We drive the Lexus IS250

  • More kit for less cash
  • IS given facelift, too
  • Better, but not great value
Lexus IS250
Price: £22,715 - £28,240
On sale: Now
You'll like: Lower prices; more kit
You won’t: Jiggly ride; running costs

It looks like Lexus is getting into the spirit of the January sales. Thanks to a recent face-lift, the IS compact executive now provides more kit for less cash.

How much cash? Well, the 2.5-litre V6 petrol version we have here now starts at £22,715, where it used to check-in at £24,127. The range-topper now sets you back £28,240, but it used to cost £29,687.

More kit - less cash
The increased kit levels come courtesy of the re-jigged trim structure, which now begins with SE. It has alloys, climate control, suede-effect upholstery, cruise control, a six-disc CD stacker with MP3 socket, stability control and eight airbags as standard.

There’s plenty of space upfront, but anyone travelling in the back seats is less well catered for.
The boot is small and awkwardly shaped, too, with significant wheelarch intrusion.

The looks have changed slightly: there are reshaped bumpers, redesigned rear lights, new door mirrors and two new colours.

On the road
Despite small changes to the suspension, the Lexus still can’t give you the thrills that rivals can. You need to work the 204bhp 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine hard to make brisk progress, but it pulls cleanly from low revs. The IS turns into corners swiftly, grips keenly and is unfazed by mid-corner bumps, so it’s a shame that the steering doesn’t offer more feedback, while the hard ride means it’s nowhere near as comfortable as the equivalent BMW, the 325i.

The IS250 manages only 28.8mpg while the 325i returns 39.8mpg. The Lexus is catastrophically heavy on CO2, too, chucking out 231g/km to the BMW’s 170g/km – so the company car tax bandings are 22% for the BMW and 34% for the Lexus.

Our verdict
Better value, if not exactly great value
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