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HEELS ON WHEELS: 2015 LEXUS IS 250 REVIEW


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2015 Lexus is 250 Review

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE LEXUS IS 250 VEHICLE The smaller Lexus IS 250 luxury sedan does a notable job of blending refinement, technology and performance for reasonably priced car you’d be happy to both commute and show yourself off in. Just last model year the vehicle took on a major redesign – the focus for 2015 is involves more conveniences and technology achievements like an Enform Remote app featuring remote start and location finder.

I drove a 2015 Lexus IS 250 with the direct-injection 2.5-liter V6 delivering 204 horsepower to the rear wheels and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i). Availbe in one model (with or without optional packages and features) standard equipment for the IS 250 include: Xenon headlamps; dual-zone climate control; moonroof; next-generation Remote Touch Interface; heated front seats; ten-way power driver’s seat; Multi Information Display; Bluetooth; premium audio system with real-time traffic, iTunes tagging and HD Radio; Drive Mode Select; paddle shifters; push-button start; dual-chrome exhaust; seventeen-inch wheels. Pricing as described without options or packages is $36,550

Lexus has worked hard to present the IS 250 and the bigger IS 350 as smaller-sized sedans big on character, connectivity and excitement. The models are pitted against competitors like the Audi A4 2.0T and the Mercedes-Benz C350.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Last year’s redesign gave the IS line’s exterior a higher beltline and heighten fenders, with an F SPORT package adding a sportier grille that steps up the attitude. Although the IS can seat five, only four will sit comfortably in this smaller sedan. A first for the entry-level segment are touch-sensitive electrostatic temperature switches for the climate control – just sweep down with a finger (much like using an iPhone). Quality leather, crafted wood inlays and an arrangement of chrome-like dials and knobs do give the cabin an exquisite feel. Additional equipment for my test drive included upgraded $935 eighteen-inch wheels, a $1,855 navigation system with a mouse-like controller, and the $500 Intuitive Park Assist.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2015 Lexus IS 250 has a Five-Star rating with The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested Moderate Overlap Front and Side with ratings of “Good” in both areas. Standard safety equipment includes: ten airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system; Anti-Lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is also standard and incorporates automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator, an emergency-assist button and roadside assistance.

Cost Issues: Ranging from a base price of $36,550 for the IS 250 and $40,065 for the bigger IS 350 with all-wheel drive, optional packages cab and anywhere from $4k-8k to the price. The F SPORT will bring a snazzier full-mesh grille and eighteen-inch wheels with more aggressively tuned suspension.

Activity & Performance Ability: Since The IS 250 continues to display improved rigidity at the tightest of thanks to various new body bonding techniques. The steering angle has been dropped three degrees for a more connected feel. But only when decked out in the F SPORT package does the IS step up the experience to mirror what an Audi and Mercedes can bring due to race-inspired equipment such sport-tuned suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension with a Sport S+ drive mode.

The Green Concern: My IS 250 test-drive featured ECO, Sport and Normal drive modes, with ECO controlling the throttle more to conserve fuel for an overall fuel economy of 24 miles-per-gallon (21-city and 30-highway).

FINAL PARTING WORDS
On its own, the Lexus IS 250 dazzles in style and comfort – yet when pitted against competitors where athletic performance is concerned, this sedan it might start to show certain shortcomings. Try the optional F SPORT Package to satisfy your desire from something sassier.

©2015 Katrina Ramser