Last week, I picked up my son and his two friends while I was driving the hip new Lexus IS250.
When they saw the car, their facial expressions were priceless. All three of them walked around the car and looked it over, carefully inspecting it from all angles. They opened the trunk and checked out the space, looked under the hood and inspected the engine, took turns sitting in both the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat, then moved to the back seat and checked out the legroom. In the end, these high school kids labeled the IS250 as “the bomb” which I later determined was a compliment of the highest order.
As they headed off to baseball practice, they were all talking about how comfortable the seats were, the smooth ride and the “great” 14-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound audio system in the car. I could only agree with their assessment; the Lexus IS250 sport sedan is a sweet automobile.
But, for 2012 both the Lexus IS250 and IS350 are virtually unchanged after receiving numerous changes last year, including revised front and rear styling, minor interior updates, an IS 350 all-wheel drive (AWD) model and an F Sport Package for the IS 250/350 rear-wheel drive (RWD). They continue with a distinctive sporty look, a wide stance and long wheelbase, a tight body and sophisticated styling. Carefully shaped body contours, a subtle ducktail-curved trunk lid and “air kick” tail lights contribute to a sleek profile.
The IS 250’s 2.5-liter V-6 engine delivers 204 hp at 6,400 rpm and 185 poundsfeet of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. The IS 350’s 3.5-liter V-6 offers a more potent 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and 277 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The IS 350 RWD model clocks zero-to-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. Both engines have dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts.
Aside from its larger displacement, the 3.5-liter V-6 also differs in that it aids the direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors. In light- and medium-load conditions, the additional injectors help produce a precise burn, optimizing power and efficiency. A dual exhaust system reduces backpressure at higher engine speeds.
An advanced six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is standard on the IS 350 models and the IS 250 AWD. The IS 250 RWD comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with the paddle-shift automatic offered as an option. Pricing for the Lexus IS250 starts at $33,295.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to <Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com>.