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Since we last evaluated the Lexus IS350 (see the video below), the car has received some updates. In driving the recent Lexuses, especially noting the excellent road holding characteristics of the IS350 Convertible, we were interested in seeing how a current IS250 would behave so we requested one and received the IS250 AWD.
Taking it over my favorite Highway 74 here in Southern California allows me to try the car out on all fronts, quality of the ride, road handling, ease of control, acceleration and braking, and I must admit, it passed with flying colors. The IS250 is vastly different from the much newer HS250 h we tested recently, in that this is clearly aimed at performance driving, even in the 250 version. At no point did I ever feel that the car could not handle what was put in front of it. Of course, some people push the boundaries of reason, but on the 74 in both directions, uphill and downhill, slow twisty parts as well as longer curved sections, it was all perfect.
Does that mean the car is signed off completely? No! I do really like the build quality of Lexus, the perfection of exterior and interior trim that the company has become renowned for and which is pretty evident here. What I can not accept though is that, in making a 4 door sedan on a relatively small platform, Lexus has compromised the ingress/egress of the driver and front passenger to squeeze out reasonable space for the rear passengers. Even in the much smaller HS250 h I did not have as much trouble getting in and out of the car as in this car. We noted that on the IS350 at the time already, and I hope this will be resolved better for the next generation.
The car, with all its built quality and performance deserves to not have a let down like this. There are better solution possible. If this would be incorporated on the next generation IS, I would be a customer!