2012 Lexus ISEnlarge Photo
As in 2011, the IS is available in IS 250 form, with a 2.5-liter V-6 good for 204 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque; or in IS 350 form, complete with a 3.5-liter V-6 good for 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both models are available in either rear-wheel drive or in all-wheel drive (on the IS sedans, at least), but only the IS250 in RWD is available with a six-speed manual transmission. All other models come standard with a six-speed automatic that offers optional steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
If top-down driving is your passion, the Lexus IS Convertible, with its three-piece folding hardtop, carries over from 2011 as well. The only two-door in the IS lineup, the 2012 Lexus IS Convertible comes in either IS 250C or IS 350C variants, and is only offered in rear-wheel drive.
For those wanting the true sport-sedan experience, Lexus offers the IS with the F Sport package, but only on rear-wheel-drive models. The F Sport package includes revised suspension tuning and sharper steering, along with dark-finish 18-inch wheels, a front lip spoiler, a rear deck spoiler and a dark-chrome grille. Inside, F Sport buyers get sport seats, unique scuff plates and F Sport logos on the steering wheel and shifter.
If you expect luxury, you won’t be disappointed by the IS. All models get HID headlights, Bluetooth phone integration and audio streaming, and a 13-speaker audio system. Optional (but highly desirable) is the 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, as well as touchscreen navigation and Lexus’ Enform telematics system.
[Toyota via MotorAuthority]