By James Bergeron
Day 1:

2007 Lexus IS250
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When I think of Lexus, I think of two things: luxury and reliability. Lexus has gained the reputation of being the most reliable luxury vehicle manufacturer over the past decade, as they have delivered time and time again with vehicles that seemingly last forever. But what about the luxury side of the equation?

Most North American vehicle buyers automatically equate luxury with tangibles such as: electronic doodads, alloy wheels, power seats and an interior covered in cow. They also are seeking the intangibles like: a smooth quiet ride and a badge that shows the world that they are driving something special.

2007 Lexus IS250
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This week I step behind the wheel of the Lexus IS250 RWD; the least expensive vehicle in the company’s lineup. My tester is not an optioned-out model either; with only the X1 package added to the standard IS250 RWD, my tester comes in at a very palatable $38,500 — for a Lexus.

Standard features include: A six-speed manual transmission, a six-cylinder V-type 2.5L engine putting out 204 HP, stability control, a slew of letters (ABS, EBD, BA), automatic climate control, premium Lexus audio with 13 speakers, power windows and mirrors, 10 airbags, push button start and manual cloth seats.

Yes you read that right: manual cloth seats. it almost screams, “I bought the base model so I could say I drive a Lexus.” Honestly though, they are nice seats, just don’t try to explain it to your friends. The X1 package included in my tester adds a few final touches to the IS250, and these include a sport tuned suspension, stainless steel scuff plates, front illuminated “Lexus” scuff plates and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels for $1,950.

Sometimes it is not so much the tangible items that make a vehicle what it is. My IS250 tester strives to prove this to me and to you, the reader, this week, by being bold enough to not wear leather while still standing strong under its luxury badge.

2007 Lexus IS250 RWD
MSRP as tested: $38,500

For more information on Lexus and the IS250 visit Lexus Canada

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