2012 Lexus IS 250 vs. Its Competition

2011 Lexus IS 250 4-door Sport Sedan Auto AWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class are the benchmarks in the segment, and both add smaller turbocharged four-cylinder engines to the lineup this year.

Both are available with a range of body style and drivetrain configurations, and their handling and build quality are top-notch.

The Cadillac CTS is also a relative newcomer to the segment, but its low price and excellent feature set make it a good value proposition.

The Infiniti G37 has a new, more powerful 332-horsepower engine, but is based on the same excellent-handling FM platform as the G35 before it, with well-balanced sports-sedan styling and proportions, plus available all-wheel drive.

It's also substantially less expensive than the German sedans.

The Audi A4 is more fuel-efficient and has a great interior, though it can also feel a little noisy and coarse.

2011 Lexus IS 250 4-door Sport Sedan Auto AWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lexus IS 250Browse Used Listings2012 Audi A4 4-door Avant Wagon Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A4Browse Used Listings2012 BMW 3-Series2012 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2012 Cadillac CTS Touring Edition2012 Cadillac CTSBrowse Used Listings2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan 4-door Journey RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 INFINITI G37 SedanBrowse Used Listings2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class2012 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
The 2012 Lexus IS 350 and IS 350 aren't as focused and fun to drive as sport sedans from BMW or Infiniti, though especially in F Sport guise they still look great.
8.2
The 2012 Audi A4 provides an engaging driving experience, impressive in-cabin technology, and surprisingly great fuel efficiency—making it a good everyday driver among premium sedans.
8.4
The 2012 BMW 3-Series delivers the class-leading sport-sedan performance and handling enthusiasts have come to expect, yet it makes substantial improvements in fuel-efficiency, active safety, and connectivity.
8.4
It has a styling leg up, and the 2012 Cadillac CTS backs up its looks with good dynamics, good build quality and a competitive set of body styles and options.
7.8
Forget that the 2012 Infiniti G Sedans are somewhat practical four-door designs; they can provide all the sensory thrills and dynamic satisfaction of full-fledged sports cars.
8.2
With a new base four-cylinder engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes even more sense for value-conscious (yet image-conscious) luxury shoppers.
MSRP From     
$33,795$32,500$34,900$35,915$36,900$34,800
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class     
Sub-CompactCompact CarsCompact CarsMid-SizeMidsize CarsCompact
Style Name     
250 4-Door Sport Sedan Manual RWD4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV4-Door Sedan 3.0L RWD4-Door Journey RWD4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD
Drivetrain     
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear-Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftManualAutomatic w/ODAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2012 Audi A42012 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2012 BMW 3-Series2012 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS2012 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2012 INFINITI G37 Sedan2012 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class