Traded in old IS200 for a 250SE Auto and very pleased so far. Equipment levels very high although parking sensors recommended even with rear view camera. Steering too sharp around straight ahead position and lacking in a bit of feel. Economy very good if you take it easy and it's easy to get 30mpg - my old IS200 never did better than 27 mpg. No experience in respect of servicing costs to date. Super smooth engine and gearbox make for a good drive which can be livened up in sports mode when required. A 3 series would undoubtedly provide more driver feedback but they look bland, are too common and don;t have he toys.
I've had my IS for over a year now and overall I've been very impressed. I'm glad I went for the petrol as it suits the Lexus perfectly (it's silky smooth and very quiet) and it works well with the 6-speed auto, especially in sport mode. The 2.5 V6 does lack power and torque though which means you have to work the engine quite hard. I wish they'd bought the IS350 out in the UK. The handling is pretty good. The rear can feel a touch twitchy on the limit - a bit like an old-school BMW 3-er - and it turns in keenly with very accurate (albeit numb) steering. The ride is quite firm and it can seem fidgety on poor surfaces, but it's by no means poor. The MM package is superb: great stereo, super-quick and clear Blue-tooth connection for your phone, very useful reversing camera and faultless Sat Nav. I haven't used the voice control though. Build quality is great and the interior is exquisite apart from a few things - particularly the awful '80's LED digital clock and the passenger airbag on/off display. There is no mistaking the interior style as anything other than Japanese - but it's a Japanese car so what d'ya expect ;) You do sit a little high in the car but as the window line is quite high, it's no issue. Huge wing mirrors give great visibility but do ruin the external lines a touch. Good thing they can be folded away. I also like the keyless entry & heated/ventilated seats. Finally, the economy is impressive. It's easy to get 35 mpg on a motorway run.
I have owned my IS220D S for just under two years covering 33,000 miles. I genuinely like the look of the car, which for me is an important factor. The Lexus dealership has been excellent and has raised my expectations from other manufacturers.
In the cabin - It is fair to say that the quality of materials, soft feel plastics and the way they fit together are very good.
However on a prestigious brand my ‘niggles’ on this model are as follows:
1. The optional Multimedia pack includes a rear view camera. They would be better to include the rear audible parking sensors and offer the ‘gimmicky’ camera as an option. To balance my view on the Multimedia pack the Mark Levinson surround sound system and Bluetooth touch screen phone is superb. 2. I have used 6th gear twice, as under 85mph it simply labours the engine, to the point that it vibrates the rear view mirror so that it can not be used. 3. On the S model there is no lumber support on either the drivers or passenger seats! On long journeys the lack of adjustment can cause back ache. Strange on a car costing £23,000 4. Road noise, on average UK road surface’s noise is a little intrusive. 5. The clutch is too heavy and after a few hours in congested traffic it is noticeable.
If the niggles mentioned above and an automatic gearbox (my next requirement)were to be resolved, I would stay with this model.
I have owned 2 in 3 years, both IS 250 sel. Brilliant treatment from Cheshire Oaks dealership. The cars looked great. I loved all the toys, but too much road noise and very cramped in rear. Drinks fuel... but with a 2.5-litre V6 engine, what do people expect??
Would I have another? Well they are pricey and i have just changed to a Mini Clubman. Now that's different in every way. I changed because all saloons are looking the same.
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