2010 Lexus IS-C
2010 Lexus IS-C
2010 Lexus IS-C. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: Sport Sedan

History/Description: Designed to give the BMW 3Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 a bit of a headache, the Lexus IS brought to market the brand’s reputation for delivering a no-nonsense ownership experience, high-quality craftsmanship and long-term value.

Like its competition, this compact sports sedan was available in numerous configurations and with numerous drivelines, engines and options packages to suit a wide variety of tastes and budgets. Selection in the used market will, thusly, be immense.

Engines / Trim: Look for a 2.5L V6 with just over 200 horsepower, and a 3.5L V6 with just over 300. The Lexus IS 250 got the smaller engine, and the IS 350 got the bigger one. The smaller six could be had with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual, or optionally, an automatic. Adding AWD to the mix was possible, though IS250 AWD variants only came with the automatic box.

All models with the big V6 got the automatic transmission, and AWD was added to the options sheet on the IS350 from 2011 and on.

Leather seating, a sunroof, navigation, xenon lights, a back-up camera and wood trim are all available or standard ¬¬– depending on the model selected. Look for navigation, Bluetooth, automatic climate control and a variety of other features available as well.

Audiophiles are advised to seek out a model with the potent Mark Levinson audio system, which features powerful subwoofers, premium components and a full surround-sound listening experience.

2011 Lexus IS2011 Lexus IS2011 Lexus IS2011 Lexus IS
2011 Lexus IS. Click image to enlarge

For the 2011 model year, Lexus refreshed the IS model range, adding the AWD/3.5L V6 combination, updating the styling and offering up an available ‘F-Sport’ package that fitted tighter shocks, bigger wheels and distinctive design touches inspired by the rip-snorting IS-F performance sedan.

A special ‘Touring Edition’ model was launched for 2012, adding heated leather seats, a sunroof and xenon lights. A hard-top, two-door convertible IS-C variant was available too – but all IS models were four-door units otherwise. These will be the focus of this story.

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