All-new for 2006, the revamped Lexus IS line is now made up of the IS 250 and IS 350, replacing the IS 300 of 2005. The IS 250 is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive, while the IS 350 is rear-wheel. Both are sedans only; the SportCross hatchback model of 2005 is not carried over.
The names come from the engines: the IS 250 uses a 2.5-litre V6 with 204 hp, while the IS 350 uses a 3.5-litre V6 with the world’s first system combining direct and port injection, to produce 306 hp and a zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time in less than six seconds. The IS 250 bases with a six-speed manual; it can be optioned to the six-speed automatic with sequential shift mode and wheel-mounted paddles that’s standard on the IS 350.
Other changes include all-new front and rear suspension, new steering and brake systems, new styling, advanced vehicle stability control, an industry-first twin-chamber passenger side airbag, driver and passenger knee airbags, SmartAccess keyless system, and Lexus’ first application of bi-Xenon projector headlamps with adaptive front lighting. The IS 350 also features Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) for improved handling characteristics and a more seamless approach to correcting missteps than the IS 250’s stability control system.
The new suspension system features an independent front double wishbone design with anti-dive and anti-squat geometry, with multi-link control arms at the rear. A rear sport suspension is optional on RWD models. All automatic-equipped vehicles also have Hill-Start Assist Control, which reduces roll-back on hills.
Features on the IS 250 include speed-sensitive electric power steering, tilt and telescopic wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD/MP3 player with thirteen speakers and wheel-mounted controls, cloth sport seats, auto up/down on all windows, leather-wrapped wheel, cargo mat, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, halogen headlamps, fog lamps, driver and passenger knee airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, pushbutton start, cruise control and first-aid kit. The AWD model includes 17-inch wheels.
Available options include leather interior, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, heated power seats, bi-Xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and sport suspension.
The IS 350 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather sport seats with ten-way power adjust and ventilation fan, and woodgrain trim. Available options include a sunroof, sport package, luxury package and navigation system.
The IS is a luxury sports sedan aimed squarely at the Teutons, and it succeeds admirably, although putting a manual gearbox on the larger engine would probably please more enthusiasts. They can’t complain about the suspension, which is extremely tight and responsive when pushed to its limits; but there’s always a price to pay, and it’s in the transfer of any road imperfections at slower speeds when you’re in the mood for luxury. The cabin is Lexus-quiet; appointments are well done, and the rear seat offers a bit more legroom than the 2005 edition, although it’s still fairly tight. Styling is sleek and up-to-the-minute; this vehicle is an excellent way to enter the Lexus family.
No content available
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
No content available