 Standard Review
This IS it!

Story & pictures by C.K Lim
3 Sep 2008

The Lexus IS250 is a genuinely credible alternative to the usual suspects in the compact executive saloon segment - we take a closer look at this Japanese contender...  


The compact executive saloon segment has always been an important one for luxury car makers for it is where first-time buyers get their inaugural sampling of the entry-level products. Then based on that, will form their opinion about the companies and their other offerings.

For this segment, long-standing luxury powerhouses BMW and Mercedes-Benz created their 3-Series and 190 (which was succeeded by the C-Class in 1993) compact executive saloons way back in 1975 and 1982 respectively.

Though Lexus was a latecomer to this segment with its IS200 compact executive in 1998, it made a huge impression by winning Japan’s “Car of the Year” award for 1998-1999.

The version we got locally was the one with a 160bhp 2.0-litre straight six and a four-speed automatic. However, what the enthusiasts lusted after was the variant – available only in Japan - known as the Toyota Altezza that had a Yamaha-sourced 210bhp four-cylinder engine under the bonnet and a six-speed manual transmission.

In 2005, Lexus introduced the new generation IS. Looking more like a scaled down version of its GS brethren, the IS’ shape is more purposeful all thanks to its compact exterior. Incidentally, both cars are styled under the new L-finesse design language of the Japanese car maker.



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Engine Capacity 2499cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 12:1
Bore x Stroke (83 x 77)mm
Power 205bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 252Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 131.4 bhp per ton


Acceleration 8.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 225 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4575 x 1800 x 1425) mm
Wheelbase 2730 mm
Turning Circle 5.1 metres
Kerb Weight 1560 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 65 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs